First Appearance: Doctor Who "An Empty Child" (2005)
Jack Harkness is a native of the Boeshane Peninsula which is located on one of Earth's colony world's in the 51st century. The Boeshane Peninsula was mostly grassy dunes and long sandy beaches where the human inhabitats lived in buildings by the sea. Jack enjoyed playing cricket with his family when he was younger.
When he was still a child the Boeshane Peninsula was invaded by an unnamed alien race which Jack later described as "most horrible creatures imaginable". Jack was told by his mother to take his younger brother, Gray, to run and hide while she went to search for their father. While they were running, Gray stumbled and let go of Jack's hand. Jack did not realize until he stopped running to hide by which time Gray was nowhere to be seen. When the aliens had left he returned to his people's building by the sea to discover his dead father and grieving mother. Gray was still missing.
Later in life Jack became famous in the Boeshane Pensinula for becoming the first Time Agent from the region. He and fellow Time Agent, John Hart, were trapped in a 'two-week time loop' for five years were they became lovers. At some point after this, Jack discovered that the Time Agency had erased 2 years of his memories. This was the likely reason why he then left the Agency and became a con-artist, using his knowledge of future events to make money.
Captain Jack's real name is still unknown. He chose his alias from the 'real' Captain Jack Harkness who was an American pilot serving in the RAF during World War who lost his life when he was shot down by a German Messerschmitt defending British shores.
Jack first meets The Doctor in London during World War II where he attempts to sell him useless piece of space junk claiming it was a Chula Warship. With knowledge of future events Jack knows that a German bomb will soon destroy the craft and all evidence of the con after payment was made. Jack then joined the Doctor and Rose Tyler onboard the TARDIS. They first travelled to Cardiff in the year 2006 so the TARDIS could refuel on space-time Rift in the city. The trio were then teleported from the TARDIS to the year 200,100 where they encountered the Daleks. During the Daleks assault on Earth Captain Jack was exterminated whilst defending Satelite 5. He was later resurrected by Rose who had absorbed vortex energy from the heart of the TARDIS. Unbeknown to them both this left Jack immortal although the Doctor suspected as much and left Captain Jack stranded in the 201st century.
Knowing the Doctor would again land in Cardiff to refuel Captain Jack attempted to travel back in time to meet him (presumably shortly after 2006) however he ended up in Cardiff 1869 where he became trapped. He discovered he was immortal in 1892 when he was shot dead and later resurrected. Jack came to the notice of Torchwood in 1899 and was offered a place in their ranks, an offer he initially declined. It was shortly after this a child cartomancer read his fortune and correctly predicted the Doctors return to Cardiff in 100 years. Without the ability to travel through time he had no choice other than to simply wait 100 years, Jack reconsidered Torchwood's offer and began working for them.
In the year 2000 Jack became leader of Torchwood 3 in Cardiff when one of his colleages, Alex Hopkins, had a nervous breakdown and killed the Torchwood 3 team and then commited suicide. Seven years later Torchwood One was destroyed in the Battle of Canary Wharf and has the last remaining institute Jack effectively became leader of the whole of Torchwood.
Reunited With The Doctor
In Cardiff 2008 the Doctor again lands on the Rift to refuel the TARDIS. Upon seeing Captain Jack running towards them the Doctor quickly takes off but Jack managed to leap and hold on to the outside of the TARDIS before it dematerialises. Still clinging on the outside the TARDIS hurtles through the time-vortex accelerating into the far future. They land on a dark planet in the year 100 trillion and there are no stars in the sky. The Doctor states "the end of the universe".
It is on this planet that Jack, the Doctor and Martha Jones discover another Time Lord, the Master. The Master steals the TARDIS but not before the Doctor sabotages it preventing the Master from traveling anywhere other than the TARDIS's previous destination, Earth 2008. The trio follow the Master back in time to discover he is now Prime Minister of Great Britain and the TARDIS cannibalized to make a paradox machine. The paradox machine allowed the Master to create a time paradox and a chain of events that never actually happened, altering history. This allowed the Master to invade Earth with an alien race called Toclafane. For a whole year Jack was imprisoned and tortured by the Master before he destroyed the paradox machine reverting history to normal. Only those on board the Valiant, including Jack, could remember the year of hell. For the rest of mankind it never simply never happened.
Unbeknown to Jack his brother, Gray, survived the attack on the Boeshane Peninsula when they were children. Captain John Hart, a Time Agent and former lover of Jack, discovered Gray chained and surrounded by corpses. After being captured from the Boeshane Peninsula, Gray was subjected to a life time of torture and watching those around him die by the unnamed aliens. Gray was a changed person, blaming Jack for his capture letting hatred consume him, vowing vengance upon his brother. Gray attacted a molecularly bonded a bomb to John's wrist and blackmailed him.
Travelling back in time to 2009, John kills Jack and kidnaps him, travelling further back in time to year 27 AD where Jack would meet Gray face-to-face. Gray buries his brother 20ft deep in ground that would become Cardiff but not before John throws in a signet ring in the grave so he can find Jack in the future. Suffering an endless cycle of suffocating to death and resurrecting he was finally found in 1901 by Torchwood who discovered the signal from John's signet ring. Already living in this period Jack convinces them to put him into cryostatis in the Torchwood storage to be awakened for the time when Gray attacks the hub in 2009. Jack awakens from cryo in 2009 and confronts Gray telling him he forgives him but Gray refuses to listen. Unable to kill him or simply letting him go, Jack chloroforms Gray and puts him into cryostatis storage. Some time after this Torchwood 3 is destroyed by a bomb. It's unknown at this point what happened to Gray during and after the explosion.
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 twelve accidents, and found a creature that fed on neutrons.
The Return of the Daleks
Later, when the Earth was relocated by the Daleks to the Medusa Cascade, Harriet Jones, a former Prime Minister and acquaintance of the Tenth 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.
Subsequently, after the Doctor's abortive regeneration, 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.
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 videos ere confiscated by UNIT and were made top-secret footage.
Fighting the 456
Jack's past would return to haunt him when the 456, in need of more subjects for their drug production, once more contacted humanity
by using the children of Earth as a collective mouthpiece. The British government, fearing that the secret of the deal would come out, assigned John Frobisher to deal with the situation. Frobisher, knowing Jack's role as part of the team which had negotiated with the 456, reluctantly ordered Jack's assassination. Speculating, incorrectly, that the Hub had special properties which enabled Jack's regenerative abilities, Frobisher insisted on the complete destruction of the Hub, along with Jack, who was already attempting to investigate by seeking to examine his grandson Steven. The government, through a ruse involving their agent Rupesh Patanjali, killed Jack and planted a bomb inside his body before he revived. When Jack, unsuspecting, returned to the Hub, the bomb detonated, destroying both Jack's body and the Hub, but not before Jack managed to evacuate Gwen and Ianto.
A covert ops team conveyed Jack's scattered remains to a holding facility, where he slowly regenerated his body and returned to life. When Frobisher's chief of operations in the task force realized that destroying the Hub had not rendered Jack mortal, she had him encased in concrete. Gwen and Ianto, however, had not been idle, and with the help of Rhys and Ianto's sister Rhiannon, they infiltrated the facility and rescued him.
With Ianto's knowledge of Torchwood One's old infrastructure, and a little criminal mischief orchestrated by Gwen, Jack headquartered his team inside a former Torchwood facility. Gwen arranged for the protection of former 456 victim Clem MacDonald by bringing him to "Hub 2," as Rhys came to call it. Jack himself tracked down Frobisher and warned him to call off the assassination, or the 1965 incident would be disclosed. However, Frobisher countered with a new bombshell: Johnson's team had taken Jack's daughter Alice and grandson Steven hostage in order to ensure Jack's silence in the plans to negotiate terms with the 456.
Jack, Gwen, Ianto and Rhys retaliated by persuading Lois Habiba to collect incriminating evidence against the entire Cabinet regarding the new terms, then threatining full disclosure unless Torchwood was allowed access to the 456. Storming into Thames House to confront the aliens, Jack and Ianto promised a "fight to the death." In response, the 456 released a virus into the Thames House, killing all inside. Among the victims was Ianto, who died in Jack's arms.
A tearful Captain Jack surrendered to the authorities, blaming himself for Ianto's death. He instructed Gwen to have Rhys surrender himself as well, and arranged for the couple to return to Cardiff, with instructions to inform Rhiannon of her brother's death, and to see to the needs of her family.
As the world governments began capitulating to the demands of the 456, and began rounding up children by the millions, Jack found himself sprung from prison by a surprise ally - Agent Johnson, who had become disillusioned and convinced by Alice to take a stand. With the aid of Johnson and Mr. Dekker, who had managed to escape the massacre at Thames House, Jack devised a way to defeat the 456 using a reconstitution wave of a similar wavelength to that the 456 had used to kill Clem, using the children as one vast transmitter. There was one major catch: in order for it to work, the wave needed to be channeled through one child, for whom the force of the transmission would be deadly. Only one child was available to serve as the "transmitter." Ignoring his daughter's screams and protests, Jack used his own grandson, Steven, as the prime transmitter. The plan succeeded, and the 456 were violently ejected from Earth. However, Steven died as a result, and Alice severed all contact with Jack, walking away without speaking a word.
Jack was declared dead as a result of the 456 Regulation.
Leaving Torchwood Three
Jack then went on to travel the world. He did not find it enough to rid himself of his guilt. After six months he returned to Cardiff to destroy the House of the Dead, and encountered the ghost of Ianto Jones, and the couple finally confessed their love to each other for the first and last time. Shortly afterwards, after saying goodbye 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.
Some time later, Jack was in Zaggit Zagoo, a city on the planet Zog, drowning his sorrows in a local bar 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 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.
Mortal Once Again
Jack returned to planet Earth when the word "Torchwood" was emailed all around the world, coinciding with the start of the Miracle Day phenomenon. He used malware to expunge evidence of Torchwood from the Internet, and went to the CIA hard copy records to clear the last of the information. There he encountered CIA agent Esther Drummond, on whom he used Retcon. Jack used the alias "Owen Harper" while he gathered more information. On Miracle Day, Jack lost his immortality. He followed Rex Matheson, also CIA, to Wales to protect Gwen. There, they fought off assassins. Matheson extradited Jack and Gwen to the United States.
Forced onto a plane headed for America, Jack had his Vortex manipulator confiscated by Rex and was handcuffed to his seat. Hearing his manipulator beeping, Jack told Rex that it has detected he had low sodium levels. Jack asked for a Coke and was poisoned with arsenic by corrupt C.I.A. agent Lyn Peterfield. He was cured of the poison by Rex and Gwen with the help of Dr. Vera Juarez. Upon arrival at the airport, Jack (along with Gwen) was freed by Rex as the C.I.A. has become corrupt and he now wished to make them seem the bad guys. After Lyn's head was broken and the guards knocked out, Jack boarded the car of Rex's fellow ex-agent, Esther, and was rushed from the airport after briefly metering the doctor who had saved his life over the phone.
Jack took command of the now ex-C.I.A. agents with Gwen to form a new Torchwood team. They began stealing materials needed for operations. Soon coming into possession of the phone of Brian Friedkin, the CIA director who had given the orders to eliminate Torchwood,Jack led the team to a warehouse owned by PhiCorp. Inside was a stockpile of painkiller drugs, indicating that they knew "Miracle Day" would happen. Seemingly out of character, Jack decided to take the night off from his usual persistence in solving a mystery. The following night, Jack confronted PhiCorp's new public face, Oswald Danes and got him to admit his true feelings about his crime. Jack realised that Danes wished desperately for death. He was tossed out by Dane's guards.
Jack went to Los Angeles with the new Torchwood team to infiltrate a PhiCorp facility there. Unknown to him, they were followed by an assassin with orders to kill Jack. After arriving in LA, Jack and Gwen were able to trick Nicolas Frumkin into giving them access to the PhiCorp base. However, the assassin also managed to gain access, and followed Jack and Gwen there. Inside the building, the assassin tied up Jack and Gwen, and informed them he had been ordered to kill Jack. However, the assassin was fascinated that Jack was the only mortal man left, and did not want to kill him. After informing Jack that something that he did in the past was involved, the assassin threatened to cut Gwen's throat. Before he could carry out his threat, he was shot by Rex.
After the new categories of life were released and the overflow camps were opened, Gwen returned to Wales to free her father from one and Dr. Vera Juarez went to LA to join the Torchwood team. Rex, Vera, and Esther decided to infilitrate an overflow camp. Jack did not go because he was too easily recognized. Instead, he decided to stalk Oswald Danes at the Miracle Rally. Jack tried to persuade Danes to read a speech that he wrote, revealing that PhiCorp knew of the miracle beforehand, instead of the speech that Jilly Kitzinger had written. Jack told Oswald that if he read his speech, Jack would be able to end the miracle and he could die. Oswald decided not to read either speech He made up his own about how humanity had become angels.
Jack gained access to Stuart Owens' email and found out that he was having an extra-marital affair with Janet Tanner and that he planned to transfer her. Jack met Janet in a bar and persuaded her to help him meet Owens. Janet pretended to have been kidnapped over the phone, while Jack spoke with Stuart in a restauarant. Stuart explained that despite his position in PhiCorp, he did not know anything about the miracle. He had been trying to find out about it. He also told Jack that something called the Blessing was involved. The police soon arrived and Jack was forced to leave. Jack returned to Torchwood's base and began to investigate the Blessing. Gwen contacted him using the Eye-5 contact lenses, and Jack recorded Gwen blowing up the modules at the Cowbridge Overflow Camp.
Gwen received a message on the Torchwood contact lenses, telling her they had Rhys, her mother, and Anwen. She would have to hand over Jack if she wanted to see her family again. Gwen returned to LA, and asked Jack to come outside. Once outside, Gwen stunned Jack and tied him up in the car. She drove him to where the contact lenses instructed her. Once they arrived at the specified location and a van arrived carrying three people, Rex and Esther revealed that they had followed them. They pointed sniper rifles at the people from the van. Jack was told they wanted to take him to Angelo Colasanto, the only person who knew the true nature of the miracle.
The person who had arranged to have Gwen's family kidnapped was Olivia Colasanto, the grand daughter of Angelo. Olivia took Jack and the rest of the Torchwood team to Angelo's house, where Jack was told Angelo had been able to live to over a hundred years through artificial means, but had aged normally and was in a coma on life support. Rex soon brought the CIA to Angelo's house, and Allen Shapiro had Olivia and Brian Friedkin arrested. Jack spoke to Angelo even though he was unconscious, and removed part of his life support system to save him. Jack unplugged Angelo's life support equipment, assuming that he would survive due to the miracle, and was surprised when Angelo died. After Shapiro had Gwen deported to Wales, Jack discovered a null field generator under Angelo's bed that cancelled out the morphic field that had caused the miracle in the first place. Jack didn't want the CIA to obtain the null field technology, so he persuaded Rex and Esther to help him escape with a vital component of the generator. Unfortunately, Jack was shot soon after he escaped. Esther was forced to go with him, while Rex stayed with the CIA.
Jack spent the next two months with Esther. They ended up in Scotland. Esther collected Jack's blood, which she believed relevant to the miracle. Eventually, they were contacted by Gwen, who told them Oswald Danes was in her house and wanted to speak to Jack. Jack and Esther went to Wales, where Jack retconned a man who was watching Gwen's house before they went inside. Oswald explained to Jack that he had stolen Jilly Kitzinger's laptop. He knew what she was doing for the families. Jilly was helping them to mistranslate video fom other countries to hide the location of the Blessing. Torchwood realized that there were two blessings, one in Shanghai, and one in Buenos Aires. Jack went to Shanghai with Gwen and Oswald. Once they arrived there, his gunshot wound began to hurt more. Gwen helped him change his bandage, and Oswald noticed that Jack's blood was moving by itself. Gwen determined that Jack's blood must be moving towards the Blessing.
Back to Abnormal
With Oswald's help, Jack and Gwen located the Blessing, which was about to be blown up by the Families to bury it forever. They knew that Torchwood had located it. Strapping Oswald to a bomb, the three forced their way into the Blessing. Rex and Esther were captured while trying to infiltrate the blessing in Buenos Aires. Jack, despite being from the future and having had experiences with the Doctor had no idea what the Blessing really was. He believed it to have been on Earth since the beginning. The Blessing seemed to show everybody themselves, but Jack didn't appear significantly affected by seeing all the lives he had lived. Jack learned that his blood was used to change the Blessing, which ran Earth's morphic field. Jack realised the Blessing changed in self defense and that his mortal blood could change it back. The family member revealed that mortal blood would need to be put into the Blessing from both ends to reverse the Miracle. Jack would have no way to do it. Rex, however, had tranfused Jack's blood into his own body. The two men were prepared to sacrifice themselves to end the Miracle with Gwen planning to shoot Jack, but Esther was shot by the Families to prevent this, as ending the miracle would kill Esther. The two went decided to end the Miracle anyway, and Gwen shot Jack while Rex removed his bandage. Jack died of the gunshot wound. Oswald decided to stay behind to blow up a family member, and Gwen and Jilly decided to escape.
Jack's immortality returned and he escaped with Gwen as Oswald detonated his bomb. Rex also survived the ordeal, but Esther passed away. Jack attended Esther's funeral and watched as Charlotte Wills was exposed as the CIA mole and killed Rex before being killed herself. Rex resurrected, having somehow gained Jack's immortality.
Face of Boe
It is strongly hinted that Captain Jack Harkness eventually becomes the Face of Boe, one of the oldest creatures in the universe. Rumoured to be billions of years old, although as viewers we know this for a fact since he is known to exist in the 51st and 200th centuries and later shows up in the year 5,000,000,000.
Jack reveals that he used to be a poster boy for the Boeshane Peninsula, he says that the kids used to call him "The Face of Boe".
Even though he's immortal he was still aging at an incredibly slow rate. When he asked the Doctor what would eventually happen to him the Doctor replied that Jack might mutate in shape rather than age in the traditional way. This would explain how Jack, a human being, could eventually look like Boekind.
When the Doctor meets the Face of Boe for the second time in New New York, the Face of Boe refers to the Doctor as "old friend".
24 years later in New New York, the Face of Boe tells the Doctor "you are not alone" a warning to the Time Lords impending reunion with the Master . Jack Harkness is one of the few people that could have possibly known this.
Jack's known relatives were his father, Franklin, his younger brother, Gray, and his (unnamed) mother. 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.
He also had at least one wife, all but one of whose names are unknown. On Earth he had a daughter, Melissa Moretti (later known as Alice Carter), and a grandson, Steven Carter; Steven died at the resolution of the 456 incident, and Jack's relationship with his daughter became estranged.
The fact his daughter was aging and his grandson died indicates that Jack's immortality could not be passed genetically. By this time, Jack's only known living relative was his daughter, Alice.
- Time Agency
- Ninth Doctor
- Tenth Doctor
- Torchwood Institute
- 51st century (original)
- 21st century (current)
Age: Over 2,000 years old (appears to be in his mid 30s - 40s).
Powers & Abilities
Captain Jack Harkness has the ability to return to life after dying. The time between dying and resurrection can take mere minutes or a few days depending on the amount of trauma during death. Jack was literally blown to pieces by a powerful bomb planted into his stomach. His body was able to fully regenerate from only his left arm and shoulder and part of his head. His bones grew back first followed by internal organs and finally his nervous system and skin. Whilst dead Jack experiences nothing at all but has described the process of resurrection as like being "hauled over broken glass". Jack is also able to survive events that would vaporized or disintegrate a normal human. Jack was capable of surviving in a room filled with radiation without "dying," whereas a normal human would not have survived.
Origins of Immortality
His immortality came about during the battle of Satellite 5 were Captain Jack was exterminated by a dalek and was later resurrected by the Rose-Bad Wolf entity. The Doctor tells Jack that Rose couldn't control the power of the time vortex and instead of simply bringing him to life she brought him back to life forever. The Doctor described Jack as a "fixed point in time" something that was supposedly impossible and disturbed the Doctor greatly. Even the TARDIS knew Jack was 'wrong' and attempted to flee from him by traveling to the year 100 trillion.
It's unknown just how many times Jack has died and resurrected. From 1892, when he discovered he was immortal, to 2008 he died at least 1,392 times. However, after this count, his brother Gray buried him alive in 27 AD in which he suffered an endless cycle of suffocating to death and resurrecting untill he was rescued by Torchwood in 1901. Given that it might have taken just a few minutes for him to suffocate, die and resurrect he could have died many millions of times.
If Donna Noble had turned right instead of left, stopping herself from ever meeting and saving the Tenth 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 and possibly captured and tortured.
Jack is a time traveler and former con man from the 51st century. A bisexual/omnisexual. In contrast to the wiser and older Doctor, Jack prefers a hands-on solution to the problem at hand.
The character is described as both "lethally charming... good looking and utterly captivating", as well as "flirtatious, cunning, clever and a bit of an action man". Within Doctor Who, Jack's personality is light-hearted, although this changes in Torchwood's first series, where he becomes a darker character. In Torchwood Series 1, Jack has been shaped by his ongoing search for the Doctor and also by his role as a leader, in which he is predominantly more aloof. During The second series of Torchwood, Jack became a much more light-hearted character once again, after appearances in Doctor Who where he was reunited with the Doctor.
Discussing whether his character could ever find a soulmate, John Barrowman refutes that Jack "likes everybody, and his love for each person is different". He believes that Jack does harbour romantic feelings toward the Doctor, but "would never take that beyond infatuation" and "would never let the Doctor know". Barrowman describes Jack's love for Ianto as "lustful", and if he ever were to settle down with him, he would "let Ianto know that he (Jack) has to play around on the side". John Barrowman and Gareth David-Lloyd have also opined that Jack's relationship with Ianto has however brought out Jack's empathy, and helped to ground him. In contrast, if he settled down with Gwen, "he'd have to commit completely" to her; this is why he does not act on his feelings for her, because even though she would let him flirt with other people, he could "never afford to do anything more Eve Myles, who portrays Gwen, describes theirs as a "palpable love" and opines that "with Jack and Gwen, it’s the real thing and they’re going to make you wait for that." Torchwood Series Two sees Jack promise both Gwen and Ianto that they were the reason he returned to Cardiff.Barrowman claims that Jack also "fancies" fellow companion Martha Jones, admiring her "tenacity" and willingness to "spat with him", and describes Jack's love for Toshiko and Owen as "fatherly", stating "He was guiding them. That's why it was so devastating for him to lose them." Offering reasons why Jack could never find "The One", Barrowman brings up the character's immortality. "He always loses them. He outlives them. They die. He watches them get old. That bothered him in Series One [of Torchwood], but now he's come to terms with that, I think... so now he just sleeps around
From the Torchwood onwards, Harkness wears period military clothes from the second World War, including braces and an officer's wool greatcoat in every appearance. Costume designer Ray Holman comments that "We always wanted to keep the World War Two hero look for him, so all his outfits have a 1940s flavor. We knew he'd be running around a lot, so I redesigned his RAF Group Captain's greatcoat from Doctor Who to make it more fluid, because the real things are very weighty... The rest of Jack's costumes are loosely wartime based, so he has big wartime trousers which are getting more and more styled to suit his figure. There are actually five Captain Jack coats used on the show - one hero version which is used for most scenes, one wetcoat made with a pre-shrunk fabric, a running coat which is slightly shorter so John's heels do not catch when he runs and two stunt coats - which were 'hero coats' back in Series 1."
In several instances in Torchwood, Jack displays no problems with killing a person of any species,which within Doctor Who, allows Jack's character to act in ways the lead character cannot. When reuniting with the Doctor in the 2007 series, he is verbally warned "don't you dare" when pointing a gun. Witnessing the murder of his colleague Owen, Jack shoots his killer in the forehead, killing him in an act of quick revenge. Whilst the Doctor tells Jack off for joining the Torchwood Institute (an organisation he perceives as xenophobic and aggressive), Jack maintains that he reformed the Institute in the Doctor's image; Jack himself had initially been critical of the moral failings of a 19th century Torchwood.