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Published on November 20th, 2010 | by Christian Cawley

Jack’s Coming Back?

Something we forgot to mention earlier this week which came from Russell T Davies’ chat with IGN was the possibility of Captain Jack Harkness returning to Doctor Who!

As you will no doubt recall, Jack started out as a Doctor Who companion in The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances, episodes from 2005 that were written by Steven Moffat. Since his departure in The Parting of the Ways, Jack has since returned for Utopia/The Sound of Drums/Last of the Time Lords in 2007 as well as The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End in 2006 – not forgetting a cameo at the end of The End of Time, Part Two.

So, could John Barrowman make a return to Doctor Who, like a modern day Brigadier?

The main crux of the interview with Davies and Julie Gardner is of course the development and impending shooting of Torchwood: The New World in the US and Wales in the New Year. However, they were asked a very good question about future crossovers.

IGN: Now that Doctor Who has done its latest big reinvention with Matt Smith, do you think the two series have completely split off at this point, or do you think another crossover is possible?

Davies: Steven [Moffat] knows the plot of The New World. As a courtesy, I sent him a synopsis and said, “Is that going to clash with anything you’re doing?” We both have enough awareness of each other’s worlds to avoid that. And I still executive produce The Sarah Jane Adventures in Britain. I’m still working on that, and that works in synch with Doctor Who. So we are still very much aware of each plans, without spoiling each other’s news. We’re very careful to make sure that we behave within the Doctor Who world, while still being completely free to tell our own stories.

IGN: I think the curiosity fans have is how Jack would react to this Doctor, since he had a specific relationship with the previous one.

Davies: Well, Steven said he’d love to see Jack in Doctor Who. So if Steven says that, Steven will make it happen, I would think. That’s not inside information, but I bet one day it will happen. I’d love to see it. It would be marvelous.

It’s an interesting idea, isn’t it? While the logistical problems of Barrowman’s aging probably aren’t as great as you might think (this guy has to be using “Just for Men”, and I’m sure he won’t be turning down any face lifts in the future) for a man who is immortal the only potential problem is whether pairing the Doctor with Jack once again would work in the context of the current series.

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About the Author


A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

3 Responses to Jack’s Coming Back?

  1. avatar bluebox444 says:

    I really hope not. Doctor Who has moved on. Trying to re-establish ties with Jack, Torchwood, and other remnants of the RTD era will just open up a can of worms and complicate things. “Death of the Doctor” worked, but Davies and Moffat shouldn’t press their luck.

  2. avatar ChrisL says:

    I think it would be a good idea to bring Jack back, even if only for a passing cameo appearance. Having characters from The Doctors past helps establish a sense of continuity to the role. Matt’s little piece of dialogue with Jo Grant (Jones) in SJA was magical and helped tie the current era of ‘Who’ to it’s illustrious past.

  3. avatar Paul Cavanagh says:

    I can’t see any problem at all with having Jack back in the show. To me, this is stating the obvious: Doctor Who is the same show that started in 1963. The Doctor is the same character as that grumpy old fellow played by Bill Hartnell. The Moff has made this abundantly clear in interviews and in his scripts. So there is no can of worms to be opened here. If Jack comes back, it’ll be just like any other character returning to the show. While it could be argued that the Brigadier’s appearances are problematic, that’s just because the exact timeline of the UNIT adventures has always been in dispute, not simply because of a character appearing with different incarnations of the Doctor. So, in my book, Jack can come on back any time the writers see fit to have him.

    And aging is not an issue. Jack may be immortal, but he does age. He said as much at the end of Last of the Time Lords. I can’t find the exact quote at the moment, but I’m sure he says something about having lines or wrinkles appearing, and then there is the implication that Jack is the Face of Boe. So it’s perfectly acceptable for Jack to age – although we’d have to have some sort of explanation as to why he aged so little throughout his extraordinarily long life. Easily fixed with a line or two in a script.

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