Season 2 Episode 1

Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Jan 16, 2008 on BBC Two
out of 10
User Rating
400 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Jack is in for a surprise when Captain John Hart, a man who he long thought was gone, comes to greet him...

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  • Action-packed opener shows growth and chaos

    This series starts off with a quite literal kiss and bang, and I can see that this season is going to be better than last. Everyone has really come into their own and has grown over the hiatus. I think that Jack expects the others to act out of line because the job is crazy and he doesn't always give him the full truth. So they are pretty much even now that they turned on him last season and he abandoned them over the break. They're a dysfunctional family that's under a lot of stress, so I give the writers some wiggle room when it comes to what the Torchwood folks do in comparison to everyday people. By the way great guest action by James Marsters he is an excellent actor and a cutie :Dmoreless
  • Season opener tries hard yet fails to deliver

    The basic story was good, and might have even worked well as two parts. It's too bad that much had to be left out, ignored or compressed while other time is simply wasted. For example, Jack is pushed off the roof and lands directly on a very oddly placed bench ... sprawling dead with an obviously broken back. Writers ... Hello ! We all know that Jack can't die and will appear again later in a big surprise to the bad guy - How about showing us how Tosh, Owen and Lanto deal with finding out their boss is some kind of zombie ? You would think that they would wind up putting him in front from now on if they suspect that someone may be shooting at them ? ( guy with a gun ... send Jack in first )moreless
  • Amnesia must be nice.

    I was amazed. I actually rewatched teh season finale just to make sure I wasn't mistaken. Last season they all turned on Jack. They betrayed him AND killed him in the season finale yet Gwen and the others have the balls to act like they were the ones who were betrayed. I was hoping for them to grow up a bit and gain some "street smarts" in this season but they were still their clueless selves. It was nice to learn a bit more about Jack and his past. Over all it was an entertaining episode but I'm not sure if I will continue watching this show if this is how the writing will be.moreless
  • not good

    This episode was bad in most ways. I watched the whole series one because of girlfriend pressure, and I thought it was not good. THis episode is just badly written. 4 highly trained agents who act like nervous children in stress situations. Spoiler: 5 people who have to save the earth cant think of chopping the hand of a person? How badly written is that? the writers had to fill the episode, so they decided to create a stupid stunt. it's bad. the guy murdered someone and they let him get away with it...

    the fact people gave this a 9.3 average makes me sad, what used to be a good review site ( has now turned into a site where every crappy show gets 9+ nowadays....

    Avoid this show.moreless
  • Captain Jack's back and it looks like he's going to be better than ever!

    Captain Jack's back! It looks like the second season of Torchwood is going to be as brilliant as the first. The dialog is wonderfully witty as usual, the characters are all very well crafted and the story is excellent (once it gets into the swing of things). Torchwood has made a mark for itself by being prepared to play very loose with defined sexual roles and my one concern is that if the producers of the show feel the need to make every episode as sexually charged as this one, they might end up making a very cutting-edge and controversial subject matter mundane. Not too much of a concern yet, but possibly something to consider.

    Torchwood really is Doctor Who for grown-ups, and each episode only leaves me wanting more...moreless
James Marsters

James Marsters

Captain John Hart

Guest Star

Tom Price

Tom Price

PC Andy

Guest Star

Menna Trussler

Menna Trussler

Old Woman

Guest Star

Kai Owen

Kai Owen

Rhys Williams

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (11)

    • The bar in which Captain Jack and Captain John reunite in is called "Bar Reunion."

    • When Captain John reveals his weapons in the bar, the bouncers were standing behind him. As the camera swivels around to show people running out the door, the bouncers never run past him (or even try to disarm him).

    • Shortly before Captain John leaves through the Rift, Owen is still holding his side where he was shot earlier in the episode, with his shirt stained with blood. However, in the shots after John leaves, Owen is seen to be unharmed, complete with clean shirt.

    • After Jack throws the disk into the rift and it explodes, time reverts to the moment where John first came out of the rift. The team should have then encountered the two men at the corner of the car park that John saw when he came out of the rift, yet they were not seen, or even heard by the team.

    • When the team arrives at the bar where Captain John and Jack are getting reacquainted, it is clear that as Gwen approaches the duo with her pistol drawn that the slide is locked back in the open position.

    • For all that he's played Brits on Buffy, Angel, and Torchwood, James Marsters is a native Californian. He was born in Greenville, California, 20 August 1962.

    • The interior of Helmont House - the British Gas office in Cardiff - was used for the filming of the office scenes with Jack and Ianto, whilst the roof was used for the confrontation between Jack and John.

    • Captain John reveals that the Time Agency, Jack's former employer, has now shut down and that he and Jack are among the seven remaining Time Agents left.

    • Gwen's mobile phone is a BlackBerry Pearl.

    • James Marsters is the second regular cast member of Buffy: The Vampire Slayer to appear in the Doctor Who universe. With Anthony Stewart Head (Giles) playing Mr. Finch in the Doctor Who episode "School Reunion".

    • James Marsters' character Spike on the Buffy: The Vampire Slayer episode "As You Were" was referred to as "The Doctor".

  • QUOTES (32)

    • Toshiko: It's the same as yours.
      Captain Jack: A little smaller.
      Captain John: But lasts much longer. Get two Time Agents in the same room, it's always about the size of the wrist strap.

    • Ianto: Why are you doing this?
      Captain John: We're a cosmic joke, eye candy. An accident of chemicals and evolution. The jokes, the sex, just cover the fact that nothing means anything. And the only consolation is money. So run, Ianto Jones!

    • Tosh: You said this was a dying woman's request.
      Captain John: Yeah, she was dying - I shot her.

    • Captain Jack: You know, you never really mastered that temptation spiel.
      Captain John: It's not a spiel. It's fact.
      Captain Jack: Move on! Here I am with a new life, and you're still churning out the same old tunes. And sorry, but they don't play as well now you're looking a little bit older. And what are they, wrinkles around your eyes?
      Captain John: Laugh lines!
      Captain Jack: Oh, hell of a good joke.
      Captain John: It's you I'm laughing at!

    • Captain John: Oh, do you have a team name? I love team names, go on!
      Captain Jack: Torchwood.
      Captain John: Oh. Not Excalibur? Blizzard? Bikini Cops? No? Torchwood. Oh, dear.

    • John: But what does it cost you? Every time you have to drag yourself back here, how does it feel? All that pain and trauma. Plus, you're reborn into this godforsaken mess. I pity you.
      Jack: These people. This planet. All the beauty you could never see. That's what I come back for.

    • Gwen: Who's afraid of the big, scary fish then?
      Owen: It's a big fish, with a gun.

    • Owen: Okay, so who the hell was that bloke in the hologram?
      Ianto: I know Jack recognized him.
      Tosh: Why didn't he let us go with him?
      Gwen: 'Cause he's typical Jack, isn't he? He disappears, he comes back, then he runs away again. Shuts us out. We don't even know his real name.
      Tosh: Or which time he comes from.
      Gwen: Exactly. He's supposed to be our boss and we know nothing about him. Drives me crazy.
      Ianto: It is more fun when he's around though.
      Owen: Yeah. No. Definitely.
      Gwen: Yeah it is.

    • PC Andy: This another one of your spooky doos, is it?
      Gwen: Don't know yet, but I'll let you know.

    • Captain Jack: Okay, let's get back and see what we can piece together.
      Gwen: Good in charge again, you.
      Captain Jack: I was hoping for a little power struggle. Resolved by some naked wrestling.

    • Mugger: Come any closer I'll open up his neck.
      Captain John: Fine.
      Mugger: What?
      Captain John: Which artery do you normally sever?
      Mugger: I'm not bluffing!
      Captain John: Well see, now you've given yourself away. Only someone who's bluffing ever says they aren't.

    • Gwen: Can you deal with the body when it's cold?
      Ianto: My pleasure, unless you'll be making sushi.

    • Captain Jack: Oh yeah, loving that "officey feel". I always get excited in these places. To me they're exotic: office romances, photocopying your butt. Well, maybe not your butt, although, as we're here, why don't we photo...
      Ianto: (Interrupting) The Rift was active at these coordinates approximately 200 feet above ground. That means this floor, or the roof.

    • Blowfish: So, this is Team Torchwood: The teacher's pets. But Teacher has gone, hasn't he? Leaving the KiddyKids all alone. And look at you, trying so hard to be all grown up: The Doctor with his hands full of blood, The Carer with her oh so beating heart, The Technician with her cold devices. Which leaves me with the Office Boy, promoted beyond his measure. All of you, lost without your master. All of you, pretending to be so brave. All of you so scared. So, what about it Minions? Can you do it? How good are you? How sharp is your aim? What if you kill her? What if I kill her first? Can you shoot before I do? Can you? Dare you? Would you? Won't you?

    • Captain John: (Downs a bottle of vodka)
      Captain Jack: So, uh, how was rehab?
      Captain John: Rehabs. Plural.
      Captain Jack: Sex, drink, drugs, and...
      Captain John: (Grins) Murder.
      Captain Jack: (Laughs) You went to murder rehab?
      Captain John: I know, ridiculous! The odd kill, who does it hurt?
      Captain Jack: (Sobers) You clean now?
      Captain John: Oh yeah, kicked everything. Living like a priest.

    • Captain John: You've put on weight!
      Captain Jack: You're losing your hair!

    • Captain John: Pretty and resilient. It's not even fair.
      Gwen: Maybe you didn't realise. You can beat, shoot, threaten, and even poison us and we'll keep coming back, stronger every time.
      Captain John: Well, I think you ought to know, your boss is splayed out on the... (Jack walks in) ...pavement. Now, that's impressive. Seriously, you could earn a fortune in the Vegas galaxies with an act like that. Go on, how's it work?
      Captain Jack: I can't die.
      Captain John: No, but really.
      Captain Jack: No, but really. You can't kill me. No matter how many times you try, I cant die, ever.

    • Toshiko: Where were you?
      Jack: I found my Doctor.
      Owen: Did he fix you?
      Jack: What's to fix? You don't mess with this level of perfection.
      Ianto: Are you going back to him?
      Jack: I came back for you, all of you.

    • Gwen: John's right. I'm sorry, do you prefer "John" or "Captain"?
      Captain John: With eyes like yours? Call me Vera, I won't complain.

    • Captain Jack: Captain Jack Harkness, note the stripes.
      Captain John: Captain John Hart, note the sarcasm.
      Captain Jack: Hey, I worked my way up through the ranks.
      Captain John: I bet the ranks were very grateful.

    • Captain John: (Entering the rift) Oh, by the way, I found Gray.
      (Jack flashbacks to a small hand letting go of a bigger hand)
      Gwen: Who's Gray?
      Captain Jack: (Surprised) It's nothing. (Sighs) Let's go back to work.

    • (The team is in the car, and Owen is driving)
      Gwen: All I'm saying is, you are speeding and there are children.
      Owen: Well if kids are out at midnight they've got it coming.

    • (Gwen is handcuffed to Captain John, who has a bomb attached to him, about to explode)
      Ianto: Forty seconds!
      Gwen: Tell, tell Jack, tell Jack I -
      (Jack and Owen roar up in the sports car)

    • Gwen: (Dragging Captain John towards the crack in the rift) We have to go!
      Captain John: Woah! What about a last minute rescue? What's the point of being on a team if you don't get a last minute rescue?

    • Captain John: I think I'm starting to see what he likes about this place - she's beautiful, he's stunning...
      Gwen: Don't you ever stop?
      Captain John: What? Five minutes to live and you want me to behave? (Glances out the window) Oh, that's gorgeous!
      Gwen: That's a poodle.
      Captain John: (Still staring) That's nice!

    • (Jack and Owen are cooking up a genetic cocktail to fool the explosive)
      Jack: This better work.
      Owen: Trust me, I'm an improviser.

    • (Appearing as a hologram)
      Captain John: I can't believe I got the answering machine. What can you be doing that's more important than me? Anyway, you probably traced the energy shift, found the body, or me. Sorry about the mess, bill me for the clean-up. Now (Claps hands) drinks. Retro-log the transmission co-ordinates, that's where I am. And hurry up. Work to do. Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope. (Hologram disappears)

    • Gwen: Maybe you didn't realise. You can beat, shoot, threaten, and even poison us and we keep coming back, stronger every time.

    • Gwen: (Heavily annoyed) You are unbelievable.
      Captain John: (Smugly): And yet you still find me strangely attractive.

    • Jack: Three rules. One, don't believe anything he say. Two, always keep him in front of you. And three, under no circumstances let him kiss you.
      Gwen: As if I would!
      Captain John: Has he got to the "no kissing" rule yet? He only invented that one because he wants me all to himself.

    • Captain John: (Regarding himself and Captain Jack) We were partners.
      Ianto: In what way?
      Captain John: In every way.

    • Gwen: Excuse me have you seen a blowfish driving a sports car?
      (Old lady points ahead)
      Gwen: Thank you.
      (Torchwood speeds away down the road)
      Old Lady: (Muttering to self) Bloody Torchwood.

  • NOTES (9)

    • John Barrowman (Jack) was born in Scotland, but speaks with an American accent, and James Marsters (John Hart) was born in the USA, but speaks with an English accent in this episode.

    • The song that is playing the Blowfish's car when he lets the old lady cross the street is "Release Yo' Self (Prodigy Mix)" by Method Man, from the Resident Evil soundtrack.

    • International air dates:
      United States: January 26, 2008
      Sweden: July 6, 2008
      Canada: August 8, 2008
      Germany: June 10, 2009

    • Although unnamed in the episode or credits the old lady was Elspeth Morgan and the teenage girl held at gunpoint by the Blowfish was Sarah Whyte. Their names can be found on the case reports at the BBC Torchwood site.

    • The episode was seen by 3.7 million viewers, making it the highest rated episode of the series so far.

    • The song played in the nightclub as Captain John enters is "Mao Tse Tung Said" by Alabama 3 (in the US, the band is known as A3) from the album "Exile on Coldharbour Lane". Alabama 3 are best known for their song "Woke Up This Morning" which was used as the opening theme for the television show "The Sopranos".

    • The first time a dead lock seal is mentioned out side of Doctor Who.

    • James Marsters approached Russell T. Davies for a role in Torchwood, he sent him a message saying he had seen the show, was a fan of the series and could he be considered for a role.

    • The song played during the fight scene between both Captain Jack and Captain John in the nightclub was Blur's "Song 2".

  • ALLUSIONS (10)

    • Captain John: Oh. Not Excalibur? Blizzard? Bikini Cops? No? Torchwood. Oh, dear.
      An allusion to the gang in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" who called themselves the Scooby Gang, and the team in "Angel" who were unofficially known as the Fang Gang.

    • Captain John: Thirsty, now?
      James Marsters, who plays John Hart, is most famous for playing Spike, a vampire in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. James Marsters himself has commented on the similarity between the two characters.

    • "Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" is also a song by Shirley Bassey.

    • Captain John's "lover" who appears in the puzzle-box hologram, is said by Captain John to have owned an Arcadian diamond. The planet Arcadia was last mentioned by the Tenth Doctor in the Doctor Who episode "Doomsday".

    • Ianto: And you take the roof, you're good on roofs.
      This is a bit of self deprecation about Series One on Torchwood, which featured several arty/stylistic shots of Jack standing on roofs of odd buildings for no apparent reason. Something that was often commented on and spoofed in the media.

    • Captain John Hart: No Blonde though, you need a blonde.
      While Captain John is talking about the makeup of the Torchwood team he points out that it is missing a blonde. A nice allusion to James Marsters' previous role of Spike in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer", in which he had a fixation for blondes, Buffy in particular who he regularly referred to as Blondie, who was of course the leader of the team in that show.

    • Captain Hart: Oh, not Excalibur?
      When discussing the team name with Jack, the first alternative to Torchwood he suggests is Excalibur. This is a reference to the original development title of the series, before it got tied in with Doctor Who and received the anagram name.

    • Captain John Hart: Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi. You're my only hope.
      Referencing the famous scene from the original "Star Wars" film where R2-D2 showed Obi-Wan Kenobi a distress message from Princess Leia. Captain John even turns his head away in the same manner that Princess Leia did at the end of the message.

    • The title of the episode could also allude to the movie "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" which stars Val Kilmer as a gay detective investigating a murder, and Robert Downey Jr. as an actor who gets caught up in the investigation.

    • The title of the episode, "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang", is a reference to the James Bond series. When the movies were first released in Japan, he was known as "Mr. Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang".