John Barrowman to be replaced by younger Captain Jack in Doctor Who anniversary episode?

Looks like naughty Captain Jack could be Doctor Who’s new version of River Song. Whispers from a well placed source tell us that 2013 will see the appearance of a young Jack Harkness. Writers are setting up the possibility of the characters involvement in the 50th anniversary without it becoming burdened by difficult current Torchwood continuity brought on by it’s last series and the question of John Barrowman actually being available now he is working in the USA more and more.

It would also make sense where the Doctor/Jack timeline is concerned. With Jack’s memory loss in later life he wouldn’t remember the Doctor the ‘first’ time they met (when he was the Ninth Doctor,) and he wouldn’t remember the ‘real’ first time they met because it would not happen until he was the Eleventh. It would make for a reverse River story with the Doctor now in River’s situation. Confusing, yes, but Moffat loves to cause confusion.
Just one problem: who would be capable to pull of a new version of a part made so legendary by John Barrowman?

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About DrDCohen

My name is Dannii Cohen, I am an author, psychologist, spiritual worker, LGTB Rights campaigner and blogger/columnist with a background in freelance journalism. I am also a genderqueer/bigender. I have been part of the LGBT world for (literally!!) all my life and have been a campaigner for many years, mainly in my capacity as a writer. I have also been part of the British comedy world since the late 90's. First as a stand up, then as a writer. I stopped for some time for personal reasons, but realised I missed it a lot. At the moment I've begun to create a comedy sketch show online called: The Lonely Man Guide. It is still very much in it's infancy. My motto: When you reach out to people through the written word, you might just reach that certain person who needs to hear the words you have written. So if I can give hope or joy to someone, then that is all that matters.

114 thoughts on “John Barrowman to be replaced by younger Captain Jack in Doctor Who anniversary episode?

  1. It’s Barrowman or nothing! Especially if it’s for the 50th anniversary! Maybe if it’s an episode with flashbacks and we have both.

  2. I won’t be watching it, that’s for sure. John Barrowman IS Captain Jack, and it’s an insult to him for Moffat to create a different version of CJ that would exclude him, most especially when JB has repeatedly said how much he (as CJ) would like to be a part of the 50th anniversary. Doctor Who has already devolved to less than Must-Watch TV for me under Moffat, and any attempt for Moffat to eliminate John Barrowman by creating a “new” Captain Jack will mean I’ll be turning off from now on.

    • At least Moffats Doctor who is PROPER Doctor Who again instead of the show that was nothing like Doctor Who in everything but title alone that Davies presented. As a real fan I’m glad Moffat has come along to SAVE the show and bring back proper Doctor Who stories instead of the soapy crap and the easy villain crap that Davies smeared across our screens for 4 years.

      • You have the douchiest screen name ever. I didn’t know that there was such a thing as a Doctor Who hipster.

      • Wow….who got your bowtie in a bunch? The earlier series of Doctor Who were absolutely fine. I don’t know what you are talking about….quite being a douche about it and enjoy the show as it is/was, especially if you are a Whovian who has seen the older seasons as well.

      • I’m sorry, but it’s “fans” like YOU that piss me off and make me feel utterly ashamed to even call myself one. If you were a “real fan”, you’d realize that change has always been fundamental part of “Doctor Who” and that there’s no “proper” way to do it. I grant you that RTD’s approach to the show wasn’t for everyone, but it certainly made it popular among the general public again, which -as far as I understand it from what people have told me- hasn’t been seen in the show’s history since the end of Tom Baker’s era. Plus, RTD’s approach is what made me a fan, and I’ve since gone back and watched some of the classic series, as well as become an avid listener of the audio dramas from Big Finish Productions.

        If me starting with RTD means that I’m not a “real fan” in your eyes, then that’s your opinion. I know several people who’ve seen the classic series and also enjoyed RTD’s approach, and continue to watch it under Moffat. You honestly strike me as one of the more entitled fans that John Nathan-Turner and his ilk pandered to when they were in charge of the show, peppering it with continuity references and call backs that only the most hardcore fans would get, all the while leaving the general audience that it had garnered long before then in the dust. And now that the show is back on the air and successful with the general public again, you’re butthurt that the show isn’t “yours” any more, being willfully ignorant of the fact that the fan pandering and cavalcade of continuity references were the exception rather than the rule. Get over yourself, man.

        Oh, and on topic: There’s no Captain Jack without John Barrowman. It would be stupid not to have Barrowman play Jack, especially for the 50th anniversary.

      • I totally agree with you, Davies did a piss poor job with Doctor Who, all the BS with Rose then Martha wanting to get into the Doctors pants all the time was soooo annoying. Also all these ones that have never been a true Doctor Who fan from the original shows up carrying on about David Tennant being the BEST Doctor, I am sorry but he is overrated. David Tennant will never be as great as Tom Baker or any of the Original Doctors. I actually think Matt Smith is the best Doctor they have had since Doctor Who came back to tv.

      • I’m sorry I was a huge fan of Moffat before he was head writer. But his two series were nonsense that seemed to build on two seperate arcs,which he may yet resolve , i still have faith but it’s infuriating. His second series should’ve dealt with the unresolved arc from his first rather than start a new one or extend the old one without making the connection clear. Yea, old Dr who was more arc driven than davies run, but it also resolved itself, unlike this. I’m still hoping moffat will pull it out of the bag but my doubts are mounting. Also Davies run wasn’t that drastically different, in fact Moffats run is pretty different to “PROPER” who as you put it. Fair enough if you didn’t like Davies (i wasn’t a huge fan of him myself tbh) but at least TRY to be unbiased when you post crap like this. With regard to a non JB CJ I think it’s a terrible idea for the 50th, maybe something to look into for the future, but the big 50 should be about Dr Who past especially, and of course Dr Who present.

      • Soapy crap? You mean like the absurd “romance” between the Doctor and River Song? Give me a break. Moffat’s Doctor Who is NOTHING like Classic Who, which is what I assume you mean by “proper” Doctor Who. There are plenty of “real fans” who like Davies. Moffat is over-rated, especially by himself.

      • Please tell me you are joking? Moffs show is not Doctor Who.

      • Proper who? in what way?
        Having Lizard sex and RS and every companion want him isn’t soap opera? I suppose having a love triangle between Clara, The Doctor and River isn’t soap opera like either?

        Having each and every woman meet him as a child then grow up to want him sexually isn’t soap opera either I suspect where your concerned?

  3. No one could fill those shoes. Well, maybe, arguably, Greg Barrowman in a blurry flashback. And even that would be borderline inconceivable. Imagine the fans’ reaction. No, I take that back. Please don’t imagine it, too scary.

  4. It definetally should be john barrowman or NOTHING for the 50th dr who anniversary he can not be
    Replaced he is irreplaceable as captain jack harkness unless you do it as flash back Including
    JB from a big john barrowman fan

  5. I can’t see John Barrowman not moving heaven and earth to be available for filming. He’s very open about how much he loves the franchise and is eager for the opportunity to return.

  6. Replacing John Barrowman is insane. Since he’s a time agent, he doesn’t age, so the character can appear anywhere in the timeline and stay the same age (and the same actor). Don’t betray your fans by replacing the one and only.

  7. Nobody can play Captain Jack except John Barrowman, what a completely ludicrous idea!
    John is Jack – it’s as simple as that!

  8. For me Captain Jack will always be John Barrowman and I wouldn’t like anyone else playing him and I will not believe the rumor until Moffat will say so himself.

    But I can understand why Moffat could decide to use a “different Jack”. The Jack we have now after CoE and MD, the one trashed, annihilated and thrown in a corner like a broken muppet by Davies, doesn’t fit anymore in a show like Doctor Who. That is a shame because Jack was a great character. Sadly Davies chose to destroy it.

  9. Pingback: Captain Jack Harkness To Get A Reboot? | the real STEVE GRAY

  10. I don’t think they could find anyone with Barrowman’s gravitas. Bad idea! It would be interesting to see a flashback with a younger Jack, but Barrowman NEEDs to be involved in the 50th anniversary somehow.

    And while they’re at it, can they just erase the crap that was the fourth series of Torchwood? It was awful! The show should have ended after Children of Earth – that was the proper ending to Jack’s time with Torchwood 3, not the shoddy Miracle Day that felt nothing at all like proper Torchwood. Gag.

    • I think the plot of the fourth season was fine, it’s just the characters that I don’t like. Ester and Rex didn’t fit as part of Torchwood. Plus, Jack has to be the only American character or else it outshines him and the one and only. Let’s hope that Rex will leave in the next season. (Whenever that may be.)

  11. No way!! There is only one Captain Jack and that is John! Don’t you dare to do something like this!

  12. i have no problems with someone playing a younger CJ .His charactor in Torchwood is now so far removed from the cheeky hero we first saw in Dr Who that it would seem contrived to suddenly have a re conversion now.By going back WHO can have the original concept of CJ,who was far better suited to a family show, back in the series maybe even for an extended run.Unlike many people i do not see John Barrowman as the only person who could play him.The secret of CJ’s charm is not only in the “acting” but in the writing.

  13. I like the idea. It could finally give us a few answers about Jack’s life before he became immortal, time agency, Boeshane, the missing two years, Torchwood hasn’t been able to answer. Sadly Barrowman won’t be able to pull off playing a 25 year old Jack anymore. Of course they would need a very good casting. Jack is badly out of character in Children of Earth and esp. Miracle Day and it would suck if this new Jack would be “off” too.

  14. Are they taking crazy pills?! You can’t replace THE Captain Jack!! It must be Barrowman or no one. Heck, if he is in the US fulfilling other obligations, then just write a part where they are communicating through Skype, etc. Or he can be off on a separate mission, send a film crew to the US just to tape his segment. Dr. Who has filmed in the US before, they can make it happen if they wanted to. They owe it to the fans to make it right!

  15. If it is to be a younger Captain Jack, then yes, a different actor would work as it is not easy to make a person look younger than they are. Seriously, go back and watch The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances, then see the last Torchwood story “Miracle Day”, and you can see how much Barrowman has aged.
    People who say “No” are being emotional and not thinking the logistical and technical nightmare of trying to make an actor look young (which doesn’t always work and ends up looking horrendous), unlike making an actor look older than he/she is, which is fairly easy in comparison.

  16. I’m not interested in any Capt. Jack other than John Barrowman. Moffat should be ashamed of thinking of replacing JB.

  17. Not sure I wanna watch Moffat’s crap anyways. Oh, we’re gonna replace Jack, and let me guess; he’s someone’s long lost relative? And they fight some thing that turns out to be some misunderstood monster? And we kill off some people only for them to magically come back to life in the end? And have Eleven stumble around and be quirky? Yawn. Here’s a real plot twist: write something that’s worth a damn, instead of a jumble of ‘plot twists.’

    • In other words, I’m not surprised that he’d make such a bad call.

  18. No. Barrowman or nothing.
    I’d really like them to bring the Doctor/Rose/Jack trio back. That was brilliant.


  20. Either John Barrowman as Captain Jack or no one. Really. Sorry, but I don’t like that idea.

    And, not really belonging to the entry itself, but I somehow have to write it: I like New Who from Season One on. I actually prefer the storylines of season 1 – 4, but that’s really only my personal taste. From season 5 on, I like the characters and some episodes are awesome as well. But I really dislike the persons bashing either Davies or Moffat. Really. It’s a matter of taste and personal opinion, no need to get so offensive.

  21. Well not only would it not work, it would also be pointless as Jack’s missing memories aren’t from when he was really young, they were from two, possibly three years before he met the 9th Doctor and Rose in the empty child.

  22. no no no no no no no no no no!!!! it needs to be Barrowman!!! no one could ever replace him! And i am tired of Moffat screwing up the plot so much, that i wouldnt be surprised if i randomly saw a unicorn fly across the screen (or in this case, dinosaurs on a spaceship). it ticks me off!! Barrowman or bust!!!


  24. This is soooooo wrong. JB IS Captain Jack Harkness!!! And what’s this rubbish about Jack’s memory. Erm…..So I’m guessing memory works in reverse then seeing as the Face of Bo remembers the Doctor perfectly fine. Grrrrr

  25. I would prefer John to be in the 50th Anniversary, but Moffat did create the character. & in my opinion Moffat has done a terrific job of saving Doctor Who (it had gone quite bad if you ask me). So I trust that Moffat knows what he’s doing. But hopefully these are just flashbacks of his younger self. John needs to be in the 50th Anniversary.

  26. I think they would have to get Greg to do it to have it even semi-okay. It might be a nice little “haha” since young Amelia was played by Karen’s cousin … why not young Jack played by his?

  27. oh i get it. he’s going to meet Jack when he’s in the time agency. You guys know that when Jack met the doctor he always tells him that he lost two years of his life. So i guess if John Barrowman is unavailable 11 will meet Jack in these two years. That would preserve the Torchwood timeline for when it comes back. Get it. Because Jack lost the two years and he’ll meet 11 and everything will still be in tact for when Jack meet 9 before he’s immortal. So i say bravo. Cause i mean i would love to see John Barrowman because no one can play Jack like him but if he’s unavailable this is the perfect way to do it so John can go on being our captain.

    • you make a good point!
      i mean it’s hard to imagine anyone else but John as Jack because when you watch videos of John you see how much alike he and Jack are. it’s like trying to imagine anyone else but George Clooney as Doug Ross on ER, or president Bartlet being played by anyone else but Martin Sheen. I mean.. i guess with the right actor, not specifically just Greg Barrowman, it can work. i mean jack was what.. in his mid 30’s when he met the 9th doctor? if you bring in an early to mid 20’s jack it may work. people can change quite alot in 10 years!!
      if you watch Torchwood the actor who plays young Jack in the season 2 episode “Adam” while he is obviously in his early-mid teens does look different than older jack, for example his hair is much lighter, i think eye color is different too.

      and your idea is not bad.. with 10 or 11 doctor meeting a younger version of jack and than him losing – either by the doctor hand of the agency’s hand- the memories of that time he had with him which will work well with his older self meeting the 9th doctor but not remembering.

  28. Pingback: Captain Jack Jovem nos 50 Anos de Doctor Who? - Na TV

  29. No bloody way, Moffat!!! Just because RTDavies deliberately destroyed Torchwood, doesn’t mean you need to get on the same bandwagon and destroy Captain Jack Harkness. If you knew anything about Jack’s history, you’d know that his 2-year memory loss took place long before he ever met Nine & Rose – that’s why he became a conman which is what led to their meeting.

    Granted, John Barrowman has aged in the years since he played Jack for the first time, so take advantage of that — send the Doctor far into the future, let him meet up with an older Jack (just because the man’s immortal doesn’t mean he won’t slowly age).

    Please, for heaven’s sake, don’t have the Doctor playing an intergalactic pimp again, like he did at the end of Tennant’s reign as the 10th Doctor – that was a slap in the face for Jack, insulting to the viewing public, and it went against everything the Doctor stands for.

    Hatorl said it best: IT’S BARROWMAN OR NOTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  30. This is the dumbest move ever for the Doctor Who series!! Just wow… Maybe the Doctor should stop regenerating as well YES? PFFffft!

  31. Hell. No. Barrowman is awesome. Even went to Cardiff and London to see him perform. I can’t believe they would screw him like this.

  32. RTD is the reason the show was brought back. Moffat is a horrible writer who can’t write characters worth anything. He’s horrible at writing female characters and doesn’t care about writing LBGT characters that aren’t offensive to LGBT people.

  33. no. moffat, you have already screwed up enough. doctor who is a sci fi show, not a goddamn fairy tale. take your plot twists and your love stories and your terrible female companions and gtfo so we can have shitty monsters of the day and badass companions who blow shit up, or whatever everyone but ace did.

  34. It’s Doctor Who Time is wibbly wobbly they could easily work in Jack without touching the Torchwood story lines.

  35. Terrible idea. I’m sorry but you cannot replace John Barrowman with someone else. HE IS Captain Jack Harkness, no one else will do.

  36. Steven Moffat can’t just replace Jack, it just won’t work, and no one, certainly not me, will like it!

  37. This is a great post that raises some interesting questions about the longevity of the Jack Harkness character in the Whooniverse. Here’s my two cents: when TV writers create immortal, ageless characters they’re essentially making a rod for their own back somewhere down the road. Example: when you look at something like the much missed Buffy spin-off Angel, as hard as it is for fans like myself to admit it… that show had to end. Fact is, David Boreanaz and James Marsters were visibly getting too old for the stuck-at-twenty-something characters that they were portraying.

    Sad, but true.

    This is why something like Trueblood won’t be able to go on for that many more seasons.

  38. I stopped watching at Demons Run – Moffatt would be better off writing soapy crap like Desperate Housewives or Lost. Yes RTD did get repetitive – oh look, here comes that plot again, only this time the monsters are blue – and yes Tennant did seem to get bored and phone in his performances. But the current Who is horrible.

  39. EPIC FAIL just said although I know Capt.Jack just from Torchwood and NOT Dr.Who first ( never watched it) i can say NO ONE could portay Capt.Jack as JB…..He is irreplaceable!

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  41. Good (time?) lord, people – calm down. It’s a TV show. It’s a great TV show to be fair, but it’s still a TV show. We all have our favorite actors, characters, writers, plot-lines and side-kicks. Sadly, here in the real world, time takes it’s toll on all of us.

    John Barrowman, personifies Captain Jack because he’s the only person who has played him – trying to cast JB as a much younger CJ will only make the ‘willing suspension of dis-belief’ impossible. He simply won’t be able convince anyone he’s that young, which will ruin the enjoyment of the moment. It’d be great to get the best of both worlds, with JB as CJ in one time-line of a story, and a younger man (who will have to be FANTASTIC – or it won’t work) as CJ in a second.

    I can’t say I’d be happy without some kind of appearance by JB to ‘pass the baton’ to the younger man. :(

  42. I think there is no need to replace him at all! Since Jack can’t die but does still age John Barrowman could play this role for the rest of his life! The Dortor could meet a future Jack from the year 100000 or something, then he would look a little older and there would be no continuity problems with Torchwood. It would even be amazing to see what Jack would be like in this future times! The more I think about it, the more I like it! I shall contact Moffat about that! :)

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  44. even if they did replace jack witch i dont think they will…they cant because after jack was brought back to life as an immortal he never changed and before that he was never part of the show so if they are trying to bring in a character into a show that has not actually been there then it wouldnt make sence and everyone would get confused… if you follow the doctor who timelines and all it would break the story..
    and yes john borrowman in the last few seasons has turned more to an adult tv show i dont think that they can just throw him away
    i personally am a fan of the old doctor who and torchwood and some of the new doctor who and i think it would be an insult to remove john borrowman. and put him in the same episode with the new doctor.. reasons who amy pond and rory williams those two characters piss me off mre than anything especially the past season ive been waiting for atleast amy to die will all the crappy acting and the new doctor has to much jumpy crap to him making the series into less a sctfi series but a kids scifi series atleast with david tennant there was love romance and meaningful Things that the new director could never put in a series. even now they have planned to (retire) the daleks doesnt that say something to the fans out there that the biggest villians (yes the easiest to get rid of ) are finally being removed all together. and the who story with river song is complete crap maybe its the new video codes they have to go by but the whole dr who sreies has gone up in flames.

  45. if the do make captain jack younger then how young? because before he met the doctor he was a time traveling con-artist. with not connection to the doctor before the new series started

  46. Barrowman is the only Captain Jack. One does not replace Captain Jack with someone else. It is not right.

  47. Well, young “Captain Jack” technically wouldn’t be “Captain Jack”, would he – he just stole that identity of another WW2 pilot, after all. I think casting someone younger to explain the 2 years would be the only way it could work, tbh. I’d still love to see Barrowman involved in the 50th anniversary, and hell, it could even write in a meeting of young Jack and present Jack. If that happened, i’d definitely be all for it. But guys, seriously, and I’m only saying this as a MASSIVE fan of Who: it’s just a tv show. Don’t get so worked up about something as simple as a casting change that, in this case, actually WOULD make sense.

  48. Let’s not even discuss the “Boomerang Blonde” – I am SO sick of seeing Rose she’s gotten to be annoying. If she shows up for the 50th, I’ll be using the Fast Forward mode. She was Davies’ Mary Sue. He wanted to get into Eccleston’s and Tennant’s pants so he made Rose and Martha want to get in there. He had these HUGE build-ups that fell flat a the last minute because he either ran out of money or ideas. He did things no LEGITIMATE writer can do – he broke the rules of his own universe which is inexcusable The term HACK doesn’t come close. I’m glad he’s gone from Doctor Who and hate that he RUINED Torchwood.

  49. They do this i will be so so so mad. this would really just upset me as a fan Capt Jack is John Barrowman sorry i dont want or need anyone else playing the role

  50. I do not think it could be worse than MD and I have faith in Moffatt to make it work– i think its more innovative than just bringing the old CJ back in a contrived format for the anniversary. There are lots of actors with charm and good looks who could manage to give the charactor a new slant.The only difficulty will be the fan reactions.I think the idea that an actor owns a part is a bit short sighted-we have has several supermans,batmans and Hulks–they are fictional charactors played by actors who bring new interpretations to a charactor

  51. Jack still ages so I don’t really understand why an aged jack can’t still play jack? Unless you for some reason want him to be very you’d like ten years prior to meeting the doctor. Personally I don’t like that idea because it would mean more to the fans to jack to John and to the doctor himself to meet jack as the man (one of the only in the universe) that remembers him.

  52. I really disagree with a lot of people on here of course the show was different, different doctors and writers not to mention he regenerated with no one close to him to keep him tied down. When that happens the change is drastic as it was from 10-11. Also river songs story is epic and tragic, a tragic love story has so much more to it and in the end ALL of the doctors love stories will be tragic. In the end if the show was “crap” you wouldn’t be watching and certainly wouldn’t be searching the net for it and then commenting on it. Shows great under every single writer and you know it.

  53. Dr who is allways changing it only makes sence that all characters should change. This has been happening from the begining of Dr Who. I thing it would be a good change and I’m sure Moffat will be able to pull it off. It will also get us ready for the 12th Dr.

  54. I have seen all the Torchwood episodes, but haven’t seen the episodes from Doctor Who with Captain Jack in them, so maybe I am missing something. Captain Jack was mortal in the last series, and so aging ten years isn’t inconceivable. Considering eveything he has witnessed in his life, aging 10 years for the brief time he was mortal is getting off easy. He will just be a little less sexy, and a bit more paternal. He can still be our Captain Jack, a fixed point in time. And we can still watch him crying and dying as usual.

  55. Uhhh, Steven moffat? You did a decent job with Sherlock, please quit Deconstructing doctor who.

    There’s no way in hell you’re going to replace the man who epitomizes “sexy” and he can’t regenerate like the doctor can, so, uh, good luck!

  56. I refuse to enter a Davies vs Moffatt debate. Bad enough for River to “Sleep”, but to even suggest replacing John Barrowman? Are you INSANE?? He IS Captain Jack Harkness, period. He’s described as “Omnisexual” because even incredibly, lets be delicate lifeforms desire him. Who else will you find that has both men, women, straights – gays and “Others” Panting?? I don’t want to hear any crap – I’m old enough to have been watching Dr. Who since we got it out of Pittsburgh on UHF PBS in the 60’s. There can really be no debate between then and now. Technology is different, actors are different and writers aren’t afraid to stretch limits, whether sexuality or imploding time streams.. I was not as impressed this season, and it just isn’t the “Darren” syndrome of character replacement. He needs strong, independent companions. Without Rose, the Pond/Williams angle and losing River – you want to try and replace the one Constant, undying character? They have addressed he ages, albeit more slowly. Grow a pair and listen to the people who keep this show on the air. Otherwise, checkout the LISTS of cancellations in the last few Entertainment Weekly’s. Fans speak, smart show runners should listen.

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