Missing Ten

Some Captain Jack questions have been answered (see below). But just how many times, between 1869 and 2008, did Jack actually miss the Doctor – the right Doctor, that is, so as not to interfere with the timelines? (Given that the Doctor regenerated immediately after leaving Jack, that means any Doctor >9) How many times did Jack let him slip away?

Scotland 1879

The Doctor meets Queen Victoria and visits the Torchwood estate. The news of this probably takes some time to reach Jack, wherever he is, by which time Sir Doctor of Tardis has no doubt moved on. Verdict: Excusable. Tooth and Claw.

Farringham 1913

A master name John Smith at Farringham School writes about traveling through time and space in his journal, and a man is zapped into dust at a dance. The fingerprint of the Doctor is there if you look hard, but all sorts of stories abound as Europe begins to panic, and the man is actually human. Verdict: Can’t blame him for not spotting this one. Human Nature/The Family of Blood.

London 1953

Although the Doctor climbs a television transmitter at Alexandra Palace while lots of people have their faces nicked, this probably doesn’t make the news because of that whole coronation thing. Verdict: Understandable. The Idiot’s Lantern.

London 1969

Strutting around with a timey wimey detector that goes ping when there’s stuff, the Doctor is probably trying to keep a (relatively) low profile here. But he leaves clues. On DVDs. The kind of thing you might not easily miss… unless you had a secret surveillance organisation looking for exactly that kind of thing working for you, and almost 40 years to discover the recordings. Verdict: A bit delinquent, not spotting this. Blink.

London 2007

A newly regenerated Doctor arrives on the Powell estate and a race of aliens attempt to conquer Earth. This is an obvious time for Jack to be hanging around this area, as he might justifiably assume that if she survived Rose would return home sometime after date of the Blaidd Drwg incident. Verdict: Only if he’d overdone the eggnogs and slept through the whole thing could Jack be forgiven missing him this time. The Christmas Invasion

London 2008

Jack knows the Doctor has visited recently, and that Rose is alive. So why didn’t he spot that Mickey had met up with the Doctor at a nearby comprehensive? And surely when the Battle of Canary Wharf was underway, he could have made the journey in to London to hook up with the Doctor? Even supposing that was too much, surely, surely, the arrival of the Racnoss ship would have told him the Doctor was around again? Verdict: Being given the slip by Mickey is shameful, and only if he were forced to rely on First Great Western (was the Torchwood car in for its MOT?) would he have missed Canary Wharf. The Christmas Invasion, School Reunion, Army of Ghosts, Doomsday, The Runaway Bride


In a previous post, I asked a few Harkness questions…which have now been answered.

When did Jack go to 1909 Lahore?

He did indeed spend (over) 100 years on Earth after being brought back to life by Rose Tyler. So between the end of Season 27 of Doctor Who and Series 1 of Torchwood.

Did Jack do WWII twice?

Yes. After meeting the Doctor in WWII, he lived through the whole of the 20th century including WWII, which was presumably when he met Estelle Cole.

How is Jack in a position of responsibility?

Well, actually this is still completely inexplicable.

But now there are more questions:

Why 1869?

Is there some significance to the date Jack “accidentally” when back to (the year gelth tried to come to through the rift)?

Did Jack cause the rift?

Is it coincidence that the rift was opened in the same year Jack went back to (ooh, paradox).

How will Jack get back to the Torchwood team?

Will he still be happy Jack? Will he stick around in Who for the Christmas Special?

About Simon Wood

Lecturer in medical education, lapsed mathematician, Doctor Who fan and garden railway builder. See simonwood.info for more...

4 thoughts on “Missing Ten

  1. From 1869 until 2007, he didn’t have his Doctor-detector hand, which also excuses him some from “missing” the Doctor.

    My question… from the time he left the Torchwood building running towards the sound of the TARDIS until he grabbed the TARDIS in Utopia… didn’t he change clothes?

  2. I can’t see any costume differences, but I may have missed them.

    What threw me was that the way End of Days was filmed strongly suggested the TARDIS materialised inside the hub. I went to rewatch the scene on Youtube (there’s no way I could face watching the whole episode) and someone has posted it as a continuity error.

    Certainly there’s turbulence inside the hub, but that doesn’t mean the TARDIS landed inside. However, it does seem to be poor editing – a sort of cut ‘n’ shut between the TARDIS landing (shots of Jack) and dematerialising (shots of Gwen finding Jack gone). In between, Jack’s got his backpack together, popped the Doctor’s hand into it and climbed all the stairs (getting out before Ianto, Tosh and Owen get back) and raced across the concourse to leap on the TARDIS.

    There’s another video showing how it fits together:

  3. You’re absolutely right, he is in the same (or same enough to make no difference) costume, but, in my defence, I’m a long way from home without access to my recordings of Torchwood. (Didn’t think about YouTube.)

    I remembered the events of the scene right, but I’d have bet money Jack was at least coatless.

    Assuming that the End of Days and Utopia really are the head and tail of the same event, they blew it. I’m siding with the notion that it’s clear a TARDIS landed in the Hub… but that’s what sometimes happens when you write a lead-in in one show months before you’ve written the follow-on. (Probably hadn’t come up with the idea of the Doctor’s “predjudice” yet.)

    My pet theory (now clearly burst) was that might not have been the Doctor’s TARDIS.

  4. There are still people hanging on to the theory that it’s not the Doctor’s TARDIS… (or at least not the Doctor). So maybe?

    Or could it simply be that the Utopia doesn’t follow on from The End of Days and we’re somewhere else in Jack’s timeline? (Negating everything I’ve said above).

    Either seems a bit unnecessarily complicated now, and the latter is rather undermined by the Doctor’s “the rift has been active” – the most blatent Torchwood continuity line. I think what you see is what you get – and therefore, either they blew it, or it’s left to the viewer to make it work.

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