owen harkness

“It’s not men..it’s just Jack.”-Ianto Jones. (Torchwood and Sexuality)

By Nate Howard

Ahh Torchwood. What a great show. Pitched as an adult only spin-off of Doctor Who, Torchwood is a revolutionary show when it comes to dealing with and conceptualising sexuality. I can count on one hand a number of TV shows that handle the LGBTQAI community as well as Torchwood does. Especially when it comes to dealing with bisexual, pansexual, demisexual and omnisexual *though I have a strong suspicion Torchwood made up omnisexual to specifically include aliens* characters, as well as Torchwood, did.

In Torchwood you have five main characters. Jack, Ianto, Gwen, Toshiko and Owen. How many of those characters engage in SOMETHING same sex at least ONCE in the show? ALL of them. Not one single person in the main cast is strictly heterosexual. That’s right, not one. And unlike shows where the entire cast is gay (such as Russell T Davies OTHER show Queer as Folk) no one in Torchwood is strictly gay either. They are all shown as being bisexual or in Ianto’s case, demisexual. (I argue that Ianto is demi because he is only shown as being attracted to one woman who was a cyborg) and Jack. That’s it. I think Ianto see’s the person rather than gender. Hence why I picked one of his most famous quotes for my title). Even the shows ‘straight man’ Owen picks a guy up for a threesome.  Gwen makes out vigorously with a female alien and Toshiko has a lesbian relationship at some point.

And of course, the shows main character, good old Jack Harkness.

Ah, Jack.


I can count on one single hand the number of shows that have a character like Jack Harkness in them. Men, Women, Aliens. Jack will be quite happy ending up with any of them. He has a sort of on and off thing with Gwen, has a past relationship with Captain John and of course his main relationship with Ianto Jones which makes up for most of the show. Though Jack ALSO briefly has a one-episode fling with his namesake, Captain Jack Harkness and of course his numerous references to his alien relationships.

And no, the references are NOT subtle.

Gwen: ‘Have you ever eaten alien meat?”
Jack: ‘Once or twice.”
Gwen: “How was it?”
Jack: “He seemed to enjoy it.”

SUBTLE.

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Just a short powerpoint on some of the reasons why you should try watching torchwood.

‘Beware of ascribing human feelings to aliens,’ Jack said. ‘It’s a classic mistake. They don’t think like us, they don’t feel like us, they don’t react like us. It’s hard enough working out what a cat is thinking, let alone something from another planet. Anthropomorphise at your peril.’
‘That should be our motto,’ Owen said. ‘I’ll get some T-shirts made up.
— 

Slow Decay by Andy Lane (Torchwood Novels #3)

T-shirts… with the Torchwood logo on. ;)