The New World was the first episode of Series 4 of Torchwood. It was written by Russell T Davies, directed by Bharat Nalluri and featured John Barrowman as Jack Harkness, Eve Myles as Gwen Cooper and Kai Owen as Rhys Williams and introduced Mekhi Phifer as Rex Matheson and Alexa Havins as Esther Drummond.
It showed the first meeting between Captain Jack Harkness and Gwen Cooper since his departure from Earth at the end of Children of Earth: Day Five. It introduced new major characters Rex Matheson, Esther Drummond and Oswald Danes, as well as Gwen and Rhys's daughter Anwen, whom Gwen had given birth to since Jack departed for space and returned. It was the first episode in the Torchwood series to not display its name onscreen.
Discounting flashbacks in Small Worlds, Adam and Exit Wounds, it was the first Torchwood television story to be even partially set outside the United Kingdom. It was only the third DWU episode (in terms of date of release) to feature first unit principal photography in the United States, following TV: Day of the Moon. It was the first episode in the history of the DWU to feature any work done in the state of California.
One day, nobody dies. All across the world, nobody dies. And then the next day, and the next and the next. People keep ageing, they get hurt and sick, but they never die. The result: a population boom, overnight.
With all the extra people, resources are finite. It's said that in four months time, the human race will cease to be viable. But this can't be a natural event – someone's got to be behind it. It's a race against time as CIA agent Rex Matheson investigates a global conspiracy. The answers lie within an old, secret British institute. As Rex keeps asking, “What is Torchwood?”, he's drawn into a world of adventure and a threat to change what it means to be human ... forever.
Oswald Danes is about to be put to death by lethal injection. As he receives the fatal concoction, he thrashes on the gurney. At the CIA, the word Torchwood has appeared conspicuously in numerous places. Esther Drummond is on the phone with Rex Matheson, who keeps asking, "What is Torchwood anyway?" As Esther speaks, he is impaled by metal rods that fall from the truck ahead of him. Suddenly, the word "Torchwood" is wiped from the system. Esther claims it must have been a virus. Gwen Cooper, former Torchwood agent, has woken from a nightmare. Oswald is talking to a governor's assistant. Oswald says he can't be held and executed again because of the Eighth and Fifth Amendments.
In rural Wales, Gwen is telling her daughter, Anwen, about a singing alien she once met. Rhys walks in, upset she is talking to their baby about Torchwood. They complain about the helicopters that fly over their private estate. Suddenly, the doorbell rings. The two pick up guns. Gwen opens the door, concealing her pistol as Rhys hides near Anwen, holding a shotgun. At the door are two hikers, who ask for directions. Gwen dismisses them, ordering they leave, shutting the door in their faces. Rhys quickly placates Gwen as she has a panic attack, telling her the Torchwood days are over. Outside, as the two hikers leave, they glance at the house, almost as if confirming suspicions.
Soon after, Andy Davidson phones to say Gwen's father is in hospital. They rush back to Cardiff, despite Rhys' warnings. Andy escorts them in, informing them about the Miracle. They find Geraint is still alive due to the Miracle but unwell. Gwen's parents tell her that she shouldn't have come, as they're worried someone might have seen her. She insists she had to, leaving Anwen and Rhys with her parents, who haven't seen them since Anwen was born. Gwen and Andy privately research the Miracle, surmising it is causing havoc around the world although only humans are affected. Afterwards, Gwen and Rhys talk about the Miracle and the effect it could have on their daughter when she grows up.
Rex Matheson is taken to hospital, and Esther is told by Doctor Vera Juarez that his survival is a "miracle". There have been a lot in the last day. Soon all the headlines are naming this Miracle Day. No-one on the planet has died. Rex is soon recovering and talking to Esther on his mobile. The Torchwood files were uncovered at the exact moment the last person died. Esther looks for hard copies of the lost data, all categorised under 456. She finds the buried hard copies of the data in boxes and files, and pictures of Captain Jack Harkness and Gwen, but is interrupted by Jack, scaring her at his unchanged appearance despite his profile picture in the data stating it was taken during World War II. She runs away and finds that someone has "killed" the archivist and is set upon by an armed man. Jack appears and shoots the man, who opens his coat to reveal bombs strapped to his body, which he detonates. They escape by jumping from a window into a fountain below. Jack tells Esther everything about Torchwood, Gwen and extra-terrestrial lifeforms. He also tells her the virus "Torchwood" was him; a piece of software he setup to get his attention, calling him back to earth to ensure he can protect Gwen, the last living member of his team. He gives her a dose of the "smart drug" retcon — a selective amnesia pill, ensuring she forgets all about him and what she learned.
Esther wakes up and finds a bruise on her body from jumping from the CIA building into the fountain with Jack. In pain from his fall, Jack checks the bruise he suffered and discovers it hasn't healed — an indicator he has lost his immortality. Jack goes to the hospital Rex is in, where they have the remains of the suicide bomber. He poses as FBI Agent "Owen Harper" for the exam, also attended by Vera. The man is still alive even though his whole body was burnt in the explosion. At Jack's suggestion, the doctor heading the exam tries to take off his head to see if he will live. Rex secretly watches the operation, hacking into the security cameras at Vera's instigation. Meanwhile, Esther is granted the last file on Torchwood by her co-worker, given she was asking about it yesterday. However, the retcon causes Esther to dismiss the file.
Once done, Rex gets in touch with Esther, asking about Torchwood. Esther tries to dismiss it, vaguely believing it connected somehow. Intrigued, Rex asks for more information on the organisation, leading her to check the file. He soon pieces Torchwood and the currant Miracle phenomenon are connected as the Torchwood malware was triggered at 22:36pm - the last time in days a human died on Earth. He jumps to action, telling Esther to book him a flight to the UK. He begins to unplug himself from the hospitals monitors and gets dressed. He struggles through the hospital, as staff and Vera insist he get back to bed. However, Rex has had a revelation: he can't die. Once out the hospital, he commandeers a taxi using his CIA badge. He reaches the airport, his neighbour having delivered his passport for him. He gets on the flight as he instructs Esther to find out what she can about Torchwood. He also requests a requisition 15 - clearance to take a handgun on a plane - but the airport refuse, but they agree to provide one once he lands. On the plane, he demands Esther find out all she can on agent Gwen Cooper as Jack Harkness' file is practically lost. One air hostess informs him he can't engage calls while in flight. Despite using his ID, a man next to him takes his phone, enforcing the hostess' order.
Hours later, Rex arrives in Britain, where Esther informs him about what she learned and Rex retrieves his pistol from the airport security. Through Esther's digging, they learn Gwen was put on the witness protection scheme with Andy Davidson as her liason; they trace the call he made the day before - Rex locates Gwen and Rhys's house in Wales. He hires a car and drives there and demands they tell him about Torchwood, holding them at gun point, Gwen refusing to comply despite him being CIA. However, his wound overwhelms him and he passes out. Not long after, Rex awakes tied to a radiator, Gwen and Rhys preparing to flee the house, frantically packing their bags. He breaks free from his restraints but Gwen holds him at gunpoint. Not long after, a helicopter flies up and the pilot fires a missile at the house. Protecting her daughter, Gwen engages the helicopter, shooting out the gunman, forcing it to retreat. The three flee outside, finding Jack firing at the helicopter atop an open-head army jeep. Befuddled, Rex recalls Jack as the man on the plane who took his phone, realising he was following him. As they drive away on the nearby beach, Gwen shoots the helicopter down with a bazooka. The helicopter goes down in flames and goes belly-up in the sky as it falls down to the beach below, its spinning rotors forcing the group to duck to the floor of the Jeep. Jack and Gwen gaze at their victory with relief and nostalgia, but Rhys and Rex look a bit unravelled.
The group arrive in Cardiff, where Gwen instructs Rhys to take their baby Anwen to her mother's home so she can be safe, and asks Jack if they'll be rebuilding Torchwood. Gwen still has the Eye-5s, but all their other technology was obliterated with the Hub. Rhys grows testy with Gwen's choice to follow "Captain Jack Bollocks", and Gwen reprimands him, saying, "What choice do I have?" However, Jack is not in the nostalgic mood like Gwen is. He makes her pay attention to the wound on his forearm that has not healed. While the Miracle Day has made the world immortal, Jack has become mortal again, a normal human being after centuries of never-ending deaths. Rex, completely in the dark, doesn't comprehend the apparent nonsense. Jack snaps at him for sticking his nose where it doesn't belong, and notices Rex has popped his stitches, bleeding profusely. Rex knows he cannot die, making little effort to abide by Jack's concerns to get it checked. His attention is more focused on a cluster of wailing sirens from the distance.
A cavalcade of police cars surround the group, with the officers filing out before them with guns and rifles drawn. Andy steps out among the crowd and apologises to Gwen, having been forced to do this by orders from above. Rhys states Rex has no jurisdiction on British soil to make an arrest. Rex corrects him — this is not an arrest, but a rendition. Torchwood's services are being legally handed over to America.
- Jack Harkness - John Barrowman
- Gwen Cooper - Eve Myles
- Rex Matheson - Mekhi Phifer
- Esther Drummond - Alexa Havins
- Rhys Williams - Kai Owen
- Oswald Danes - Bill Pullman
- Female Hiker - Penny Bunton
- Senior Professor - Ron Butler
- Male Anchor #2 - Jim Castillo
- Senior Male Anchor - Rick Chambers
- Male Nurse - Hymnson Chan
- Archivist - Van Epperson
- TV Journalist - Ellen Fox
- Female Expert - Laura Gardner
- Angry Nurse - Lauri Hendler
- Teenage Girl - Carla Jeffery
- Male Professor - Clint Jung
- Nurse - Charlene Lovings
- Female Anchor #3 - Jessica Matthews
- Senior Guard - Rocky McMurray
- Flight Attendant - Laura Morgan
- Male Hiker - Phil Nice
- Rosita - Bunnie Rivera
- British Professor - Robin Sachs
- Joan Cabina - Heather Ann Smith
- Female Anchor #2 - Jackie Torres
- Female Anchor - Nischelle Turner
- Male Anchor - David Grant Wright
- Dr. Vera Juarez - Arlene Tur
- Noah Vickers - Paul James
- Alexander Peterssen - Brian Guest
- Geraint Cooper - William Thomas
- Mary Cooper - Sharon Morgan
- Andy Davidson - Tom Price
- Charlotte Wills - Marina Benedict
Created by Russell T Davies
| Executive Producers Russell T Davies, Julie Gardner and Jane Tranter|
with Bharat Nalluri
|Co-executive producer(s) Vlad Wolynetz|
|General production staff||Art department||Make-up and prosthetics
Special and visual effects
|General production staff||Camera, lighting and sound departments|
|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". The BBC One credits were different from the Starz credits inasmuch as the UK unit were concerned. The BBC One credits noted the grips, whereas the Starz credits noted the UK camera operators. BBC One credited unit manager Paul Davies, while Starz did not.
- Rex mentions that Steve Reynolds' wife has a long-term illness, possibly leukemia.
- Rex has spent eighteen months plotting out the Maracaibo routes ready for a promotion to Venezuela.
- Gwen and Rhys have gone into hiding, seemingly under a witness protection program.
- A paramedic mentions a jumper who had a pneumothorax on both sides of their body.
- Vera and Esther drink coffee.
- Vera called St Jude's in Chicago, Cedarbrook - where her ex-husband works, and a friend at the Royal Free Hospital in London. All reported no deaths in twenty-four hours.
- Kentucky Medical Authority commented publicly that they hadn't received any deaths in twenty-four hours.
- Miracle trends from Maine to California.
- Danes mentions that the Eighth Amendment forbids the application of cruel punishment. The Fifth Amendment states that a person can't be tried for the same offence twice.
- Danes mentions the Founding Fathers and the Constitution of the United States.
- Yvonne tells Noah that Torchwood was classified under the 456 Regulations.
- Yvonne claims that all Torchwood members were killed in action.
- Vera tells Rex he has a lacerated pericardium and a crushed coronary artery.
- WYET broadcasts a segment on Miracle Day, as do WNKW, WRZ, 3 News, NNM, 6 Action News and AWM.
- Gwen's father has a heart attack and is taken to St Helen's Hospital in Cardiff.
- The Welsh Assembly is mentioned in a newspaper article by Ashley O'Brien.
- Jack uses malware to destroy all trace of Torchwood.
- Jack gives Esther Retcon.
- WYBS reports on the explosion at the CIA Archive.
- Jack pretends to be an FBI agent and uses the alias Owen Harper.
- Rex watches the enquiry on the Ringmain.
- Andy refers to Rhys as Daddy Day Care.
- Gwen's father is out of the ICU.
- Hospitals are treated like churches. Doctors are being worshipped.
- Somalia has stopped fighting, but North Korea has soldiers who think they're immortal.
- A weevil is pictured in an online article.
- On average, on Earth, three hundred thousand people die every day. Five hundred thousand people are born every day.
- Yasmin gets Noah the last remaining copy of the Torchwood file.
- Rex takes an American Eagle Taxi to Washington Dulles International Airport.
- UNIT and Geneva are referenced.
- Rex crosses the Severn Bridge.
- The charity Freedom and Liberty defines Danes' survival as an act of God.
- Rendition is when an individual is taken from one legal jurisdiction to another. Rex justifies his rendition of what remains of Torchwood Three by citing US Code 3184. In real life, this section of code actually does have to do with taking fugitives from another country to the United States.
- Since the incident with the 456 ambassador, a 456 Regulation has been put in place to designate all of Torchwood Three deceased and deal with cases of extra-terrestrial events.
- Jack has acquired a Land Rover and fortified it with an automatic rifle and a bazooka.
- Oswald Danes's release from prison plays with the audience's expectations. According to old American frontier legend, anyone who survives an execution is automatically set free. As this legend is actually untrue, the episode depicts a series of legal arguments — including unlawful imprisonment and force majeure arguments — that lead to Danes's release.
- The concept of people not dying and their wounds not healing if they're injured expands on the experiences of Owen Harper in the second season, although in his case he really was dead.
- Esther sees a picture of Jack, actually a publicity still from TV: The Empty Child, in which he was introduced.
- Gwen is said to have joined Torchwood in October 2006, the month that the first episode of Torchwood aired. This clashes with and contradicts dates given in several other stories.
- Unlike broadcasts of Doctor Who and previous series of Torchwood this series was broadcast in the United States, Canada and Australia before the United Kingdom.
- 1.51 million (Starz)
- 4.83 million (BBC)
- 6.59 million (Final BARB ratings)
to be added
- The first time Rex has his phone taken from him on the plane, the arm is bare. However, during the flashback, the arm is covered with Jack's vortex manipulator and sleeve. This is apparently deliberate, to keep Jack's identity hidden.
- Rex Matheson's line "Get down!" and the yelling he does as he fires the automatic rifle in the Jeep has evidently been added in post-production, as it does not match up with the lip movements of Mekhi Phifer when that dialogue is spoken.
- The Hiking Couple who came up to Gwen's were going to play a major factor in the series, they didn't, it was just a random scene.
- Esther finds files that show pictures of the 456 incident. (TV: Children of Earth)
- Jack's comment about being "plain old human" after losing his immortality is similar to comments made by the Meta-Crisis Tenth Doctor in TV: Journey's End.
- After Esther comments about how she feels responsible for Rex's life-threatening accident, Jack replies he knows the feeling, possibly referring to the deaths of many Torchwood members and his grandson Steven Carter, for which he previously claimed to feel responsible. (TV: Children of Earth: Day Five)
- Rhys mentions the time when everyone was shooting at Gwen. (TV: Children of Earth)
- Jack mentions the origins of Torchwood going back all the way to Queen Victoria. (TV: Tooth and Claw)
- Jack gives Esther Retcon. It was used many times by Torchwood. (TV: Everything Changes - Something Borrowed)
- Esther Drummond was given Retcon to forget about Torchwood and her investigations, but slowly regained her memories. This previously happened to Gwen in a similar way. (TV: Everything Changes)
- Esther asks Jack if the old photos she found of him were of his father. Rose Tyler previously suggested this to explain the Ninth Doctor's presence in the Kennedy assassination. (TV: Rose) Estelle Cole also lied that a photo of Jack in the 20th century was of his father. (TV: Small Worlds) In fact it was a photo of Jack during The Blitz in 1940-1941 where he was found by the Ninth Doctor and Rose Tyler. (TV: The Empty Child / The Doctor Dances)
- Jack uses the alias Owen Harper when infiltrating the hospital to study the incapacitated bomber. Owen Harper was the Torchwood Three medical officer who died (for the second and final time) at the conclusion of TV: Exit Wounds.
- Rex crosses through Severn Bridge to get into Wales, mirroring the moment when Gwen previously crossed it to leave Wales in TV: Children of Earth: Day One.
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. 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.