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Feature: Torchwood

Divided Loyalties

John Barrowman

The Starburst Interview

We talk exclusively to star John Barrowman about the imminent launch of the show’s second season!

Jack’s back! Well, you probably already knew that from the finale of the last season of Doctor Who, but for the Torchwood team his return comes as a surprise. They’ve got used to working without him as they battle to keep the flotsam and jetsam of the Rift from running amok on the mean streets of Cardiff.

“Yes,” confirms John Barrowman, “and Jack is having to earn back some trust from the team themselves because he disappeared without telling them where he was going or what he was doing. Gwen has been in control since he left, but we don’t really know how long Jack was gone, that’s the thing that’s never explained. It could be six months, it could be a week, it could be three days. We don’t really know, yet there’s still that element of, ‘Where the hell have you been?’” Well, it’s been long enough for them to head off to the Himalayas… “Exactly,” Barrowman grins. “But remember, that entire year didn’t happen. See, got ya!” he says, forgetting that the Torchwood team were already chasing Yeti before the Master’s paradox device was activated.

But that wiped year does impact on Torchwood, in that it gave Jack time to decide where he wanted to be… and a side effect of that is that he’s not the morose, brooding character he was in Torchwood’s first season.

“The thing you have to remember is that Jack has resolved his issues with the Doctor,” Barrowman comments. “He is probably back to his normal self now, which is, he’s still got some darkness, but he’s got a humour back. He’s got his one-liners, he finds the humour in a situation, and he’s quick to point that out to people. So yes, he’s a different Jack, but he’s come back as the Jack that we first knew and loved from Doctor Who.”

And it’s not just Jack. The most noticeable change in the first episode of Season Two is that the entire team’s developed a Buffy-esque streak of black humour in the face of peril. And then the team dynamics will be further shaken up by the mid-season arrival of a certain Martha Jones, also recently a companion of the Time-travelling Doctor.

“She fits into the team, but the interesting thing is how she fits into the team, because Jack goes to her for help,” Barrowman says. One tabloid rumour suggested that the medical student might be called in because Gwen Cooper finds herself in an interesting position just as she’s about to marry long-suffering boyfriend Rhys, but Barrowman is quick to correct some details of that report. “No, that’s not it, that’s not it at all. That’s a completely separate episode.”

by Anthony Brown

Read the full interview in
Starburst #358

Photo © BBC
Feature © Visual Imagination 2007. Not for reproduction

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Starburst #358
January 2008
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