After weeks of wondering what happened to the possibility of John Barrowman reprising his role as Captain Jack Harkness in the ‘Doctor Who’ 50th anniversary special, the actor himself has decided to speak out about his noninvolvement by stating “I was not asked.”
This seems to contradict what the actor has originally implied last month when he appeared on the BBC program ‘This Morning,’ but in an interview with TVLine, Barrowman decided to clear the air and dispel the rumors that he would not be appearing in the celebratory episode because of his work schedule, particularly with the CW series ‘Arrow:’
“People have tried to say it’s my schedule; it’s absolutely not. I was told by the producers of Arrow that if I was asked to do the 50th anniversary of ‘Doctor Who’ they’d let me go and do it. It was nothing to do with my schedule. It’s just a matter of fact that I wasn’t asked.”
The fact that the BBC did not ask Barrowman is a shock onto itself. After all, Barrowman and his character Capt. Jack Harkness achieved the status of Whovian fan favorite when he came on board the first season of the Nu-Who episodes starting with ‘The Empty Child’ with the Ninth Doctor (Christopher Eccleston). From there, he starred in the darker spin-off ‘Torchwood’ and made a return guest appearance on ‘Doctor Who, saving the world again but with the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant).
As to why he wasn’t asked, Barrowman really doesn’t know but thinks it may be because Steven Moffat is looking to produce a special that will have a larger appeal to audiences including those who may be very new to ‘Doctor Who’ or who have never seen the show:
“[The Powers That Be] don’t want to put Jack in it. And I know fans are really upset about it, as was I… I understand why they did it. They want to move forward, they want to try some different things… I know from how [former EP exec producer Russell T. Davies] approached things, they’re not doing [the special] just for the uber fan; they’re doing it for the wider audience. And if they’re going to bring a character back it wouldn’t be just for the uber fan, it would be for everybody. So perhaps that’s the thinking they had. I don’t know.”
I, for one, think this is a BIG mistake from the “Powers That Be” as Captain Jack has been an integral part of recent ‘Doctor Who’ history and the popularity of the character speaks for itself. With Barrowman and Eccleston now officially out of the special and the other actors who have played previous incarnations of the Doctor not yet being asked to participate, many feel that the 50th anniversary special seems to point to one that is more interested in ratings than nostalgia.
What do you think fellow Whovians? Did the BBC make a mistake? Would you like to see a return of Captain Jack in the 50th anniversary episode?
The still untitled 50th anniversary special episode is currently filming with Matt Smith as the 11th Doctor, Jenna-Louise Coleman as Clara, David Tennant as the 10th Doctor, Billie Piper as Rose and guest starring Joanna Page and John Hurt. The episode is slated to air on television and in theaters in November.