21 days left and we're continuing on my countdown to Miracle Day, Torchwood re-watch! I'll be watching an episode a day and blogging bits and thoughts. With any luck this is gonna read like an episode guide and commentary. Let's dive right in!

Episode: Captain Jack Harkness  (Series 1 Episode 12)

Written By: Catherine Tregenna (Who also wrote Out of Time)

Original Air Date: 1 January 2007

Sentence Sum-Up: Jack and Tosh get trapped in 1941 where they meet the real Captain Jack Harkness.

Notable New Characters:

Captain Jack Harkness, Real (Matt Rippy): RAF Captian who has one more day to live in 1941. The chap whose name our Jack stole. We didn't expect him to be so hot.

*To avoid confusion we're gonna refer to our Jack as Jack and the Real Captain Jack Harkness as Captain Harkness from now on. And yes I stole that from Wikipedia*

Bilis Manger (Murray Melvin): Caretaker of a dance hall from the 40s. He can travel through time. He causes a lot of trouble in this episode and the next. Wears a cravat.

Favorite Quote:

Tosh: "I'm not used to writing with these things!"
Jack: "Don't press so hard."

Never Noticed:

Jack is wearing his dress shoes out for when they get trapped in the dance hall. Not his boots as he usually does. I s'pose he could have put them on because he was going to a dance hall. Doesn't really bother me.

When the alarms go off at the hall and Jack finds Tosh they grab each others hands and it's adorable. I have such a friendship crush on them. My favorite thing about this episode is it's a fully Jack and Tosh episode, what a great team. Oh and Jack being so protective of Tosh. Just love. So much love for them together.

As the episode progressed Ianto comes apart more and more. Obviously the panic sets in, the idea they might not get Tosh and Jack back and he's dealing with an irrational Owen. But I love that he also starts to show it in his wardrobe. He starts off with his dress shirt and waistcoat pristine. Then he rolls up his sleeves. Then his waistcoat is undone. It's so subtle and they never show him doing it it's wonderful. What a lovely touch.

WTF Moments:

I am confused by Jack. Jack starts the episode on the same page as Tosh. They are trying to send the equations to the Hub so that the rest of the team can open the rift and bring them back. But at the end of the episode Owen brings them back and Jack is furious that Owen opened it. In the next episode he goes off on him and says that they are never to open the rift ever but it seems like he contradicting himself. Some people suggest he's upset because he did it when the equations weren't complete but that doesn't seem to be his point. Jack is wishy washy on this point and it irks me at least a little.

Magic finding powers. Every time I watch this episode I wonder about why Gwen can find every clue Tosh left her and Owen can find the piece to make the rift manipulator work. I don't get it. It all seems too easy, why would either have thought to look in those places. I know it's not a hugely important point but it bugs me.

I talked in my They Keep Killing Suzie blog about this but Jack and Ianto's relationship confuses me. I love them, you all know by now I am team Janto but there is a lot to be desired with what is shown on screen. No, I am not just being a perv and demanding sex scenes but we seem to miss a lot of steps in their relationship and a lot of times what we miss makes it all seem out of order. It leaves things wide open for interpretation but it makes it hard to know if I should be upset or not. On the one hand we have Ianto in the Hub, who clearly is invested in Jack and is talking like something is going on. AND THEN we have Jack in 1941 who when asked if he has a girlfriend says "No, there's no one". NO ONE!? IANTO IS NO ONE!? And it's not like he was being vague or iffy, he wasn't saying he didn't have a girlfriend, he specified NO ONE.  I wonder what Jack is getting at! Is he just lying because he wants a shot with himself? I just don't know how to interpret this. It makes me sad and the whole thing wreaks of Jack leaving Ianto pining and cheating. I wish we had a proper explanation of the order of events between Jack and Ianto, Someone make an official time-line and fill in the blanks. RTD I'm looking at you!!

Random Rants:

When Jack is in the dance hall he specifically turns down a drink and says he'll just have water. We hardly ever see him drinking alcohol and it's almost always when he's really upset. It's accepted amongst fans that Jack hardly ever drinks and a lot of people have guessed as to why. Someone mentioned that there was an official account in a novel or something of that sort that said his FPP (Fixed Point Predicament) made it so alcohol doesn't effect him. If that's the case OK but why would he do it sometimes then? He seems to do it when he's down like others do, to try to numb the pain, which seems to imply he can be effected. I really don't understand the specifics. I don't know that there is a perfect explanation.

MVC (Most Valuable Character):

Ianto. Holy hell does Ianto step it up this episode! He takes charge of the situation and even though we see him falling apart he doesn't let the situation get away from him. He guides Gwen, he puts Owen in his place and he doesn't back down. He remains rational despite what he might want and he keeps true to his principles to the point where he shoots Owen to try to keep things together. Ianto handles business this episode.

MVA (Most Valuable Actor):

Of course Jack was a huge part of this episode and a big part of the story it tells. We find out more about Jack in this episode both factually and emotionally in this one episode that we have in all of Doctor Who and Torchwood to date. It is without a doubt a Jack episode and I don't mean to demean the characters contribution by giving the last category to Ianto but it felt right. That being said John is the outstanding actor in this. It's a great job by Burn, Gareth, Naoko and Matt as well, everyone was spot on and really I struggle choosing standouts every episode. This episode John Barrowman stole the show, absolutely without a doubt. He so suits the time period and the subtext of this story. Every single moment he's on screen you are effected, every line he delivers every look he gives you feel something. Most of the time you're heart is breaking for him and at times you are elated for him and what it's like for him being back in that time. You fall in 'love' with him. You feel every moment of Jack's journey. John Barrowman killed it. End.

This video. Best thing ever.

Episode Grade:

You've heard my issues with this episode. They exist. This is not a perfect episode but it gets a perfect grade because despite any hangups I have it's is a beautiful episode with beautiful performances and I am weepy every watching. It's got something intangible that makes it perfect despite any flaws. It's perfect in it's own way. I love it. A+

Tomorrow's Episode: End of Days (Series 1, Episode 13). Remember, I'll be live tweeting my re-watch on the @BarrowmanDay twitter at 12:00am PST (US - West coast) and 8:00am GMT (UK). Hope you all can watch with me and chat.

That's it for today! Hope you enjoyed my run down. What did you all think of this episode? Did you notice anything new? What grade would you give it? xx


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6/17/2011 04:33:14 pm

About Jack rarely drinking alcohol: I've always associated it with what he said in the "deleted" first version of the pub scene with Gwen in "Everything Changes" (it's in the dvd extras). When Gwen comments on him being a cheap date 'cos he only has water, Jack replies that he has to keep himself hydrated because he might have to travel at a moment's notice. Now, we know that by travel he doesn't mean ryanairing to Canary Islands for a week's boozing, he's waiting for The Doctor to appear. I have a recollection that it's mentioned somewhere in Doctor Who that time travelling is quite rough on the body, it dehydrates you. And alcohol also causes dehydration.

So I've always thought that since Jack is expecting The Doctor to appear any moment, he avoids alcohol to be fit to travel in time. And the moments when he does drink, he's really upset (like after Estelle died).

6/18/2011 12:53:10 am

Not in his boots?! WOW! I can't believe I'd not noticed this!!! lol

I love it too for the fact it has two of my favourites in there...Now if Ianto was there too it would have been even better! lol But then we'd have had daggers from Ianto over the REALLY Jack Harkness! lol So maybe not SUCH a great idea! lol

Totally agree on the WTF moments, thought the same myself! lol

Jack & Ianto: This is my own take on the whole relationship doo dad here. Jack would never, just see CoE, how he REALLY feels about Ianto simply because he knows that Ianto would not always be there for him. Either Jack would leave first before the awful day he'd loose him to death or Ianto would die in his arms. The moment Jack admits to his feelings and that Ianto is, as Owne so delicatly put it, a part time shag, he admits to loving him and is them comitted to him. Jack will have lost so many people he truly loved and so at some point he will have stopped making more of the relationships that what his heart is prepaird too. How much pain do you allow yourself to suffer? So in Jacks heart and mind there is no one. Ianto is there at that moment...So yes their relationship lasts 3 years or so, but what's that in Jacks life...It may as well be just 3 days, hours or seconds..In all truth the perfect individual for Jack would be the Doctor because he's less likely to leave him...Ok I need to stop as I'm confusing myself lol I hope that makes SOME kind of sense! lol

Agree on MVC & MVA lol

Mickie x


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