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The New World was the first episode of the fourth series of Torchwood. 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. It also introduced Gwen and Rhys' 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 the 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.

Synopsis Edit

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 month's 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.

Plot Edit

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 and quickly pick up guns when the doorbell rings. Rhys placates Gwen as she has a panic attack, telling her the Torchwood days are over. Andy Davidson phones to say Gwen's father is in hospital. They rush back to Cardiff, despite Rhys' warnings. He is still alive due to the Miracle but unwell. Her parents tell her that she shouldn't have come, as they're worried someone might have seen her.

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. 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 gives her a dose of the "smart drug" retcon — a selective amnesia pill.

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. He tells Esther to book him a flight to the UK. He drives to Gwen and Rhys's house in Wales and demands they tell him about Torchwood, but a helicopter flies up and the pilot fires a missile at the house. Gwen, Rhys and Rex see Jack firing at the helicopter. As they drive away, 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.

Cast Edit

Uncredited Edit

Crew Edit

General production staff

Camera and lighting department

Art department
Make-up and prosthetics

General post-production staff

Special and visual effects


UK crew
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.

References Edit

Story notes Edit

  • 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 also 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. However, it was actually 2007, as Gwen joined Torchwood a year after the Ninth Doctor accidentally brought Rose Tyler to 2006 instead of 2005. (TV: Everything Changes, TV: Aliens of London)
  • 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.

Ratings Edit

  • 1.51 million (Starz)
  • 4.83 million (BBC)

Filming locations Edit

to be added

Production errors Edit

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.
  • 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.

Continuity Edit

Myths Edit

  • 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.

Home video releases Edit

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.[1] In Australia, it was released in Region 4 DVD and Region B Blu-Ray on 1 December 2011.[2] In New Zealand, the same sets were released on 7 December 2011.[3] In North America, it was released on Region 1 DVD and Region Free Blu-Ray on 3 April 2012.[4]

Footnotes Edit

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