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Captain Jack is Back (2006)

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The past 18 months have seen John Barrowman's life turned upside down. Since he first appeared as the famously bisexual Captain Jack Harkness in the first series of the resurrected BBC Wales' Doctor Who, he has become an increasingly familiar face on British TV.

Although he didn't return for the second series of the hit BBC sci-fi show, he filled his schedule with high profile West End roles, a stint presenting This Morning with Fern Britton, and appearances in two reality shows - as a contestant on Dancing On Ice, and more recently as a judge on How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?

"Doctor Who made me a household name," he says. "Which is unbelievable. Prior to that I'd done 16 years of West End and Broadway shows. There was a bit of presenting and acting, but Doctor Who really catapulted me into the public eye in the UK.

"I'm so completely grateful and thankful. People ask me to describe what's happened and I say, you've made a little boy's dreams come true. I'm a kid who grew up watching Doctor Who, loving science fiction and here I am part of it now."

Now John, 39, has returned to the role that changed his life, not in the third series of Doctor Who next year, but in its spin-off series Torchwood, made in South Wales.

Billed as a more 'adult' take on the Time Lord's universe, Torchwood sees the Doctor's former companion leading a team of top secret UK-based investigators who use alien technology to solve both alien and human crime.

"It's more adult because it's gorier, and there's more adult scenes," John explains.

Although the agency Torchwood featured heavily in the final episodes of the last series of Doctor Who, and Captain Jack will be returning to the mother series during its third run next year, John says there will be little crossover between the two shows.

"The only character that's crossing is Jack," he says. "I don't think the Doctor can come into Torchwood for logistic reasons - Torchwood is geared towards an older audience, and the Doctor can't be seen to do the things we do. It's okay for Jack because he can go back and change."

Born in Glasgow, John's family moved to Illinois in the US when he was nine (hence the American accent).

"The first episode that I remember was with the Autons," he recalls. "I remember my mother had to put me inside her coat whenever we walked past a shop that had dummies in the window. But I loved that, kids love being freaked out.

"And it's given me such a vivid imagination as an adult, and that's consequently why, I think, I love science fiction and why I love to do what I'm doing. I'm able to do what I do partly because of watching Doctor Who as a kid."

John attended drama school in San Diego, California, but landed his first big job - in a production of Cole Porter's Anything Goes, opposite Elaine Paige - when he returned to the UK to visit relatives in Scotland.

Musical theatre became his main source of work and he split his time between the US and the UK. Now he's a big name himself, which means he's well-known enough to generate column inches about his personal life.

The openly gay actor recently announced he was going to have a civil partnership ceremony with his long-term partner, architect Scott Gill, and has talked about their plans to adopt a child in the future.

"That's in the talking stages," says John. "But the ceremony will take place at Christmas. We didn't do it last year because we had a lot to sort out. It's not as quick as just walking into a registry office and doing it.

"There's a lot of thought behind it and it's just as important as a marriage - you don't run into it. Although we've been together for about 16 years, we still have to discuss a lot of things before we do it. As do any couple.

"That's how relationships stay together for longer. If more people did talk about it and think about it before they got married or became civil partners, I think there would be less divorce."

TORCHWOOD, Sunday, BBC3, 9pm' Wednesday, BBC2W, 9pm

GRAPHIC: Torchwood is a more adult version of Dr Who says John Barrowman who returns as Captain Jack Harkness

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  • APA 6th ed.: Tunstall, Jill (2006-10-21). Captain Jack is Back. Daily Post p. 5.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Tunstall, Jill. "Captain Jack is Back." Daily Post [add city] 2006-10-21, 5. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Tunstall, Jill. "Captain Jack is Back." Daily Post, edition, sec., 2006-10-21
  • Turabian: Tunstall, Jill. "Captain Jack is Back." Daily Post, 2006-10-21, section, 5 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Captain Jack is Back | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Captain_Jack_is_Back | work=Daily Post | pages=5 | date=2006-10-21 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=22 May 2019 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Captain Jack is Back | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Captain_Jack_is_Back | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=22 May 2019}}</ref>