John Barrowman had just ONE problem with Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor Who debut

The former Torchwood star loved most of the Thirteenth Doctor's grand entry – but one part of The Woman Who Fell to Earth fell short of his expectations

John Barrowman and Jodie Whittaker

Former Doctor Who stars seemed pretty impressed with Jodie Whittaker’s debut as the Thirteenth Doctor, with the likes of Mark Gatiss, Matt Lucas and Sylvester McCoy all expressing their admiration for her first episode The Woman Who Fell to Earth when it aired in early October.


And now, former Who star (and series lead for spin-off Torchwood) John Barrowman has revealed his own thoughts on Whittaker’s Whoniverse entry – but while he was full of praise for Whittaker’s performance, he took exception to one crucial part of her debut adventure…

“I’ll tell you one thing, ONE thing that bothered me,” Barrowman told

“It was the worldwide simulcast, and it started, and I was hooked. I thought the story was great. I loved the monster with the teeth – that’s how he collects all the people that he kills or destroys.”

“And by the time it was over I loved it, I thought the introduction to the characters were awesome, I thought Jodie did a phenomenal job.

“But then at the end of it I thought – where’s the theme music?!?!?”

Yes, like many viewers watching the first episode, Barrowman was piqued that Segun Akinola’s new arrangement of the classic Doctor Who theme was left off the beginning of Jodie Whittaker’s first episode – and its absence was made even worse because of some special plans he’d made upon hearing it.

“In the States, I don’t know if it was the same in the UK but we didn’t get the theme music,” he said.

“And that bugged me! Because you know when there’s a new Doctor, there’s going to be a new theme, that’s gonna be updated and revamped.

“I thought they would do the first five minutes of the tease going into the programme, and then it would go cheeeooooooo duga da dun, duga da dun, duga da dun, and I was getting ready to dance around the room,” he added, explaining that he’d set up his front room specially so that he could film his reaction.

“But it never happened!”

Of course, the theme did end up playing over the credits for the episode, and fans were treated to the opening credits in all their glory in the series’ second episode, The Ghost Monument – but for Barrowman, that was too little, too late.

“I heard it was on the second, but I wanted the theme on the first episode!” he laughed.

“No, I’ll probably do it on the second, I’ll wait because I know it’s already aired, but I’m watching it later because I travel a lot, I’m downloading it. So I can watch it wherever I am.

“I’ll probably end up doing the dance in a hotel room somewhere,” he concluded.

For now, anyway, Barrowman’s been focusing on another British TV show with an iconic theme tune – Fireman Sam, which has added Barrowman as a cast member for new TV movie Set for Action (where he voices a conceited Hollywood actor named Flex Dexter).

“Since I started out in children’s television at the BBC in the early 90s, I was familiar with Fireman Sam, and Postman Pat, and Thomas the Tank Engine – all these great shows,” he said.

“I know of them, and what iconic British properties they are, and how well-loved they are. And so when I was asked to be a part of Fireman Sam of course there was no question in my head that I wanted to do it.”

At time of writing, there’s no word on what sort of dance Barrowman did in the recording studio while the Fireman Sam theme played, but we’ll be sure to update you with any new details as and when they arrive.

Fireman Sam: Set For Action airs on Cartoonito, Friday 26 October at 12pm

Doctor Who continues on BBC1 on Sundays


This article was originally published on 24 October 2018