Re-reading through prior posts involving this companion, I see and enjoy the happiness and gratitude at the portrayal of a bi-sexual character in mainstream media. I have to admit I fell instantly in love with Captain Jack and followed him to Torchwood with reckless abandon.
I’d like to take a look at this companion from outside the box AND outside my comfort zone. This blog is a place to start educated debate and illicit discussions on views and ideals. I don’t even want to focus on Captain Jack’s sexuality or his importance in popular culture.
My point in this post is to show that Captain Jack Harkness is the ying to The Doctors yang. He is the necessary roughness, the doer of bad deeds, the man that gets what needs to be done, done. When The Doctor is unable to pull the trigger due to his conscience or the stance of values he must follow. Captain Jack is behind him taking care of business.
In contrast to The Doctor, Harkness is a man of extreme action more than willing to apply a hands on solution to a problem. This is the companion that brings his moral ambiguity to the forefront.
Captain Jack wears the cloak of Byronic heroism, with that ever present glint oozing the fact he will hurt you to protect whats his. Through this he creates a new character archetype, allowing us to embrace the Devil’s Advocate. Captain Jack holds a pivotal place in the change an evolution of modern science fiction heroes.
When The Doctor scolded Jack for joining Torchwood, an organization he views as xenophobic and aggressive, Jack shrugs and explains he is doing what must be done to protect the human population they both care for.
We see this companion evolve from a selfish egotistical prat to one of self-sacrifice. On his journey of discovery he studies the value of life. He looks beyond his narrow view and explores the complexity of negotiating different world views, cultural values, beliefs and moral codes through a framework established by The Doctor.
This does not mean that Captain Harkness will not make the hard choices and bring destruction or death to his enemies when needed. It is that spark of darkness encased by the teachings of The Doctor that keeps Captain Jack close to my heart.
This companion shows his humanity in every gray decision made, every secret kept and each manipulation. He wields his flaws as effectively as he wields his weapons against all enemies. Like all of us in the Whovian fandom he sets The Doctor as his North Star and futilely attempts to steer that same strict and often angelic course. Most often he fails, like the rest of us, but still uses the principals to navigate the wreckage.
Am I grateful Moffat chose to create the first openly non-hetero sexual character in the history of televised Doctor Who? Am I over the moon about the ongoing depiction of bi-sexuality in mainstream TV not too laced with stereotypes? ABSOLUTELY!
I just want to point out that Captain Jack Harkness is not just the sum of his parts; he IS a VICTORY of his parts. He is the culmination of flawed, messy, dark and lovable humanity.