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Ianto was born on 19 August 1983 in Cardiff. (TW: Fragments, TW: From Out of the Rain) Ianto's father worked in Debenhams. (TW: Children of Earth: Day Five) Ianto told the team that his father enjoyed taking Ianto to the cinema (TW: From Out of the Rain), though his sister Rhiannon implied that their relationship was not as strong as he made out. Rhiannon and Ianto recounted that his father pushed him too hard on the swings in his childhood and broke his leg. (TW: Children of Earth: Day Two) He was brought up to never speak ill of the dead. (TW: Something Borrowed)
Ianto's father died and Ianto left soon after for university. His sister said he "couldn't wait to leave". This suggests by that time his relationship with his whole family had deteriorated.[source needed]
He had no criminal record apart from one minor conviction for shoplifting in his teens. An able, but not exceptionally gifted student, Ianto took a series of temporary jobs, eventually ending up a Junior Researcher at Torchwood One. (TW: Fragments)
Ianto worked as a researcher for Torchwood One, based in Canary Wharf, London. During the Battle of Canary Wharf, as Cybermen looked for reinforcements to fight off the Daleks, in 2007, Ianto's girlfriend Lisa Hallett was partly converted into a Cyberman. (DW: Doomsday, TW: Cyberwoman)
Back in his native Cardiff, Ianto tracked down Jack Harkness to try to find work with Torchwood Three. Despite Harkness' initial reluctance, Ianto so impressed Jack during the capture of a stray pteranodon that he was eventually offered a job. (TW: Fragments) Jack said to Gwen Cooper that he "cleans up after us and gets us everywhere on time". (TW: Everything Changes)
Hoping that the cyber-conversion process could be reversed, Ianto smuggled Lisa into the Torchwood hub, hiding her in an unused basement until a "cure" for the partial cyber-conversion could be found. She was still attached to a cyber-conversion unit, which acted as her life support. (TW: Cyberwoman)
Ianto operated a fake information desk at the entrance to the Hub. He opened the way to Gwen Cooper as she first entered, posing as a pizza delivery girl. When Gwen was succumbing to the effects of retcon Jack had put in her drink, he deleted all the notes she had made about Torchwood from his computer at the Hub. (TW: Everything Changes)Lisa's Cyberman conditioning slowly won over her humanity. She laid siege to the Hub from inside and killed several people, including an innocent pizza delivery girl whose body she appropriated, before being killed by the other members of the Torchwood team. (TW: Cyberwoman)
The other Torchwood personnel appeared at this time to have taken the quietly efficient Ianto for granted. They paid little attention to him before the mayhem started. Ianto was "temporarily suspended from active duty" but returned to work four weeks later.  Ianto began to take a more active role in field work, though he still disliked the day-to-day Torchwood operations. He described to Toshiko Sato his inability to comprehend the adrenaline rush she and the other Torchwood members shared in the face of danger. Ianto travelled with the rest of his team to the Welsh countryside to investigate a series of gruesome murders. The Torchwood S.U.V was stolen by a group of cannibals that harvested travellers once every ten years. The team followed the cannibals to their village. Right as his team were captured, Jack stepped in and incapacitated the cannibals. The cannibals were arrested by the police. (TW: Countrycide)
Ianto named the life knife and gave the resurrection gauntlet the nickname "risen mitten". When Suzie Costello was resurrected by the resurrection gauntlet, she tricked the Hub into lockdown. Despite being cut off, Ianto got a signal for his mobile phone by using the water tower above the Hub as a relay so Torchwood could call for help. (TW: They Keep Killing Suzie)
After discovering the Rift trapped Jack and Tosh in 1941, Ianto and Owen sparred for leadership of the team. Although Owen asserted that, with Suzie Costello dead, he was now second-in-command, Ianto displayed authority in Jack's absence that Owen was not aware he had, and even shot Owen in the shoulder to prevent him using the Rift Manipulator. However, as he was shot, Owen succeeded in activating the Rift Manipulator and brought Jack and Tosh back. (TW: Captain Jack Harkness)
Owen's actions had caused cracks in space and time to spread from the Rift. During this incident, Ianto saw an apparition of Lisa, telling him to reopen the Rift and undo the damage. The team turned against Jack. Owen shot Jack and reopened the Rift to send everything that had come through back. The opening of the Rift forced out Abaddon, which Jack defeated. (TW: End of Days)
During Jack's absence, Ianto became further involved in missions. While chasing after a Blowfish, Jack arrived out of nowhere, saving a family. He took over Torchwood again.
Torchwood met an old lover of Jack's, Captain John Hart, who had came through the Rift searching for some canisters that had also come through. He told Torchwood that they contained radioactive bombs. While John tried to kill Jack to take the canisters' contents for himself, he challenged Ianto to save his wounded and poisoned teammates. He succeeded. Ianto caught up with John, but the contents of the canisters were actually components of a bomb that latched onto the DNA of the owner of the canisters' murderer. Torchwood found a way to confuse and safely get rid of the bomb and John forcibly left 21st century Cardiff. (TW: Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang)
Ianto kept a paper diary, which he used to write down interesting Rift activity as well as more personal concerns. When he confronted Adam Smith about his role in the Torchwood team, Adam gave Ianto false memories of killing three women. Strangely, Ianto appeared to have more resistance to Adam than the others, though this may be because he never fully trusted him. When he did succumb to Adam's influence it appeared, as with the rest of the team, that dormant or unused parts of his psyche were awakened. In Ianto's case, a darker, more malevolent side of his personality was awoken which enjoyed killing and violence. Ianto was eventually able to rid himself of these memories when Jack used retcon on the team in order to purge Adam's influence. (TW: Adam)
When Earth was stolen by Davros and the New Dalek Empire and transported to the Medusa Cascade, Ianto, Gwen, and Jack, with help from alien supercomputer Mr Smith, were able to use the Rift Manipulator to boost the signal of Martha Jones' superphone to call the Tenth Doctor. Jack obtained the missing digit of a code for his Time Agency wrist strap and teleported from the Hub to meet with the Doctor. After he had left, Gwen and Ianto were confronted by a Dalek entering the Hub and opened fire with assault rifles, vowing to die fighting. (DW: The Stolen Earth)
This proved unnecessary as a time-lock, devised by Tosh before her death, protected them. Eventually the Dalek was destroyed along with the rest of its race, and Ianto and Gwen helped tow Earth back to where it belonged by sending the Rift power to the TARDIS after being contacted by the Doctor. Ianto referred to the Doctor as "sir". This was something the Doctor usually found irritating, despite the fact that Ianto was showing his respect for him. (DW: Journey's End)
Ianto and the rest of Torchwood investigated when all the children on Earth started chanting "We are coming". He and Jack wanted to take a child to study. Ianto went to his sister Rhiannon Davies to see if he could use his niece or nephew, but she refused. Later that night, Torchwood was attacked by MI5 agents led by Agent Johnson and blown up - with Jack inside (by a bomb inside of Jack). (TW: Children of Earth: Day One)
That night, Ianto escaped while under attack from Johnson and her men. He contacted his sister and told her to keep a watch on the government. He also found where MI5 was keeping the remains of Jack Harkness, who had now healed himself. Ianto saved him and also found Gwen Cooper and her husband Rhys Williams. (TW: Children of Earth: Day Two)He and the team headed over to an old Torchwood One warehouse and set up a base. They found out what the 456 were and what their intentions were. (TW: Children of Earth: Day Three) That night, Torchwood came up with a plan to blackmail the government. If the government did not follow their exact orders to counteract the 456, they would release to the public information about what happened in 1965. The next day, Ianto and Jack got into Thames House. There they threatened the 456 Ambassador, telling it to back away from Earth or else they would tell the whole planet about its intentions, inciting the whole of Earth to fight back against the alien. The 456 chose to give them a 'taste of war'. It released a virus into the air. Thames House shut itself down, trapping everyone inside. It sent a high-pitched shriek directly into Clem MacDonald's brain, killing him. Jack and Ianto tried to fight the 456, but their efforts were fruitless. Ianto died from the virus in Jack's arms. Jack also collapsed, and the next day woke up next to Ianto's body with Gwen. (TW: Children of Earth: Day Four)
Six months after Ianto's death, Jack visited the The House of the Dead in Wales in an attempt to see Ianto's spirit. Ianto had been recreated by ancient evil within the Rift, along with many other spirits - such as his father - in an attempt to convince Jack to free it. For a time, Ianto thought he was alive. He was physically tangible and believed that he was in contact with Gwen. However, it later transpired that Jack, not anticipating Ianto would be "so real", had come with the plan of using the House of the Dead and an explosive device containing Rift energy-soaked materials from the Bay to close the Rift forever. Jack figured that he would be sucked into the Rift for eternity as well, making his attempt akin to suicide. Ianto convinced Jack they could both leave the House, and Jack could continue his life alongside a resurrected Ianto. Ianto tricked Jack into leaving so that he would live, and vowed to seal off the Rift and die again to give Jack a chance at a new life. (BBCR: The House of the Dead) Shortly after this incident, Jack left Earth behind out of grief. (TW: Children of Earth: Day Five)
During the events of Miracle Day, Jack and Gwen continued to mourn his death, and wished that the Miracle had happened sooner so that he would still be alive, along with all their other deceased friends.
When Jack spoke to another of his dying former lovers, Angelo Colasanto, whom he discovered he had been watching him throughout the 20th and part of the 21st century. He inquired as to whether Colosanto observed him and Ianto, and speculated as to whether the two would like each other or not. (TW: End of the Road)
Ianto once noticed an attractive coffee saleswoman who introduced herself as Mairwyn. She was a time-traveller who had come to manipulate Ianto into travelling back in time, acquiring some vital technology from Torchwood One with which she could enslave the world. She had chosen Ianto because of his access to Torchwood One security and because, with the knowledge of Torchwood Three's destruction, Tosh and Owen's deaths, (TW: Exit Wounds) Ianto's own demise, (TW: Children of Earth: Day Four) and Jack's abandonment of Earth, (TW: Children of Earth: Day Five) he was exploitable. He was later visited by Rhys Williams and John Hart, who had travelled from the future to stop Mairwyn, who knew John Hart by the name "Beatrice"; she had stolen a vortex manipulator from him.
When Mairwyn next dropped by Ianto, she used a device to show him his future and told him that Captain Jack was not a loyal lover, was a heartbreaker, and wouldn't take long to get over Ianto's death. Ianto later looked at Hub CCTV footage of Jack's attempt to romance Gwen. When he found out about her engagement, not long before Jack formally asked Ianto out, Jack said "I don't know what I'd do without you" when he recommended Ianto get on with his computer work; his wonted coldness left Ianto visibly upset.
When Mairwyn next appeared to Ianto, he kissed her, took her home and had sex with her. When he used her device again to see the future he would be responsible for creating, he refused her original offer and knifed her. After saying goodbye to John and Rhys, he sent his sister Rhiannon Davies an uncharacteristically friendly email saying he loved her before retconning himself. The timeline restored, Gwen and Jack attended Ianto's funeral, watched from afar by Captain John. Further afar were alternate universe doppelgängers of Ianto and Mairwyn; Ianto commented "I can't believe there's a reality where I said no." (TM: Shrouded)
- This means that an evil, time-travelling, dimension-hopping alternate version of Ianto exists in the main universe.
Organised Ianto supported the main team. He staffed the mock tourist information booth above the Hub and in general worked to "clean up their shit... no questions asked". (TW: Cyberwoman) He hacked into Gwen Cooper's computer and erased a document containing information about Torchwood. (TW: Everything Changes) Though not precisely one of his duties, he also kept a detailed journal of day-to-day operations (TW: Adam)
Ianto and Lisa had a close relationship. Pain over her death still lingered. (TW: Countrycide) He explained he would not use a second resurrection gauntlet. (TW: They Keep Killing Suzie) An apparition of Lisa, in her human form, convinced Ianto to side with Owen against Jack and open the Rift. (TW: End of Days) Lisa's death affected Ianto deeply. He promised that if he ever got the chance he would leave Jack for dead. The two men later developed a sexual and romantic relationship. (TW: They Keep Killing Suzie et al)
In an attempt to show he had put the incident behind him, Jack tried to be friendly and even patted Ianto on the back. (TW: Small Worlds), although the conversation about the team's last kisses reveals that there was still some lingering tension between the two over the incident. (TW: Countrycide)
It was hinted that Ianto might be having a sexual relationship with Jack. One instant messenger conversation between Ianto and Jack suggested that, like teammates Jack and possibly Toshiko, Ianto was bisexual. (WEB: Torchwood website) Gwen caught on to the relationship and Ianto explicitly referred to being bisexual. (TWN: The Twilight Streets)
Owen made remarks about the sexual nature of Ianto and Jack's relationship and, after believing Jack was dead, a distraught Ianto breathed in the scent of his coat. The two kissed upon reunion. (TW: Captain Jack Harkness, End of Days)
When Jack returned to the Hub, he asked Ianto out on a date, which Ianto accepted (TW: Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang) This was followed by another kiss between the pair. (TW: To the Last Man) The existence of the relationship was confirmed verbally in a conversation Ianto had with Martha Jones (TW: Reset) and in another conversation Ianto had with Owen Harper. (TW: A Day in the Death) The first public display of Ianto and Jack's relationship was when they danced together at Gwen's wedding. (TW: Something Borrowed)
Gwen accidentally walked in on Jack and Ianto in a decidedly sexual scene when she stormed into the Torchwood greenhouse, angry about the secrets Jack was keeping from her. After their conversation, Jack called Ianto back into the greenhouse to finish what they had started. (TW: Adrift) Later, Ianto expressed a little jealousy when Jack mentioned having learned about Project Indigo by meeting a soldier in a bar; Jack had to reassure Ianto that it was strictly business. (DW: The Stolen Earth)
When his sister confronted him about rumours that he was gay, he reluctantly acknowledged his relationship with Jack. He tried to explain that Jack was the first man he has ever taken to in this way, and also that he was insecure about the exact status of his relationship with Jack. His brother-in-law, Johnny, took a more simplistic view of Ianto's sexual ambiguity, crassly concluding "ay ay, gayboy." (TW: Children of Earth: Day One) After Ianto collapsed from the virus the 456 released, Jack cradled him in his arms and the two cried. Ianto then told Jack "I love you," showing that he took the relationship seriously. (TW: Children of Earth: Day Four)
After Ianto's death at the 456, Ianto and Jack reunited one more time with Ianto as a spirit. Jack confessed that he wanted to be trapped in the rift forever as he couldn't bear to live in a world without Ianto. Before Ianto's spirit disappeared forever, the couple confessed their love for each other for the first and last time. (BBCR: The House of the Dead)
Ianto was at first quite distant and reserved in the company of the other Torchwood members, with a quiet and dutiful nature like a butler. However, when the discovery of his girlfriend was made, Ianto revealed a tormented and passionate side that would do anything to help and save Lisa even if it destroyed him. His behaviour during a conversation with Doctor Tanizaki about Torchwood One suggested that there was some mental scarring from the incident, as he quickly and abruptly changed the subject. A sign of this scarring appears to be an occasional lapse in speech during a conversation, and also the odd "twitch" before he continued speaking, usually in a different tone and in a manner that changed the subject. (TW: Cyberwoman)
Little of his childhood and relationship with his parents is known, though conversations with his sister suggested that their relationship had been or became difficult. One such conversation about Ianto breaking his leg in an accident showed Ianto perceived his father as someone who always pushed him. His sister pointed out that his father had cared about him and had been only trying to bring out the best in him; maybe Ianto should have "held on tighter" instead of buckling. This suggests that Ianto was rather withdrawn as a child and his father attempted to get him to come out of his shell a bit more. The results seemed to have caused more problems than solutions. (TW: Children of Earth: Day Two)
- Evidence from the end of Children of Earth would suggest that all he said about himself to the rest of the Torchwood team was a lie. When Gwen mentioned certain facts about Ianto's father to Rhiannon, she is horrified and angrily corrects her about these facts, telling her, "Then you didn't really know him at all!" Ianto's past as well as much of himself from introduction to death remain surrounded in mystery.
When Tosh received the mind pendant from Mary, she caught a glimpse into his mind, revealing that he was in pain, but, because of his withdrawn nature, he couldn't tell anyone. Ianto gradually came out of his shell a bit, showing a quick and humorous wit, usually at serious moments. Despite this, it was hinted that there was a darker side within him. Tosh may even have caught a glimpse of his dark side when she read his mind; this may be inferred by that fact that when she read his mind, another, darker voice could be heard whispering in a raspy voice in sync with Ianto's pained thoughts. (TW: Greeks Bearing Gifts)
Ianto's withdrawn nature might have also been the reason he did not experience any initial psychological side effects to Adam's memory alteration while the rest of the team either acted out of character (Tosh and Owen switching places), or had strange memory experiences such has Gwen forgetting Rhys and Jack remembering the day his brother vanished. It is possible that aside from making up the scenario where Ianto killed three women, Adam might have deliberately brought Ianto's dark side forward in order to prevent him from telling the rest of the team something was happening. (TW: Adam)
Ianto had difficulty expressing himself emotionally, being reserved and stiff in conversation. He was uncomfortable around emotional people; he went rigid around his brother-in-law when he greeted him him with a large bear hug and a slight tease about being gay. (TW: Children of Earth: Day One) When he did lose control of his emotions, the outbursts were quite intense and he later seemed to regret his actions and behaviour. When the team chided him about Lisa, he angrily and venomously told them that they had no idea what his life was like and how he put up with cleaning up their mess without question because that was how they liked it. (TW: Cyberwoman) After the incident he was very apologetic and tried to avoid the team whenever possible. When he got into an argument with Owen over whether or not to open the Rift, a more commanding part of Ianto took over and he ended up having to shoot Owen to stop him. This shocked both of them. It also hinted at his dark side when Owen joked afterward that he was glad Ianto was a bad shot; in response Ianto stared at him darkly, saying, "I was AIMING for your shoulder", implying that if he'd wanted to kill Owen, he would have. (TW: Captain Jack Harkness)
Behind the scenes
- According to Russell T Davies in the January 2008 radio special Torchwood: All Access (released on CD with Lost Souls in September 2008), Ianto Jones' name is based on another character (Yanto Jones) created by Davies for another television production (Mine All Mine); Gareth David-Lloyd played that character, too.
- When writing the initial outline of Series 2, Russell T Davies' original intention was that Ianto would die and be resurrected instead of Owen. This was changed only hours before production. (REF: The Writer's Tale)
- Ianto's death spurred an online campaign to resurrect the character, which branched into a drive to give to the Children in Need charity "in memory" of Ianto. As of October 2010, over £15,000 has been raised. The slogan used by the online community is "Save the Coffee Boy, Save the World," a takeoff of the Season One slogan for the American Science-fiction television show Heroes: "Save the Cheerleader, Save the World."
- It was originally intended for Ianto have a much darker personality but he was ultimately toned down to only a few hints. [source needed] It should be noted that in TW: Adam, Ianto told Jack that he always felt that there was something inside of him that wanted to kill. This could have just been a result of Adam's influence, but his sudden violent behaviour in episodes like Countrycide and Meat and the dark voice Toshiko heard through Mary's pendant suggests there was more to Ianto's character that we had chance to see.
- ↑ "The Captain's Blog" BBCAmerica
- ↑ http://www.saveiantojones.com
- ↑ http://www.justgiving.com/iantojones/