Doctor Who star John Barrowman says holiday special is 'f--- ing epic'
You'd have difficulty finding a more enthusiastic booster of Doctor Who than recurring cast member John Barrowman. But the actor sounds particularly jazzed about his return as adventurer Captain Jack Harkness in the time travel show's upcoming holiday special, "Revolution of the Daleks," which once again stars Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor.
"Jack will meet Thirteen," says Barrowman over Zoom from his home in Palm Springs. "I can’t tell you how, but he will. He will also be on the TARDIS, Thirteen’s TARDIS. Can’t tell you how he gets there, but he will be there. It’s going to be epic. It’s like going back and paying homage to the Jack and the Doctor stuff of the past, but bringing it in to the present. It’s just an epic episode. In nutshell, it’s f---ing epic."
Below, Barrowman talks more about the holiday special, the future of Captain Jack, and the hair care regime of Chris Noth.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What kind of reaction have you gotten since your return was announced?
JOHN BARROWMAN: I’ve had an unbelievable reaction. People have contacted me and said, "My feed is clogged with 'Jack is back.'" But there’s also controversy. There’s a group of people who didn’t want to be told, some of the Whovians, they're upset about it. I get that. But’s it's something to look forward to. Putting the spoiler aside, I want the show to do well. I want the reaction to be good, because there's a possibility that they could bring him back. So, if there's more people watching it at the time, or there's more people talking about it, then we‘re going to get more of it, so that’s my logic behind it. So, I apologize for the spoiler, but I kind of don’t.
What else can you say abut the holiday special?
There's these sequences that I love which I call "the fear sequences" where Jack is on the hunt for something, and then you get these get these kind of close-ups of him knowing that something bad is going on, and it projects to the audience that this is where we ought to be scared right now. There’s a wonderful conversation between Yaz (Mandip Gill) and Jack. It’s something that Jack has explained to other companions that he's been with, and even people in Torchwood, about why we’re here, why we’re doing it, and what you should expect. What I love about it is not only is the episode mimicking what is happening now — the Doctor is separated from the family as we are all separated from our families — but it’s also helping with Yaz’s mental healthy. So, the episode touches on current issues but in a way that’s very entertaining.
I always imagine Captain Jack could have a sexual frisson with an armchair…
Well, who says he hasn’t? He loves a sofa! [Laughs]
Will we be seeing any of that between the Captain and the Doctor?
It would be out of line if I were to discuss Jack’s exploits with anybody without his permission. Let’s just say, Jack is Jack and Chris Chibnall (Doctor Who showrunner) knows Jack really well. So, yes, there will be some flirtation. The two heats of the Doctor will be beating, I hope.
Chris Noth is also on the episode. Did you and he discuss haircare at all?
He and I had a blast. Everybody thinks of Chris as Mr Big. He is f---ing nuts and I love him. We are both off the wall. When he would be doing a take, he would just off on a tangent and I would be like, I like this man. This is something I can deal with. But the haircare — let’s just say there was a lot of product. I have my particular product I like to use and he has his particular product. And the makeup trailer was always a barrel of laughs.
I’m just jealous.
Darling, don’t worry. A little olive oil, rub it in, you’ll be fine. And then you can squeeze it and cook with it later!
Will be seeing more of Captain Jack after this episode?
I can’t answer that, because I don’t know. However, I've always said, I love the show so much, I love the character so much, that if they ever ask me, at a drop of a hat, I will be back. I’ll make it work, I’ll figure out a way. It will always happen.
What was it like being back on the TARDIS?
I've been in a few incarnations of the TARDIS myself, with Nine, Ten, now Thirteen. Although it’s different, it still stands for the same thing. It still means the same thing for me as the young boy who grew up watching the show and seeing Pertwee’s TARDIS and seeing Baker’s TARDIS and continuing on down the line. To know, even as a young boy siting on my sofa, that I would be welcomed, accepted. When I walked back into that TARDIS, it was the same thing. I felt like I was coming home again. You get goosebumps. It means so much to me and I know it means so much to the audience. Being someone from the LGBTQ+ community, I know — and I mean this in a positive way — the Doctor accepts people who feel they are different, misfits, whatever. However you define yourself, the Doctor accepts you and doesn’t care. And, as a real person, that’s how I feel when I’m in the TARDIS.
The Doctor Who holiday episode airs on BBC America Jan. 1. Watch the show's trailer below.