John Barrowman talks Torchwood

Captain Jack Harkness

So John, tell us about Jack. We hear he’s changed, become a different character because of his experiences...
“Yeah, the thing is... Jack says a line in the first episode: “One day I’ll find the Doctor, the right kind of Doctor, and maybe he’ll be explain it’. Because something has happened to Jack and he doesn’t know why it’s happened and Jack doesn’t understand it."
“One of the other lines that he says - and it’s gonna be the opening of every show – is: ‘The 21st century is when it all changes and you’ve gotta be ready’. That’s a warning...
“If anything, how Doctor Who had the Bad Wolf thing, the links of Torchwood will be learning more about Jack - until we get to the penultimate episode.”

Are there plenty of Who references for people to spot?
“Well there are, there are crossover references in it which are for the Who fans. There are also certain... things, shall we say, that I have in The Hub that are from Who. Because remember what Torchwood 1 did. They collected anything that was found, and we have remnants of that - although Torchwood 1 disappeared, it no longer exists, destroyed in the battle of Canary Wharf - they became imperialistic. But we’re not like that. Jack is for the greater good. And if were to describe the characters Jack is obviously the hero the glue that keeps Torchwood together and the decision maker. Owen is the physician, the medical end. Toshiko is the computer genius. Suzie Costello is the engineer and second in command. And Ianto is the clean-up man, basically he’s like what Alfred is to Batman, he’s that same kind of thing to Jack - and there’s a great storyline there, that’s all I can tell you!”

There’s still an assumption by a lot of people that a show that's made by BBC3, not a major terrestrial channel, might look a bit... cheap. What do you say to that?
“Y’know what? This is where I have to say as a fan myself, to all of those who are gonna try to be critical of it: just shut up and sit back and watch it. Don’t start criticising before it’s on. Don’t start making assumptions before it on. Just because it’s on BBC3 does not mean anything. Little Britain came from BBC3; there’s other shows that have come from BBC3 that are very, very good. This is like something that has never been on the BBC or television before. It's never been seen on British television. It's high definition, it’s primo quality. The special effects are great. When we use CGI it's fantastic. Our aliens are mainly more animatronics than they are CGI because it looks for us, more believable.
"There’s been a battle in the BBC because Peter Fincham, controller of BBC one, soon as he heard people talking about it and as soon as he started seeing snippets of it he told BBC3, “I’m taking it!” And then we have to be loyal to BBC3 because they’re the ones who commissioned it in the first place and we have to do it for them. BBC 3 are huge supporters of Who and of Torchwood, so we have to do it. And y’know what? £30 for a Freeview box and you get the damn thing! It’s not even that at Tesco! And y’know, you can buy Freeview things for your computer now and watch it (whispers) and you can record it then on the computer... but I didn’t say that!
So my advice for people is: just zip it for a while and wait until it comes out, then you can be critical and judgemental. But I don’t think they’re gonna be disappointed...”

Author: Ian Berriman