For years, former Doctor Who star John Barrowman has been openly campaigning for two things: the return of his character Captain Jack Harkness to the BBC sci-fi series, and the subsequent revival of spin-off drama Torchwood, which centred around Jack and a team of alien-hunters protecting the world and aired its last TV series in 2011.
Now, thanks to a surprise cameo in Doctor Who episode Fugitive of the Judoon Barrowman has unexpectedly achieved one of his long-gestating goals – but what about the other one? If after a decade off-screen the BBC were willing to bring Jack back, does this mean they may be thawing when it comes to Torchwood?
“Well, that I don’t know,” Barrowman exclusively told RadioTimes.com when we asked what his new cameo meant for Torchwood’s future.
“The one thing you have to remember is, as I’ve always said it’s not up to me. It’s not up to those of us who just want to bring it back.”
However, Barrowman pointed out that current Who showrunner Chris Chibnall has a closer relationship to Torchwood than most – and as he’s noted in the past, this can only be a good thing for the future of the spin-off.
“I’ll just say this: Chris was a showrunner on Torchwood for a period of time, and he also loves Jack,” Barrowman told us.
“So if anybody can make it happen, it’s going to be Chris. He’s got to give the OK to allow Torchwood to come about, while Doctor Who is still happening.”
And who knows? Following the near-universally ecstatic response from fans to Jack’s return and Barrowman’s own enthusiasm for the project, it could be that this latest cameo has nudged the door a little bit more open for a long-awaited Torchwood revival (not counting the continuing spin-off comics, audio stories and the like).
One thing’s for sure – whatever happens, Barrowman is going to keep up with his efforts to bring Torchwood back to the world, even if it takes another decade to realise.
“There’s still the paperwork and the kind of politics of it all,” he told us.
“But you know me – I know the fans want it, so if they’re ever interested in doing a movie or a special on television, I will be there. Flying the flag.”
Doctor Who continues on Sundays on BBC One