Ianto Jones

Ianto Jones


Rquote|left|" [Being bisexual is] the worst of any world because you don't really belong anywhere, because you are never sure of yourself or those around you. You can't trust in anyone, their motives or their intentions. And because of that, you have, in a world that likes its nice shiny labels, no true identity."|Ianto in "The Twilight Streets" by Gary Russell|
"Torchwood" literature further explores Ianto's characterisation.
Spin-off media has tried to fill in the gaps of Ianto's character history from before he began working at Torchwood Three; Ianto's first week at Torchwood One is shown in a flashback in the novel "Trace Memory". The segment also depicts his budding relationship with Lisa Hallett. Also expanding on Jones' time living in London, the comic "The Legacy of Torchwood One!" ("Torchwood" #1) shows how Ianto was taken under the wing of Rupert Howarth, a senior researcher, during his first few weeks at Torchwood One. [Cite comic|Cartoonist =SL Gallant|Writer=Simon Furman|Story=The Legacy of Torchwood One!|Title=Torchwood Magazine|Issue =1|Date=January 24, 2008|Publisher=Titan Magazines] Ianto's characterisation is explored in "The Twilight Streets", where Ianto sheds some light on the difficulty he had "coming out" as a teenager, and engages in a diatribe with Gwen about what it means to him to be bisexual after Gwen jokes to him that he has the "best of both worlds".

However, as with all "Doctor Who" and "Torchwood" spin-off media, the canonicity in relation to the television series is unclear. [cite news|url=http://www.whoniverse.org/features/canon.php|title=The Whoniverse Guide to Canon|accessdate=2006-12-30|author=Stephen Gray|publisher=Whoniverse.org]

Audio drama

Ianto also appears in "Torchwood" audio books, the first two being "Hidden" written by Steven Savile and narrated by Naoko Mori,cite video |people=Steven Savile (author), Naoko Mori (narrator) |date2= 2008-02-04|title=Hidden |medium=Audio book |publisher=BBC Audio] "Everyone Says Hello" written by Dan Abnett and narrated by Burn Gorman,cite video |people=Dan Abnett (author), Burn Gorman (narrator) |date2= 2008-02-04|title=Everyone Says Hello |medium=Audio book |publisher=BBC Audio] released February 2008, and forthcoming "In the Shadows" by Joseph Lidster, due for release in September 2008.cite video |people=Joseph Lidster (author)|month2=September |year2=2008 |title=In the Shadows |medium=Audio book |publisher=BBC Audio] Joseph Lidster also wrote a Radio 4 "Torchwood" drama, "Lost Souls" which aired in Summer 2008 as an Afternoon Play featuring the voices of John Barrowman, Eve Myles, Gareth David-Lloyd and Freema Agyeman (Martha). Set after the events of the 2008 series, Ianto and the team make their first international adventure to CERN in Geneva, as part of Radio 4's special celebration of the Large Hadron Collider being switched on. [cite web |url=http://www.gallifreyone.com/cgi-bin/viewnews.cgi?id=EkpAkZFFkZpKezjobI&tmpl=newsrss&style=feedstyle |title=Torchwood comes to Radio 4 |accessdate=2008-04-27 |author=Jarrod Cooper |date=April 26, 2008 |work=The Doctor Who News Page] cite web|title=Torchwood: Lost Souls|url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/bigbang/torchwood.shtml|accessdate=2008-09-10] The special radio episode's plot focuses on the Large Hadron Collider's activation and the doomsday scenario some predicted it might incite, as well as the team's mourning of Toshiko and Owen's recent deaths.cite episode |title=Lost Souls|series=Torchwood|credits=Joseph Lidster, Kate McAll (producer/director)|network=BBC Radio 4|airdate=10-09-2008|minutes=43:47]


Creation and conception

Ianto is conceived in series one as the quiet and reserved tea "general support" man. In conceiving the character, creator Russel T Davies drew upon his large pool of recurring names; Davies states that reusing names (such as Tyler, Smith, Harper, Harkness and Jones) allows him to get a grip of the character on the blank page.cite news
first = Cathy
last = Pryor
title = Russell T Davies: One of Britain's foremost television writers
url = http://news.independent.co.uk/people/profiles/article1919243.ece
work = The Independent
date = 2006-10-22
accessdate = 2006-10-22
] Ianto shares the surname "Jones" for instance with "Doctor Who" characters Martha Jones and family as well as Harriet Jones, "Torchwood" character Eugene Jones ("Random Shoes"), and Stuart Allen Jones in Davies' earlier "Queer as Folk". Davies also created the unrelated character named "Yanto" Jones, also played by Gareth David-Lloyd, appearing in his 2004 comedy-drama "Mine All Mine". [cite web |url=http://www.tv.com/mine-all-mine/episode-105/episode/384336/summary.html |title=Mine All Mine: Episode 5 |accessdate=2006-10-29 |work=TV.com ]


Initially, in series 1, Ianto is a quiet and more reserved character. Throughout the first series, Ianto's secrets are exposed to the team, particularly in "Cyberwoman" when his motives for joining Torchwood Three are exposed. From this point, Ianto's focus changes and he begins more and more to come out of his shell. Appearing in series 2, Ianto now assists the team in field missions and is used by the writers as a vehicle for one-liner jokes. Commenting on this, portrayor Gareth David-Lloyd notes that "This season it's much more relaxed and he's not all about keeping secrets, he's about Torchwood and Jack - he's found his meaning and his place so his dry humour comes out a lot more and he’s happier."

In "Torchwood Magazine" #5, actor Gareth David-Lloyd comments on some original character developments intended for Ianto. Originally, the character who was supposed to die at the end of "Reset". However in a discussion with executive producer Russel T Davies and Burn Gorman, who portrays Owen, it was decided that Owen would experience the zombification storyline as he is a character who more overtly enjoys life, making it more interesting from a narrative perspective.

In developing the character's attire, costume designer Ray Holman comments: "Ianto has a very distinct look but his suits actually vary quite a lot. He started off with some nice but boring Marks and Spencers suits in Series 1, which were top-end fitted ones but always very sober. Towards the end of series 1, I also got him into a waistcoat, and everyone thought that looked really good. For series 2, we evolved the look quite a lot, and now his suits come from all over the place. It's just a question of where I see something that looks right for Gareth, so I've brought him a suit from Savile Row and suits from Zara and Next. We realised we could be a bit more flash with Ianto now he's come out of the background and started to assert himself a bit more. So we moved him into coloured shirts and snazzier ties. He started off in white and grey shirts but we realised his skin tones can take the extra colour and now he's evolving into something much sharper, which looks really good filmed in High Definition." [cite journal |last= Holman|first= Ray|year= 2008|month= May|title= The Fashion Hub |journal= Torchwood Magazine|issue=5|pages=28|] Holman links how the character's costume changes reflected changes in the character in the second series.

Cultural impact and reception

The British entertainment news website Digital Spy awarded Ianto the status of "Cult Spy Icon", describing him as a "cult legend", citing his dour demeanor, one-liners and "eye candy" label as contributing factors in this. Gay men's website AfterElton.com placed Ianto as their seventh best gay and bisexual character in modern science fiction (encompassing television, film and comic books), with "Torchwood"'s Jack, Ianto's lover, receiving first place. [cite web |url=http://www.afterelton.com/print/2008/1/tenbestscificharacters?page=0%2C1&loc=interstitialskip|title=Ten Best Gay and Bisexual Science Fiction Characters|accessdate=2008-01-21 |date=2008-01-20 |format= |work= AfterElton.com]


External links

* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/torchwood/ianto.shtml Ianto Jones on the BBC's "Torchwood" website]
* [http://www.torchwood.org.uk/html/ianto/ Ianto Jones on the BBC-created Torchwood Institute website]

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