Template:Doctorwhocharacter Ianto Jones is a fictional character from the BBC television series Torchwood and its parent show, Doctor Who, played by Welsh actor Gareth David-Lloyd.

Within the series' narrative, Ianto Jones is the "general support officer" for Torchwood Three team of alien hunters, the Cardiff branch of the fictional Torchwood Institute. His job primarily sees him function as the team's administrator, often charged with covering up their covert activities, although he can also capably accompany the team on field missions. In addition to his professional role in the series, Ianto is notable as the main romantic interest of the series' lead male Captain Jack Harkness, and his character is similarly bisexual.



The character of Ianto Jones is introduced in the first episode of Torchwood, in 2006.[1] Introduced as a mild-mannered and quiet administrator working for Torchwood Three, his first centric appearance was the episode "Cyberwoman" which dealt with both his backstory and motivations. In the episode, Ianto is revealed as a former employee of Torchwood One in London (first seen in parent series Doctor Who) and houses his girlfriend in the basement of the Torchwood Hub where the team works. His girlfriend, Lisa (Caroline Chikezie), has been partially converted into a Cyberman, a cyborg species first seen in Doctor Who in 1966. Due to Ianto's efforts to keep her alive and treat her, she eventually breaks loose and in the Hub, killing two civilians. Ianto is forced into confrontation with team leader Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman), who is later able to resurrect Ianto with a kiss when Lisa unquestioningly electrocutes him. Ultimately, the rest of Ianto's team is forced to kill Lisa.[2] Although Ianto's thoughts continue to be concerned with Lisa,[3] mid-series he begins to develop a sexual relationship with Jack.[4] By the series' penultimate episode, Ianto is willing to shoot colleague Owen Harper (Burn Gorman) to protect Jack, and refutes claims he is merely his "part time shag."[5] In the series finale, an image of what appears to be Lisa's ghost is used to bring Ianto to mutiny against Jack, but still later when an immortal Jack rises from the dead, he and Ianto immediately kiss one another.[6]

Torchwood's second series (2008) begins with the team working without Jack, who departed the Hub at the end of series one to reunite with the mysterious "Doctor" from his past. Ianto's role with team now more frequently includes field missions, to accommodate Jack's absence. When Jack returns in the series two premiere, having seen the end of the world, he attempts to formalise his romantic relationship with Ianto, successfully asking him on a date.[7] Jack and Ianto's relationship becomes more overt, and Ianto's character becomes less burdened by secrets and more happy, beginning to express a newfound confidence and dour sense of humour.[8][9] The series' pentulimate episode, "Fragments" explores Ianto's backstory, specifically how he was recruited into Torchwood Three two years prior; Ianto is persistent that Jack hire him after the destruction of Torchwood One, but only succeeds once he is able to aid Jack in capturing a stray pterodactyl.[10] In the second series finale, Ianto and the team face Jack's 51st century ex Captain John Hart (James Marsters) and younger brother Gray (Lachlan Nieboer), who has vengefully sought to destroy Jack's world. After Gray kills his teammates Toshiko (Naoko Mori) and Owen, the Torchwood team is left with a membership of only three.[11] Following from this, Ianto makes his first crossover appearance in Doctor Who alongside Gwen (Eve Myles) and Jack in its 2008 series' two-part finale, where Torchwood is called on to help contact series protagonist the Doctor (David Tennant) during a Dalek invasion.[12][13]


Ianto appears in the first six of the Torchwood novels, published by BBC Books. The first wave, Another Life by Peter Anghelides,[14] Border Princes by Dan Abnett,[15] and Slow Decay by Andy Lane,[16] were published in January 2007. Published in March 2008, and tying in with the concurrently airing second series of Torchwood, Ianto appears in the novels Trace Memory by David Llewellyn,[17] The Twilight Streets by Gary Russell,[18] and Something in the Water by Trevor Baxendale.[19] October 2008 will see the release of three more Torchwood books by Peter Anghelides, series writer Phil Ford and writer for the Doctor Who and Torchwood websites, James Goss, the latter's cover for Almost Perfect reflecting changes to the cast after the episode 2008 finale episode "Exit Wounds".[20] First published in January 2008, the monthly Torchwood Magazine began occasionally including Torchwood comic strips, in which Ianto also appears.

During Series Two of the series, the Torchwood website http://www.torchwood.org.uk also hosted an interactive online game written by series writer Phil Ford. Updated weekly with the airing of the new episodes, the website features specially shot footage with Gareth David-Lloyd in character as Ianto debriefing and informing the 'player' with regards to their mission.[21] Throughout both Series One and Two, the interactive websites co-written by James Goss featured electronic literature content (such as fictitious IM conversations and letters) which depict aspects of Ianto and the other Torchwood characters' work and personal lives.[22]

Template:Rquote Spin-off media has tried to fill in the gaps of Ianto's character history from before he began working at Torchwood Three; Ianto's first week at Torchwood One is shown in a flashback in the novel Trace Memory.[17] The segment also depicts his budding relationship with Lisa Hallett. Also expanding on Jones' time living in London, the comic The Legacy of Torchwood One! (Torchwood #1) shows how Ianto was taken under the wing of Rupert Howarth, a senior researcher, during his first few weeks at Torchwood One.[23] Ianto's characterisation is explored in The Twilight Streets, where Ianto sheds some light on the difficulty he had "coming out" as a teenager, and engages in a diatribe with Gwen about what it means to him to be bisexual after Gwen jokes to him that he has the "best of both worlds".[18]

Audio drama

Ianto also appears in Torchwood audio books, the first two being Hidden written by Steven Savile and narrated by Naoko Mori,[24] Everyone Says Hello written by Dan Abnett and narrated by Burn Gorman,[25] released February 2008, and forthcoming In the Shadows by Joseph Lidster, due for release in September 2008.[26] Joseph Lidster is also set to write a Radio 4 Torchwood drama, Lost Souls, airing in Summer 2008 as an Afternoon Play and featuring the voices of John Barrowman, Eve Myles, Gareth David-Lloyd and Freema Agyeman, set after the events of the 2008 series.[27]


Creation and conception

Ianto is conceived in series one as the quiet and reserved tea "general support" man. In conceiving the character, creator Russel T Davies drew upon his large pool of recurring names; Davies states that reusing names (such as Tyler, Smith, Harper, Harkness and Jones) allows him to get a grip of the character on the blank page.[28] Ianto shares the surname "Jones" for instance with Doctor Who characters Martha Jones and family as well as Harriet Jones, Torchwood character Eugene Jones ("Random Shoes"), and Stuart Allen Jones in Davies' earlier Queer as Folk. Davies also created the unrelated character named Yanto Jones, also played by Gareth David-Lloyd, appearing in his 2004 comedy-drama Mine All Mine.[29]


Template:Rquote Initially, in series 1, Ianto is a quiet and more reserved character. Throughout the first series, Ianto's secrets are exposed to the team, particularly in "Cyberwoman" when his motives for joining Torchwood Three are exposed. From this point, Ianto's focus changes and he begins more and more to come out of his shell. Appearing in series 2, Ianto now assists the team in field missions and is used by the writers as a vehicle for one-liner jokes. Commenting on this, portrayor Gareth David-Lloyd notes that "This season it's much more relaxed and he's not all about keeping secrets, he's about Torchwood and Jack - he's found his meaning and his place so his dry humour comes out a lot more and he’s happier."[8]

In Torchwood Magazine #5, actor Gareth David-Lloyd comments on some original character developments intended for Ianto. Originally, the character who was supposed to die at the end of "Reset". However in a discussion with executive producer Russel T Davies and Burn Gorman, who portrays Owen, it was decided that Owen would experience the zombification storyline as he is a character who more overtly enjoys life, making it more interesting from a narrative perspective.

In developing the character's attire, costume designer Ray Holman comments: "Ianto has a very distinct look but his suits actually vary quite a lot. He started off with some nice but boring Marks and Spencers suits in Series 1, which were top-end fitted ones but always very sober. Towards the end of series 1, I also got him into a waistcoat, and everyone thought that looked really good. For series 2, we evolved the look quite a lot, and now his suits come from all over the place. It's just a question of where I see something that looks right for Gareth, so I've brought him a suit from Savile Row and suits from Zara and Next. We realised we could be a bit more flash with Ianto now he's come out of the background and started to assert himself a bit more. So we moved him into coloured shirts and snazzier ties. He started off in white and grey shirts but we realised his skin tones can take the extra colour and now he's evolving into something much sharper, which looks really good filmed in High Definition."[30] Holman links how the character's costume changes reflected changes in the character in the second series.

Cultural impact and reception

The British entertainment news website Digital Spy awarded Ianto the status of "Cult Spy Icon", describing him as a "cult legend", citing his dour demeanor, one-liners and "eye candy" label as contributing factors in this.[9] Gay men's website AfterElton.com placed Ianto as their seventh best gay and bisexual character in modern science fiction (encompassing television, film and comic books), with Torchwood's Jack, Ianto's lover, receiving first place.[31]

His death, in the fourth episode of the mini-series 'Children of Earth', sparked an outcry among fans of the show, who campaigned for his return on Twitter, by sending coffee to the BBC (a reference to the character's coffee making role within the show) and by raising money for Children in Need via the JustGiving site. To date, over £10,000 has been raised in his memory. There is also a shrine at the filming location for the Torchwood Hub in Cardiff Bay, made of messages, pictures and flowers which have been left since not long after his death on the show; the Shrine has shown no signs of losing popularity, even twelve months later.


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  8. 8.0 8.1 TExclusive Interview: 'TORCHWOOD'S' GARETH DAVID-LLOYD TALKS ABOUT LOVING CAPTAIN JACK. If Magazine (2008-03-31). Retrieved on 2008-04-02.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Cult Spy Icon: Ianto Jones ('Torchwood'). DigitalSpy (2008-01-13). Retrieved on 2008-01-21.
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  14. Anghelides, Peter (January 2007). Another Life. BBC Books. ISBN 978-0-563-48655-8. 
  15. Abnett, Dan (January 2007). Border Princes. BBC Books. ISBN 978-0-563-48654-1. 
  16. Lane, Andy (January 2007). Slow Decay. BBC Books. ISBN 978-0-563-48655-8. 
  17. 17.0 17.1 Llewwellyn, David (March 2008). Trace Memory. BBC Books. ISBN 184607438X. 
  18. 18.0 18.1 Russell, Gary (March 2008). The Twilight Streets. BBC Books. ISBN 1846074398. 
  19. Baxendale, Trevor (March 2008). Something in the Water. BBC Books. ISBN 1846074371. 
  20. Goss, James (2008). Almost Pefect. BBC Books. ISBN 1846075734. 
  21. Interactive 'Torchwood' adventure launched. DigitalSpy.com (01-31-2008). Retrieved on 2008-08-06.
  22. Perryman, Neil (2008). "Doctor Who and the Convergence of Media, A Case Study in `Transmedia Storytelling'". Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies 14 (1): 21–39. 10.1177/1354856507084417. Retrieved on 2008-08-06. “The British science fiction series Doctor Who embraces convergence culture on an unprecedented scale, with the BBC currently using the series to trial a plethora of new technologies, including: mini-episodes on mobile phones, podcast commentaries, interactive red-button adventures, video blogs, companion programming, and `fake' metatextual websites.” 
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  27. Jarrod Cooper (April 26, 2008). Torchwood comes to Radio 4. The Doctor Who News Page. Retrieved on 2008-04-27.
  28. Pryor, Cathy. "Russell T Davies: One of Britain's foremost television writers", The Independent, 2006-10-22. Retrieved on 2006-10-22. 
  29. Mine All Mine: Episode 5. TV.com. Retrieved on 2006-10-29.
  30. Holman, Ray (May 2008). "The Fashion Hub". Torchwood Magazine (5): 28. 
  31. Ten Best Gay and Bisexual Science Fiction Characters. AfterElton.com (2008-01-20). Retrieved on 2008-01-21.

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