Tagged: Captain Jack

New Who Review: “Hide”

Quite often ghosts are described as spirits who cannot bear to leave their loved ones.  That appears to be the case in this week’s Doctor Who adventure, as an old house seems to be the home of a creature (or two) that makes you want to run and…

by Neil Cross
Directed by Jamie Payne

Caluburn House is home to a roaming spirit who has been appearing for centuries, calling for help.  A former espionage agent and his assistant are dedicated to discovering her secrets when The Doctor arrives.  It’s evident quite quickly that the ghost is not all she appears to be…and she is not alone.  The Doctor is stranded, and Clara has to get past what appears to be a resentment by the TARDIS to save him.

Bluntly, this is the story people were expecting when they heard Neil Cross was writing for Doctor Who.  An indeed, it’s the first script he wrote – he had this idea first, and came to Moffat with it.  Rings of Akhaten was good, but didn’t have the edge one would expect from the creator of Luther.  A solid story with a stellar cast, including two exemplary guests.


Jessica Rayne (Emma Grayling) Hit the ground running in her short acting career, striking gold with the role of Jenny lee in Call the Midwife.  She’ll be back for the anniversary special An Adventure in Time and Space, playing Doctor Who producer Verity Lambert.  She also appeared with the rest of the Midwife cast in a sketch on Red Nose Day this year, with a particular guest star.

Dougray Scott (Alec Palmer) Has had an impressive career, both for the roles he took and the ones he almost had.  He was originally scheduled to play Wolverine in X-Men, but when production on Mission Impossible II went long, he had to give up the role.  He was also in the race to be the next James Bond, a part that eventually went to Daniel Craig.  He’s currently appearing in the thriller mystery series Hemlock Grove.

Jamie Payne (Director) has worked mainly in television, including three episodes of Call the Midwife and several genre shows like Primeval, Askes to Ashes and Survivors. I really liked the jump-cutting from several camera angles during conversations – gave the scenes a more disjointed nature.  Even more so than the Krafaysis in Vincent and the Doctor, the beasts are just lonely for each other, and reaching out for anyone who can help them.

THE MONSTER FILES – The Crooked Man follows a theme in Doctor Who of late – he’s not actually named in the episode, and he’s not actually a bad guy. The Doctor realizes it’s not actually trying to harm anyone, it’s just rapped in the same time/space event as Hilla Tacorien.  To make its movements a bit off, they filmed the suit actor moving backwards, and then reversed the film, resulting in being a bit irregular-looking when played.

Similarly, The Caliburn Ghast is another example of a phenomenon mistaken for supernatural when it’s just super-science. Scaroth of the Jagaroth was also spread across time, manifesting itself as seven distinct beings in City of Death.

Hmmm…a being appearing at several times in history, seemingly connected in some way… Oh, never mind, just a coincidence…

BACKGROUND BITS AND BOBS – Trivia and production details

NOTHING BEATS AN ASTRONAUT – That spacesuit may look familiar – it’s the one Ten wore in The Impossible Planet / The Satan Pit.  He wears the same helmet as he enters Bowie Base One in The Waters of Mars,

STAY CLOSE TO THE CANDLES…THE STAIRWAY CAN BE TREACHEROUS – Not really a hint or anything, I just loved the way Clara hung onto the candelabra long after the candles got blown out.

THE QUESTION’S NOT WHERE…IT’S WHEN – The TARDIS didn’t used to get used in the body of an episode.  Usually it was a device for bringing the adventurers to the crisi of the week, and is them promptly forgotten about, or like in last week, taken off the table dramatically.  It’s really only in the Moffat years did it get more often used as a tool to solve the mysteries of the week.

“Member of the Baker Street Irregular, the Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare” – A real covert ops department in the British government during WWII, those were both nicknames for the Special Operations Executive, also known as “Churchill’s Secret Army”.  One of its members was (yes, that) Christopher Lee.

“Experience makes liars of us all” – There are SO so many lines in this episode that could easily be applied at The Doctor.  Palmer is talking about his brief life in espionage, and later laments the deaths he has caused – imagine how many times more The Doctor feels these things.

“Whiskey is the the eleventh most disgusting thing ever invented” – Ignoring the potential correctness of the phrase, this is just another passing use of the number eleventh that permeates the series, all alluding to the fact that The Doctor is in his eleventh regeneration, starting with matt’s first episode The Eleventh Hour.

“A blue crystal frm Metebelis III” – Oh boy did that one make the Whofen squee.  The planet Metebelis III was possibly the first attempt to create an arc storry on Doctor Who.  It was first mentioned in Carnival of Monsters as a planet he wanted to Take Jo Grant to after his exile was lifted.  He made a few attempts to reach it, finally succeeding in The Green Death, retrieving one of the blue crystals.  As he explains in this episode, the crystals enhance mental energy, which in that past episode, allow a group of people to break from the control of a sentient computer.  He gives the crystal to Jo as a gift as she leaves his company, only to have it reappear in Pertwee’s last adventure, Planet of the Spiders.  Here allowed a mentally handicapped man to read, and eventually to be healed of its damage that cause him handicap.

“Subset of the Eye of Harmony” – The Eye of Harmony is traditionally the name of the Black Hole that Rassilon stabilized and set in the core of Gallifrey, to use as a power source for all Time Lord technology.  In the TV movie it’s said to be on the TARDIS itself.  There’s a couple of theories to explain that, the most plausible being that each TARDIS is connected to the original Eye on Gallifrey.  But with Gallifrey now trapped in the time lock as part of The Doctor’s actions in the Time War, the Eye is likely a stand-alone power source.  It’s recharged itself lately on Rift energy, like the one found in Wales.  This is in fact the time time the Eye has been mentioned in the new series.

“In four seconds the entropy would drain my heart – in ten seconds I would be dead” – It is assumed that the conduit that Emma opens would prevent that eventuality, as they were in the pocket universe for more than four seconds.  Once the way was open, the TARDIS opened up for Clara (by itself – note that modern Clara hasn’t got a key) and made the dangerous trip.  And then again at the end of the episode.  Presumably the trip through that conduit is not as arduous as a full blown trip in the time vortex, which explains how The Doctor and The crooked Man survived it hanging onto the outside.

“Every lonely monster…needs a companion” – See earlier comment about statements not always referring to whom they’re originally said about.


“Is she real?  as in, actually real?” – That’s another “Clarallel” – it’s very similar to a line Future Oswin spoke in Asylum of the Daleks, asking The Doctor if he wasn’t a figment of her imagination.

“Cold…warm…cold…warm” – What interesting is that it’s supposedly it’s Hilla and Emma & Alec who have the connection.  But the connection gets MUCH stronger when Clara walks through the odd manifestation The Doctor chalks off.  At first, many folks online thought it was because Clara herself was the anomaly.  That wasn’t the case, but since we learned later that the ghost was a temporal anomaly, might not another temporal anomaly also strengthen the link?

“It sticks out, like….a big chin.” – We’re not talking about Emma anymore, are we Clara?

“We’re all ghosts to you” – Here we see the sum total of Earth’s history, from its fiery origin to its fiery end.  And Clara can’t cope with it.  She imagines how insignificant humans must look like to him.  Wilf had a similar conversation with The Doctor, saying “We must look like ants to you”: The Doctor replied “I think you look like giants”

“You are the only mystery worth solving” – As before, The Doctor may well be talking about Humanity as a whole…but he may well be looking straight at Clara and talking to her specifically.

“It doesn’t like me” – Clara’s belief that the TARDIS “doesn’t like” her was first referenced in Cross’ last story, and it was easy enough to wave off as worry.  Here’s it’s placed flat in the middle of the room and has a lampshade on.  Theories have abounded that Clara may be an anomaly of time, as Captain Jack became when Rose made him a living Fixed Point.  More than a few people have drawn more than a vague connection there, suggesting that Clara may be related to Jack in some way.

The interaction between Clara and the TARDIS is priceless, from Clara called her a “cow” to the TARDIS choosing Clara’s own image, because it’s programmed to project an image the viewer will trust and esteem, and realizing the only person that means for Clara is herself.  Considering the title and plot of next week’s episode, it’s clear this plot thread will be followed quite a bit more.

“You need a place to keep this” – The Doctor’s confusion is understandable – there’s been either an umbrella stand or a hat rack in the control room for almost every iteration of either the ship or the Doctor.  It’s almost conspicuous in its absence.  I earlier posited the theory that what we’re seeing as the control room now is the default design, the design for a person who couldn’t care anymore about how it looks, and one who wasn’t expecting guests, so they wouldn’t need a hat rack.

“Clara – what is she?” – As in The Almost People, The Doctor is ostensibly just out for an adventure when he’s actually looking for information about his companion from an expert source.  Emma has nothing but good to say about her, which should please The Doctor, but likely only makes him more curious.

“Don’t trust him…there’s a sliver of ice in his heart” – but is it at all possible that based on this statement from earlier in the episode that she’s lying?  She’s a powerful enough psychic empath that The Doctor seeks her out to get a reading on Clara – odds are she’s right about what she sees in him. She just may not understand the whys and wherefores that cause d it, and assumed the worst.

NEXT TIME ON DOCTOR WHO – One of the more promising titles in the series – Journey to the Center of the TARDIS – in one Saturday hence.

The New Who Review “The Rings of Akhaten”

“Something Awesome”.  Seems an easy thing to ask for from a fellow who can go to any moment in time and space, and allows for lots of interpretation.  So Clara asks for that, The Doctor is happy to provide, whisking her off to…

By Neil Cross
Directed by Farren Blackburn

The Doctor takes Clara to Akhaten, a group of worlds inside a series of asteroid belts orbiting a huge star.  It’s the time of a ceremony that will supposedly keep the god which created their worlds asleep.  Young Merry is elected to sing the history of their civilization, and is naturally skittish about getting it right.  It’s made plain as time passes that this is more of a sacrifice than a simply ceremony, forcing The Doctor and Clara to take a hand in saving young Merry, and to keep the very real god from eating the system.

The episode serves two purposes; to serve as a BIG info dump for Clara’s backstory, and to really let The Doctor show off to her. As to that second half, it’s very much a parallel to The End of the World, Rose’s first foray into space.  Both feature a bevy of new aliens, including the Face of Boe, and both feature am enlarging sun threatening to engulf them.

The story is solid, and Jenna-Louise Coleman does wonderfully in the common spot of the companion’s first exposure to the rest of the universe, but I thought the direction on Matt was a bit lacking.  In comparison to the magnificent bombastic speech he gave in The Pandorica Opens, his monologue to the sentient sun was somewhat lacking.  It may have been a decision to make him seem sadder, or tired, weighed down, but it came off weak for me.  I’d have much rather seen him almost daring the sun to take it all, as opposed to the more resigned tone he had here.

Also, we’re once again seeing a story where the companion saves the day when The Doctor’s plans come up lacking.  That’s been happening a LOT more with Moffat’s run on the show, and while I enjoy seeing a strong character, as I’ve said before, I wouldn’t mind seeing The Doctor save everybody on occasion.

THE MONSTER FILES – The sentient sun of Akhaten reminds one of the antagonist in 42, a living sun fighting back after the mining ship accidentally stole her children.  This one is clearly more belligerent in its attitude.

The production team went to great lengths to create a wide range of brand new creatures in this episode.  We’ve had a couple of big collections of aliens in the new series, like the aforementioned party on Platform One, Dorium’s place in A Good Man Goes to War, and even the bar where Captain Jack met Alonzo.  Save for the last one, they’ve gone out of their way to create new aliens, as opposed to grabbing stuff off the rack.  One race breathed though some sort of filtration device, somewhat reminiscent of the Hath, the fish-creatures from The Doctor’s Daughter.

GUEST STAR REPORT Neil Cross (writer) Created the series Luther, for which we are all rightly thankful.  He also wrote the script for Mama, Guillermo Del Toro’s recent presentation

Farren Blackburn (Director) last worked on Doctor Who when he directed The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe, last year’s Christmas Special.  He’s had a long career in directing TV, including an episode of Luther and two of the remake of Terry Nation’s Survivors.

BACKGROUND BITS AND BOBS – Trivia and production details

A TALE THAT GROWS IN THE TELLING – There’s been a number of stories in the series that center around a grand festival that serves as a way for an old threat to return.  The most memorable are the twin tales Kinda and its sequel Snakedance.  The actions of the villain in those stories were more deliberate; here it’s more a case of time being up for the dormancy of the sun.

“I came here a long time a go with my granddaughter” – This is, in fact, the first mention of Susan in the new series.  Clara’s double take on the fact that a man this young-looking can have a granddaughter is not followed up upon, but will almost certainly be referred to again.

Also, did anyone else find it odd that they refer to their god as “Grandfather”?

“What’s happening, why is it angry?” – The TARDIS translates foreign and alien languages automatically for those traveling within it.  But there’s almost always a scene where a companion is faced with an alien it can’t understand.  Now, there’s any number of explanations that could explain such a thing, like they haven’t been on the ship long enough for all languages to process, or some languages are more differnt from English (or too simplistic, such as more animal -like speech like Doreen’s) to be immediately legible.  But it all comes down to the fact that a scene where a Companion misunderstands a situation due to not knowing the language, resulting in a comedic moment, is just plain too comedic a moment NOT to do.  And any attempt to inject import into it is just plain Looking Too Hard.

“Not money….something valuable” – The big theme of the story is that of experiences and memories having an intrinsic value.  For the people of the system, they’re used as currency, a system which I have to admit sounds cooler than it would be in actual use.  I can imagine any number of problems with having to part with one’s cherished belongings in order to buy the groceries.  In the case of the god at the center of the system, those memories and experiences are its literal bread and butter.  Clearly it merely reads those memories as opposed to draining them, as The Doctor isn’t reduced to an empty shell.  In the case of Clara’s leaf, it’s absorbed entirely as it doesn’t have any memories itself, but represents potential existence, a life un-led.  Need I mention that this is also the chosen food of the Weeping Angels?

“Shoes and Ships and Sealing Wax, and Cabbages and Kings” – The Doctor quotes Lewis Carroll, specifically The Walrus and The Carpenter.  While his work has never been mentioned in the TV show, it’s been referenced in the other media a few times.  The Doctor met the author in an prose adventure called The Shadows of Avalon, and in a fan-made video adventure called Downtime (which features the Great Intelligence, but that’s likely just a coincedence), it’s revealed that he photographed a young Victoria Waterfield. (Those who know a bit about the kind of photography Mr. Dodgson liked to take of young girls may find a moment of thought there)


CARLOTTA VALDEZ I WILL MAKE YOU HER – It wasn’t until The Doctor said out loud that the reason he was so keen on spending time with Clara is because she “remind[s] me of someone who died” that I realized that The Doctor is in a similar situation to Scottie in Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo.  Like in the film, Scottie loses Madeline after she falls from a high place.  The Doctor doesn’t fall into a depression over it (that was from the last one) but does become very excited about meeting her again, or at least another close approximation.  Clara’s bold statement that she won’t be a “replacement” for the other Clarae shows an independence that Judy never had in the film.  And just to keep the pot stirring, Scottie was the target of a con job, and Judy was only pretending not to know him, when in fact (SPOILERS) she had been posing as Madeline to use him as a patsy in her “death”, (END SPOILERS)

“She’s not possible” – But it’s clear that The Doctor is fascinated by Clara, not in the way Scottie was of Judy, but more as trying to figure out how she can appear at three moments of history.  It’s more than spatial genetic multiplicity, which is how Gwen Cooper looks so much like Gwyneth from The Unquiet Dead – here it seems much more like it’s the SAME person, with so many “Clarallels”.  He follows her through her whole life, from the moment her parents met to the time of her mother’s passing, which serves to reveal the secrets behind both Clara’s book, and the leaf which she called “page one”.  The two years she skipped in the progressive numbers on the book were 16 and 23 – 23 was the year the Maitland’s mom died, and she was simply too bust thinking about them to write in the book, and 16 was the year her own mom died.  This also serves to explain how she couldn’t bear to leave her friends on their own when their mom died.

NEXT TIME ON DOCTOR WHO – What’s big and hard and full of…OK, it’s a submarine, and there’s a bunch of very nervous Russians trying to stay alive against one The Doctor’s oldest enemies. A return to the Cold War, seven days hence.

New Who Companion To Be Selected “Idol”-Style


Riding the wave of major West End productions being cast by popular vote on television, the BBC announced today that the next co-star for the popular science-fiction program Doctor Who will be selected on a new reality show talent competition.

The show, “No Xenon Impact” (An anagram of “Next Companion”) will be executive produced by Caro Skinner and Andrew Lloyd Webber, based on the format of his reality show “How do you solve a problem like Maria?“, which cast the lead of the Sound of Music revival. The show will be co-hosted by John “Captain Jack” Barrowman and long-time Doctor Who fan and guest-star David Walliams.

DW Showrunner Steven Moffat admitted he was first “hesitant” at the idea, but admitted “It gives the show a mad new challenge – The Doctor never knows who his new friends will be, and now neither will we.”

The show will premiere on May 25th, a week after the second half of the current series of Doctor Who ends, and will run for six weeks.  Contestants (eight female, four male) will be drilled weekly on their acting and improv skill, their knowledge of the program, and what Walliams describes as “A whole lot of running.” Contestants will be voted on weekly by the viewing audience, and a different “guest alien” who “Exterminate” one or two hopefuls live on the program. Matt Smith and current companion (already confirmed to be returning for the eighth series) Jenna-Louise Coleman have agreed to appear for the series finale, where Matt will present a key to the TARDIS to the lucky winner.

Filming for the new eighth series of Doctor Who has yet to be scheduled; it is believed by many that this competition has been in the planning for some time, and the eighth series production has been scheduled to accommodate it.

A Doctor A Day – “Bad Wolf / The Parting Of The Ways”

Using the new Doctor Who Limited Edition Gift Set, your noble author will make his way through as much of the modern series as he can before the Christmas episode, The Snowmen.
The Doctor’s on Big Brother, Rose is on The Weakest Link, and Captain Jack is on What Not To Wear.  IN SPAAAAaaaaace.  And behind it all, following them, is the…

by Russell T Davies
Directed by Joe Ahearne

100 years after the last visit to Satellite Five in The Long Game, the GameStation, a subsidiary of the Bad Wolf Corporation has gone from broadcasting the news to broadcasting entertainment TV, specifically reality shows.  So clearly, the hope that mankind will go back to rising to its height has gone wrong somewhere.  The TARDIS-traveling trio all wake up in different locations, having been abducted via a transmat beam.  The Doctor is now the latest Housemate on Big Brother, Rose is up against the host “Anne Droid” on The Weakest Link, and Captain Jack is getting along quite well with a cybernetic Trinny and Susannah.  That is, until each show takes a grisly turn.  Contestants don’t walk off with parting gifts, they’re disintegrated, and the hosts on WNTW offer Captain Jack quite an extreme makeover.

The Doctor gets himself evicted from the Big Brother house, and when they don’t scatter him to atoms, he knows he’s been brought there on puspose.  He escapes from the house and into the body of the GaneStation, formerly Satellite Five.  Hundreds of reality and game shows are broadcasting constantly all with the same very final endings.  As before, the advancement of the human race is being held back by the broadcasts from this station; formerly with carefully controlled news, now with the more base stratagem of bread and circuses.  Earth has become a pollution-choked mess, far from the Fourth Great and Bountiful Human Empire it’s supposed to be.  The Doctor realizes that by shutting down the news feeds from Satellite Five, he cause a global panic that ended in this sad state of affairs.

Captain Jack catches up with The Doctor, and they find Rose…seconds too late.  The Anne Droid fires, and Rose vanishes.  Fighting their way to Floor 500, they find the TARDIS in an out of bounds archive closet, and a very important piece of information – People aren’t being disintegrated, they’re being transported.  To the new Dalek fleet.  The Doctor has to fly straight into the fire range of 200 Dalek saucers, rescue Rose, defeat the Daleks, and set mankind back on its proper route.  No wonder this was a two-parter.

The Dalek emperor’s ship survived the Time War, sent back in time.  It’s he who’s been behind the activities of Satellite Five, grabbing humans from earth as raw material for new Dalek mutants.  Through the centuries, the Emperor and his creations have gone mad – the Emperor has declared himself a god.  And with their disguise gone, they make their move on the Earth

This was the first season finale of the new series, and as such presented the culmination of the new narrative format of the series.  The entire season is part of a larger story arc, with plot threads laid in earlier episodes that tie up here.  More then simply the Bad Wolf meme, the events of both Dalek and Long Game were important factors that set up events that ended here.  Even Boom Town presented the idea of the heart of the TARDIS, which allowed the deus ex machina that brought the story to an end.

Well, an end for Christopher Eccleston,  anyway.  Citing differences of opinion with higher-ups in the series (which rather suggests Davies and producers Gardner and Collinson), Christopher decided to leave the series after only one season, and the plans for his departure were set in place well before the final episode.  Which basically means that as he gave all those interviews about how exciting the new series was, he’d already left it.

This only presented new possibilities – only one season in, and the new audience would be able to experience a regeneration.  The effects were a far site better than the simple dissolves of the old days – indeed, they went to great lengths to link the effects design of the regeneration and the energy from the heart of the TARDIS.  The energy is connected to all facets of Time Lord technology – it powers the TARDIS, and allows a Time Lord to live impossibly long.  and as we learn in this episode, it’s more than a human being can withstand.  In fact, even though she doesn’t get a name till Neil Gaiman’s episode, Rose communes with the sentient soul of the TARDIS that inhabited Idris here.  “I want you safe…My Doctor” – those are her exact words.  And just as with Idris, the power is killing Rose, and The Doctor saves her, at the expense of this regereration.

Patterson Joseph, who played Roderick in the Weakest Link game, played the Marquis de Carabas in the mini-series adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere.  He was one of the people rumored to be up for the role of The Doctor when David Tennant left the show, which of course went to Matt Smith.  Both Davies and Moffat have made a habit of bringing back actors for larger roles later on in the series, or on one of the spinoffs.  We’ve seen a few examples of that this season, and we’ll see more in seasons to come, including several companions.

We meet the new Doctor, David Tennant for just a moment, along with a promise that he’ll be back in the first Christmas special, which we’ll look at tomorrow.  It’s amazing how much happened in just this first season, and how much more is to follow.

Titan Launches ‘Torchwood’ Comic

Titan Launches ‘Torchwood’ Comic

In addition to the ongoing audio dramas and original novels, the adventures of Captain Jack and the Torchwood crew are coming to comic books. Titan Publishing, which already handles the Torchwood magazine, will release a comic in August.

Two stories will appear, the first, “Captain Jack and the Selkie”, is being co-written by series star John Barrowman and his sister Carol E. Barrowman,. Handling the art is veteran Tommy Lee Edwards and Jonathan Ross. The second story, “Broken,” is the opening chapter to a five-part story, written by Torchwood script editor Gary Russell, with artwork by UK vet Adrian Salmon. Captain Jack, Gwen and Ianto (seemingly back from the dead) get trapped in a cosmic hotel, while an old villain from the TV series will return.

As one might expect, there will be variant covers – artwork by Ian Churchill or photography – for collectors with an exclusively edition, with different Churchill artwork available at July’s Comic-Con International.

Edwards told the Pink Paper his story “sees Barrowman facing a deadly threat on a remote Scottish island, where people are disappearing one by one. To his horror, the captain starts to suspect he may know who, or rather what, is responsible.” The artist came to Barrowman’s attention when he and Carole spotted a Captain Jack poster by Edwards at the 2008 San Diego-based convention.

“The four of us hit it off immediately and I asked if they’d ever be interested in working with us on a Captain Jack project. They thought about it for, oh, about 30 seconds, and ‘Captain Jack and the Selkie’ was born!”

Barrowman, who was seen this season on ABC’s Desperate Housewives, confirmed for BBC Radio 2 that the highly-anticipated fourth season of Torchwood will be a thirteen-episode affair, although no formal announcement or schedule has come from the BBC itself. Producer Russell T. Davies has previously indicated he knows exactly how he wanted to open the season, which would find Jack still off Earth while Gwen and Rhys welcomed their first child.

In the meantime, Barrowman is committed to appear in a production of Aladdin in Glasgow, at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre’s Clyde Auditorium from December 11 to January 9, 2011.


US Torchwood To Play It Straight?

US Torchwood To Play It Straight?

There’s a report in Entertainment Weekly that the U.S. version of Torchwood – should it get picked up – will have a Captain Jack with more narrowed sexual interests. That does not please Captain Jack himself, actor John Barrowman.

Digital Spy reports the current Desperate Housewives guest-star “The last thing I would want would be for Jack to become this
heterosexual, straight hero. He’s an omnisexual guy. He likes men,
women, aliens, whatever. I think we should continue going down that
route.” He went on to say that if this is the case, it would foster a “big discussion” between creator Russell T Davies and his producing partner Julie Gardner. Davies, who is also an executive producer of the series, is a well-known gay and lesbian rights advocate, as is Barrowman. The actor did not say he wouldn’t be available for the series, nor did he say he’d resurrect the role if asked. Since the pilot is still in the script stage, nobody’s asked. However, Barrowman notes both Davies and Gardner said “there will be no Torchwood without John Barrowman as Captain Jack.”

So it might come down to which the Fox network wants more: Torchwood with a straight Captain Jack, or Torchwood without John Barrowman.

However, Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat told the British newspaper The Guardian “I imagine that kids would love to see Captain Jack meet the new Doctor.”

But if that happens, it won’t happen this season.

Barrowman Warns ‘Torchwood’ Season 3 Softened for America

Barrowman Warns ‘Torchwood’ Season 3 Softened for America

John Barrowman told the British press that season three of Torchwood, the five-part "Children of the Earth", was being slightly toned down out of concern for its American viewers.

"The next series is about Torchwood fighting the government rather than just aliens and is a lot darker,” Barrowman said. “Jack has to make a decision no parent – that’s a big hint — should have to make.

"We’re not swearing or doing anything close to the bone because it’s been a huge success in the US and the networks won’t accept it with all that stuff in it."

The actor, known for dropping trou at a moment’s notice, reassured listeners that "I’ll still be getting naked and it will still be saucy – but it’s done with taste. We’ll doing everything so it doesn’t have to be heavily edited for the US."

Barrowman added, "I love playing Captain Jack and if I could play him until I’m 90, I would. But I’d rather do a series of 10 or 13 episodes because it’s a lot of work for just five.”

Johnny Depp Returns as Captain Jack…and Tonto

Johnny Depp Returns as Captain Jack…and Tonto

A fourth Pirates of the Caribbean movie seemed unlikely as every plot thread got neatly wrapped up and the escalating costs associated with making the films seemed unwieldy.  And yet, on Wednesday, Disney stunned the entertainment world by not only announcing a fourth installment of the franchise but that Johnny Depp will be back as Capotain Jack Sparrow.

Depp, already committed to playing the Mad Hatter for Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland 3-D project, was then announced as playing Tonto in a feature film adaptation of The Lone Ranger. Both Pirates and the Ranger films will be produced for the studio by Jerry Bruckheimer.

Depp took the stage in full Captain Jack regalia but people were at first puzzled as to why he was wearing a Lone Ranger mask until the announcement was made.

Additionally, Bruckheimer will be producing the unnecessary third film in the National Treasure franchise.

Torchwood Season 3 – Longer and Shorter

Torchwood Season 3 – Longer and Shorter

Well, I guess all the upheavals at the end of the second season of Torchwood sure made fans curious about what’s going to happen next season. The fact is, to steal an award-winning word from the next executive producer of daddy-series Doctor Who, if you blink, you might miss it.

Season three, scheduled to air around January of next year, will consist of one long, continuous story written, at least in part, by creator/producer Russell T. Davies. That’s the good news.

The bad news is, this story will only run five episodes. Given the unpredictability of BBC-TV runtimes, that means as far as 2009 is concerned we’re probably only going to get about four and one-half hours of Torchwood

Captain Jack, however, will be playing a prominent role in the last several parts of this season’s Doctor Who, as will Torchwood’s U.N.I.T.-affiliated Doctor Jones. As for the Captain’s appearances in the series of Who specials set for 2009… dare I say it… time will tell.

Torchwood Two Sports James Marsters, Freema Agyeman

Torchwood Two Sports James Marsters, Freema Agyeman

Torchwood, the more adult brother to Doctor Who, will be returning to the airwaves on Wednesday, January 16th for another 13 episode run.

To the BBC in the United Kingdom, of course. Its North American debuts will happen… later.

Buffy’s James Marsters (well, also Smallville’s James Marsters and Without A Trace’s James Marsters) is set to become the series’ main villain, a rogue Time Agent named Captain (!) John Hart. As promised, Freema Agyeman will drop by for several episodes mid-season in her role as The Doctor’s companion Martha Jones. After her Torchwood stint, Martha will be returning to Doctor Who to team up with several other companions, present and past. And Torchwood star John Barrowman is expected to be around for the finale to next season’s Doctor Who as well.

But first, Captain Jack must survive Captain John, as well as a slew of other menaces as they "visit" such times as World War I and the 51th Century.