Immortal Sins was the seventh episode of Series 4 of Torchwood. It was written by Jane Espenson, directed by Gwyneth Horder-Payton and featured John Barrowman as Jack Harkness, Eve Myles as Gwen Cooper, Kai Owen as Rhys Williams, Mekhi Phifer as Rex Matheson and Alexa Havins as Esther Drummond.
For the most part, it consisted of a flashback in pre-Depression era New York City. It importantly introduced the character of Angelo Colasanto, a lover that Jack Harkness met while standing in line at Ellis Island. Colasanto's granddaughter Olivia — played by Star Trek regular Nana Visitor — also made her debut. Rex Matheson and Esther Drummond were resigned to cameo roles while Gwen Cooper played an important part in the final acts of the episode. From a continuity standpoint, it was clearly the single episode of Miracle Day which made the most references to the broader DWU, even giving a shout-out to a Sarah Jane Adventures character. Narratively speaking, it was the only episode in the Miracle Day arc to feature the appearance of an alien.
This showed a first in Jack's long life, albeit a flashback. Jack had wanted to take Angelo along with him as both his lover and companion, having been inspired by how the Doctor (a near-immortal) made the loneliness of a long life more bearable by having someone to share some time with.
- 1 Synopsis
- 2 Plot
- 3 Cast
- 4 Crew
- 5 References
- 6 Story notes
- 7 Continuity
- 8 Home video releases
- 9 Footnotes
Synopsis[edit | edit source]
Plot[edit | edit source]
Flashbacks are seen of Jack's past. In 1920s New York City, he awaits his visa at Ellis Island. Angelo Colasanto steals it. Jack confronts him, retrieves his visa and visits Angelo in his cell. They talk, and Jack uses technology to create a visa for Angelo.
Angelo is freed and enters a relationship with Jack. At one point, they are retrieving an alien from a base when Jack is shot dead. Angelo is captured and imprisoned. Jack returns to America after Angelo's release. Angelo is terrified by Jack's immortality.
Angelo takes Jack to the butcher shop beneath their room. There are people terrified of Jack. They sadistically attack him with knives, guns and meat hooks to kill him and collect his blood. Three men visit Jack. They seem to know something about his immortality. Angelo, overwhelmed with horror and guilt, eventually lets Jack go. Jack quickly recovers and flees with Angelo to a rooftop, where he explains his immortality before jumping off to his "death". When Angelo reaches the ground, Jack is gone.
As Gwen and Jack arrive, Rex and Esther have contacted Andy Davidson in Wales. He has freed Gwen's family. They train snipers on the three people who want Jack. Jack says he has won, but they say that Jack will come with them anyway. They have the information about the Miracle he wants. Angelo is still alive. He has something to do with the Miracle.
Cast[edit | edit source]
- Jack Harkness - John Barrowman
- Gwen Cooper - Eve Myles
- Rex Matheson - Mekhi Phifer
- Esther Drummond - Alexa Havins
- Rhys Williams - Kai Owen
- Mary Cooper - Sharon Morgan
- Olivia Colasanto - Nana Visitor
- Andy Davidson - Tom Price
- Angelo Colasanto - Daniele Favilli
- Inspector - Pat Asanti
- SWAT Member - Michael Chomiak
- Salvatore Maranzano - Cris D'Annunzio
- Young Priest - Will Green
- Costerdane - Paul Hayes
- Ablemarch - Everton Lawrence
- Young Man - Griffin Matthews
- Mr. Giardano - Frank Medrano
- Girl in Crowd - Angelica Montesano
- Frines - Shawn Parsons
- Elderly Woman - Vanna Salviati
- Mrs. Giardano - Jayne Taini
- SWAT Leader - Darren Dupree Washington
Crew[edit | edit source]
Created by Russell T Davies
|Executive Producers Russell T Davies, Julie Gardner and Jane Tranter|
|Co-executive producer(s) Jane Espenson and Vlad Wolynetz|
|General production staff
||Make-up and prosthetics
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".
References[edit | edit source]
Language[edit | edit source]
- "Grazie" means "thank you" in Italian.
Locations[edit | edit source]
- Jack says that the British consulate arranged his travel through the embassy in Rome.
- Jack waits for a boat to Manhattan, while Angelo is imprisoned and waiting for a boat back to Italy.
- Vera was from San Antonio.
- Angelo comes from a tiny village on the Amalfi Coast, right on the edge of a clifftop. The village contained around 200 people.
- Jack and Angelo have a room in Little Italy in 1927.
- In 1927, Jack and Angelo visit Blessed Saints' Cathedral.
- A mysterious box is located at Gallaco Wharf, Bay Five.
- Someone above Maranzano found a weapon and told him to hold it until after the state election and then ship it to Albany.
- Sing Sing Prison was founded in 1826.
- Gwen and Jack travel to Mesa, California.
Individuals[edit | edit source]
- Jack questions whether he looks like a bureaucrat. Angelo replies that he looks like a soldier.
- Angelo had a schoolmaster in his village who taught him English.
- Random people are setting up memorial services for Vera Juarez.
- Gwen says that she wants to show Jack souvenirs from back home. She then tasers him.
- Angelo has scars.
- Jack confesses to having sex with triplets.
- Jack is sent to the church by Father Timothy.
- Maranzano calls Jack and Angelo a pair of finocchi.
- Angelo ask if Jack is working for the English government.
- Jack and Angelo are working as bootleggers.
- Franklin Delano Roosevelt is due to be elected Governor of New York in November 1927.
- While in the Giardano's Butchers Shop, Jack is shot and slashed with various knives and meat hooks.
- Giardano is asking for $10,000 for Jack.
Technology[edit | edit source]
- Jack uses his vortex manipulator to change the name on the visa.
- Jack states that magic and technology can sometimes appear indistinguishable. This is known as Clarke's Law.
The Miracle[edit | edit source]
Culture[edit | edit source]
- A girl is seen smoking a cigarette.
- It is the Fourth of July when Jack and Angelo become lovers. Angelo thinks that the fireworks are bombs.
Religion[edit | edit source]
- Angelo is a Christian.
- Jack says he hears Angelo's beads clicking at night.
- Angelo and Mr Giardano believe Jack to be "il diavolo" after he learns Jack can resurrect and by how he "seduces with confidence".
Law[edit | edit source]
- The Volstead Act is mentioned.
Substances[edit | edit source]
Species[edit | edit source]
- Jack calls the parasite a species of Brainspawn which tastes like oysters. The head of the parasite drills into the brain of the host and deposits larvae, turning the host insane.
- A Firebird is a bird made of fire.
History[edit | edit source]
- Had the Trickster's Brigade succeeded, they would have had America pulling out of World War II and the triumph of Germany and the Third Reich.
Story notes[edit | edit source]
- Jack explains that the brain parasite would rewrite history by enabling the Third Reich to win the Second World War. One week and a day after this episode was broadcast in the US and only two days after it was broadcast in the UK, the Doctor Who episode Let's Kill Hitler featured Adolf Hitler in a cameo role and was set in Nazi Germany in 1938. In this episode Melody Pond expressed an interest in killing Hitler.
- This is the first time that Jack is killed onscreen during Series 4. He is killed at least seven times in this episode, including being shot, being stabbed, being disembowelled, having his throat slashed, and falling from a great height.
- Writer Jane Espenson cites Immortal Sins as her favourite thing she's written.
Ratings[edit | edit source]
- UK: 4.48 million (Final BARB ratings)
- US: 0.92 million
Filming locations[edit | edit source]
to be added
Production errors[edit | edit source]
- After Gwen receives the message "Bring us Jack", the next thing she sees is "Keep the lenses in. We'll be watching". But later on when Esther looks at the message history of the lenses, the last one sent was "Bring us Jack."
Continuity[edit | edit source]
- The Fourth Doctor and the Captain discussed Clarke's Law. (TV: The Pirate Planet) It has also been mentioned by the Seventh Doctor (TV: Battlefield) and the Thirteenth. (TV: The Witchfinders)
- Jack had a dialogue with Angelo similar to one the Ninth Doctor had with Rose Tyler. (TV: Rose)
- Gwen talks about when she first joined Torchwood. (TV: Everything Changes, Day One)
- Angelo thinks that Jack has been possessed by the Devil. Jilly Kitzinger and Oswald Danes have also reference the Devil. (TV: Rendition) Stuart Owens would also say that Jack seemed to think he was the Devil in suit. (TV: The Middle Men)
- The Doctor and his way of travelling with companions is mentioned. (TV: An Unearthly Child et al.)
- Jack told Angelo that something happened to him, (TV: The Parting of the Ways) and that he is a fixed point in time. (TV: Utopia) Jack has previously shown knowledge of temporal theory. (TV: Boom Town, The Parting of the Ways)
- The creature Jack and Angelo found was intended to infect Franklin D. Roosevelt and disrupt history for the Trickster's Brigade. (TV: Turn Left, Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane?, The Temptation of Sarah Jane Smith, The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith)
- When Esther opens the Eye-5 computer programme, past dialogue can be found. (TV: Escape to LA, The Middle Men)
- A brief video clip was shown of the "death" of Vera Juarez. (TV: The Categories of Life)
- Jack was subjected to similar torture aboard the Valiant, where the Master killed him repeatedly for fun. (TV: Last of the Time Lords)
- When Angelo asks what other secrets Jack learned from the Doctor, Jack tells him to run. (TV: Rose, The Doctor's Daughter, Amy's Choice, A Good Man Goes to War)
Home video releases[edit | edit source]
- 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. In Australia, it was released in Region 4 DVD and Region B Blu-Ray on 1 December 2011. In New Zealand, the same sets were released on 7 December 2011. In North America, it was released on Region 1 DVD and Region Free Blu-Ray on 3 April 2012.
- It was also released in the Series 1-4 boxset (Region 2 release: 14 November 2011.)
Footnotes[edit | edit source]