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Published on March 5th, 2013 | by Andrew Reynolds

Barrowman: “I’ve moved on” from Torchwood

Regardless of just what the future holds for Torchwood, one man not waiting around for the phone to ring is John Barrowman.

John Barrowman as Captain Jack Harkness

During an appearance on Graham Norton’s BBC Radio 2 show, Barrowman said he had already ‘moved on’ from the show:

“It’s in limbo in a sense… Something could be done in five years, something could be done in ten years, but if I’d have sat around and waited for the last two years I would have been bankrupt and unemployed, so I’ve moved on.”

It’s difficult to read too much into this.

The cynical may scoff at the notion that Barrowman was ever just known as an actor in Torchwood – rather than the omnipresent multifaceted media personality to we’ve all grown to love and eventually tolerate. It wasn’t as if he was actually going to wind up giving them the ol’ razzle dazzle in the dole office (just imagine it though! – Ed)

And while the show itself may have disappeared in the ether, John is still involved in other media attached to it, like the graphic novels and books he has written with his sister Carole – so he hasn’t really parted completely from it.

However one fact that’s clear from his statement is that regardless of just how passionate the fan base is to see more; for now Torchwood will remain on the inactive duty roster.

Perhaps it needs a second life in other mediums to expand its horizons and breathe life back into the franchise? Or should it just go hell for leather and come back with an all guns blazing, full on invasion movie spectacular?

As usual, share your thoughts below.


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About the Author


Everyone has a favourite Doctor and mine - just for his honesty, his fairness and his ability to not notice the Master's awful, awful disguises/anagrams (Sir Gilles Estram!?!) - has to be the Fifth Doctor, Peter Davison. The stories didn’t serve him as well as his acting served those stories.

15 Responses to Barrowman: “I’ve moved on” from Torchwood

  1. avatar Nina says:

    As a loyal Woodie from episode 1, I’d dearly love for it to come back, DE-Americanized, and with an episode that somehow quietly erases both Rex, and his immortality, from Whoniverse history. As excruciatingly sad as Ianto’s death was, CoE at least would have been a more fitting end. Miracle Day, while it had it’s moments, was not a worthy finale for one of my all time favorite series.

    • avatar Ange says:

      I agree that Miracle Day was too American. As an American, the British style is appealing in its more simplistic visual dynamics. By making Rex immortal it made Jack less of a miracle. He was special in his immortality because it was a mistake. In the Doctor’s own words, he’s “wrong.”

      If they do bring it back it needs to be back in Cardiff, and avoid the huge story. Bring in normal people with extraordinary talents. Bring it back to what it is supposed to be. Oh, and add a few appearances with the Doctor. :P

      • avatar Dublin-16-girl says:

        I still suspect that if Miracle Day would have been a success and Starz would have produced a new season that we would not have seen Barrowman/Captain Jack back in it. The move to make Rex immortal clearly shows that they were thinking about a more American, less “omnisexual” (still a problem with quite a few people over there), version of an immortal leader.

        • avatar Elizabeth says:

          I worked for a tv company in 2011 and they sent us home with Torchwood Miracle Day and I disliked it with a passion. In January 2013 I watched every episode of Doctor Who and Torchwood. I really wish they would have told us that Torchwood Miracle Day was the fourth series of a spinoff of another show. I would have watched all of it and realized how much I loved it! I love that British Television (from what I’ve seen) is more open to the ideas of Captain Jack’s sexual antics. He makes the show what it is. I love John Barrowman and Torchwood really needs to come back!

  2. avatar Cathy says:

    The idea of ”an all guns blazing” movie is too much like Miracle Day. A Torchwood set back in Cardiff [after a reset], focusing on Ianto and a new team, now that I would be interested in.

  3. avatar Mickie says:

    John has also said that if it did come back, he would do it because he loves Jack so much and Torchwood too. But he can’t just do nothing and so when he’s offered work, he must take it.

    As things stands it’s not coming back anytime soon. Andrew, RTDs partner is ill with brain cancer and you don’t recover from that over night, I know this because a close friend had this about 5 years ago now and she still isn’t completely right.

    Frankly if Torchwood returned without Captain Jack, I’d not be watching…Jack IS Torchwood..not Gwen or any other Torchwood agent, it’s Jack.

    And I’d prefer it back in the UK too! I enjoyed MD, but it only felt like Torcwood when Jack, Gwen, Rhys etc were on camera. When it was the American cast it could have been anything!!

    But yeh…I am not surprised by JBs comments….I’ve moved on too….with the hope that maybe one day it will return…Just like Doctor Who did!!!

  4. avatar Dublin-16-girl says:

    Well I guess if there would be demand Mr.Davies could easily do another season of Torchwood, even though his partner is terrible sick and will hopefully recover soon. After all he produced Wizards vs. Aliens since his partner fell ill, and I guess it would have been easier to shoot a new series of an show with a crew and cast that has been worked together for some time, then create a whole new show.

    Anyway Torchwood 3 is dead and I’m glad Barrowman finally seems to realise this as well. He’s ageing, and if he wants to stay in the business and not end up in the Australian jungle one day, trying to get his name out there by eating maggots for what people call entertainment, it’s about time to move on.

    I would like to see a show about Torchwood 2 in Glasgow, or the missing Torchwood 4, in which the Institute returns back into the Whouniverse. Miracle Day was nothing but trying, and failing, to play X-Files, I’m not interested in more of that. I found myself apologizing that the people I pointed towards the show, because they kept on asking why on earth I would watch such terrible bad stuff.

    I guess in the end one big problem Torchwood had in the later series was that many fans moved on. When they killed off Ianto there was a huge uproar, the Ianto Shrine is still there and growing, I’ve been to Cardiff before Christmas and have seen it. I wonder, if a show has such creative and devoted fans, why isn’t there a single serious “Dear BBC/Starz big back Torchwood” campaign out there? They aimed to high and lost the people supporting them on the way.

    • avatar Chris says:

      People aren’t clammoring for the show to come back in huge writing campaign because what worked on the show (the cast) was for the most part killed off. Killing Owen and Tosh off was horrible. Following that up with killing off Ianto was a slap in the face to fans who came back after season two, trusting the vision of the show. When, as a fan, you are slapped like that and told it makes no difference what you like about the show – it’s not your choice, you stop being a fan dedicated to the future of the show. There are many, many people dedicated to what once was….

  5. avatar icerose says:

    Torchwood was always the team for me and the original team had a charisamatic symmetry.Jack on his own or the combInation fo CJ and Gwen just does not work .What I do not want is another Miracle Day where we left with worn out remnants of the CJ/Gwen saga, a flattened CJ who seem to have lost alot of his charisma and a patchwork of misfit charactors.I think it is sad that TW had to end on Miracle Day but to take back to its roots now would be contrived unless it is in the hands of someone truly unique who can bring in back with a creative and innovative storyline and with the lightness of touch and subtlety which made it so enjoyable in the early days.I would be happy for a return in ten years time with a completely new team and storylines.

    • avatar Dublin-16-girl says:

      True, a while ago I watched Jack’s first episodes with the Doctor and tbh if it wouldn’t have been the same face, I would have never thought that it would be the same character. I love the old Jack, the new one, I felt nothing for him. I guess when Ianto died in CoE we should have felt sorry for Jack, but Jack had been such a cold character during the first episodes, esp. towards his lover, my first reaction was: Here goes the last amazing character the show had left, but Jack deserved to lose him. And with all the spoilers that leaked before Miracle Day aired, including that Jack would turn mortal, my only hope for Miracle Day was that they would kill off Jack for good,

      The only way I could see Torchwood 3 continue is a reset during the episode Adam, everything else, AU as it felt after that only happened in Jack’s (or Rhy’s-as he was never retconned) head, kind off Adam’s last revenge before they killed him.

  6. avatar Bev says:

    In my opinion, the best way for Torchwood to come back would be to dramatise John and Carole Barrowman’s novel “Exodus Code”. Series 5 is right there, a great Jack-centric adventure in the style Woodies have come to know and love. All it needs is the BBC to make it!

    • avatar Arthur says:

      Exodus Code was just as flat and lifeless as Miracle Day, though. No thank you.

  7. avatar Legless says:

    It’s time to bring TW back to basics. Miracle Day was an abomination of the highest order and is best consigned to the Recycle Bin of TV. Reboot the series with the original format and no dumb Americans and all will be well!

  8. avatar Caz M says:

    Torchwood has been over since Exit Wounds and they’ve been treading water in shark infested waters ever since.

    I say good riddance. If I want my Torchwood fix, I’ll watch the first season; back when the show was actually good and they could, you know, act.

  9. avatar Arthur says:

    Children of Earth should have been the end to the series. You can’t kill off 3/5th of the original cast within 5 episodes and expect fans to trust you again. Besides, according to most people that I’ve spoken to, few people are watching it for Gwen. Why is she the only one who gets to survive everything? Ianto, Tosh, and Owen had much more heart and were generally far more interesting to watch.

    Without the dynamic of the original team (as well as the Hub, aliens, and Cardiff), it’s just not Torchwood. I’d rather see it dead and buried than sit through another Miracle Day or Exodus Code.

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