The Full Wiki

Jack Harkness: Misc


Dr Who

Up to date as of January 31, 2010

From TARDIS Index File, the free Doctor Who reference.

To meet the Doctor Who wiki's quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup.
Please discuss this issue on the talk page, or you may attempt to improve this page yourself.

Captain Jack Harkness
Also known as:
Home Planet:
Home Era:
Appearances: List of Appearances
This article is about Captain Jack Harkness of Torchwood Three. For other uses of Jack Harkness, see Captain Jack Harkness (disambiguation).
"Captain Jack Harkness, nice to meet you! Can't I say hello to anyone"
―Captain Jack to the Doctor

Captain Jack Harkness (sometimes simply "Captain Jack" to those close to him, or as the Doctor refers to him Captain), was the name adopted by a con man from the 51st century and an associate of the Doctor. His original identity remains a mystery; whenever asked he refuses to answer. Reluctantly immortal and stranded on Earth from the mid-19th to the early 21st century, he headed Torchwood Three.



Given his frequent time travelling, much of Jack's personal chronology remains confused. While we can say with some certainty that certain events happened to Jack before he met the Doctor and others afterwards, we cannot necessarily regard everything Jack says as accurate.


Early Life

Originally, Jack was born under a different name, that is yet to be revealed.(TW: Captain Jack Harkness). He grew up sometime around the year 5000, an era whose attitudes towards sex differed from those prevalent in the 21st century. Humans had begun to expand outwards to explore the universe and, meeting other species, often pursued sexual relationships with them, regardless of differences of gender or species (DW: The Doctor Dances). Although human stereotypes of bisexuality and homosexuality have been applied to Jack (i.e. Owen Harper once indicated to Gwen Cooper that Jack was "gay" (TW: Day One)), the term Jack uses to refer to himself is "omnisexual".

Attack on The Boeshane Peninsula
Boeshane Peninsula, home of the young Jack Harkness. (TW: Adam)

Jack was brought up on the Boeshane Peninsula, a sandy beach-like area. He often played with his brother Gray and his father, Franklin. They often liked to play cricket and sing around campfires. One day an alien race invaded his homeland which killed many of the inhabitants. Jack was told by his father to run away with Gray while he went back for Jack's mother. While Jack was running, Grey stumbled and Jack accidentally let go of Gray's hand and Jack continuted to run, and hid in a bush, and the invaders flew overhead. He returned to his home hoping to find his brother, but instead  his father dead. Jack claims it was the worst day of his life and he spent many years searching for his brother but never found him. (TW: Adam)

Growing Up

As a young man, he persuaded a friend to "join up" with them to fight against some unspecified enemies that Jack did not describe or name — other than to call them "horrible". Considering Jack's friend to be the weaker of the pair, the enemies tortured him as a lesson for Jack. Jack bore the guilt of his friend's fate. (TW: Captain Jack Harkness)

Once, when sentenced to death, he ordered four hypervodkas as a last meal and ended up bedding both executioners (at the same time). He recalls them as a lovely couple who kept in touch. (DW: The Doctor Dances)

As a Time Agent and a Con Man

'Captain John Hart' frequent partner of Jack's in the Time Agency. (TW: Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang)

Jack worked as a Time Agent with a partner (in more ways than one) called John Hart. At some point, they spent five years trapped in a two-week time loop, with the two becoming the equivalent of a married couple after spending so much time together (Hart concedes to having been "a good wife", which closed the argument about which of them was the wife) (TW: Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang). Jack eventually discovered that the Agency had erased two years of his memory, two years he wanted to have back (DW:The Empty Child).

While in 1941, he assumed the alias of an American volunteer Captain Jack Harkness, who had died in action that January. The impostor knew very little about the "real" Jack, other than basic information such as the former's date and manner of death. (TW: Captain Jack Harkness)

Having left the Time Agency, Jack became a time-travelling con artist, performing various scams using his knowledge of future events, such as demanding money for items that he knew would be destroyed before the buyer could see it. Finding pieces of space junk and directing them to soon-to-be disaster sites, Jack would sell them to passersby, then allow the items to get destroyed before the buyers could pick up their merchandise. He would, at some point, improperly acquire a small, sleek Chula spacecraft, fitted for Human use, which could turn invisible. (DW: The Empty Child)

Meeting The Doctor

In uniform as 'Captain Jack Harkness'. (DW: The Empty Child)

While pulling a con with a Chula Ambulance during the London Blitz, he spotted Rose Tyler hanging from a barrage balloon and rescued her, taking her aboard his ship. Quickly deducing that Rose came from the future, he suspected that other Time Agents had discovered him. (DW: The Empty Child) Shortly after, Rose introduced him to the Ninth Doctor. Together, the trio worked to stop the Empty Child plague brought about by the ambulance's nanogenes. Although he was almost killed carrying in his ship a German bomb about to explode, the Doctor and Rose rescued him just before the ship exploded. (DW: The Doctor Dances) Jack subsequently became a new travelling companion for the Doctor, to the delight of both Rose (who found Jack attractive) and Jack (who found both Rose and the Doctor likewise).

The trio shared numerous adventures together and clicked as a team to the point where Mickey Smith found himself almost an outsider during a shared adventure (DW: Boom Town).

Jack was aboard Satellite 5 when the Dalek fleet launched their assault on Earth and was exterminated while defending the satellite from their advance. He was resurrected by Rose Tyler, who at that time had the powers of the Time Vortex which turned her into the Bad Wolf. Jack later discovered he was immortal from this point on. He was unable to rejoin the Doctor and Rose before the Doctor's TARDIS departed and was left stranded on the satellite. (DW: The Parting of the Ways) The Doctor, who had just regenerated, told Rose that he believed that Jack could begin the process of "rebuilding the Earth" (DW: Children in Need Special). However, this may have been a simple ruse to disguise the fact that the Doctor's instincts told him to run because from this point on Jack became a "fixed point" in time (DW: Utopia).

Life on Earth

19th century

After Jack was left on Satellite 5, he employed the Vortex Manipulator in his Time Agency wrist strap to go back to Cardiff, the location of an active space-time rift. Jack ended up in 1869, and unfortunately his Vortex Manipulator burned out and he was unable to leave (it was later repaired by the Doctor but disabled twice by him afterwards). (DW: Utopia)

Coincidentally or not, the Doctor had first encountered the Rift in that year (DW: The Unquiet Dead). Thus, Jack may have accidently instructed the manipulator to trace the Rift to its point of origin, rather than to locate a specific point in its being, presumably in a haste to relocate the Doctor.

Regardless, he chose to remain in the city, knowing that the Doctor's TARDIS could re-fuel itself using the rift and that the Doctor would one day return there. (TW: Fragments) Jack appears to have chosen to continue using the Harkness alias, or at least was using it as of 1899. Jack's second death and resurrection occurred when he was shot in 1892 during a fight on Ellis Island. (DW: Utopia) Jack would find that he still aged, but very slowly, and could recover from any degree of physical harm, including death itself, given a few minutes time. (DW: Utopia) In 1898 he helped save a boy, Anthony, from a Lawphorum, which had fallen to Earth. Anthony, a travelling stage show boy, had failed to predict the future of Jack when he asked him how he would die. (DWF: Best Friends) Probably he decided to take up this idea and so he joined a travelling show and was billed as "the man who couldn't die" in order to investigate the Night Travellers. (TW: From Out of the Rain)

Recruitment by Torchwood

In 1899, Torchwood Cardiff agents Alice Guppy and Emily Holroyd found out about Jack's immortality and about the Doctor. They captured Jack and tortured him trying to discover why he couldn't die and what connection he had to Torchwood's enemy, the Doctor, who they knew Jack had mentioned in various conversations around the city. He was released on the condition that he worked for them, an offer which he initially refused outright. The two asked him to reconsider this option, and Jack wound up in a bar, alone until a young cartomancer offered to read him his fortune. To his immense surprise and bewilderment, she imparted a completely accurate prophecy of the Doctor's eventual return to Cardiff 100 years into the future. Left with nothing to do but wait for a full century, Jack reconsidered Torchwood's offer and began working for them. On his first mission he had to go stop a criminal Blowfish, which he returned to the Hub only to see it killed by a shot to the head. (TW: Fragments)

He continued working for Torchwood for about a hundred years, still pursuing his attempt to find the Doctor in the meantime. (TW: Fragments)

20th century

In 1909, Jack was traveling through Lahore by train with a group of soldiers under his command, when they were killed by Fairies. Some of the soldiers had recently run over and killed one of the Fairies' Chosen Ones. In revenge, the Fairies suffocated the soldiers by forcing rose petals down their throats. (TW: Small Worlds) Jack's presence in Lahore was part of a con intended to steal the diamond shipments the soldiers were guarding (WEB:; however, he did appear to take his responsibility for the men seriously, however temporary it may have been, and to be distressed by their deaths. His participation in the con itself was at the direction of (or at least in cooperation with) an unknown agent. Jack later left Torchwood to fight in World War I. In 1914 the Doctor met a soldier who mentioned to him that Captain Harkness had survived a bullet to the head and was recovering in hospital. (IDW: The Forgotten)

Prior to February 1944, he met Estelle Cole. (WEB: The pair spent some time in London together. She wanted to spend the rest of her life with him. Somehow, however, this never happened, and they lost touch with one another. (TW: Small Worlds)

Jack in 1965

In 1965, the alien race known as the 456, communicating through radio, set up a deal where Jack, along with three other military officers, whose names he did not know at the time, would deliver to them twelve young orphans as a "gift" at a meeting point in Scotland. In exchange for the children, the unseen aliens would give to them a cure for a new strain of Indonesian flu that the aliens claimed would mutate and kill 25 million people. (TW: Children of Earth: Day Four)

In 1975, Jack and another Torchwood agent, Lucia Moretti, had a daughter, Melissa Moretti, who would age normally. Lucia and Jack split up sometime prior to 1977, and at the request of her mother, their daughter was sent into the Witness Protection Programme, relocated and given the name of Alice Sangster, presumably arising from her mother's fear of the immortal Captain Jack. The application was approved on February 14, 1977. Although Jack was a Torchwood agent at this time, he was still considered a freelance operative rather than a full-time employee. (TW: Children of Earth: Day Three)

Jack later became leader of Torchwood Three on New Year's Day 2000 after the previous leader, Alex Hopkins, killed his team. Knowing Jack couldn't die, he did not attempt to kill Jack and waited for him to arrive at the Hub before committing suicide. That left Jack as Torchwood Three's leader and only surviving member; he would spend the next few years recruiting new members. (TW: Fragments)

21st century

Leader of Torchwood Three

Jack recruited Toshiko Sato in 2004 (TW: Fragments, (TW: Greeks Bearing Gifts) and Owen Harper was recruited in 2006. (TW: Fragments) At some stage, Suzie Costello, his second-in-command joined the team. (TW: Fragments) Jack's activities at the time of the Blaidd Drwg incident in Cardiff – which involved Jack's younger, mortal self – are unknown, even though it is known that he was in charge of Torchwood Three and based mere feet from the TARDIS' arrival at the time. (DW: Boom Town) After the destruction of Torchwood One in the Battle of Canary Wharf Jack continued to run Torchwood Three. With Torchwood One gone and Torchwood Four having "gotten lost", Jack ran Torchwood Three with more or less complete freedom and used the removal of oversight from Torchwood One as an opportunity to run it according to the ideals he thought the Doctor represented. (DW: The Sound of Drums) He took in Ianto Jones, a survivor of Torchwood One, after some heavy persuasion by Ianto himself. (TW: Fragments) During this time, Jack held on to the hope of re-establishing contact with the Doctor, whom he believed could help him. At some point after the 2006 Sycorax incursion (DW: The Christmas Invasion), Jack obtained a severed hand that had fallen from the Sycorax craft and which was identified as having belonged to the Doctor. He kept the hand in a portable hyperbaric chamber in Torchwood Three's nerve centre, the Hub, and treated it as a prize possession, much to the occasional consternation of his colleagues. (TW: Everything Changes-TW: End of Days) He eventually relinquished the hand to the Doctor. (DW: Last of the Time Lords)

Jack with Gwen (TW Ghost Machine)

After his second-in-command Suzie Costello was exposed as a serial murderer and shot herself, he took in Police Constable Gwen Cooper as Torchwood's newest member. (TW: Everything Changes) Over the coming months, he helped train Cooper in dealing with aliens and alien weaponry, and before long Cooper had become his second in command, taking over for him during his later absence. (TW: Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang) He revealed very little of himself or his origins to his team, even when pursuing a flirtatious relationship with Cooper (TW: Ghost Machine) and a more physical one with Ianto Jones. (TW: They Keep Killing Suzie et al) Although he rarely confided in his team, preferring to keep his past secret -- Gwen was the first person to learn about his immortality -- he nevertheless often showed great compassion for them and other innocents who got caught up in Torchwood's missions (TW: Out of Time), even as he demonstrated a far more ruthless side in dispatching the team's enemies than the Doctor might have exercised. (TW: Countrycide)

Transported back to 1941 by the Rift, Jack met his namesake, the original Jack Harkness, and briefly romanced him before returning to the 21st century. (TW: Captain Jack Harkness)

Jack confronting Abaddon (TW: End of Days)

After the Rift was finally opened by Owen Harper, Jack was forced to confront Abaddon, released from the rift by Bilis Manger. Abbadon was destroyed while attempting to leech Jack's life, though the exertion resulted in Jack remaining dead for three days, his immortality apparently unable to save him. He was brought back to life by a kiss from Gwen. (TW: End of Days) Minutes after his resurrection, Jack noticed the Doctor's hand begin to glow. From inside of the Hub, Jack recognised the sound of the TARDIS materialising, elated after decades of waiting by the knowledge that the young cartomancer's prophecy had been fulfilled and that a version of the Doctor he knew was returning to refuel. By the time the rest of the Torchwood team arrived to investigate the sound, Jack had gone. (TW: End of Days)

Reunion with the Doctor

Having heard the TARDIS, Jack fled from the Hub chasing after the sound. With the Doctor's hand in a backpack, he managed to jump onto the ship before it dematerialised and re-materialised in the year 100,000,000,000,000. (Jack is the only individual known to have withstood a trip through the vortex on the exterior of a TARDIS, thanks to his immortality.) The Doctor and Jack had an awkward reunion. Jack made the happy discovery, though, that Rose Tyler had not been killed in the Battle of Canary Wharf. They met Professor Yana, actually the Master, who regenerated and took off in the TARDIS. (DW: Utopia)

For a full discussion of these incarnations of the Master, see Yana and Harold Saxon.

The Doctor, Jack and Martha traveled back to 2007 with the aid of Jack's vortex manipulator (part of his Time Agency wrist strap), which the Doctor modified. The newly regenerated Master had gotten elected as Prime Minister. Jack was captured on the Valiant along with the Doctor but gave his vortex manipulator to Martha, allowing her to escape by teleporting to the ground. (DW: The Sound of Drums)

Captain Jack when he shot a Blowfish

After being imprisoned within the Valiant for one year, the Doctor and Jack managed to release themselves, and Jack destroyed the Master'sParadox Machine with a machine gun. This resulted in time reverting back one year; only those aboard the Valiant at the time retained any memory of the year's events (see The Year That Never Was).

After the Master's death, Jack had the opportunity to end his long exile on Earth, however out of loyalty to his team at Torchwood, he decided to stay. (DW: Last of the Time Lords)

At some point in the course of events, the Doctor obtained his severed hand from Jack, and Jack would much later witness the hand being used to prevent the Doctor's regeneration. (DW: Journey's End)

Return to Torchwood Three

Jack returned to Torchwood and the team, saving the life of a woman being menaced by a Blowfish. While this took place, there was some Rift activity and John Hart from the Time Agency appeared in Cardiff. Jack tracked him to a bar, where they reunited with a passionate kiss followed by a lengthy bar brawl. John caused quite a bit of trouble before leaving Cardiff via the Rift, but disclosed to Jack that his brother Gray had been found. (TW: Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang) After Jack met Martha Jones when fighting the Master, he invited her onto the team for a few days. He asked her to investigate the Pharm, a medical organization that could cure diseases that were incurable. He ordered Toshiko to close it down. But the Pharm manager shot Owen Harper and then Jack shot him. Martha stayed for a few more days and he put her in charge as Medical officer. (TW: Reset)

Jack crashing Gwen's wedding

Jack found the other resurrection glove and resurrected Owen Harper. It worked but Jack had released an extradimensional alien, the embodiment of death, Durac. Owen saved the day by not giving his soul to Death and survived. (TW: Dead Man Walking) Jack met his younger brother Gray again when John Hart came back and bombed a warehouse in an attempt to kill all the members of the Torchwood Three team. This failed and Jack found a message from John on his vortex manipulator, which included an appearance by Gray himself. Left shaken, Jack immediately went back to the Hub to confront Captain Hart, leaving the other members of the team to deal with their respective challenges. (TW: Fragments) On meeting John again, Jack was killed before being chained up and made to listen whilst John explained his predicament. Jack's rogue partner then detonated strategically placed bombs in and around Cardiff, obliterating the city to Jack's horror before forcibly kidnapping him and sending both of them back through time to Cardiff in 27 AD. Here, Jack discovered that John was being manipulated by Gray, whose return is marked by his instantaneous, remorseless murder of his brother. He vengefully forces John to bury Jack alive 20 feet underground in the land that would become Cardiff. Gray, transformed into a merciless, sadistic psychopath by a lifetime of horrific torture had blamed Jack for letting go of his hand when they were children and wanted Jack to experience a similar never-ending pain by choking on dirt, thrashing on the edge of life every time he revived, only to die again. (TW: Exit Wounds) Before totally burying Jack, John, finally pushed too far by the awareness of how wrong his actions were, slipped a signet ring into the grave with him, hoping that the signal it emitted could be used to locate Jack.

Jack in 27 AD

Stuck in a cycle of death and resurrection for centuries, Jack was discovered by Alice Guppy and Charles Gaskell of the Torchwood of 1901, who had picked up the signal of John's ring (an act which confused his Time Agent partner, who had returned to the 21st century to rescue him, thinking that the ring, despite being 'guaranteed 5 millenia', had malfunctioned). Back in the early 20th century, Jack, insistent that he could not be allowed to cross his own timeline (for by now two versions of Jack were present – his past self and present self) demanded to be placed in cryopreservation for 107 years until the present day. Despite being baffled, the two granted him this request and Jack awoke again inside Torchwood Three concurrent to Gray's mayhem – and coincidentally preventing him from finishing off Toshiko with a bullet. Jack forgives his brother of his trespasses despite Gray's own unwillingness to absolve Jack, begrudging him everything. Left with no other option, a tearful Jack chloroformed and cryopreserved Gray, refusing to kill him, but the damage had already been done, as Gray had been responsible for the deaths of Owen Harper and Toshiko Sato. Jack and John part ways on better terms, with John travelling the world in the 21st century, determined to find out why Jack finds the time period so interesting, and Torchwood Three reduced to Jack, Ianto and Gwen. (TW: Exit Wounds)

On September 9, Martha phoned Jack for help with the CERN's Large Hadron Collider. He, Ianto and Gwen flew there, met up with Martha, investigated 12 accidents, and found a creature that fed on neutrons. (BBCR: Lost Souls)

The Medusa Cascade incident

Captain Jack during the Medusa Cascade incident

Later, when the Earth was relocated by the Daleks to the Medusa Cascade, Harriet Jones, a former Prime Minister and acquaintance of the Doctor, contacted Torchwood and other allies of the Doctor via the Sub-Wave Network. After receiving vital information from Martha that allowed him to reactivate his vortex manipulator, Jack teleported to the Doctor's side just as a Dalek shot him. (DW: The Stolen Earth)

Subsequently, after the Doctor's regeneration aborted, Jack boarded the Crucible and surrendered to the Dalek forces. He attempted to shoot the Supreme Dalek and was "exterminated". He subsequently burrowed into the Crucible and linked up with Sarah Jane Smith (with whom he flirted), Mickey Smith and Jackie Tyler. He attempted to use Sarah Jane's Warp star to bluff the Daleks into calling off the detonation of the reality bomb but was ultimately transported to Davros' chamber instead. He helped pilot the TARDIS as it returned the Earth to its original location. He offered Martha Jones a permanent position with Torchwood, and soon after was joined by Mickey, but not before the Doctor deactivated his vortex manipulator once again, refusing to run the risk of allowing him to travel in time. (DW: Journey's End)

It was some time around here that Jack made a series of tutorial videos about Adipose, Pyrovile, Ood, Sontarans, Slitheen, Hath, Vespiforms, Vashta Nerada, Judoon, Midnight, The Trickster's Brigade, Daleks, Davros, festive aliens and Cybermen in The Hub. These have been confiscated by UNIT and are now top-secret footage. (WC: Captain Jack's Monster Files)

456 Incident

Jack just before the bomb inside him blows up. (TW: Children of Earth: Day One)

Jack, specifically, as part of the team which had negotiated with the 456, was targeted by John Frobisher for assassination after they once more contacted Humanity by using the children of Earth as their mouthpiece. The British government feared that the secret of the deal would come out. They speculated, incorrectly, that the Hub had special properties which enabled his regenerative abilities, and so set out to destroy it, along with Jack. Jack went to contact his daughter Alice and grandson Steven, to try to understand what had happened with the children.

The government, through a ruse involving their agent Rupesh Patanjali, killed Jack and planted a bomb inside his body before he revived. Back at the Hub, the bomb exploded, destroying both Jack's body and the Hub. (TW: Children of Earth: Day One) The team conveyed Jack's scattered remains to a holding facility. He slowly regenerated his body and returned to life, but Johnson, a government agent, realizing that destroying the Hub had not rendered Jack mortal, had him encased in concrete. His team, who had survived, rescued him. (TW: Children of Earth: Day Two) The government subsequently captured Jack's daughter and grandson in order to blackmail him into not interfering with plans to negotiate terms with the aliens in secret. (TW: Children of Earth: Day Three)

The next day, Jack and Ianto invaded Thames House to confront the aliens. Stating that they wage war against Humanity, they released a virus which killed Ianto, who died in Jack's arms. (TW: Children of Earth: Day Four) When the bodies had been released and Jack came back to life it was apparent that Captain Jack blamed himself for Ianto's death. (TW: Children of Earth: Day Five)

Jack devised a way to defeat the 456 using a reconstitution wave of a similar wavelength to that the 456 used to kill Clem, using the children as one vast transmitter, but in order for it to work, the wave needed to be sent via one child. Even though the force of the transmission would kill the child, Jack ignored his daughter's protests and used his grandson, Steven, as the prime transmitter. The plan succeeded, and the 456 left Earth. However, Steven died as a result and Alice severed all contact with Jack. (TW: Children of Earth: Day Five)

Leaving Torchwood Three

Jack then travelled the world for six months. He did not find it enough to rid himself of his guilt. Saying good-bye to Gwen and Rhys, he used his vortex manipulator (which Rhys and Gwen had retrieved from the ruins of Torchwood) to signal a nearby cold fusion freighter near the edge of the Sol system and teleported off into space. (TW: Children of Earth: Day Five)

Jack in a bar. (DW: The End of Time)

Sometime later, Jack was in Zagizalgul a city in the planet Zog and found himself in a bar drowning his sorrows and surrounded by various alien species, when a barman handed him a folded piece of paper which indicated that someone's name was Alonso. Looking up, he saw the Doctor – making his parting goodbyes – staring back, before gesturing towards the man approaching the bar. Seizing the opportunity, Jack addressed Alonso by his first name and told him that he was psychic when asked how he knew him. The Doctor left as Jack continued to flirt with Alonso. (DW: The End of Time)

Undated events

  • As indicated above, Jack has worked for Torchwood since the late 19th century; to date only a handful of his missions prior to the recruitment of Gwen Cooper are known (TW: From Out of the Rain, Fragments, Exit Wounds)
  • Jack had a memorable experience once on a hunting expedition (DW: Boom Town).
  • Jack once quipped about the time he got pregnant, a memorable experience, though not necessarily in a good way. (TW: Everything Changes)
  • Jack had direct or indirect knowledge of the Cybermen of our universe (TW: Cyberwoman) and even stated that he knew what would happen in the Cyber-Wars of the future. (CJMF: Cyberman)
  • Jack related to a captive that he had experience in torturing prisoners, and that, "a long time ago", he had "quite a reputation as the go-to guy" in the event of needing to force information out of a person. (TW: Countrycide)
Given that he wanted to frighten a prisoner into divulging information at the time, he may have lied or stretched the truth.
  • He once worked for an employer named Vincent, who surprised "his" staff by coming out as a male-to-female transsexual renamed Vanessa. (TW: Greeks Bearing Gifts)
  • Jack once had a boyfriend with no mouth. (TW: Fragments)
  • Jack implied that he was present at the extinction of the dinosaurs and said that he had eaten some of them, stating that: "... there was nothing else around after the meteor hit." (TW: Fragments) Jack appears to be unaware that the extinction of the dinosaurs was caused not by a meteor, but a space freighter that exploded, killing the Doctor's companion Adric. (DW: Earthshock) Unless there is an unchronicled time travel event during Harkness' tenure with Torchwood, this event appears to have occurred prior to his first encounter with the Doctor.
  • At some point, and over an unknown period of time, Jack made a number of top secret video recordings providing information on the various alien races encountered by planet Earth. The timing of these recordings and why they were made remains unknown. (WC: Captain Jack's Monster Files)
  • Although not necessarily "adventures" per se, Jack has made references to having romantic relationships with several 20th century notables, including Christopher Isherwood (TW: Reset) and Marcel Proust. (TW: Dead Man Walking)

Other information


Jack has died multiple times. This is one attempt to place these deaths in a precise timeline.

Jack fought in World War I and World War II

During The Year That Never Was, the Master frequently killed Jack for fun

By this time, Jack has died at least 1392 times

Special abilities

Since his resurrection by the Bad Wolf entity (DW: The Parting of the Ways), Jack can die and come back to life almost instantly (TW: Everything Changes onwards), although on occasion his resurrection may be delayed if he experiences enough trauma. (TW: End of Days) He can also re-grow limbs, organs, bones, etc. After a bomb that was planted in his stomach exploded, he was able to fully regenerate from just an arm, a shoulder, and part of his head. His bones grew back first, followed by his internal organs, and lastly his skin. The process of resurrection can often be very painful, especially in this instance. (TW: Children of Earth: Day Two) He has also endured events which might have burned or vaporized regular humans, like a blast from a Judoon laser gun. Once, he stayed under stet radiation from a rocket ship that completely burns flesh but it never even bothered him. (DW: Utopia) Jack views this power as a curse as much as a blessing, as each time he has died he has not experienced anything at all, good or bad (TW: Everything Changes), although the process of resurrection is described as like being "hauled over broken glass." (TW: Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang)

It is impossible to calculate how many times Jack has died and resurrected since his first death from the Dalek blast. By the time John Hart killed him in a warehouse bombing, he had died at least 1,392 times (TW: Fragments), starting from 1892, when he first discovered his immortality. (DW: Utopia) However, Jack was subsequently buried alive by his brother, Gray, in 27 AD, and endured an endless cycle of suffocation deaths and resurrection – potentially hundreds of thousands – before being finally rescued in 1901. (TW: Exit Wounds)

The Doctor explained to Jack about his power after their reunion: Rose resurrected him as the Bad Wolf entity with the power of the Time Vortex after his first death, when he was shot by a Dalek. She couldn't totally control the power she wielded and she brought him back forever by accident. The Doctor knew from the moment it happened and so abandoned Jack in the future. The Doctor said that Jack is a fixed point in time, an impossible thing which the Doctor has trouble even looking at and even the TARDIS tries to get rid of. The Doctor says even he's unable to undo Jack's resurrection power and doesn't know if Jack will ever die due to this. (DW: Utopia) See "Future as the Face of Boe", below, for a potential consequence.

Like other men in the 51st century, Jack possesses evolved human pheromones which make him naturally nice-smelling and attractive to others. (TW: Fragments)

Tosh could not use Mary's telepathy pendant to read his thoughts, although he could project thoughts to Tosh if he so chose. Tosh likened it to trying to read a dead man, and Jack confirmed that he knew someone was trying to read his mind. (TW: Greeks Bearing Gifts)

Future as the Face of Boe?

Jack has mentioned that in his childhood home, the Boeshane Peninsula, as result of being the first one ever (whether of the Peninsula or of the Time Agency generally remains unclear) he had been a poster boy and so was nicknamed the Face of Boe. (DW: Last of the Time Lords) Jack had previously mentioned that he did know of the Face of Boe. (NSA: The Stealers of Dreams)

Whether this would make the immortal Jack the actual future Face of Boe remains unknown. If true, then Jack is fated to outlive the Earth. (DW: Gridlock)
In his commentary for a preview of Children of Earth, Russell T Davies said of Captain Jack: "He has lived through hundreds and hundreds of years, and will live through billions of years.

These words sound suspicously similiar to the legends surrounding the Face of Boe, implying that Jack really is/will be the Face of Boe.

In comments in a panel at Comic-Con, John Barrowman talked at length about receiving the scripts for Utopia and Last of the Time Lords at Comic-Con and about how great he thought it was that Jack was the Face of Boe, because of what it did to the dynamic between Jack and the Doctor.

Multiple Jacks

Due to Jack's immortality and time travel, there have been several occasions in which several Jacks existed on Earth at the same time. At the time of Jack's first encounter with the Doctor in World War II, there were three versions on Earth: the young mortal Jack who subsequently joined the Doctor and Rose (DW: The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances); the immortal Jack working for Torchwood (location at this point in time unknown); and a still older Jack being kept in cryogenic sleep at the Torchwood Three Hub in Cardiff. Later, when the Doctor, Rose, and Jack arrive in Cardiff prior to the Blaidd Drwg power station incident, they are only feet away from the Torchwood Three Hub where the older Jack is based and the cryogenically frozen Jack awaited resurrection. (DW: Boom Town) Yet another trio of Jacks existed on Earth, again during World War II, when the immortal Jack accidentally passed through a rift in time back to World War II, when in fact not only were there three Jacks (the 21st century Jack, the 1940s Torchwood member Jack and the frozen Jack) but a fourth as the original user of the name was also present. (TW: Captain Jack Harkness)

Donna's World

If Donna Noble had turned right instead of left, stopping herself from ever meeting and saving the Doctor, Jack would have lost fellow Torchwood members Gwen Cooper and Ianto Jones, who sacrificed their lives to save the Earth from the Sontarans' plan involving ATMOS, and would have been transported to Sontar, the Sontaran homeworld. (DW: Turn Left)


The Defabricator at work

When Rose and the Doctor first met him, Jack owned a small Chula Warship, fitted for human use, as well as psychic paper and a store of nanogenes in the ship. When saving the Doctor and Rose by carrying a German bomb a safe distance away from London, the bomb explodes inside the ship, but luckily, the Doctor and Rose saved him. (DW: The Empty Child, The Doctor Dances) In contrast to the Doctor, Jack Harkness was far more willing to use weapons and was capable of modifying equipment to that end. Jack owned a sonic blaster. (DW: The Doctor Dances) He also managed to store a Compact Laser Deluxe away somewhere "you really don't wanna know"', in case of emergencies. (DW: Bad Wolf) During his travels with the Doctor, he modified the Defabricator, to be capable of destroying a Dalek. (DW: The Parting of the Ways) As the leader of Torchwood Three, Jack liked to carry a World War II Webley. (TW: Everything Changes onward)

Other information

Romantic interests

Although once described as gay by Owen Harper, Jack is, correctly, pansexual, in that he finds both males and females attractive and not exclusively humans, either. As such, he has had many lovers of both sexes and of numerous species.

By nature, Jack flirts with nearly everyone he meets. The earliest known example is his Time Agency partner Captain John Hart (TW: Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang), but Jack has also recalled lovers from his Time Agency days such as his would-be executioners (a couple) and a boyfriend with no mouth.

Some time after leaving the Time Agency, he became a con man during World War II and had an affair with a soldier named Algy. (DW: The Doctor Dances) While traveling at their side, Jack appeared to develop romantic feelings for Rose Tyler and the Ninth Doctor, kissing them both on the mouth upon leaving them to fight the Daleks. (DW: The Parting of the Ways) The Doctor chose neither to encourage nor discourage Jack, though he himself did little more than playfully tease Jack. (DW: Boomtown)

When once again living around the time of World War II (this time immortal and working for Torchwood) he had a relationship with Estelle Cole (TW: Small Worlds) but seemingly disappeared out of her life forever one day (possibly to go off to war again).

Ianto dies in Jack's arms.

While stranded on Earth between 1869 and 2007, Jack alluded to countless romances. He is known to have dated notables Christopher Isherwood (TW: Reset) and Marcel Proust (TW: Dead Man Walking) and developed a relationship with a Torchwood coworker named Greg Bishop. (TWN: The Twilight Streets) Other mentions include acrobatic twins and the possibility of relationships with other coworkers and acquaintances, such as Duchess Eleanor. (BBCR: Golden Age) During this period Jack also became married but outlived his wife. (TW: Something Borrowed)

With Torchwood agent Lucia Moretti, Jack was the father to Alice Carter (TW: Children of Earth) (who in turn produced a grandson). In the late 1960s, Jack met and had a brief relationship with involuntary time-traveler Michael Bellini. (TWN: Trace Memory)

In the early 21st century, Jack recruited Gwen Cooper, who was romantically drawn to him (though Jack withdrew in deference to the fact Cooper was engaged to marry Rhys Williams), and Ianto Jones whom he developed a romantic relationship with. Despite these burgeoning relationships, Jack met the real Captain Jack Harkness after traveling back in time and the two developed a romantic bond, culminating in a kiss upon their pained farewell. (TW: Captain Jack Harkness) Jack also met and was attracted to Martha Jones, the handsome Tenth Doctor and even fleetingly to the Malmooth Chantho and a human male refugee. On discussing Martha's obvious unrequited love for the Doctor, Jack replied, "You, too." (DW: Utopia)

When he returned and John Hart departed (TW: Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang), he began an exclusive relationship with Ianto, though he continued to flirt with everyone he met. During the Medusa Cascade incident, Jack confessed to being a fan of Sarah Jane Smith, because of her triumph against the Slitheen, which did come to some flirting. (DW: The Stolen Earth) Also, expectedly, Donna Noble found Jack attractive, offering a hug (Jack assumed she was kidding) after the Doctor and Rose did. Eventually Donna hugged Jack after saving the universe by pushing Sarah Jane out of the way, though Jack didn't mind. The relationship with Ianto, however, was close enough for him to surrender the world to the 456 to stop them killing Ianto. This did not save him, and the relationship was tragically ended. (TW: Children of Earth: Day Four)

He was later introduced to Alonso Frame by the Doctor during his last farewells. Although they certainly flirted with each other, it is unknown whether they merely had a fling, or if this grew into something more serious. (DW: The End of Time)


Jack's known relatives are his father, Franklin, and his younger brother, Gray. His father was killed during an attack on the Boeshane Peninsula. Gray later turned against his brother and was eventually cryogenically frozen in the Torchwood Hub; the Hub's subsequent destruction during the 456 incident renders Gray's fate unclear. (TW: Children of Earth: Day One)

He also had a mother and at least one wife, whose names are unknown. On Earth, he had a daughter, Alice Carter, and a grandson, Steven Carter; Steven died at the resolution of the 456 incident, and his relationship with his daughter has become estranged. (TW: Children of Earth: Day Five)

The fact his daughter was aging and his grandson died indicates that Jack's immortality cannot be passed genetically.

Key life events

Behind the scenes

  • Jack Harkness' first name was originally "Jax", in Russell T Davies's original production outline. In this, Jack's proper name was Jax, and he was using the Jack alias as a cover in World War II. The name was later abandoned due to its similarity to other names in the wider Doctor Who Universe.
  • Davies has said he got the surname "Harkness" from Agatha Harkness, a recurring character from the Fantastic Four comic book.
  • John Barrowman revealed that Jack does sleep and that he has a bed located down a ladder underneath a manhole cover near his office (revealed on The Friday Night Project, a late-night talk show) This bed and manhole are seen in Small Worlds.
  • Jack Harkness has the distinction of being the first ongoing character in the televised Doctor Who universe to be definitely confirmed as being non-heterosexual (although, as described above, it is not strictly correct to refer to him as homo- or bisexual either, more omnisexual). However, in the expanded Doctor Who universe he is far from the first, as Seventh Doctor companion Chris Cwej was revealed to be bisexual in the 1996 novel Damaged Goods (written by Russell T Davies), while Third Doctor-era recurring character Mike Yates was "outed" as gay in Happy Endings (although there is no suggestion of this in the televised episodes, which showed him flirting with Jo Grant on occasion). The Doctor Who Magazine Eighth Doctor comics featured recurring character Fey Truscott-Sade, and the Doctor's companion Izzy Sinclair came out as a lesbian in her final regular appearance in Oblivion.
  • Much like Nicola Bryant's portrayal of Peri, sometimes Barrowman uses word choices and pronunciations that an American wouldn't use. The most obvious example is in his way of saying "estrogen" in Everything Changes. (This is mainly because the word is spelt oestrogen in British English.) However it needs to be noted that Harkness is not an American, but rather someone from the far future pretending to be one, and it is established that he has spent much of his life (especially after gaining immortality) based in the British Isles or travelling with "British-speaking" companions such as the Doctor and Rose Tyler. There is nothing to say that Harkness is actually using an "American" accent; his accent may actually be Boeshanean.
  • Jack Harkness wears the rank slide of a Group Captain but is addressed, incorrectly, as "Captain". However, in his initial appearance in Doctor Who he is incorrectly wearing the cap and insignia of a Squadron Leader.
  • The implication that Jack is destined to become the Face of Boe is not considered set in stone due to Russell T Davies waffling over the issue during the DVD commentary for Last of the Time Lords, in which he would not commit absolutely to Jack becoming the Face in the future. However, in media and public (i.e. science fiction convention) statements, producer Julie Gardner, along with both John Barrowman and David Tennant, have all gone on record as saying that Jack is the Face of Boe.
  • Jack has appeared in every season in the revived series, with the exception of Series 2.
  • Jack is one of only two of the Doctor's assistants (the other being Sarah Jane Smith) to get their own spin-off show 

External links

  • In-universe information on Jack Harkness, from the Torchwood website

See also

Companions of the Ninth Doctor
Rose Tyler • Adam Mitchell  • Jack Harkness
Companions of the Tenth Doctor
Rose Tyler  • Mickey Smith  • Donna Noble  • Martha Jones  • Jack Harkness  • Sarah Jane Smith  • Astrid Peth  • Jackson Lake  • Lady Christina de Souza  • Adelaide Brooke  • Wilfred Mott
Other media
Grayla  • Alsa  • Majenta Pryce  • Maxwell Edison  • Heather McCrimmon  • Emma  • Gisella  • Nikki Jupiter  • Rok Ma  • June  • Koral  • Space Major Jon Bowman  • Wolfgang "Wolfie" Ryter  • Jake Carstairs  • Vienna Carstairs  • Wallace Fitch  • Emily Parr  • Kate Maguire  • Cassie Rice  • Jimmy Stalkingwolf  • Matthew Finnegan  • Emily Winter  • The Viewer
The Children of Time
Meta-Crisis Tenth Doctor  • Donna Noble (Doctor-Donna)  • Rose Tyler  • Jack Harkness  • Martha Jones  • Mickey Smith  • Jackie Tyler  • Sarah Jane Smith  • K-9 Mark IV  • Harriet Jones  • Gwen Cooper  • Ianto Jones  • Luke Smith  • Mr Smith  • Wilfred Mott  • Sylvia Noble

This article uses material from the "Jack Harkness" article on the Dr Who wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

ST Expanded

Up to date as of February 07, 2010

The Star Trek Expanded Universe Database is for fanon and related content. See for the canon Star Trek wiki.

Jack Harkness was the last known alias of an enigmatic human time traveler, con man, and former time agent known to have originated from the 51st century, although he worked for the Time Agency in the 29th century. Following his fall from favor with the Agency, Harkness became involved with a rogue Time Lord from an alternate reality, known as Mortimus. (Star Trek: Daedalus)


Early life

Jack was born and brought up in the Boeshane Peninsula on an unnamed planetoid in the Vretus Quadrant of the Andromeda Galaxy, alongside his younger brother, Gray. One day, the planetoid was invaded by the Kreselis and many of its inhabitants were killed including Jack's mother and father. Though Jack and Gray were able to escape the invaders, the two brothers became separated in the ensuing melee. Jack spent the next several years searching in vain for his brother, and a part of him admitted that he had let his brother be killed by the Kreselis.

Working for the Agency




Adventures in Time and Space

This article uses material from the "Jack Harkness" article on the ST Expanded wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address