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Dead of Night was the third episode of Series 4 of Torchwood. It was written by Jane Espenson, and directed by Billy Gierhart. It featured the establishment of a new Torchwood team, Jack Harkness's first direct confrontation with Oswald Danes and a deeper, troubling look at Jilly Kitzinger's employment with the pharmaceutical company PhiCorp.


The Miracle has destroyed the order of the world. Believing immortality has robbed humanity of their souls, a new cult known as the Soulless is formed. Oswald Danes is becoming more and more popular. Companies like PhiCorp take advantage of the chaos, giving away medicine to those in need.


Brian Friedkin finds his TV on; a news show on Oswald Danes is shown. Turning off the TV, he is held at gunpoint by Rex, who is furious that the CIA has been poisoned against him. Friedkin explains that he has mysterious bosses that have been around for decades, and he failed to find them; he presents a mobile they used to give orders. Rex phones Jack, who warns that the police will reach the house soon; Esther is tracking them back at base, informing Gwen where to put a spike strip. Rex shoots near Friedkin's ear, stunning him in place as he takes the mobile. Rex and Jack pick up Gwen and take off as the police drive over the strip, popping their tyres.

Later, a parade of men and women march throughout D.C., carrying candles, wearing masks of crying faces; they call themselves the Soulless, believing that this new-found immortality has robbed humanity of their souls. Having been out shopping, Gwen watches in shock and confusion.

Gwen returns to base, complaining that the only food she could get was crisps, since everyone is panic-buying due to speculation on the internet; she also passes out new mobiles. Gwen worries that she's emptied Jack's account, but he tells her it's been gathering interest for the last 109 years. Esther then tells Gwen that the American terms are "chips" and "cell phone", making Gwen retort "Thank you, Ms. Translation." Jack also explains that the latest news on Rhys and Anwen is that Andy has taken them into protective custody. However, Andy's old mobile number has been disabled, leaving Gwen unable to contact him. Esther and Rex reveal they cannot trace the call, since it hits a vine; the signal branches out repeatedly to prevent the caller from being traced.

Jack decides that the best option they have now is to investigate morphic fields to find out what caused the Miracle. Esther then reveals that she's been going through Friedkin's past actions, and has found something that stands out; the CIA has blocked off a warehouse in D.C. Since they were forced to abandon Charlotte Wills' minivan, they need to steal a new car; Jack becomes upset that Rex said it first, pointing out that he's in charge of Torchwood, and says the plan himself. They try several car doors on the street to find one open. Gwen simply tosses a brick through a window, saying "found one".

Rex finds dry-cleaning in the back that fits him, asking Esther, Gwen and "World War II" to avert their eyes while he changes his trousers. Wanting to annoy Rex, Jack says the mobiles have cameras in them, taking a random picture of the back. Angered, Rex asks if they're on a mission. Gwen points out this is how Torchwood handles things. Rex gets back at her by telling her to drive on the right side of the road; in America, it's the opposite side.

They reach 3rd on Boston Avenue. Esther and Gwen drive up to the guard; Gwen pretends that she's a lost tourist. Asking the guard to check a map for a street, Gwen slams his head against the car, knocking him out. Impressed, Esther guesses Gwen's incapacitated guards before; Gwen flatly responds "so many times." They find the warehouse is just millions of painkillers from PhiCorp. Rex discovers millions more, and it dawns on them that PhiCorp must have been ready for the Miracle. Rex steals some for his heart wound.

At the emergency meetings, the doctors realise that aborted pregnancies or miscarriages are impossible; some countries consider putting contraceptives in their water supplies, to prevent unplanned births. Jilly Kitzinger attempts to bring Vera Juarez to PhiCorp, and Vera agrees to come over later.

Back with Torchwood, Jack believes they need to take on PhiCorp themselves. However, Rex points out that they need resources and allies; Jack reluctantly agrees. When Rex suggests bringing his ex-CIA instructor in, he arranges to meet him at the Freeville Hotel. Keeping his distance from the hotel to make sure it's safe, Rex watches with a heavy heart as the police arrive; even his former instructor has fallen for the setup. Meeting up with everyone, Rex gets into an argument with Jack over what to do, pointing out that he got all his staff killed; this angers Jack as his staff were his friends. Rex drives off in the car, leaving them to walk.

Jack, Gwen and Esther walk back to base; however, Jack notices a busy bar and decides to get a drink. Gwen attempts to get him to focus, but Jack says it's because "[he's] so mortal". Esther ponders going home and allowing the lies to take hold; however, Gwen comforts her. At the bar, Jack finds a bowl full of chips; the bartender explains that they're sobriety chips, and "everyone is throwing a lot of sober out the window tonight". Jack offers to give a button from his coat, prompting the bartender to say he'll jump over the bar to protect it. Jack introduces himself, asking if he likes the coat; the bartender introduces himself as Brad, saying yes.

Elsewhere, Dr Vera Juarez returns home; she is startled by someone calling her. She turns to find Rex on her bed, insisting she treat his wound again. Rex explains the situation, and that both of them now have enough to make a case against the other. Vera asks if blackmail is what their relationship amounts to; Rex points out that it's kind of hot. Despite both being tired, they end up having sex; at the same time, Jack makes sure his sex with Brad is protected. ("A life of regret just got longer," Jack reasons.)

Resting, Rex and Vera discuss the Miracle and PhiCorp's connection to it. Vera then explains that her mother died last year, and she wouldn't have let her go if she new the Miracle was coming. Rex tries getting Vera to spy for Torchwood, even bringing her mother into the equation; this only angers her. Vera gets up for a shower, telling Rex to let himself out. Elsewhere, a drunk Jack calls Gwen and has a long talk about how they're the only Torchwood members left; when Jack tries to talk to her about the bond between them, Esther interrupts the call; she has found Rhys and Anwen's imprisonment area and sends a Skype to Gwen.

Oswald Danes, meanwhile, is being harassed by people who want him dead. Even the police officers beat him up after sending the attackers away; they dump him off at his motel. Jilly Kitzinger again tries to take Oswald to her employers. He agrees to take the flight to Dulles.

In the morning, Vera decides that she'll try to help Rex; she calls him and tells him that she'll do what she can. Rex returns to base to only find Esther and Gwen. Jack arrives shortly after, joking "I thought we broke up". He then swipes some of Rex's pills to help with his hangover. Jack and Gwen show Rex and Esther the Eye-5 contact lenses, which they can use to record images, send texts to the wearer, and read lips. However, Gwen lies that the Eye-5s are isomorphic, meaning she has to infiltrate PhiCorp instead of Rex. Knowing she's lying, Jack snickers under his breath; Esther knows she's lying too.

Vera arrives at PhiCorp, where she is surprised that she isn't meeting one-on-one will Jilly; many doctors have been called in to watch a presentation. Pretending to need the use of the restroom, Vera opens a fire door to let in Gwen. Vera calls Rex, demanding to know who Gwen is; Rex lies that Gwen works for him. He orders Vera to keep her phone open during the presentation, so they're kept in the loop.

In the meantime, Gwen heads towards Jilly's office. Along her way, she spots Jilly escorting Oswald Danes. Though Jack wants Gwen to deviate from the plan, Rex orders her to stay on task. Oswald is let into a room, where three people in dark suits await him. Gwen reaches Jilly's office, where she looks through her files. Back at the presentation, a movie of a senator explains that because of the Miracle, the medical care humans get has to change; the first step is getting a hold of almost any drug with a prescription. Jilly then leaves the presentation, prompting Rex to have Vera call Jilly to keep her out of her office.

Rex hears a phone ringing; he and Esther are left shocked that it's the phone they took from Friedkin. He answers it, asking for a reply; however, the phone shuts off. Rex begins grabbing supplies, explaining that they may have their enemy scared now; the only thing they have to do now is find Jack, since he left without them noticing.

Jack confronts Oswald in the waiting room of a broadcast centre by sneaking in through a window. Oswald mistakes him for one of the crew members for conducting his latest interview. He asks Jack who will be interviewing him. Unable to come up with a feasible answer, Jack gives up and threatens him with a gun. He asks Oswald why he met to PhiCorp, and if they mentioned a man named Jack Harkness. Oswald is in the dark about the purpose of his meeting and deduces Jack's name by the fact he cares about it so much. Jack then poses the burning question in his mind.

Earlier, he saw a video which Oswald claimed he felt forgiven, which Jack knows is a lie, since Danes doesn't feel any remorse. Oswald decides to give him the real truth, exposing the most repugnant aspects of his sociopathic personality. He praises the fact he killed Susie Cabina because she flaunted her innocence. She bruised so easily that Oswald felt like he was "painting her" with each blow, and when she died, he felt her life force leave through him, a feeling he accuses Jack of knowing as well. Oswald relives the ecstasy every night, because it was the best moment of his life.

Jack realises Oswald's intentions for his actions — he is upset that nothing in his life will ever match up to that day. Because of this, the murderer is searching for execution, since the very act of living has become like torture. Jack, thoroughly disgusted, warns Danes that they he'll broadcast the message easily from inside the centre. Oswald deflates the threat immediately when he calls for his PhiCorp-appointed protection. Two guards emerge to take Jack. Danes decides to take out his earlier beating by two cops on Harkness, ordering the guards to "hurt him a little, but not in the face", just like how the cops brutalised him. Jack is battered by the guards and tossed out of the broadcast centre.

A naive woman outside asks him if he got to meet Danes, or touch him; Jack is left confused. On the broadcast, Oswald says that PhiCorp is to be joined. The future is now infinite and frightening, but he is offering the people a hand of assistance. He calls for the people to walk with him on the journey into a great enterprise. Jack bitterly stares at the television in the display window of the broadcast centre, watching Oswald Danes twist the world around his finger.



General production staff

Camera and lighting department

Art department

Make-up and prosthetics

General post-production staff

Special and visual effects


Not every person who worked on this adventure was credited. The absence of a credit for a position doesn't necessarily mean the job wasn't required. The information above is based solely on observations of the actual end credits of the episodes as broadcast, and does not relay information from IMDB or other sources.

The Starz broadcast carried a final credit of "Originally Developed and Produced by BBC Cymru Wales. The BBC One broadcast says, instead, "BBC Worldwide Productions for BBC Cymru Wales and STARZ Originals".




  • Oswald appears on WYUB and is later confronted by Jack at WYBS.



Police precincts[]

  • Gwen punctures the tyres of an Arlington Police car.
  • Oswald is beaten up by officers from Atlanta Police.



  • Jack has an account which has been gathering interest since 1906.
  • Friedkin is a section chief.
  • Esther Drummond has an older sister for whom she cares.
  • Esther's job at the CIA was to read and search through blogs.
  • The NIH say Vera is late for the panel at Washington DC City Hall.
  • Dr Carey Murphy is from Providence Hospital.
  • Vera and Jilly have a cigarette.
  • Vera gave a commencement speech at Columbia University.
  • Vera's college mentor worked for Doctors Without Borders when they were starting out in Biafra.
  • According to Jilly, FEMA is hopeless compared to PhiCorp.
  • Esther quotes the poem Acquainted with the Night by Robert Frost.
  • Jack Harkness has protected sex with a bartender called Brad.
  • Rex and Vera Juarez have a sexual relationship. Rex had previously made a joke to Vera, asking if her ex-husband called her to ask for drugs and sex; he joked "Right now, I'll settle for the drugs".
  • Vera's mother died of a stroke a year earlier.
  • Ianto Jones is mentioned, and the deaths of past Torchwood members are also referenced.
  • Rex is sitting in front of the Garfield Building when Vera calls.
  • Rex describes Jack as being a man in his forties.
  • Andy Collier from Johns Hopkins is attending the PhiCorp screening, as is Shelby Lewis who made the shortlist for the Lasker Prize.


The Miracle[]

  • A TV show states that the Miracle is a virus and a website calls it the plague. Shops have been emptied as a result.


Drugs and medicines[]

Food and beverages[]

Theories and concepts[]

  • Jack mentions doing a search for morphic fields.
  • When Jack, Gwen and Rex discover the massive stockpile of painkillers that PhiCorp has stored, Jack comments that the building is "bigger on the inside than on the outside".


  • Dr. Carey Murphy is a pro-life Catholic.
  • A Christian preacher is on television inside the diner where Oswald is spotted by two angry American citizens, proclaiming the Miracle as an act of God and mentioning Lord Jesus Christ.


Story notes[]

  • Unlike broadcasts of Doctor Who, and the previous series of Torchwood, Miracle Day was broadcast in the United States, Canada and Australia before the United Kingdom.
  • The two sex scenes in the episode, one involving Jack and Brad, and another involving Vera and Rex, were seen in the US (Starz), Canadian (Space) and Australian (UKTV) broadcasts, but were edited in the UK (BBC) broadcast, with the scene between Rex and Vera excised completely.[1]
  • This is the first time in any of the Doctor Who shows that a woman's posterior is fully seen.


  • UK: 5.49 million (Final BARB ratings)(Final BARB ratings)[2]
  • US: 1.08 million

Filming locations[]

to be added

Production errors[]

If you'd like to talk about narrative problems with this story — like plot holes and things that seem to contradict other stories — please go to this episode's discontinuity discussion.
  • Note the car that Rex is driving when he pulls away from Gwen and Jack, leaving them behind. It's a four door car. In the next shot of Rex driving down the freeway the model of the car has changed and is now a two door car.
  • Noticeable continuity errors involving arm and prop placement are seen in the sequence where Vera smokes a cigarette as she speaks to Jilly.
  • The Eye-5's lip-reading software goofs when Gwen demonstrates them to Rex; when it plays back what Rex says to test it, the computer says Resenting instead of Representing.
    • Furthermore, despite having previously not responded to the blinking of eyes, it now does.


Home video releases[]

  • This episode was released worldwide in a box set containing all ten episodes of Torchwood: Miracle Day. In the United Kingdom, it was released on Region 2 DVD and Region Free Blu-ray on 14 November 2011.[3] In Australia, it was released in Region 4 DVD and Region B Blu-Ray on 1 December 2011.[4] In New Zealand, the same sets were released on 7 December 2011.[5] In North America, it was released on Region 1 DVD and Region Free Blu-Ray on 3 April 2012.[6]
  • It was also released in the Series 1-4 boxset (Region 2 release: 14 November 2011.)