The unexpected return of Captain Jack Harkness had fans screaming out in excitement during the most recent episode of Doctor Who, but why did it take so long for John Barrowman to make a comeback?
Last week’s episode, titled “Fugitive of the Judoon,” introduced us to a secret Doctor and saw the return of Jack, one of modern Who‘s oldest companions. For years, fans have been eagerly waiting, perhaps in vain, for such an occasion. But the question that everyone’s currently asking is why did it take John Barrowman so long to return to the show when fans are this excited to see him on their television screens?
Well, according to the actor himself, it was never a question of hesitance, but rather, the showrunner’s decision to have his character back. Speaking with EW, Barrowman had the following to say about why he didn’t show up during Matt Smith or Peter Capaldi’s runs as the Doctor.
“As much as I would have loved to, I knew it wouldn’t probably have happened,” he said. “Because it’s entirely up to the showrunner at that moment and that showrunner was…um… um… gosh, what was his name?”
Of course, this is a jab at Steven Moffat, who Barrowman had previously claimed was blocking the return of Torchwood for years. Suffice to say, the two are not exactly on the best of terms.
“So, with Steven, it wasn’t going to happen,” he continued. “But with Chris there was always that chance because Chris was also a showrunner for Torchwood. So, he’s got a love for Captain Jack and I was glad that he called.”
As for if we can expect to see Captain Jack back again, Barrowman teased us by saying:
“That I cannot tell you. I don’t think it’s going to happen this season.”
These remarks mirror what we’ve already heard from Chis Chibnall; fans won’t be seeing any more of Jack for the remainder of the current season. But take heart, as even in the context of the narrative, the likelihood of his return to Doctor Who remains extremely high.