The creators of Doctor Who: Time Fracture have made the decision to no longer include John Barrowman’s Captain Jack Harkness, as part of their immersive experience premiering in London later this month. Barrowman had filmed the cameo a couple of weeks ago.
This decision comes after The Guardian broke news about allegations surrounding Noel Clarke. After the article was published, social media users started sharing videos of Barrowman’s former castmates talking about his on-set antics.
Immersive Everywhere said:
“Immersive Everywhere has taken the decision to remove this pre-record from Doctor Who: Time Fracture. We will continue to include content that pays tribute to this brilliant show that is Torchwood so as not to disappoint its fans, and are working on an exciting storyline to be announced soon.”
After he was contacted by The Guardian journalists, Barrowman said:
“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.”
Doctor Who: Time Fracture opens 26 May. Tickets are available for pre-order here.
Following on from his return in the Doctor Who episode ‘Revolution of the Daleks’ John Barrowman’s Captain Jack will be returning to the Big Finish Torchwood range, to celebrate its fiftieth episode. It will also mark the first time a Doctor has appeared in the spin-off, as David Tennant will be guesting as The Tenth Doctor. The audio will also feature fan-favourite, Gareth David-Lloyd as Ianto Jones.
Anyone who has read my reviews will know that I think Torchwood on Big Finish is Torchwood at its very best, so I’m ridiculously excited by this news.
John Barrowman said: “Fans have been asking for this for a long time. Now that it’s okay and it’s been cleared, it’s great to have him on board. There’s an interesting dynamic going on here because Jack still wants to follow him but yet wants to impress on him that he’s still the leader.”
David Tennant added: “Because this isn’t a Doctor Who story, the Doctor doesn’t have to be ahead of everything and saving the day. What’s interesting about this story – from the Doctor’s point of view – is he sort of messes up. It’s a story about the Doctor being a bit imperfect which is nice to see now and again actually.”
Torchwood: Absent Friends is now available to pre-order as a collector’s edition CD at £10.99 or on download from the Big Finish website at £8.99.
Serenity Plaza is the most exclusive gated community in South Wales.
Jack and Ianto have gone undercover as a happily married couple. There are rumours that something’s wrong at Serenity Plaza and they’re determined to investigate. But the problem is that Serenity Plaza is just so rigidly normal.
Suddenly, Jack and Ianto have to confront the problems that normal couples face. Sharing a house together, doing the washing up, entering the residents’ baking contest, and hoping to win the Best Kept Lawn.
Competition is fierce. Because this is Serenity Plaza. And you’d kill to live there.
Torchwood: Serenity is James Moran’s first Big Finish audio, so it’s fitting that it’s a sequel to his series 2 episode ‘Sleeper’ and this does what any good sequel should, it develops the threat originally presented and adds layers and complexities-all whilst playing to the strengths the medium of audio allows. Moran has crafted a continuation, that logically feels like the next step in the story.
Jack and Ianto’s relationship has always been popular with fans, so it’s great to have an outing featuring the pair. John Barrowman and Gareth David-Lloyd are clearly having a lot of fun here. The script is full of innuendo, with GDL playing Ianto as a Stepford Wife-type. He even gets to turn his Welshness up to 11.
I laughed a lot and I laughed hard with this audio, this is one Torchwood fans won’t want to miss.
At first it seems like Captain Jack Harkness, leader of the ‘beyond the police’ Torchwood organisation and time-travelling Doctor Who companion turned eco-warrior Jo Jones (née Grant) would be quite a contrast when paired. But in ‘Torchwood: The Green Life’ the two are bound as much by what they share as what divides them.
Jo, in this story, is decades older than the girl who once travelled with The Doctor. Everything she learned from her time with UNIT is sewn into this Jo of today and much more besides. This woman is a good match for the immortal Jack, whose dashing young appearance only partially conceals how much of his strength is devoted to enduring a string of painful deaths and centuries. Big Finish audio dramas never shy from the role appearances play in stories when it’s relevant: here we have a pair of lovely fan favourites set amid some gruesome situations.
We’re back in Llanfairfach, the Welsh locale of the 1970s Doctor Who serial, The Green Death. The story then – of pollution-bred giant maggots and a technically-adept evil corporation – continues here. As Jack and Jo clamber over old territory we learn new things about them both.
Katy Manning has kindly returned to play Jo now and again in the past couple of decades – in television and in audio – and each time we get a hint or two about the character’s life since the 1970s. Here there’s quite a bit of her back story, particularly with regards to Llanfairfach. It’s a treat to hear the world of Jo Jones expanding into a mini-franchise of its own.
John Barrowman has been equally generous in his support, for the Torchwood franchise and for the ‘Whoniverse’ in general. He continues his regular contributions to Torchwood on audio here, with a bit of a new challenge: the gentlest members of Jack’s team were never as ‘right on’ as lovely Ms Jones. In Jack’s world, he and his go to some rather harsh extremes, they take their lumps and then find some way to make peace with themselves afterwards. Jo presents him with a world where there are certain lines that are simply not crossed. Where right and wrong don’t often intermingle. Where loyalty is everything.
The legacy elements of this story are taken in genuinely new directions. We get some detail about how the scientific advances of the 70’s Wholeweal community have developed in the years since. We learn a bit more about Llanfairfach as a population centre and its lifestyle in 2019. And we’re presented with something new that has gone very, very wrong. It’ll certainly inform a listener’s first real-world glimpse of a self-driving lorry.
Set someone before the end of series 2; Guy Adams perfectly manages to encapsulate that era. There were moments where I believed I was listening to a previously unreleased episode from 2008.
John Barrowman, Eve Myles, Burn Gorman, Naoko Mori and Gareth David-Lloyd all shine here. Each character gets a decent amount of time to develop, but I think my personal highlight is the Owen/Tosh relationship. Owen makes Tosh do unspeakable things, all whilst trying to prove he can lead a mission.
Prequel stories are notoriously difficult, there can’t be anything in the way of peril, for the original characters-we know their fate and, anyone new is likely to die, as they’re never mentioned in the main series.
However, such is the quality Guy Adams’ script and the performance of Gareth David-Lloyd, there was one moment in particular when I was genuinely concerned for Ianto.
2018 is shaping up to be a great year for Torchwood on audio. 10/10.
Written By: Guy Adams
Directed By: Scott Handcock
John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness), Gareth David-Lloyd (Ianto Jones), Eve Myles (Gwen Cooper), Burn Gorman (Owen Harper), Naoko Mori (Toshiko Sato), Mac McDonald (Steve Ross), Lois Meleri Jones (Andromeda), Mali Harries (Val Ross), Arthur Darvill (Frank Layton), Rhian Blundell (Erin), Chris Rankin (Val’s Assistant), Lloyd Meredith (Davey Russell), Jennifer Sims (Grey), Aled ap Steffan (Grey). Other parts played by members of the cast.
Torchwood contains adult material and may not be suitable for younger listeners.
Producer James Goss
Script Editor Steve Tribe
Executive Producers Jason Haigh-Ellery and Nicholas Briggs
Torchwood: The Death of Captain Jack is difficult to review, without spoiling. So, I won’t be discussing the storyline.
This is a very ambitious audio, from David Llewellyn who once again proves himself to be one of the greatest writers Torchwood has ever had. He perfectly manages to encapsulate the history of Jack and John and give the Torchwood franchise a fresh new spin, all within an hour-long adventure. It’s an absolute joy. James Marsters absolutely shines as Captain John Hart and, instantly reminds us why he was so popular amongst Torchwood fans. He’s the perfect foil to John Barrowman’s Captain Jack.
There’s also a slight dig at Torchwood: Miracle Day.
Director Scott Handcock and producer James Goss have their awesomely unique style all over this release. Torchwood on Big Finish is the best Torchwood has ever been. They just get it, it’s ambitious, it’s loud, it’s sexy and over the top. Which is just how it should be.
Torchwood contains adult material and may not be suitable for younger listeners.
One of the most interesting character’s in Doctor Who’s history is, Captain Jack Harkness. The con man-come immortal-time traveling adventurer, with a wink and a swagger.
Altough we got to see more of the character in Torchwood, I’d always wanted a Captain Jack spin-off. I wanted to know what happened after The Doctor and Rose left him. Finally, Big Finish have answered that question.
The Year After I Died by Guy Adams.
As the title suggests, this story takes place a year after ‘The Parting of the Ways’. We’re presented with a very different Jack, he’s tortued, trying to lead a quiet life, he’s living alone and has shun human contact. He’s also trying to figure out how he survived the Dalek attack and why The Doctor and Rose abandoned him.
His quiet life is turned upside down when a young reporter named Silo Crook (Shvorne Marks) comes investigating, he again finds himself tasked with saving humanity.
‘The Year After I Died’works extremely well as a direct sequel to ‘The Parting of Ways’. It builds on the story told in the series 1 finale, but doesn’t fall into to the sequel trap of telling the same story. As far as opening stories go, this is a great installment. John Barrowman shins in this, delivering the most subjude/reluctant version of captain Jack we’ve ever seen. This is a very well-written story, with great performances. I would like to see more set in this timeline.
Wednesday’s for Beginners by James Goss.
After reprising her role as Jackie Tyler for ‘The Ninth Doctor Chronicles’, Camille Codouri returns as everyone’s favourie mum.
The first 15 minutes focus on Jackie Tyler, as she pushes the story forward with monologue. We learn what happens when Rose is away and we experience the true pain and lonliness she feels, it’s heart breaking.
Soon after, she meets her “handsome American stalker” (Captain Jack) and the story really kicks into gear.
Jackie and Jack make a great duo, Barrowman and Coduri have chemistry to spare and clearly had a blast recording this. Fun and flirtacious inuendo are a bounded around and it’s an absolute joy to listen to.
Jackie’s feeling of isolation and loneliness really resonates and is perfectally juxtaposed with the adventure angle.
Deep down, this is a fun adventure that will have you howling with laughter.
One Enchanted Evening by James Goss.
This story takes place mere minutes after the Doctor leaves Jack in the bar in ‘The End of Time’.
It turns out the Tenth Doctor wasn’t just trying to get the pair laid, he had an ulterior motive.
Jack and Alonso are both in dark places, Jack had just murdered his grandson, Steven, to save man kind and obviously feels a lot of guilt. Alonso had just walked off the Titanic, a broken man. Feeling he should have been braver, more like The Doctor.
The pair bond over the course of an hour, as they work to save a spaceship from being destroyed. The villain is voiced by Katy Manning, whois camping it up no end and clearly having the time of her life.
Although the villain feels very generic, character wise this is the best in the box set. Captain Jack and Midshipman Frame both help each other exorcise their demons.
This is a character driven story, that allows both characters the redemption they feel they need.
Month 25 by Guy Adams.
This is the story we’ve spent 12 years waiting for. When we were first introduced to Captain Jack (12 years ago!) we learned he was a former time agent, with two years of his memory missing. Now, we’re finally getting some answers. We even learn his real name..
I’m a long time fan of Guy Adam’s work with Big Finish, but this could well be his best story. It’s gripping spy/conspiracy drama, that some how manages to be laugh out loud funny. This is well-written and well acted. Barrowman perfectly manages to speak the way we imagine a twenty-something Captain Jack would speak.
‘The Lives of Captain Jack’ is a remarkable set, which I highly recommend. John Barrowman delivers some absolutely stunning performances.
James Goss and Guy Adams have managed to take such a well-known character and find new ways to make him to grow and mature, as well as answering questions fans have had for well over a decade.
It’s a must have box set, let’s hope this becomes an annual release. Maybe Jack could even meet a certain Professor Song…
At a press conference for the hit CW show, Arrow, John Barrowman revealed that the BBC are producing “three or four” audio dramas based on the series. It’s hard to believe that it’s been four years since we last saw team Torchwood.
The actor added:
“My sister and I are discussing the possibility of writing one of them”
Barrowman is now a series regular on Arrow, but he did reveal that the producers have always stated they would allow him to film more Torchwood/Doctor Who, should the opportunity ever arises).
John and his sister Carole E. Barrowman, have co-written several Torchwood novels together as well as some comics.
Barrowman didn’t specify a timeframe for production/broadcast, or even if the events took place pre/after miracle day, but he did say at least one story will feature the original Torchwood team.
Torchwood producers Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner will also be involved.
Are you excited for the return of Torchwood? Let us know below
Our reviews of the previous Torchwood audio plays can be found here.
It’s been rumoured and I stress rumoured that during series 8 of Doctor Who, we will see a younger, recast Captain Jack. I’m extremely sceptical that Moffat would go down this route, seeing as we’ve just had the Doctor and River Song storyline.
But, With John Barrowman’s profile rising stateside a recast would certainly make sense. He has just been cast as a series regular in CW’s ‘Arrow’ so, his availability would play a huge factor in him returning as Captain Jack. Going with a younger Jack would also make it easier for the writers of Doctor Who and Torchwood, to keep track of the continuity, when/if Torchwood ever returns.
When Jack first met the 9th Doctor, he told him that he had two years of his life missing, Moffat could certainly answer that open plot thread by introducing a younger captain Jack.
But, who would be capable of playing a part played so perfectly by John Barrowman. For me, it’s an easy answer. Beau Mirchoff (pictured above). Now, Mirchoff is not a household name but he does bear an uncanny resemblance to John Barrowman. Beau is probably best known for playing the son, of Barrowman’s character in Desperate Housewives.
This evening Paul Heath from the Pharos Project and I attended the Torchwood DVD signing at HMV, Oxford Circus. Unfortunately, we didn’t get an interview with John Barrowman or Eve Myles. But, we were allowed to stand in the press line and take photographs. Here they are:
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