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Big Finish removes Torchwood release from schedule amid John Barrowman accusations

Absent Friends was due to reunite Captain Jack Harkness with the Tenth Doctor.

Torchwood: Absent Friends (Big Finish)
Published: Friday, 14th May 2021 at 4:39 pm

Doctor Who audio producers Big Finish have announced they will not be moving forward with the release of the story Torchwood: Absent Friends.

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Originally set for release this month, the story would have reunited John Barrowman's Captain Jack Harkness with David Tennant's Tenth Doctor.

In a statement, Big Finish said: "Big Finish has taken the decision to remove Torchwood: Absent Friends from the Monthly Range release schedule and has no plans to publish this title at this time."

The news comes following allegations of Barrowman having exposed himself on the Doctor Who set during his time on the BBC sci-fi series – though Big Finish did not directly state that this was the reason for the removal.

John Barrowman
The allegations emerged after a 2014 video featuring his Doctor Who co-star Noel Clarke resurfaced. In the clip, Clarke, who has been accused of sexual harassment on the set of Doctor Who and denies the allegations, said Barrowman would expose himself on the production.
After the clip resurfaced, several crew members spoke to The Guardian about Barrowman’s behaviour, with one alleging that he would “get his genitals out on a regular basis” and that “it was kind of accepted that it was his thing”.

Barrowman addressed the latest allegations in a statement released to The Guardian. He said his “high-spirited behaviour” was “only ever intended in good humour to entertain colleagues on set and backstage”.

He added: “With the benefit of hindsight, I understand that upset may have been caused by my exuberant behaviour and I have apologised for this previously. Since my apology in November 2008, my understanding and behaviour have also changed.”

His apology in November 2008 came after he pulled his trousers down during a BBC Radio 1 interview.

The producers of Doctor Who: Time Fracture also recently confirmed that they would no longer be using a pre-recorded segment featuring Barrowman as part of their immersive experience.

Big Finish have confirmed that all bundle pre-orders for the Torchwood Monthly Range stories 49-54 or 49-60 will feature an alternative title in the place of Absent Friends.

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Listeners who have pre-ordered the title as an individual purchase and would like to request a refund can do so by contacting the Sales team via bigfinish.com/contact.

Read our TV Guide or visit our dedicated Sci-Fi and Fantasy hubs for the latest Doctor Who news. 

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