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The Blood Line was the tenth and final episode of Series 4 of Torchwood. It was written by Russell T Davies and Jane Espenson, directed by Billy Gierhart and featured the undoing of the Miracle. Jack's immortality returned, and, in a twist, Rex appeared to gain similar resurrection powers as well.

So far, this is the last episode to be produced of Torchwood until further notice from creator Russell T Davies. The series remains suspended in hiatus. The audiobook Army of One would also be set shortly after the Miracle and continue the post-Miracle adventures of the Torchwood team in a string of four releases. Torchwood would then not see any new official material released after the release of the novel Exodus Code until 2015, with the release of the audio story The Conspiracy.

It was the last Whoniverse TV writing credit of Russell T Davies for over 12 years, until his return to the franchise with The Star Beast [+]Russell T Davies, adapted from Doctor Who and the Star Beast (Pat Mills and John Wagner), Doctor Who 2023 specials (BBC One and Disney+, 2023)..


The Torchwood team travel around the world on a final, desperate mission; the Three Families are unstoppable unless a terrible sacrifice is made. Can the Miracle that has cursed humanity be reversed?


Oswald Danes and Jack Harkness prepare for their confrontation with the Three Families. Gwen tells them about when she was a little girl and her father came home one day. He told them everyone thought he had taken money from his workplace and he wouldn't be getting as much money. Gwen says she ran upstairs and came back with about £2.50. Her father replied, "It's not about the money, it's just that I can't stand anyone thinking I'm dishonest." As she played with him that night, she thought that he was the nicest man in the world. "And today's the day that I kill him."

As they are now aware that Jack's blood is drawn to the Blessing, the Torchwood team use small amounts of it to determine headings towards the two sites. Rex and Esther contact the CIA for help in infiltrating the Buenos Aires site of the Blessing, while keeping Jack, Gwen, and Oswald's presence in Shanghai a secret. Director Shapiro puts his team on the task. The team includes Charlotte, who is reporting surreptitiously to the Three Families.

A detachment of the Argentinian army under the command of Captain Federico Santos soon arrives to assist Rex and Esther. While the group is loading up, a Three Families agent with the army opens the briefcase and, seeing it contains packets of blood, detonates a suicide bomb. This makes the other soldiers Category 1 and destroys the briefcase that contained Rex and Esther's supply of Jack's blood. Although Rex, Esther and Captain Santos survive unharmed, Rex tells Santos to report that Esther and he died in the blast to allow them to better infiltrate the Blessing site.

Director Shapiro realises the Three Families' mole must be inside his team. He has Noah run a newly developed program to track any recent phone calls made using the Three Families' method of avoiding traces. Realising she is moments from being discovered, Charlotte calmly retrieves a hidden explosive device from a side office, puts it in her purse in the main meeting room and leaves. The trace finishes decoding her phone number and Noah freezes with fear, now aware that she likely prepared to kill them the instant her cover was blown. Shapiro turns his head to the left and sees Wills left behind her purse... and the final warning beeps of the hidden armed bomb are sounding. The doomed man knows what awaits him and responds, "Oh, f*ck." The explosion "category 1s" Shapiro and the rest of his team and lightly injures Charlotte, shielding her from suspicion.

Meanwhile, Rhys Williams has gained access to the Cowbridge Overflow Camp through Andy Davidson. He sits by Geraint's side as he is prepared to be sent for cremation along with dozens of other category ones. A nurse arrives informing them the group will be moved soon. Rhys protests he wants to spend more time with him but the woman insists they have to stay on schedule; it took months for them to finally get the system running smoothly. While waiting, Andy witnesses an unidentified and very sickly little girl wake up. He goes to her side, the nurse informing him no one knows the girl's name.

Jack, Gwen and Oswald infiltrate the Shanghai Blessing site and make their way to its exposed face, where they meet the Mother, Jilly Kitzinger and several armed guards. The guards stand down when Oswald reveals he is wearing an explosive vest. This advantage seems short-lived. A radio transmission from the Cousin at the Buenos Aires site reveals that Three Families' operatives there have captured Esther and Rex, but when Oswald says he didn't expect to leave Shanghai alive, the operatives stand down.

After examining the face of the Blessing, Jack and Gwen question the Mother about the Miracle. She admits the Miracle was produced by introducing Jack's immortal blood to the Blessing. This is the first part in a larger plan to take control of the world. By stopping death and destabilising the economy, the Families are poised to take control of the banks and influence the world's governments. This will lead to a fascist oligarchy which can "decide who lives, how long, where and why."

When Jack moves to open his veins and release his blood into the Blessing, the Mother stops him. This will not undo the Miracle. The original effect required Jack's blood to be introduced at both Blessing sites simultaneously. Since Rex and Esther's supply of Jack's blood was destroyed, she confidentially informs them that there is no way to do this. The Mother orders all of Torchwood killed.

Before this can happen, Rex interrupts and claims he still has some of Jack's blood with him — or rather in him. When he arrived in Buenos Aires, Esther helped Rex transfuse almost all of Jack's blood into his body. This did not kill him only because of the Miracle. The Mother counters that reversing the Miracle would require almost all of the blood in both Rex and Jack's bodies. They realise this would likely kill at least one of them once the Miracle reverted. Gwen remarks Jack was never one for suicide, drawing her pistol and aiming it at him: he thanks her for deciding to mercy kill him instead. Prepared, Rex and Jack do not back down, declaring nothing will stop. The Cousin declares what he will do might and shoots Esther in the chest, mortally wounding her, and tells Rex that by undoing the Miracle he will now be killing Esther forever. Rex falters, torn by his feelings for Esther. He asks Jack what to do but he is uncertain. However, Gwen declares they carry on, aiming at Jack, arguing they have to do it, citing Oswald Danes' killing of Susie Cabina as proof for why they should: "He chose when that girl lived and when that girl died and no one should that much power" Star struck, Oswald comments on how "remarkable" Gwen is. Rex concurs, kissing Esther before rising and opening the wound over his heart, releasing Jack's blood into the Blessing. Gwen shoots Jack through the heart, releasing his blood as well.

The Miracle ends almost immediately, accompanied by an effect Gwen calls "a breath": all of the world's Category 1 patients regain consciousness for a few seconds, then die in the next breath. This includes Gwen's father, with Rhys at his bedside. Rhys tearfully lays his phone next to the dying man's ear so he can hear his wife Mary wishing him goodbye over the phone. Geraint then passes on. The girl Andy is with dies too as he comforts her with his company. At the same time, both of the Blessing sites begin to shake, making the structure around them unstable.

Oswald grabs the Mother and urges Gwen to leave. She does, but as the exit elevator rises, Jack returns to life. A brief struggle ensues between Jilly and Gwen. Gwen incapacitates Jilly and returns in the elevator to rescue Jack. The Mother begs Oswald to let her go, but Oswald proclaims he is happy to die and go to Hell, as that is where "all the bad little girls" go. Utterly unrepentant and gleeful, his final spoken words are directed toward his victim Susie Cabina, whom he believes was sent to damnation for being bad. Oswald beckons the girl to run away, because he's coming to get her in the depths of Hell. Jack and Gwen flee the facility seconds before Oswald detonates his explosives, destroying the Shanghai facility. Kitzinger follows close behind, but stumbles to the ground. Jack and Gwen cannot go back for her. The explosion engulfs the whole complex and Jilly disappears in the flames, and they can only assume the worst. The Buenos Aires team also move to leave, but before the Cousin can make it out, Rex regains consciousness long enough to grab him and throw him over the edge of the chasm around the Blessing. He vengefully tells Esther's killer, "Guess what? Death came back!", sending the Cousin to his demise. Rex falls to the ground next to Esther. They watch each other die, but are rescued by Captain Santos and members of the Argentinian Army. Paramedics immediately start work to revive them. Rex survives, but Esther's eyes weakly peek open for one last fleeting moment, and she dies on her medical cot outside an ambulance.

Several months later, Jilly Kitzinger has beaten the odds and survived the explosion at Shanghai. She is alive and well in America, but at the cost of selling her jewellery to buy her way out of China. She spends many weeks in search of one person, and after much persistence, he finally appears before her. Jilly meets the blue-eyed man at a familiar park bench. When she pleads that she has no place to go and no life to live, he offers her a chance to participate in the Three Families' "Plan B", then departs. After some delay, Jilly follows.

Elsewhere, Gwen, Rhys, Jack, Charlotte and Rex attend Esther's funeral. Charlotte gives her condolences to Rex before walking away, the others following her not far behind. Gwen argues why the Blessing refused to save Esther, a last gift. Jack tells her to move on. Rhys presses his own question, wondering if Gwen and Jack will officially restart Torchwood. However, Rex receives the recovered data from Noah's computer. He finds the phone trace indicating that Charlotte is the mole. When Rex tries to stop her from leaving, Charlotte shoots him and is almost immediately gunned down by other agents.

Jack and Gwen rush to Rex's side. He is without a pulse, dead, but then gasps and regains consciousness. Jack and Gwen ask, "What?" in shock. Rex questions them on why they are surprised, and Gwen indicates to look at his wound. Rex opens his shirt to see his wound from the gunshot and the one he initially received from the pole the night he first died heal without leaving scars. As Gwen keeps gaping in shock, Rex looks angry and confused at Jack. "You, World War II, what the hell did you do to me?"



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".


  • UNIT is said to have sealed the sites of the Blessing.
  • Rex gains Jack's ability to resurrect through a nearly whole volume blood transfusion of Jack's blood and the reversal of the Miracle.
  • Vickers uses the Trace to find out that Charlotte is the mole.
  • Jack mentions the Doctor, Silurians, the Racnoss and huon energy when trying to reason an explanation on the Blessing.

Story notes[]

  • If one counts all televised productions by the BBC including prequels, minisodes, Tardisodes, spin-offs, and Dimensions in Time, and if one considers The Infinite Quest and Dreamland to be single episodes per their home video releases, "The Blood Line" is the 900th episode release set in the Doctor Who universe.
  • The CIA trace to find the mole states the phone was last used on 9th September 2011, meaning part of this episode occurred on the same day the episode was first broadcast, just like The Big Bang and The Wedding of River Song. This theory is strengthened by the fact that a lot of references were shown (mostly outside episodes) claiming, "Death Ends 7.8.11", which was the U.S. broadcast date for the first episode.
  • The Australian broadcast ended with the caption, "Jack will be back in January 2012." This led to rumour that Series 5 would air only a few months later, even though there had been no word of such a production. Ultimately, the caption referred to "Jackfest," a month-long event on UKTV Australia, not any new episodes.


  • UK: 5.13 million (Final BARB ratings)[1]
  • US: 0.95 million

Filming locations[]

to be added


Date Time Channel Notes
Thursday 15 September 2011 21:00 BBC One First broadcast.
Tuesday 20 September 2011 00:50 BBC HD & BBC Two except Northern Ireland
Tuesday 20 September 2011 01:20 BBC Two Northern Ireland

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.
  • On several occasions the reflection of the green screen can be seen on the knife Jack is holding.
  • When looking at his phone after Esther's funeral, Rex is holding it vertically when facing the camera, but horizontally when the camera is looking at the screen.
  • When Jilly meets the blue-eyed man again, a boom mic can be seen.


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.[2] In Australia, it was released in Region 4 DVD and Region B Blu-Ray on 1 December 2011.[3] In New Zealand, the same sets were released on 7 December 2011.[4] In North America, it was released on Region 1 DVD and Region Free Blu-Ray on 3 April 2012.[5]
  • It was also released in the Series 1-4 boxset (Region 2 release: 14 November 2011.)