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Published on March 6th, 2014 | by Rebecca Crockett

Barrowman’s River/Jack Spinoff Dreams – What Do You Think?

As fans of Doctor Who, we all lay some claim to the Doctor we like the best and to those companions he’s had in the TARDIS that we just can’t get enough of and wish we could see again or we wish had been on the show longer than they were. We’ve had the fortune to get to see some of them again in anniversary specials and were even luckier when the beloved Sarah Jane Smith (and K9!) made an appearance in the new series with the Tenth Doctor. 

But as the new show has grown in popularity, there is a cry that seems to unite both fans old and new -

We want Jack! We want River! We want Donna!

Jack Harkness, River Song, and Donna Noble are some of the most loved of the Doctor’s companions from the new series. While we were fortunate to see Jack and Donna together, the three never had a chance to work together on the show. And given the personalities of both Jack and River, their meeting would send sparks flying in the TARDIS and might lead to some interesting situations and trouble!

John Barrowman, who played Jack Harkness, even commented on it to TV Addict last year -

“I’d like to see the two of them prior to their lives crossing in some time realm where they actually meet up without the Doctors or anything like that and they are rogue heroes. Kind of like what ‘Star Trek’ did in the very beginning, going around and saving civilizations without trying to get too involved, but they always get involved… I think there would be a lot of standing off between the two of them to begin with, because they are two very, very strong characters. Very flirtatious! There would be a lot of innuendo going on. I think they would not do anything with each other for a long time because it would be too predictable. They have to be confined in a spaceship for a little while.”

A fan has even now come up with a concept that would pair Jack and River – as Melody Pond – with Donna Noble.

Bg3J2tvCQAAqMdgWhen Donna Noble meets Melody Pond she is drawn into an epic adventure to track down a mysterious figure known as the Doctor. Soon her Timelord memories return and with the help of Melody and Captain Jack Harkness at the underground TORCHWOOD facility, she is able to control her powers. But an evil is hunting them, intent on tracking down the renegade Doctor and using Donna’s growing metacrisis powers for their own gain. The chase is on for Donna, Melody and Jack as terrifying Men in Black, a corrupt government official, and an old enemy begin hunting the Trio down

This writer would love to see Captain Jack and River Song get together! The banter between the two would be hilarious. But as for back on Doctor Who and not on their own show? I think both Donna and Jack’s stories on Who were pretty neatly tied up before they left so I’m not sure a return would add great to their story. But knowing that River has met not only the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors, her return would be a welcome one, even if it was only for one more episode or a short story arc. Getting to see her interact with a different Doctor that the one we all came to know as “her” Doctor would be quite fun! And I can already imagine what River might have to say about our new, older and more mature Doctor! But with a second companion seemingly joining the TARDIS crew (in the form of Danny Pink) I’m not sure how that might work out..

What do you think? Would you love to see Jack, River, and/or Donna on their own show or back with the Doctor? Let us know in the comments!

(via KPopStarz, Moviepilot)



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About the Author


Rebecca is new to the Who world, having only recently watched the entire new series in a span of 8 days. She is no stranger to sci-fi though, being a life long Trekkie and has vague memories of seeing the 4th Doctor on US television as a child. When not watching, reading, blogging, or talking about Doctor Who, she is a fan of pop culture and loves movies and books so much she has to keep a list of both so she doesn't forget any of them. She also likes to make attempts at various forms of art including photography and painting. Rebecca is currently working her way through as many classic serials and as many books related to the show that she can find and wishes she could have been with the Doctor and Amy when they met Van Gogh.

60 Responses to Barrowman’s River/Jack Spinoff Dreams – What Do You Think?

  1. avatar lee moone says:

    No! Dreadful idea. One or more character would become diluted. All three have big egos and there would be no room for all of them together in the room. You can only get so far with banter and that is what makes all the perfect foil for The Dr. Leave well alone… but saying that, it won’t happen.

  2. avatar the performer says:

    not Donna, please, she is extremely annoying! Nor River, we have had enough of sexy/romantic situations with the Doctor… We need action and adventure… But not of THAT kind…

    • avatar FrancoPabloDiablo says:

      Donna was brilliant. Probably the best companion of the revived series.

      • Thank you! I rank her as my favorite of the new series, I actually didn’t care for rose with Tennant, didn’t mind her with eccleston.

    • avatar Okaythen... says:

      Donna was amazing my favourite and I would love to see them all have a show together!

    • avatar Candice says:

      I agree! She grew on me but in her first episode I couldn’t stand her! So much so that the only reason I kept watching was because I loved David as The Doctor so much I was willing to try to tolerate her. She grew on me and when we figured out why she was the way she was I could relate. At first she was just a loud shrew, though!

  3. avatar Techie says:


    • avatar Mergowyn says:

      Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes [repeat 50 thousand more times....]

  4. avatar tashalems says:

    I’m not sure about the Donna bit at all; if anything, I’d like to see another series of Torchwood with River involved in some way. River, Jack, and Gwen would make a better trio in my opinion.

  5. avatar wiredwizard says:

    Jack & River – hells yes; Donna – meh, pass. If they want to throw a third ex-Companion in go for Ace or someone else Classic Who related.

  6. avatar Luke Morgan says:

    We do really need a spin-off series for Doctor Who, but I’m not too sure if this particular one would work. I would love to see both River and Jack work together but giving it a good story line will be tough, as if the producers were to mess this series up then people could lose interest in River altogether, which we don’t want!

  7. avatar anon4cec says:

    Donna was one of my favorite companions. I definitely would love to see her back.

  8. avatar nebbo says:

    With good writing this could be brilliant. I’d watch it!

    • avatar Candice says:

      I’m not a big Donna fan but I think as Doctor Donna with all the positive changes she made while with the Doctor it could be good. The more confident Doctor Donna wasn’t as shrewish as she was at first. Cheeky, yes… shrewish, no. I would watch this.

  9. avatar Robert Zsigmond says:

    Hell yeah! It is a good idea!

  10. avatar Like says:

    YES!! YES PLEASE! I would love to see these 3 in their own show. There is SO MUCH POTENTIAL here. Having River be Melody pong would make for a REALLY interesting story line considering she would have just came from trying to kill the Doctor, who the other two LOVE. Would that be kept a shameful secret? Or would it be a major conflict in their dynamic through out this show? My point is that there is FAR to much potential with this idea to just say no. I think moffat or who ever would be incharge of the decision to move forward with this or not, would be crazy not to play around with the idea for a while. Doctor who only has 13 new episodes a year. This would maybe even double the content for whovians keep us occupied for the LONG LONG months till the next series comes out. YES PLEASE MAKE THIS A REALITY!

  11. avatar Michael says:

    Hate Jack. Don’t want River. Donna alone, without River and Jack. Donna’s grandfather would be nice too.

  12. I think that would only work as a mini series. And may be only with Donna as the main focus river and jack only being in it briefly near the end

  13. avatar Freek Hummeling says:

    What about Jenny ?

  14. avatar Ian says:

    Why not just two a monthly episode with Donna and Jack, weaving in any available former companions/adversaries, to fill the gaps in seasons. It would be like a monthly special, maybe 90-120 minutes following Donna/Wilfred/Jack then MAYBE Donna/Wilfred/Melody, you could follow Donna as she searches out for the Doctor as her memories come back. Specials end with the death of Donna (because lets be fair, it would make for dramatic television and she is an old(not old in age but old as in past), but great character). As for Jack and River in the same room? No. River was a cheap knock off of a long term Jack model. OR forget Torchwood all together and do the story of Jack becoming the Face of Boe, you could even throw in Donna (something about the metacrisis passing to him, which explains his newly found depth and insight), hell you could throw Mickey and Mrs Mickey (Jones) as Jack looks for help for this new affliction. Would give evolution to the character and give us a much wanted fix for the 10th’s companions.

  15. avatar Connie says:

    I think it would be a brilliant way to revive Torchwood. Throw in Mickey, Gwen, and Rhies; new team to continue the protection of the world.

  16. avatar Jimmy says:

    “If she remembers me, her mind will burn, and she will die.”

    Fanfic writers: “teehee jk lol”

  17. avatar Red says:

    Remember when Jack said “I am the last of my kind, as you are the last of yours” But he’s human so that made no sense. Unless he meant the other immortal created at the end of the Torchwood series. Now that’s a story I want to know about. What happened to the Immortals?

    Also, the creature from the Satan Pit (Doctor Who) and from the end of days (Torchwood) are both from “before” the universe. Also a very good idea for a side-story or short-film.

    And finally, yes Jack and River must meet and preferably either work together or be rivals. Would make a fantastic new series.

    So, plenty of material (didn’t even mention all the other ones like the Doctor’s Daughter and Doctor Donna). But I’ve lost hope that anything will come of it. Besides maybe fan-fiction.

  18. avatar lexyneedham says:

    I think we need Jack back, even if only briefly, to address the Doctor’s new face. Then we need him and River having adventures, but with Ianto Jones as the stabilising force. Jack, River and Donna are very big characters, so they’d need someone quietly competent to balance them out. Ianto has demonstrated many times that he’s perfect for it, and as the other two are at least sort-of immortal I’m sure they could figure something out.

    We also really need that Janny/Vastra+Strax spin-off, preferably in the Sarah Jane Adventures slot. She’s a lizard woman from the dawn of time, she’s her wife and housemaid, and he’s a violent potato. They fight crime!

  19. avatar Masha says:

    I would absolutely love to see this!!!!! I love the idea.

  20. avatar Tolly says:

    Jack, River and Donna are my favourite companions so I’m really up to this. I hope at least one of them will return!

  21. avatar Wannabequeenbe says:

    My little fan girl could not handle this. I would love it. These are my top three companions and I’m just going to lat here and enjoy the feels.

  22. avatar anyrose says:

    THIS. MUST. HAPPEN!!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. avatar Ali says:

    I would love for all of this to be a reality, but as most scifi shows do when they have characters ‘leave’ the only kind of satisfaction we as fans get is to see them again is in fan fiction comics. eg: Firefly; you get to see the adventures before some of the untimely deaths. But it isn’t even close to filling the void that is left from not seeing the actual acting.
    I would whole heartedly wish for a spinoff with some of these characters, but it’s very unlikely. :-(

  24. avatar rickjlundeen says:

    Jack and River are too similar and the concept really wouldn’t work. Best not to dilute the characters in this fashion. I think it falls into the category of “be careful what you wish for.” and Donna can’t go anywhere near those two without having her mind burn up, or have we forgotten that to? Fans have got to learn to know when someone’s story is *over*.

    • avatar Candice says:

      That’s why it says that Jack and Torchwood would figure out a way to stabilize her mind while her memory slowly comes back. Solves that (meta)crisis.

  25. avatar Spider-pope says:

    Can’t stand River. I’d be happy if she never appeared again. In anything.

    Donna, while a great character, needs the Tenth Doctor to play off of to get the most out of the character. It was Catherine Tate and David Tennants chemistry that made her such a brilliant companion. I can’t see her working without him.

    That leaves Captain Jack. So they might as well bring back Torchwood. In fact i demand they do, i want more Jack and Gwen.

  26. avatar Lora says:

    While I love Jack and River, I don’t think this would work as a series. Maybe you could do something as a mini series, but that’s it.

    I’d much rather see a spin-off about Jenny. That could really work as a series, as she travels about and learn about her Timelord powers. I’ve been waiting for more about Jenny since she got introduced.

  27. avatar DonnaM says:

    It sounds like a fanfic idea to me – speaking as someone who does actually enjoy some fanfic, just not generally the Doctor Who variety.

    Of the three characters, Donna is the only one I’d be really happy to see back (in her post Runaway Bride mode). Jack and River have too many similarities and the flirting would be unbearable.

    I’m in a minority here I know, but I don’t really care for a spinoff series anyway. I’m more than happy with a good, uninterrupted run of Doctor Who in the autumn, thank you!

  28. avatar Ryan Watson says:

    This would be an interesting show. I don’t like that they are pairing River and Jack together. She is the Doctor’s wife and should stay that way. But… I would watch it anyway.

  29. avatar Samuel says:

    Yes it needs to happen. Donna was my favorite companion and I would love to see her come back as the Doctor Donna

  30. avatar PezGod says:

    River will be in the next season for a few episodes.

    • avatar Jamie-42 says:

      I agree, they have to finish the story arc. The Doctor has to give her the sonic screwdriver seen in Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead.

      • avatar Marg Hughes says:

        He did here…

        • avatar mrjohnm says:

          Okay, when exactly was this video released? And why isn’t it on any of the DVD releases? Oh, and not to be too picky, but the Doctor didn’t actually ‘give’ a sonic screwdriver to River here!

  31. avatar Brooke Timms says:

    Yes please, best team ever. Would love to see them all together as the head of a show. :D

  32. avatar Micah says:

    I think that they would be great in their own, I mean I love the doctor and all but I would love to see them together in a spinoff series, I still am waiting for the doctor in the fall though

  33. avatar Ireland says:

    I will always love to see more Jack and Donna.

    There’s already been far too much River. The sooner we can move on from her, the better

  34. avatar drewboynton says:

    I like the fan poster artwork. Like someone mentioned above, this might be a neat way to revive Torchwood. Jack and River leading the team, with other former DW supporting characters (Mickey, etc.) getting involved somehow and also new characters. And maybe getting advice from Donna (or investigating Donna in some way)? It’s a pretty fannish idea…. what the heck, somebody send it to RTD! (I also think the show would be even better if it were set in Finland!)

  35. avatar Amy says:

    Would totally love it!!!

  36. avatar duncan says:

    not donna 1. she was annoying 2. if she remembered she would burn up 3. she was annoying 4. jack and river would be a good show if written well especially if they weren’t always on the same side and would need another character who was not abrasive but still strong enough to play along side them but donna is far too abrasive for that role

  37. I think this needs to happen. Like yesterday. There’s so many stories and even crossovers that could happen, including bringing Doctors back to life so to speak through time.

    • avatar mrjohnm says:

      If not as a tv series, how about as a series of original novels? I’d buy them!

  38. I would love to see Torchwood remade it was a fabulous series and did not deserve to be axed

  39. avatar James Roose says:

    I like the idea of Jack and River teaming up, but I would add the Doctor’s Daughter Jenny to the mix instead of Donna.

  40. avatar Tim Hanlon says:

    This sounds interesting, but I think Capt Jack with a companion or 2 would just be a show that emulates Doctor Who. I would like to see a series around Capt Jack and the face of boe. As Torchwood has come pretty much finished, this would tie up one hell of a loose end.

  41. avatar Marg Hughes says:

    At first, Donna was my immediate second least favorite companion (sorry, Rose fans, though I did think Billie had good chemistry with Eccleston.) However I changed my mind quickly when I saw what a great team Doctor-Donna made, and I loved how there was never any romantic nonsense, she called him on his B.S. when he needed it the most, and how she in turn grew as a person with him. They really were best friends. Amy, Rose and Martha were a little more like groupies. (Though I really liked Amy a lot as well.) A miniseries involving past companions would pretty great. I don’t know if there would be enough for a long-running recurring series, but imagine how special a few well-crafted episodes could be :-)

  42. avatar Mr M says:

    You could make an entire series with just River to be honest. Add more depth to her character. We’ve only seen her around the Doctor where she’s flirty but still seems to be in control.

    Her little blue book has so many clues and adventures in it. As she is so determined to find out about the Doctor and probably knows more about him than we’ve been told so far, it would make an interesting series. The Doctor could evolve along with her without actually being in the series.

    Bring in Jack every now and then but not all the time.

    She would need a companion though. Like the Doctor. Someone that can be her reason when her emotions run wild. She is a child of the Tardis so why not build on that as well?

    Maybe Jack is trying to find the Doctor but keeps locking on to River instead?

    Donna and River in the same series? Not sure it would work. Donna is so gobby and loud that River would probably end up shooting her. ;)

    So yeah. A series about River the Archaeologist and Adventurer with Jack as a recurring guest. With a companion that will go “What are you doing?” when River needs it the most… in a quiet voice that to River is loud enough to pierce through the fiercest storms.

  43. avatar Katelyn Haley says:

    I think that will be so much fun to see those three back again, but on their own show instead of being with the Doctor, so I love it.

  44. avatar Danny S. says:

    How about a show that follows the life Jack had as a time-traveling flim-flam artist before he met the Doctor? He sweeps into a time/place intent on conning someone and inadvertantly ends up saving the day (sometimes without ever knowing he did anything–a sort of Jack-lite episode like Blink, where Jack only appears briefly but significantly to the story?). Something like that could put him in contact with every single companion and minor character from Who–plus he could even meet himself (as the Face of Boe). He could pick up, say, Donna, for a 2-3 ep adventure, then move on alone, eventually hooking up (figuratively) with River Song (too incestual if they hooked-up-hooked up), or maybe that tree lady from the second Eccleston episode (she ended up dead). Limitless possibilities. He could even meet up with Mels, the pre-regeneration version of River Song, who was Amy’s best friend.

    • avatar Margaret says:

      Holy crap, Danny S., you need to figure out how to pitch this to BBC, that’s the most brilliant idea for a spinoff I’ve ever heard.

  45. avatar Mary says:

    I and my daughter would love to see this happen for sure Just as the picture depicts Donna, Melody Pond and Captain Jack! YESSSSSSSS!

  46. I would watch anything with Jack in it

  47. avatar Shauwn Bland says:

    id give a kidney

  48. avatar bringo says:

    I want to see them try to do this. If it fails or succeeds there will and always be critics defending or condemning it. Most of the time television shows are just the equivalent of throwing something against the wall and seeing if it sticks. And sometimes what didn’t stick years ago, seems to be sticking now (see Firefly, or Family Guy after years of being canceled). So, if it happens let’s hope they do it right and have good writers and producers who care about the show they are trying to make, as such with Doctor Who, Torchwood and the like.

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