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Doctor Who's Joliet tie

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Those watching "Doctor Who" in the past few weeks on the Sci Fi channel should have no problem noticing Joliet native John Barrowman's character. Not only is he quite fetching, but he is the only character who does not have a British accent.

His character, Captain Jack Harkness, has been so popular in Britain, where his character has appeared in a number of episodes, that a spin-off has been created.

"They brought back 'Doctor Who' and created a character called Jack Harkness," explains Joliet resident Beverly Holt, who is a good friend of Barrowman's since his days at Joliet West High School in the mid 1980s.

"Torchwood" is set to premier in August on BBC 3, according to the Web site Wikipedia.

Watching Barrowman in "Doctor Who," while entertaining, is likely not the first time American audiences have noticed the actor. A native of Joliet, Barrowman has appeared in the movie versions of "The Producers" and "De-Lovely."

In addition to acting, Barrowman is an accomplished musician, which is how Holt got to know him so well. Today, Holt is Barrowman's musical director, but their relationship, which is now as equals, began as teacher and student.

Barrowman graduated from Joliet Township High School, West Campus, in 1985. Holt was the accompanist back then, and when she first met Barrowman, she was struck by his talent.

"He was a multi-talented young man in all areas of the performing arts," she said.

Barrowman's parents no longer live in Joliet (his dad was head of Caterpillar here) but he still has the Joliet connection with Holt. They teamed up to provide intensive Dreamers Workshops for high school students interested in the performing arts for a few summers locally a couple of years ago.

"Last summer, he flew me to London and we did six or seven cabaret shows in London, and then we also went to Belgium," she said.

This coming year promises more excitement, including a performance before Prince Charles and Camilla, which is close to her heart.

"One of the songs that they have requested us to perform is one that I arranged," she said.

Holt now is a celebrity in her own right.

"I think working with John has been so exciting, so fulfilling, so rewarding," Holt said. "I got a hug from Carol Burnett, and she seemed so excited to meet me."

As far as the "Doctor Who" show goes, Holt is a fan. She saw most of the season when she was in London. Currently, like many frustrated fans, she is unable to watch the show because the Sci Fi channel is carried only on digital cable stations.

However, a friend of hers has been taping the show for her.

"I don't know how many people in America have seen it," she said. "The people that have called me have said, 'Oh my God, John Barrowman is on the Sci Fi channel."

"Doctor Who" is not a new series. Its original incarnation was broadcast from 1963 to 1989, according to Wikipedia. In 1996, a television movie was made, and the series was relaunched in 2005.

The current actor who plays "Doctor Who," Christopher Eccleston, is the ninth actor to play the role. The series has enjoyed enormous success in Britain, with the 2005 episodes just now airing in the United States.

For fans like Richard Haynes, manager of the Joliet Blockbuster Video, the new series is well-done.

"I was raised on 'Doctor Who,'" he said. "This is a much better version (than the 1996 movie)."

Haynes said the 2005 re-launch, while modernized, leaves enough of the original "Doctor Who" story intact that long-time fans can appreciate, just as the new fans do.

"Doctor Who" airs at 8 p.m. on Fridays on the SciFi channel. Barrowman's latest CD, "John Barrowman Sings Cole Porter," is available in stores.

Caption: John Barrowman, a Joliet native, is "Captain Jack" in "Doctor Who" on TV Fridays.

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  • APA 6th ed.: Aulet, Dawn (2006-05-28). Doctor Who's Joliet tie. The Joliet Herald News p. F1.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Aulet, Dawn. "Doctor Who's Joliet tie." The Joliet Herald News [add city] 2006-05-28, F1. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Aulet, Dawn. "Doctor Who's Joliet tie." The Joliet Herald News, edition, sec., 2006-05-28
  • Turabian: Aulet, Dawn. "Doctor Who's Joliet tie." The Joliet Herald News, 2006-05-28, section, F1 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Doctor Who's Joliet tie | url= | work=The Joliet Herald News | pages=F1 | date=2006-05-28 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=20 July 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Doctor Who's Joliet tie | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=20 July 2024}}</ref>