Torchwood's John Barrowman Teases Doctor Who Return, Attempts to Calm Ianto Fans
Hey, Steven Moffat, are you listening? John Barrowman wants back in on Doctor Who! And from the deafening cheers that accompanied the suggestion at Comic-Con, viewers do too.
During Thursday's Fan Favorites panel, Doctor Who star Matt Smith told the crowd that he'd love to welcome back Barrowman, who originated the role of Captain Jack Harkness on the long-running sci-fi hit, for the show's upcoming 50th anniversary.
"I would love to do it," Barrowman replied Friday at the panel for Starz's Torchwood. (Full disclosure: This reporter moderated it.) "I think it would be disappointing for the 50th not to have a character like Jack make some kind of appearance."
Barrowman added that Torchwood's Russell T. Davies, who rebooted Doctor Who in 2005, and current Who boss Moffatt have talked about it. "And if Matt is welcome to it, I think it could be great," he said. "I'm totally up for it. I love playing Jack. It's the best coat I put on every morning."
But on to Ianto (Gareth David-Lloyd), the late lover of Jack who was killed off in the third season of Torchwood. Barrowman said he still hears from the very vocal fans who miss Ianto — and continue to send coffee to Starz -- but suggested it was maybe time to move on.
"We, as a show, love the fact that you're all passionate about the characters," he said. "The one thing that we are is a drama, and in a drama you have to do things that will unfortunately upset and cause change. It wasn't our decision. It wasn't our fault, but in order to move the drama on, we had to do something drastic."
While Ianto is mentioned in the current season, Miracle Day, he's not coming back — and randy Jack is going to continue to be, well, randy. "Jack's going to have another involvement," Barrowman teased. "It's an absolutely fantastic story" and it will explored in-depth in Episode 7.
Another thing that won't pop up -- alas! — is Barrowman's musical talent. He says Jack won't be busting out into song any time soon, even while the actor's most rabid fans, who know he hails from the world of theater, would love it. "I really don't think we'll approach that," he said... right before leading the audience in a round of Annie's "Tomorrow."
Do, however, look for Miracle Day to bring the scary. Asked if anything could top the 4,5,6 — the child-draining alien monster that claimed Ianto's life, among others — writer Jane Espenson said Miracle Day has its own serious evil in the wings. "Everybody has been asking me the question, 'Well, obviously, this can't get as dark as the 4,5,6. What could possibly beat those stakes?' I just keep saying, 'Oh, wait...' If you are feeling hungry for dark chocolate and you've been getting milk chocolate, just wait for Episode 5."
Bill Pullman, who signed on to Torchwood without ever having seen it because the script was "so good," seconded that emotion. "It was great to discover, as it kept going, it got better and better," he said. "The thing I was really nervous about is that it wouldn't find a way to close — but it does!"
No word from Starz on a renewal yet, but the cast is certainly game to come back for more. Says Eve Miles: "It's so easy to slip back in to Gwen Cooper's leathers... It's quite difficult to get me out of them at the end of the day. I go home still in them. She's a wonderful character that I find difficult to let go."
"We all hope [to be renewed], and we're passionate about the show," Barrowman said. "We'd love to be doing Torchwood for another five or six seasons."
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