John Barrowman’s “Doctor Who” scene-stealer Captain Jack Harkness was so much fun he got his very own spinoff series, “Torchwood,” but don’t expect to see either Barrowman or Captain Jack back for this year’s 50th Anniversary “Who” special. And no one’s less thrilled about that decision than Barrowman himself.
“Everyone on Twitter tries to make it like it’s my decision, but the bottom line is I was not asked,” Barrowman reveals in an interview with TVLine. “[The Powers That Be] don’t want to put Jack in [the special]. And I know fans are really upset about it, as was I.”
“People have tried to say it’s my schedule,” Barrowman further clarifies, referring to his current U.S. TV guest starring roles on the CW’s “Arrow” and ABC’s “Scandal.” “It’s absolutely not. I was told by the producers of ‘Arrow’ that if I was asked to do the 50th anniversary of ‘Doctor Who’ they’d let me go and do it. It was nothing to do with my schedule. It’s just a matter of fact that I wasn’t asked.”
Current “Who” stars Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman are set to star in the anniversary special, while previous regulars David Tennant and Billie Piper are confirmed for return appearances. Christopher Eccleston, who preceded Tennant as the Doctor, reportedly declined an offer to return.
Barrowman’s most recent “Who” appearance came in Tennant’s 2010 grand send-off special “The End of Time: Part Two” (which also guest starred Piper among other Tennant-era regulars and recurring players). The most recent — and for now, final — season of “Torchwood” debuted on U.S. premium channel Starz in 2011.
Even if he’s not happy about missing out on the anniversary special, Barrowman seems to have found a way to understand it. “They’re not doing [the special] just for the uber fan; they’re doing it for the wider audience,” he tells TVLine. “And if they’re going to bring a character back it wouldn’t be just for the uber fan, it would be for everybody. So perhaps that’s the thinking they had. I don’t know.”