I'm intrigued by this quote from Series 3 Episode 12, The Sound of Drums (emphasis mine):

DOCTOR: See? It just shifts your perception a tiny little bit. Doesn't make us invisible, just unnoticed. Oh, I know what it's like. It's like, it's like when you fancy someone and they don't even know you exist. That's what it's like. Come on.
(Martha stares after him as he starts off, while Jack looks at her.)
JACK: You too, huh?

Obviously Jack has sussed Martha's infatuation with the Doctor, but I've never been entirely sure what the "too" refers to. It could mean "as well as Rose", but the first interpretation that came to my mind was "as well as himself". This is also the interpretation given at Wikipedia:

she received similar commiseration from Jack Harkness, who is also infatuated with him, in "The Sound of Drums".

But Wikipedia isn't a reliable source, and he could have been referring to Rose rather than himself.

Does Jack really have strong romantic feelings for the Doctor?

Since this is Jack Harkness we're talking about, flirtation doesn't count - he does that with everyone he meets. Kissing the Doctor goodbye in The Parting of the Ways also doesn't count, since he did the same to Rose at the same time.

  • 14
    The Doctor has a pulse, so, yes.
    – Politank-Z
    May 18, 2016 at 23:07
  • 2
    To "fancy" someone in British slang usually means something less serious than to be "in love with" someone. I don't think it requires "strong romantic feelings" either. Thesaurus.com lists it as a synonym for having the hots for someone, or lust after them.
    – Hypnosifl
    May 18, 2016 at 23:12
  • I'm pretty sure Jack meant Rose in that first quote...
    – tilley31
    May 18, 2016 at 23:52
  • 1
    @Randal'Thor Hard to say. Romance is rough when you're both temporal anomalies.
    – Politank-Z
    Nov 15, 2016 at 0:23
  • 2
    @Politank-Z I assume you speak from experience :-P
    – Rand al'Thor
    Nov 15, 2016 at 0:29

3 Answers 3


Oh, I think he is. Take a look at the spinoff show, Torchwood. Sometimes he runs off with the Doctor- without anyone else knowing. You see, Captain Jack Harkness wouldn't open the rift for anyone, not even for the death of his friends, right?

...Gwen Cooper asked, "Who would you open the rift for?"

And he answered, "The right kind of Doctor."

And moments later, you could hear the sound of the tardis. He smiles, and runs off to him.

  • I tend to agree with you. This is good evidence. Could you reference the episode this occurred in, though?
    – Adamant
    Nov 15, 2016 at 0:03
  • I'm not sure that quote means that he is in love with the Doctor, opening the rift is extremely dangerous - the Doctor is one of the few people who fully understands it. He is also the only one that might be able to fix his immortality. So he is saying the Doctor knows what he is doing and trusts the Doctor to open the rift and that same Doctor is the only one who can possibly cure him. That's not love its wanting to find him for help
    – Matt
    Jan 13, 2020 at 12:57

For me it always meant something like :

  • I know what it's like. It's like, it's like when you fancy someone and they don't even know you exist.
  • You too (know what its like), huh ?

So he's just saying that Martha is in love with the doctor, not him.

But I have nothing to back up that idea... except that Jack is not the kind of man who fall in love, he just want to f**k anyone (what species or sex that one can be) he sees ^^

  • 1. To "fancy" someone doesn't necessarily mean love, it can mean lust or "crush". 2. I disagree with your last paragraph, I think he fell for Ianto (see Children of Earth)
    – Adeptus
    May 20, 2016 at 4:56

Jack is complicated. Throughout Jacks time on Doctor Who and Torchwood he develops strong bonds with the Doctor, Rose, and Gwen but these are bonds of friendship and respect. He hits on all of them, but doesn't have any sexual attraction to them. He died to keep the Doctor and his friends many times from the Parting of the Ways to Children of Earth. Love can take many forms so Jack does love the Doctor but isn't in love with the Doctor, it's like The Doctor and Donna they love each other but aren't in love with each other.

  • 1
    Whilst a nice answer do you have any evidence you could edit in t back this up? Quotes, video clips of scenes, out of universe commentary from the directors, writers, actors etc.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Oct 5, 2020 at 9:28

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