John Barrowman On “Doctor Who” Exclusion: “I Don’t Have An Answer For You.”

John Barrowman clears the air on Captain Jack not being a part of Doctor Who’s 50th Anniversary Special.

John Barrowman
Photo: John Phillips/Getty

As TheBacklot reported earlier in the week, John Barrowman will not be a part of the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special set to air on the BBC later this year. That sent fans of Barrowman’s and Captain Jack into a justifiable tizzy.

There’s been much speculation on Twitter and elsewhere as to why Captain Jack, who started on Doctor Who and then was spun off into the successful Torchwood series, won’t be seen on the special. We decided to talk to the man himself about the situation.

I sat down with John Barrowman earlier today to talk about his role on the CW’s Arrow as well as his top secret May 9th guest spot on ABC’s Scandal (all of which you’ll get to read next week along with an exclusive photo spread), but first we wanted to ask Barrowman about the sidelining of Captain Jack for the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special.

Says Barrowman…

I am a fan. I love the show. I love Captain Jack. Let’s get that all out of the way. I love Torchwood. I would do it at the drop of a hat. But I will tell you point blank I was not asked. And I don’t say that because I’m going “I was not asked. Boo hoo.” I was not asked. Arrow said I could go and do it if I was asked. They gave me the time off. So if anybody’s saying it was because of my work commitment, they’re telling you bullshit. It was nothing to do with my work commitment.

So when I went on television in Britain to talk about it and to say that I was involved, I only said that I was involved with something to do with the 50th Anniversary. I didn’t say the TV show. But everybody ran with the TV show, which I didn’t say, so that got me into a kerfuffle with people.  

So, right here, right now: I am not involved with the 50th anniversary TV show. Today, there were still people on Twitter asking me if I’m going to be involved.

But, I might yet be doing something with the 50th Anniversary. I don’t know what it is, but I might be involved some way with something.

Asked what he has been hearing from the fans this week, he replied,

There’s been a mixed bag of reaction. Let’s just say they’re all disappointed that Jack’s not in it. That’s point blank. As is John Barrowman, the fan of the show. But as the actor, I understand why. Years ago, Russell and I were talking about something…I know Russell [T. Davies, former Executive Producer] has nothing to do with the 50th, at least I don’t think he does [NOTE: Stephen Moffat is writing it]…when we were asked about The Brigadier being brought back into one of the episodes, Russell said ‘I’m not writing this for the uber fans.’ I listened to him and he said ‘If I brought back every single character that was always there it would just be for the uber fans and not for the new viewing public and those who are just getting to know the show.” And I get that and maybe that’s why they’re not bringing me back.

I don’t have an answer but people, if they want to know, don’t write to me. Write to the BBC or write to the writers or the producers. Please don’t ask…I won’t answer it because I don’t have an answer for you.

You can watch Barrowman tonight on Arrow at 8pm on the CW and his Scandal guest spot airs May 9th on ABC.