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We are everywhere. We are always. We are no-one. And soon, the Families will rise.
~ The Cousin

The Three Familes, also known as the Families, are the main antagonists of Torchwood: Miracle Day.

History

20th century

Representatives of the Frines, Costerdane and Ablemarch families, the so-called "three families", attacked and tortured the immortal Jack Harkness to get samples of his blood. These samples were part of the organization's ultimate plan; create a world where they had complete control over life and death.

Over the course of the 20th century, the Families manipulated global events, with the help of their many agents. One of the families went into politics, one went into economics and one went into the media.

In 1998, agents of the Families realized that people in a certain area of Shanghai all lived for the same amount of time. Investigating, they discovered the Blessing; a pole of the Earth going from Buenos Aires to Shanghai that may or may not have been alive. They gained control of it for use in their ultimate plan.

2007

To test just how immortal Jack Harkness was, as the blood samples taken in 1928 were crucial to their plan, the Families sent an agent to kidnap him and test his immortality. The tests included shooting him, throwing him out of a plane and draining his blood to collect even more samples. Gwen Cooper (who was, like Jack, an agent of the Torchwood Institute), killed the agent; however the tests showed that Jack was indeed immortal. The Families subsequently erased Jack and Gwen's memories and sent them back to where they first encountered the kidnapper.

Events of The Miracle

In 2011, the Families decided to enact the first stages of their plan. By feeding Jack's immortal blood into the Blessing, the Three Families prevented all deaths worldwide. The human race essentially became immortal, with no humans being able to die. The only exception was Jack, who had his immortality reversed as a result. This event was known as "Miracle Day".

Discovering that Jack is investigating the Miracle, and that Gwen is helping him, the Families send a helicopter to Wales to kill them. When this failed, they ordered a high-ranking CIA member named Brian Friedkin to "remove" all surviving members of Torchwood. Friedkin passes this message on to Lyn Peterfield, who subsequently tried to poison Jack with arsenic. Meanwhile, a CIA member who is a double agent for the Families discredits agents Esther Drummond and Rex Matheson, who are working with Jack, by deleting Rex from the database and framing Esther as a Chinese spy.

Jack is given an antidote to the poison. Rex, who happens to be the agent escorting Jack and Gwen, uses the 456 amendments as an excuse to uncuff them before injuring Peterfield and escaping. Arriving in Friedkin's office, Rex holds the corrupt agent at gunpoint and demands to know why the CIA has been poisoned against him. Friedkin admits that he has been taking orders from a mysterious group for decades, but he does not know who. Rex fires the gun next to his ear and takes his phone.

Esther realizes that Friedkin has, in the past, sealed off a seemingly normal warehouse in D.C.. Breaking in, the team discover that the warehouse contains millions of painkillers manufactured by a company called PhiCorp, who were clearly well prepared for the Miracle.

After discovering that PhiCorp is using "reformed" sex offender Oswald Danes to garner publicity, the Torchwood team arrive in L.A. Unbeknownst to Esther, she is being stalked by an assassin called the Gentleman who works for the Three Families and has been sent to kill Jack, the only remaining mortal in the world.

An American politician, Ellis Hartley Monroe, begins to steal publicity from Danes with her Dead is Dead campaign calling for the living and the "dead" to be segregated. However, Danes gains his popularity back by vowing to help those in hospitals and Monroe is poisoned by an agent of the Families. Waking up in a car, she is told that the forces behind Miracle Day regard her as a risk and she may force them to play their hand too soon; while they did consider using her, they now have Danes. The car is then crushed, leaving Monroe crippled and crushed, but still alive and fully conscious due to the Miracle.

The Gentleman attacks and mutilates PhiCorp security coordinator Nicolas Frumkin in order to use his retina and fingerprint to gain access to company headquarters. He then attacks Gwen and Jack, knocking them out. The assassin begins to monologue about how Jack is the cause of the Miracle and that the forces behind it found "specific geography" (the Blessing) but is shot in the throat by Rex just before revealing what he knows, rendering him unable to speak.

Phicorp, with the backing of the UN, decides to construct overflow camps for those who should be dead. Comparable to concentration camps, they are government approved in line with the newly-passed "categories of life". Category One is people who have suffered deadly injuries and cannot heal; they are incinerated in the camps (illegally). Category Two is people with non-fatal but lasting injuries or illnesses; they are imprisoned in the camps alongside Category Ones. Category Three is people with no injuries or illnesses; they continue to live their lives. Horrified, Dr. Vera Juarez calls Rex to join his investigation into PhiCorp. However, her involvement is short-lived as a camp supervisor named Colin Maloney murders her to stop her from having him prosecuted.

During a miracle rally, Jilly Kitzinger (PR rep for Oswald Danes) is approached by an agent of the Families and told she is being noticed "by the right people".

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