Former Doctor Who EP Explains Why Captain Jack Was Written Out


One of the best things about Russell T. Davies’ time as the showrunner of Doctor Who was the interconnectivity of the narrative in relation to companions, which allowed the writer to make use of them in the story’s most defining moments.

The former executive producer slowly laid the foundation of what would turn into the sci-fi series’ biggest season on television. So much that the season 4 finale in 2008, “Journey’s End,” featured David Tennant alongside five companions, stretching all the way back to Christopher Eccleston’s short-lived time as the 9th Doctor. Unfortunately, though, one of those, and dare we say the most popular in terms of fan appreciation, never had the chance to become a regular.

It was Steven Moffat who first introduced Captain Jack Harkness in season 1’s “The Empty Child,” though the time traveler and con artist would go on to reappear at regular intervals until the showrunner’s last episode, “The End of Time.” Up to this point, fans assumed that the EPs deliberately wrote out Jack when it was convenient, and that it was a creative decision.

Though according to what Davies has recently revealed in an interview with Doctor Who Magazine, this had more to do with scheduling conflicts and Barrowman’s Doctor Who spinoff, Torchwood.

“I would have had him for more if we could have,” Davies said. “It’s hard to imagine how he’d have fitted into “Human Nature.” But he would have, and actually he’d have been brilliant in 1913, striding about.”

This is hardly surprising since we know that John Barrowman is a prolific actor. In fact, even Steven Moffat tried to bring him back for Matt Smith’s epic season 6 episode “A Good Man Goes to War,” but he was busy shooting “Miracle Day” for Torchwood.

Of course, current Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall finally did the seemingly impossible by having Jack Harkness turn up in Jodie Whittaker’s second outing as the Thirteenth Doctor last year. And while we didn’t see him again, even in the finale, it’s a safe bet that he’ll be back for the upcoming run.