What is the Save Ianto Jones campaign?
It’s the fan campaign appealing to BBC to bring back to TV series Torchwood the much-love character Ianto Jones played by Gareth David-Lloyd.
You can read more about the campaign and it’s goal in our Manifesto.
How did it all start?
On July 9th 2009, the episode Day Four of mini-series Torchwood: Children of Earth aired. In this episode, the character Ianto Jones died a tragic, untimely and sudden death. This dramatic plot development lead to an immediate and strong fan reaction: a lot of fans were shocked and dismayed.
Some agree that this plot development was necessary for the drama of the mini-series, some argue that it was cruel and pointless. In both camps, there are people who think that Ianto’s death can and should be reversed using the methods of sci-fi show writing. They formed the Save Ianto Jones campaign, immediately after Day Four aired and Been gaining momentum ever since.
Why were fans so disappointed?
- First of all, we love Ianto. There are a lot of reasons to love him.
- Some consider his death illogical and pointless.
- Some think that the death of three characters from the main cast in a row (Toshiko and Owen in 2×13 Exit Wounds and Ianto in Children of Earth) is too much, and the series are gone too dark for their liking.
- In many interviews before the CoE mini-series aired, the cast and crew made some promises which fans consider were not fullfilled in the actual drama series.
- Ianto and his relationship with Jack Harkness were an important step in queer visibility. There are different opinions on how events of Children of Earth work in the context of queer visibility on TV, from “Ianto is our Queer Warrior” to “another Bury Your Gays trope”. Still, the return of Ianto and the further development of his character and his relationship would be a huge bonus for queer visibility worldwide.
Why do you think it’s even possible to bring Ianto Jones back? Dead is dead.
In Doctor Who universe, there are dozens of characters who died, seemingly forever, and then came back. In this very universe, there is a possibility of getting a character back without disrupting the earlier plot development and without making the story look cheap. And it will be interesting possibility to tell yet another brilliant story of his comeback, and see the reaction of all the characters involved (especially Jack).
Torchwood is made by a lot of people, and decisions are made not only because of artistic reasons – they also are based on money issues, on time issues, on thousands of different things that the creator has to take into consideration. So we think that the BBC creative team can take into consideration the fans’ love for Ianto Jones and maybe it will inspire them to create a story of Ianto’s return.
What do you actually do in your campaign?
- We send polite letters and emails to the BBC asking for the return of Ianto Jones. (See Snail Mail)
- We use and send coffee to the BBC as a symbol of Ianto’s “Coffee Boy” status. (See Coffee)
- We use Twitter to connect with other fans from around the world. (See Twitter)
- We support Coffee Boy for Children in Need fundraising. (See Children in Need)
- We organize and coordinate events and maintenance at the memorial at Mermaid Quay, and we absolutely appreciate the involvement and support of the staff there. (See The Shrine)
- We support the endeavours of Gareth David-Lloyd and the other actors outside the realm of Torchwood, including Casimir Effect, Blue Gillespie, and theater. (See Gareth David-Lloyd)
- We participate in fan convections with peaceful campaign promotion. (See Conventions)
- We plan and organize different special projects to show to BBC and the world that we love Ianto and want him back in Torchwood.
What do you achieved with all those things?
- We sent thousands of letters, hundreds of coffee packages and thousands of e-mails to BBC.
- We achieved a lot of attention on Twitter and even trended for a short while [prooflink]
- We raised more than 13 000 pounds for Children in Need.
- We earned respect and attention in press. [prooflink – I think pili’s post]
- We earned appreciation from Gareth David-Lloyd. [prooflink]
- We earned support from the administration of Mermaid Bay. [prooflink]
- We organized several campaign events at different fan conventions all over the world. [prooflink]
- For more, see our Success Report tag.
Who are you people anyway?
We are the dedicated fans of Torchwood, Ianto Jones and Gareth David-Lloyd. We are all very different in our identities, lifestyles, tastes and ideologies. The only thing that brings us all together is that we all love Ianto and want to see him back in Torchwood, and we aim to achieve it in a peaceful and polite way.
If you want to know more about us, see fans_for_ianto.
Why are you ‘hysterical women’?
Back in July, when the emotions were high, and everybody discussed the events of Children of Earth, and the campaign was young (but already very active), Russell T Davies made several rude slips in his interviews about Children of Earth and fan reaction to it. One of them was that the backlash was only nine hysterical women typing on the Internet.
We don’t see the point to discuss in this FAQ why he said so, or why it was offensive, or what reasons he had (or he thought he had) to be insulting. We were offended, but then we re-claimed the name as ours. If you look at the number of members of the campaign, and at the quantity of things sent and the money raised, and at how diverse a group we are, you’ll appreciate the humour. 🙂
Why there are different comms and sites and resources about this thing?
We are a diverse group and there are a great many of us. We all contribute something to campaign. At this stage of campaign development, we felt that we need different communities for different goals. One more open, orientated for the people outside of the campaign, where the news and plans are laid out for anyone who wants to join or just support us – whether they are a member of campaign or not. The other, for those who are deeply and actively in the campaign, to communicate, share ideas and have fun.
So, this community, saveiantojones, is devoted to sharing our plans and projects with anyone who are anterested, and our sister community, savecoffeeboy, is a closed comm for the members of the campaign (which you can join any time and take part in a lot of campaign-related and morale-boosting projects going on there).
We have a lot of bases in different social networking resources: Twitter, Facebook, Fanpop, MySpace, BeBo, DreamWidth, YouTube Channel – so you can choose a media of your liking to follow the campaign.
There are campaign bases in different languages: Russian, French, Deutch, Dutch, Italian.
Shouldn’t you focus on ending poverty/sexism/racism/fighting for gay rights or equality instead of wasting time campaigning over a TV show and fictional character?
Some of us do! Much as these major world concerns draw our attention, there are issues here too:
- The decision to ignore an established fan base
- The disinformation spread about the contents of the show prior to airing
- The changing of a show in which sexuality just was to a show in which sexuality was there to be smeared
- More than one of us had never so much as complained to a TV corporation before, yet felt obliged to do so in this case, for different reasons. There is an issue here – the viewer matters. A public service broadcaster has a duty to provide that public service.
How can I join you?
You can participate in any of the campaign’s activities, in any way you like! There are special How To guides in the comm to help you get started. The only thing you have to do is to follow our Code of Conduct.
You can join this community and share your ideas on what else can we do.
You can help us with your unique skills, be that graphics, web-design, writing, planning, typing online or anything else – we have place for everyone and everything!
You can spread the word via blogs, Twitter, social networks and so on, using our graphics and widgets!
Or you can spread the world offline, an conventions and among you peers! There is even special merchandise to do it in a fun and creative way.
If you still have questions, just ask here in comments, we will be glad to help you! But please be polite and peaceful in your questions, as we are.