Ten years. It’s been an entire decade since Captain Jack Harkness last enjoyed a Doctor Who outing with Rose Tyler and the Tenth Doctor on screen. However, could the time-travelling trio – played by John Barrowman, Billie Piper and David Tennant – hop into the Tardis for a big-screen adventure?
That’s what we’re hoping after Barrowman recently revealed he’d been spitballing some very interesting ideas with former Who showrunner Russell T Davies.
“I can’t remember what ceremony it was,” he told RadioTimes.com, “but I was speaking to [Davies] – he’d picked up an award for A Very English Scandal – and we said: ‘Wouldn’t it be great if we could do a Torchwood or Doctor Who movie with [Captain] Jack, David [Tennant] and Billie [Piper]?”
Barrowman added: “If I can boast, the three of us, we all call each other ‘The Golden Age’ [laughs]…The three of us made such an impact that people still talk about us to this day, which is great!”
Although Barrowman didn’t go into more detail about the movie idea, a big-screen outing would probably have to be set before the events of 2010’s The End of Time, the Doctor Who episode which saw David Tennant’s Doctor regenerate into Matt Smith’s. And to ensure such a project would feature most of the original Torchwood team, the movie would also have to be set before 2009’s Children of Earth (RIP Ianto).
And what would the film’s plot be? Could the movie perhaps see Captain Jack and The Doctor face a threat spawned out of the Cardiff Space-Time Rift? Or will the Tardis team and Torchwood have to join forces to take on the Daleks once more?
But we should probably stop speculating here – there are quite a few roadblocks in the way of a new Doctor Who film materialising.
First off: Russell T Davies. Although the old head of Who might have shown enthusiasm for the idea, it’s unlikely the writer would want to seriously pursue it, recently telling RadioTimes.com he’d never write a Who story again (“It’ll be like coming back to a job I did 10 years ago, wouldn’t it? Who would do that?”)
Then there’s the question of who would finance such a film – Borrowman has been unable to find enough support among executives to produce another episode of Torchwood, let alone a big-screen outing.
“I’m a big advocate for [a Torchwood revival], but I always seem to hit brick walls,” he said. “I’ve been shut down many times in the past. There comes a point where one just sits back and waits to see what happens. We’ll have to wait and see!”
But despite being unsuccessful in his attempts to revive Captain Jack on screens, Barrowman is still adamant the character will always have an audience, citing the massive lines to greet himself and other Doctor Who stars at conventions across the globe.
“That’s why I always talk about Dr Who and Captain Jack and stuff – some people think I’m being a bit of a d*** for doing it, but I don’t give a s***. There’s a market out there and sometimes I think it’s being missed!”
And perhaps that’s the key to getting a Torchwood/Doctor Who film: utilising the franchise’s support overseas. Perhaps a transatlantic partnership is in order, like the one with Starz that previously produced the Torchwood miniseries Miracle Day.
For instance, why couldn’t the BBC, Universal Studios and Fox come together to produce a Doctor Who TV movie that pits The Doctor (who’s maybe now half-human) against The Master (who’s maybe played by Eric Roberts)? What’s the worst that could happen?