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.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

Gwen must fight to protect her family. She takes a terrifying journey covering miles and decades with Jack as the long history of the Miracle is partially revealed.

Plot[edit | edit source]

Gwen drives Jack through California to bring him to the people holding her family.

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]

Crew[edit | edit source]

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".

References[edit | edit source]

Language[edit | edit source]

  • "Grazie" means "thank you" in Italian.

Locations[edit | edit source]

Individuals[edit | edit source]

Technology[edit | edit source]

The Miracle[edit | edit source]

Culture[edit | edit source]

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]

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]

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.[1]

Ratings[edit | edit source]

  • UK: 4.48 million (Final BARB ratings)[2]
  • US: 0.92 million

Filming locations[edit | edit source]

to be added

Production errors[edit | edit source]

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.
  • 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]

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.[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.)

Footnotes[edit | edit source]

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