Jimmy Jones’ Last Case is the second version of a story in which the heroes get trapped in a movie/tv world. The first version was “Inspector Smith’s Last Case” in the Ten series. That saw The Doctor and Donna in an Agatha Christie style story set in 1950s Home Counties. This version sees Ianto and Gwen in 1930s Chicago.
I really wanted to re-use the Electro cinema. The episode ‘From Out Of The Rain’ was very badly written and executed, but the art deco cinema was a beautiful set and it deserved to be used. It seemed appropriate that having had people come out of a cinema film, that somebody should go into a cinema film. It’s just a pity that a text story can’t get across how lovely that building was. Art deco cinemas are fantastic.
I have to say, I know NOTHING about 1930s Chicago, except that it was a place that had a big gangster problem in that period. I was winging it quite a bit with some reference to The Untouchables, Bugsy Malone and Who Framed Roger Rabbit. I did look up the Volsted Act to find out when it was repealed. But, really, it didn’t need to be entirely accurate. The characters could be caricatures. 1950s weekly serials like that wouldn’t be social realism.
Ianto, incidentally, is not a proper Christian name as such in Welsh. It is a pet form of the Welsh version of James – Iago. It is also a pet form of the Welsh version of John - Ieuan. John and James appear to be interchangeable in Welsh. Both of them mean Gift of God. But playing on Ianto Jones/Jimmy Jones seemed a nice way of getting the storyline going and allowed Ianto to have a nice family story to tell instead of just being a know-it-all nerd.
Jack saving the day, letting himself get killed, might be a tad predictable, but I really wanted that to be the denouement. I did an online survey once and nobody minded how often I kill Jack as a way to move on a plot.
So watch out for a story where Jack gets killed a LOT.