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Sudsy, Sexy Sci-Fi TV

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2008-01-22 Express.jpg


Supernatural soap opera 'Torchwood' returns to the BBC

Attention, fans of quick-witted, Brit-flavored science-fiction television: Capt. Jack is back.

"He's still the same Jack, but he's a little more lighthearted," says John Barrowman, who plays cheeky charmer Capt. Jack Harkness on "Torchwood," BBC America's flirty, fast-paced series.

"He's resolved a lot of his issues," Barrowman says of his time-traveling, alien-hunting hero who wears World War II-era togs and cannot die. "He's got a new sparkle in his eye."

Introduced in 2005 on the BBC series "Dr. Who," Jack is coy about his shadowy past as a Time Agent — akin to an intergalactic CIA operative — turned fast-talking con artist.

In the second season of "Torchwood," premiering Saturday at 9 p.m., Jack returns to the clandestine Torchwood agency in Cardiff, Wales, where he watches over an alien-spewing rift in space and time beneath the city streets.

Together with his hip, young Torchwood team, Jack battles his old pal, the time-traveling psychopath Capt. John Hart (James Marsters of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer").

As always, Torchwood operates outside the law and the British government. It stands tall against all manner of monsters, including a recurring cast of nasty, sewer-dwelling weevils.

But Jack and crew still find time for office romance and ill-fated, inter-species love affairs — of the same and opposite-sex sorts.

"Omnisexual is the science-fiction word we like to use," says Barrowman, who sounds very American, both on and off-camera. Born in Scotland, he grew up in Illinois.

"In the sci-fi setting, we can talk about things that you probably couldn't talk about on a regular nighttime drama," the 40-year-old Barrowman says.

"I think audiences just get Jack because he's honest," he says. "To finally see a character who doesn't care who he flirts with, I think, is a bit refreshing."

The ace Torchwood team also includes steely Dr. Owen Harper (Burn Gorman), techno-savvy Toshiko Sato (Naoko Mori), office administrator Ianto Jones (Gareth David-Lloyd) and compassionate former cop Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles), who is typically the conscience of the group.

All of Jack's cohorts are just as hormonal as he is.

"Yes, it is a science-fiction soap opera," says Myles, who is Welsh.

Caption: ABOVE THE LAW: John Barrowman (as Capt. Jack), left, and James Marsters.

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  • APA 6th ed.: (2008-01-22). Sudsy, Sexy Sci-Fi TV. Express p. 12.
  • MLA 7th ed.: "Sudsy, Sexy Sci-Fi TV." Express [add city] 2008-01-22, 12. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: "Sudsy, Sexy Sci-Fi TV." Express, edition, sec., 2008-01-22
  • Turabian: "Sudsy, Sexy Sci-Fi TV." Express, 2008-01-22, section, 12 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Sudsy, Sexy Sci-Fi TV | url=,_Sexy_Sci-Fi_TV | work=Express | pages=12 | date=2008-01-22 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=22 July 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Sudsy, Sexy Sci-Fi TV | url=,_Sexy_Sci-Fi_TV | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=22 July 2024}}</ref>