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Torchwood sleuths use alien technology (2007)

2007-08-31 El Paso Times.jpg

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BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — A week ago, actor John Barrowman had a chair broken over his back, endured body punches and was dragged across a bar through broken "candy" glass, face down. For him, that's all in a day's work.

Barrowman is starring in BBC America's new sci-fi action series, "Torchwood," premiering Sept. 8. Barrowman plays Capt. Jack Harkness, the character he embodied in the "Dr. Who" series.

In "Torchwood," Harkness leads a team of investigators who use alien technology to solve crimes — way outside the jurisdiction of earthbound law enforcement agencies.

"I run an awful lot in this show in boots," says Barrowman, on the patio of a hotel in Beverly Hills. "When I'm running, they always shoot it full length because they love to see the coat trailing out behind me. And the coat is so heavy that sometimes your feet get caught up in the back of it and it trips you. 'Cut!' "

Though he's spent most of his life in the theater, Barrowman is no stranger to physical labor. When he was a senior in high school, his dad got him a job shoveling coal for a local power company in Illinois.

"My brother and sister and myself — my dad made us do manual labor because, he said, 'if you want to do manual labor for the rest of your life you'll know that when you do it, it's a choice,' he said. 'But if you don't like it, you'll understand the importance of educating yourself and being — if you decide what you want to do — being good at your craft or your skill.' "

Barrowman did the job for a full summer and hated every minute, until he used his considerable charm and logic to escape. "They started wanting me to do things. I looked at them and said, 'I don't know if you understand this, but my father is general manager of Caterpillar Tractor Company and I know you'd not make a union man do this, so why are you making me do it as a student, which is completely illegal? They went, 'You're John Barrowman's son?' I said, 'Yes.' They said, 'Why don't we move you to the storeroom."'

Of course, Barrowman didn't stay in the storeroom. He'd longed to perform ever since his mom put a wooden spoon in his hands and urged him to entertain party guests. He sang into the spoon as though it were a mike, and has been singing ever since.

Though Barrowman sounds as American as the Fourth of July, he's really a Scot and spent his formative years in Scotland.


When to watch

"Torchwood" will premiere at 7 and 10 p.m. Sept. 8 on digital cable Channel 459-BBCAmerica.

Online: www.bbcamerica. corn.


Caption: John Barrowman plays Capt. Jack Harkness in BBC America's new sci-fi action series, "Torchwood," premiering Sept. 8.

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  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Torchwood sleuths use alien technology | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Torchwood_sleuths_use_alien_technology | work=McClatchy News Service | pages= | date=2007-08-31 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=23 March 2019 }}</ref>
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  • Title: Torchwood sleuths use alien technology
  • Publication: El Paso Times
  • Date: 2007-08-31