Take the 2-minute tour ×
Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for science fiction and fantasy enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

In the episodes that feature the Face of Boe it is stated that he is the last of his kind, suggesting that there were other large head-like beings at some time.

For example, from New Earth:

HAME: The rest of Boe-kind became extinct long ago. He's the only one left.

And from Gridlock:

BOE: I have seen so much. Perhaps too much. I am the last of my kind, as you are the last of yours, Doctor.

If we take the suggestion in Last of the Time Lords that the Face of Boe is actually Jack Harkness, who wasn't a large head, as fact then where did the others like the Face of Boe come from?

Two possibilities suggest themselves to me:

  1. The other humans that died on Satellite 5 were also revived by Rose, and they too evolved oddly over the eons and became Boe-kind with Jack Harkness.
  2. Jack Harkness had children who gained a measure of his immortality, and consequently evolved similarly to him over the eons.

Is there any evidence or word from the writers/producers that support either option, or suggest some other source for the others who were like the Face of Boe?

share|improve this question
4  
In Torchwood we've seen Jack's daughter and grandson, and they were quite human, and not very immortal. It's not inconceivable that during Jack's supposedly very long transition from human to Boe he had children, whose descendants could be considered boe-kind. –  Chahk Aug 6 '14 at 16:19
3  
I still refuse to believe that Jack grew into Boe. Anyway, I've been thinking about the names "Boe-kind", which is an odd name for a species, and "The Face Of Boe", which is an odd name for an individual. What if Boe was a creature, long ago, and some accident made his body fall apart into separate pieces, all of which lived on. "The Face Of Boe", "The Left Shoulder Of Boe" etc. Then the names would make sense. –  Mr Lister Aug 6 '14 at 17:06
3  
@Monty129 - heh, true. It was Donna, i think, who had an exchange with 10 along those lines? "Hey, you look human!", "No, you look Timelord." B) –  eidylon Aug 6 '14 at 18:48
2  
@eidylon That was actually with Amy in The Beast Below. –  Xantec Aug 6 '14 at 19:05
1  
I think it's come up more than once throughout the entire run of the series, people questioning why the Doctor looks humanoid and him responding with a flipant answer like that. –  Monty129 Aug 6 '14 at 19:35

5 Answers 5

Russell T. Davies has said that the merger of the Face of Boe's storyline with Jack Harkness's storyline happened after both characters had been introduced. There's enough similarity for it to be plausible, but Harkness is such a trickster that it could be a big joke.

There was that moment where you revealed that Jack would eventually live so long that he'd become the Face of Boe. Was this something you planned all along with the character?

It wasn't exactly planned. I did spend a long time thinking about Jack's immortality, and one day it occured to me there was another immortal character on the show. It made me laugh. To be honest, on the screen, it's couched in terms that are not absolute gospel. There are these spin-off books and comic books, and every now and then I'll see a script for one where they say definitively that he's the Face of Boe, and I always stop those from being printed. I have my own personal theories, but the moment it became very true or very false, the joke dies.

share|improve this answer
2  
I guess from this we can say that there isn't any evidence, and won't be unless Steven Moffat or some other future writer/producer decides to answer it. –  Xantec Aug 6 '14 at 19:25
2  
Less of a joke by Harkness (the character), more of a joke by the show writers –  Anthony X Aug 7 '14 at 1:30
1  
All we can really take from this is that RTD is a megalomanic who literally prevents anything from entering into canon if it doesn't agree with his personal views. –  Lightness Races in Orbit Aug 25 '14 at 11:47

If we're allowing that Jack Harkness is The Face of Boe (and personally, I love that twist), it suggests a couple of possibilities. Harkness, though human, wasn't originally from earth but from the Boeshane Peninsula on an unnamed colony planet in the 51st century. "His kind" could refer to humans from that world.

And the end of Torchwood: Miracle Day implies that Rex Matheson (Mekhi Phifer's character) became immortal after receiving a full transfusion of blood from Jack. And maybe something similar happened a few more times over such a long lifespan. So "his kind" could refer to immortal humans.

But taking a longer term perspective, perhaps "his kind" refer to nothing we've ever really seen. The Face of Boe is billions of years old. If he's Captain Jack, he must be at least five billion years old (we meet him five billion years into the future in "The End of the World"). Over that time, he'd see the lifetimes of civilizations, planets, whole galaxies. He's seen trees evolve sentience and cats marrying people. His time as recognizably human, even if it lasted several million years, could be just a hazy memory from his youth, and "his kind" could have a very broad definition to one so old. Even if "his kind" referred to all living things born within a million years before or after his own birth, he'd still be the last of them.

share|improve this answer
    
Is "The End of the World" where The Master is revealed to be Dr Yana? if so remember that Jack wasn't waiting there, he saw the TARDIS in modern-day London and jumped on as it entered the time vortex which caused the disruption which sent the TARDIS to that time (ie. it was Jack fault). –  Memor-X Aug 7 '14 at 6:32
    
i'm iffy of any UK TV Series originally being set in the UK which then has a sudden move to the US at the start of a new season as being canon in any way (at the end of the first episode, what's left of Torchwood is extradited to the US by the FBI) –  Memor-X Aug 7 '14 at 6:33
1  
@Memor-X so stories set on Planet Zog are OK, but stories set in a different country aren't? Interesting idea... –  evilsoup Aug 7 '14 at 12:58
    
@evilsoup it's not really like that, i only just seen the first episode of Miracle Day and already forcing Torchwood to be based in the US smells like a US Hijack of a UK Series (oh well this is a popular series, lets steal it from the UK and add our own touch to it), like say if Little Britan was suddenly had a US Production team but maybe i'm still sore about the US making Michiru and Haruka cousins rather than lovers in the original dub of Sailor Moon and skeptical that when there's a sudden shift in setting that it's a new production team –  Memor-X Aug 7 '14 at 22:09
    
Miracle day was run mostly by Starz an American company and does seems completely disjoint from everything cannon. Specifically, it may have been one of the most dramatic things in earth's history and means a large portion of the earth is actually some things that almost looks inappropriate for TV. Is, however, never refered to ever by anyoneelse in all of space and time out side of those episodes? –  anotherguest Aug 8 '14 at 15:51

The Tardis Wiki has a good explanation of the timeline:

In the year 200,000, the Face supposedly gave birth to the Boemina. (TV: The Long Game) By the time of his hospitalisation and near-death in 5,000,000,023, however, the Face was the last of his species. (TV: New Earth) He later sacrificed himself to save the inhabitants of New New York in the year 5,000,000,053, rendering Boekind extinct. (TV: Gridlock)

So if we believe the BadWolfTV network, Boe got pregnant. And we know Jack got pregnant at least once while human according to the first episode of Torchwood.

share|improve this answer
    
But don't you find it weird that after millions of years, a human with immortality, but no way to prevent aging, would eventually turn into an extraterrestrial looking, wrinkly, tentacled head? –  L.J Rob Jan 2 at 14:38
    
No, that's pretty tame. Remember the daleks used to be humanoid as well. And the forest of Chem went from trees to humanoid. The tardis was uploaded into a human body. A million million years is a long time and the who verse has some pretty ood stuff (oh yeah, the human who was turned ood too) –  cde Jan 2 at 15:23

They came from the Silver Devastation, probably a planet in the Aesop Galaxy. Boe isn't human, he is just a member of the Boekind and for some reason, lived for eons. It says that he even outlived his children, some 40 years after the events of New Earth. If you don't believe me, check out the TARDIS Data Core. Besides, a single member of a species wouldn't evolve, even if they lived for millions of years. Evolution is something that's passed down extremely gradually, over generations. Jack wouldn't evolve, he would probably just resemble a 90-100 year old man after millions or even billions of years. He ages extremely slowly after all (he's currently over 2000 years old, and he's only got one grey hair).

share|improve this answer

Boe-Kind are people from his home planet. And The face of Boe is a title not a name. He received this title when he was accepted into the time travel academy.

share|improve this answer
2  
Can you provide evidence for this? –  curiousdannii Aug 7 '14 at 6:42
    
@Telaci You're probably referring to the end of The Last of the Time Lords, where Jack mentions that on the Boeshane Peninsula, the other time agents called him the Face of Boe, because he was a model (poster boy, he says), and a pretty boy. The name Face of Boe, and Boekind is probably just a coinkydink. I mean, the TARDIS wikia says that the Face of Boe and the rest of his species are from the Silver Devastation, implied to be completely different from the Boeshane Peninsula. Maybe the writers are just screwing with us. –  L.J Rob Jan 2 at 14:43

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.