After Captain Jack Harkness was made immortal, the Doctor and Rose left him on Satellite 5 in the year 200,100. Next time we see him, he's on Earth, and has been there waiting to run into the Doctor again since at least the 1800s, although he drops hints that imply he's been there for longer.

Perhaps some of those hints are from his time as a 51st century Time Agent, but it's unclear. I've seen all of the modern Doctor Who and most of Torchwood, and I don't recall learning how he ended up on Earth or what year he arrived, which is what I'd like to know.

2 Answers 2


He travelled back in time. I'm pretty sure he explained this in the episode Utopia but I don't have any quotes for that.

After Jack was left on Satellite 5, he used the Vortex manipulator in his Time Agency wrist strap to go back to Cardiff, the location of an active space-time rift. Jack ended up in 1869, and unfortunately his Vortex manipulator burned out and he was unable to leave.

  • LOL Jack must be bored living for a century in Cardiff! I wonder what he had been doing in those time, maybe watching TV? Oh, TV was not there until 1920s. Commented Jul 18, 2011 at 2:08
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    Not half as bored as when he was buried alive under Cardiff castle for 2000 years. :-) Commented Jul 18, 2011 at 11:35
  • I believe that whole arc was actually fleshed and explained in a Torchwood episode... though I don't remember exactly which one. And he was essentially shanghaied into service for Torchwood when he landed.
    – eidylon
    Commented Feb 23, 2012 at 20:33

The exact quotes from the Utopia:

So there I was, stranded in the year 200,100, ankle-deep in Dalek dust, and he goes off without me. But I had this. (taps the machine on his wrist) I used to be a Time Agent. It’s called a vortex manipulator. He’s not the only one who can time travel.

All right, so I bounced. I thought, ‘21st century, best place to find the Doctor’ except that I got it a little wrong. I arrived in 1869 and this thing burnt out so it was useless.

I had to live through the entire 20th century waiting for a version of you that would coincide with me.

So I went to the time rift... ‘cause I knew you’d come back to refuel. Until finally I get a signal on this detecting you and here we are.

- from Doctor Who [2005+] Transcripts

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