Steven Moffat: Torchwood's Captain Jack May Visit Doctor Who, But Never, Ever the Reverse

Doctor Who fans, did you think an appearance from John Barrowman’s Captain Jack was missing in the last new episode? You’re not the only one.

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“I’d have [brought back Captain Jack] for ‘A Good Man Goes To War,’ because it’d be obvious for him to call upon Jack in those circumstances,” Who executive producer Steven Moffat tells TVLine. “But John was busy doing Miracle Day.”

As long as Barrowman is saving the world on another show and on somebody else’s clock, it’ll be difficult to bring back the actor to Torchwood‘s mothership show. “Even if he was doing the role in Wales” — a big chunk of Miracle Day was filmed in Los Angeles — “that’s really hard to do,” Moffat explains.

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That said, Moffat is not ruling out an eventual reappearance by the immortal Captain. “When we’ve got a good story, we’ll do it,” he says. “You can’t just bring somebody back and say, ‘That’s a story.’ That’s just somebody walking through a door…. I won’t be thinking, ‘How do you bring Captain Jack back?’ I’ll be thinking, ‘You know what this needs? We need to bring Jack back for it.'”

And when the right story does come along, Barrowman is more than willing to jump back. “I love playing Captain Jack,” he told the crowd at Comic-Con. “It’s the best coat I could put on every morning, so I’m up for it.”

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The Doctor Who/Torchwood crossover door, however, does not swing both ways, if only because of the offshoot’s sometimes racier leanings. “The Doctor could never go to Torchwood,” Moffat attests. “[Torchwood EP] Russell [Davies] and I both agree on that. Doctor Who has a tremendous relationship with children in Britain. They’d want to watch Torchwood then, and it’s not really a children’s show.”

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42 Comments
  1. Txgina says:

    As a mom who watches Doctor Who with her children, then watches Torchwood after they’re in bed, I appreciate the show runners’ recognition and respect for the difference in tone between the shows. I know my boys would DEFINITELY want to see anything the Doctor is a part of. They are HUGE Whovians…so much so that while at Disneyworld we had to take a picture wearing fezzes because, you know, fezzes are cool. :-)

  2. João Amaral says:

    i don’t really think Moffat’s Doctor Who is childrens show.

    • Brittany says:

      I agree. This series of Doctor Who has been more darker than normal, and with all the sexual innuendos that have been thrown at us, it’s certainly not a “children’s show”. The Sarah Jane Adventures took that spot from Doctor Who years ago. Doctor Who, for me, since the new series started, has always been geared towards the teenage/young adult audiences.

      I mean, this series alone so far has had numerous hints at sex. Amy and her short skirts (the Red Nose Day sketch with Rory looking up Amy’s skirt beneath the TARDIS), River saying she was a “screamer”, Amy asking the Doctor if he thought real hard for the TARDIS to become a real girl and him replying “Oh not like that!”. Plus it’s been using a much darker tone.

      Moffat, Doctor Who is certainly not a kids show. Teenagers, yes. But kids? No.

      Plus, I find it interesting that they are just now doing the whole “we don’t want to crossover with Torchwood”, because Martha went to Torchwood for a few episodes, and even the end of series 1 of TW did a crossover with Doctor Who ‘Utopia’. They really set it up, that if you hadn’t have seen the ending of TW series 1, you didn’t understand where Jack came from in Cardiff.

      I don’t know. I don’t mean to come off as prudish, because I’m not. I just feel like Moffat is taking Doctor Who into a really bad direction. I miss the days when it was care free, and fun. Now it’s just about how much action we can fit into one episode, and how to become more darker.

      • Britt says:

        I feel like I wrote this post. I most certainly don’t think DW is a “children’s” show, especially since we were introduced to Amy and eleven. There are aspects of it, sure, but I think with moffat as the executive producer it’s become a bit questionable on the children’s show front. RTD’s seasons were more acceptable for children. Moffat has created aliens that scare even adults; I can only imagine how children feel about the Weeping Angels or the Vashta Nerada. Not saying I don’t like SM, just disagreeing w/ the reasons for no crossover.

        • sadtroll says:

          I think Brittany that the distinction you’re making with scary aliens is missing the point. People generally don’t care if kids see heads exploding. It’s all about the sexual themes.

          Doctor Who may have Amy in short skirts and sexual innuendo but Torchwood has the full on sex. That’s the distinction they’re making.

      • Kat says:

        Sorry Brittany, but you are coming off as prudish.

        • Abbey says:

          Actually, I don’t think she is. She’s stating facts that the show is just simply not for children these days. It’s darker and more sexualized. For Moffat to say that this is a childrens show is a lie. It is more of a teenage show.

          • Blaise says:

            In your opinion. If you consider childrens show to be pablum like a Disney sitcom, then it is not a childrens show. In reality, most children have a more sophisticated and nuanced view of the world than the moral majority gives them credit for.

          • Ali says:

            @ Abbey I totally agree with you! Its really scary sometimes. I wouldn’t let my kids watch now! And a Torchwood crossover would be FAB! Either way! Love Jack and our new Doctor!

          • butbutbut says:

            He’s not saying it’s a children’s show. He’s saying a lot of kids watch Doctor Who in England and he thinks they’d follow the Doctor over to Torchwood and he doesn’t think they should.

            No matter how adult you think Doctor Who has gotten you know Torchwood is way way way more adult and graphic.

      • Alexandra says:

        I have to agree with you. Doctor Who is not a children’s show. It may have been geared at children years ago, but in recent years it has not been geared at the younger audience.

        I am a very big Whovian, with my favorite incarnation being David Tennant. What I do not like from Stephen Moffat is that he wants to completely erase the past. No Martha, No Donna, No Jack, No Rose, No anything that has happened in the last 5 years. This is a slap in the face to those fans that grew to love the Doctor and the relationship he had with his companions. This comes from Stephen Moffat’s dislike of character driven stories, which Doctor Who always had room for. The 10th Doctor obviously loved Rose( for the love of Gallifrey, he went to see her right before he died),and he would just not forget her once he regenerated, (proven by his regeneration from 9th to 10th), the fact that he never mentions his past companions and does not even seem to be the same at all, is just disturbing and this new doctor seems to just be trying too hard. David Tennent left very big shoes to fill, a Shakesperean trained actor that made every one of the Doctor’s quips and jokes just that much fun to hear.And this is proven if you watch the End of Time, when he is regenerating and tell me if there is a dry eye in your house. His smile lit up a room and he commanded a level of reverance that Matt Smith just does not have. Maybe its because he is so young, but I would welcome a regeneration now that brings back David, he was and still is the Doctor to me. I would even prefer 9th doctor. The 11th when he is gone will be like waking from a bad dream. I wish Matt Smith the best, but he just is not our Time Lord.

        • James B. says:

          I agree with everything you said!! except Matt smith has grown on me, ut he could be so much better except the writing is terrible(steve moffet so bad!!)-I do not feel part of this disjointed adventure anymore. Like you said people got emotionally attached to rose etc how could the Doctor just forget!!! Doctors 9-10 dealt with this. I do watch this series but none of the family are interested. Russell T Davies seamlessly joined the old series with the new which was superb- K9,Sarah Jane etc brought much emotion,he also wrote much better stories.
          So dsappointed at present !!!!
          Why change the tardis interior or opening music/video, me thinks ego!! My show now – forget fans and history!

        • Justin says:

          Oh another one of these people…maybe they’re not in the show because RTD wrote End of Time like it was the end of the entire show and wrote most of those characters into a happily ever after. The show needs to stop dwelling in the past, it was like RTD couldn’t write a season without making it all about Rose and the Doctor’s wub for her (which never made sense). If I never see Billie Piper on Who again it will be too soon.

    • vtmet says:

      It’s not a “children’s show” but it’s a show that many children have watched for decades…I grew up watching the show on PBS (Public tv in the US) 30+ years ago…SciFi in general is appreciated by all ages of people…

    • Gavin says:

      Doctor Who has always been dark and edgy. Some of the Colin Baker stuff in the 80s was very bleak. One of his companions suffered a horrible fate, and indeed I recall one of the 5th Doctors companions leaving the show because people were dying and the Doctor brought the body count up.

      It’s definitely made for a family audience. The kids love the monsters, the language is very light and appropriate. If kids aren’t scared then there’s something wrong. Kids have always been frightened watching the show. I see what you mean about it not being a kids show, it’s very cerebral in places and you need a good handle on time concepts to keep up. But it’s not as if Moffat has taken the show where its never been before…

      • Blaise says:

        Quite right. The people who are claiming the show is darker now must not have watched the show for very long.

  3. Michelle says:

    I’ll take it! Any scene with The Doctor and Capt Jack is a giant win.

  4. Amber says:

    I’d love to see capt Jack on Doctor Who. Though I think Doctor Who could be a bit much for small children, there’s still a huge difference between the tone of it and Torchwood. Doctor Who is MUCH more innocent, so I’m glad that they’re aware of that.

  5. Sivat says:

    I would love to see the Doctor on Torchwood. There is no need to “protect the children”.

  6. fezzes are cool says:

    doctor who is much much darker now, my 7 year old sister wont watch it any more after seeing the silence, and she always used to watch it with me

  7. fiona says:

    Doctor Who has moved with the times. What’s considered scary to a reasonable level, that a younger child could watch it, not all kids get scared as easy as others, at their parents discression. Sexual innuendo is frequent in many shows… Isn’t The Simpsons aimed at young children as well as adults? It’s a family show, not a children’s show so its not going to be Disney Channel tame. If they started showing it on CBBC like The Sarah Jane Adventures then I’d expect it to tone down. This is what Doctor Who has always been about, my mum has always said how she was terrified of it when she was a small child in the sixties and I used to watch it avidly in the eighties (though I didn’t scare very easily and still don’t, sure my brother used to hide behind the sofa though) and kids watch it now and get the same. This is why they find it exciting, like for adults who enjoy a good horror movie and get scared but they still watch it… It’s exciting

  8. madhi19 says:

    If Jack ever meet the doctor again on screen it would make for an interesting first scene. You know like. “Where the F were you for the 456?” And “Do you ever check your voicemail?”

  9. T says:

    I don’t know if Doctor Who is appropriate for children, but Torchwood most definitely isn’t. I think the writers are right: you can bring Jack back to Doctor Who, but you can’t bring the Doctor to Torchwood. You might as well give the Doctor a gun and tell him to go murder people. That being said, the Doctor could still help Jack and his team. It’s not like phones have been outlawed…

  10. Jenn says:

    Someone had mentioned that Doctor Who is just going with the times, and its true. Have you taken a look at Harry Potter which is aimed at kids? The first two movies were so bright and somewhat cheery. You get to the third movie and its a much darker tone. Doctor Who is just doing the same.

    As for DW being targeted for children, that may be a bit of a stretch. Though, as a kid, I remember I loved getting scared and my older sister hated it. I suppose it really just depends on what you like to watch. So I wouldn’t go shielding your kids from the Moff’s DW just because you think its “darker.” Your kids will probably love it. But I would protect them from Torchwood, just until they have that certain talk.

    Someone else mentioned DW never crossing over to Torchwood and brought up Martha. Well… wasn’t Martha off doing her own thing by that time? So, it wasn’t the Doctor going to Torchwood, just one of his companions making a name for herself for how awesome she is. I’m just saying…

    I would love to see Jack make an appearance on the new Who and for some angst between him and the Doctor. And I would love to see how Matt Smith will handle John Barrowman.

  11. Sani Evans says:

    I’m really hoping for Jack to come back for Season 7 and to see him with Eleven and Ten on 50th anniversary ^
    p.s. It’s Jane Espenson, not Jane Espensen )

  12. Josette says:

    Doctor Who is a family show, not a children’s show – that’s the difference. It has layers that children get, and layers that adults get – the vague sexual innuendos referred to above would go over young kids’ heads, whereas Torchwood is explicit, and the Sarah Jane Adventures is straightforwardly aimed at children.

  13. Mars says:

    this is something John said in a Comic-con panel, and I agree! It’ll be weird to see the Doctor in Torchwood because he fundamentally disagrees with fighting and killing, etc. And also, Torchwood is just too dark for the Doctor. But can’t wait for CJ to go back to Doctor Who because he’s more light-hearted and I want that for him!!!

  14. Jing says:

    Too bad he can’t get out of Torchwood: Miracle Day. Could the episodes get any worse? They keep turning up the soundtrack to keep us from stabbing ourselves in the eyes.

  15. Matthew See says:

    Why wasn’t Steven Moffat whether he would write Torchwood himself considering the fact that he had written Jack’s introductory story The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances.

  16. Rukia says:

    If you you don’t want your children to watch it then tell them not to that shouldn’t ruin it for the rest of us. I mean really all I see is whining over protective mothers.
    ~your favorite intelligent 15 year old Rukia

  17. Jeez what a fraking stupid conversation. Trolls are mean-spririted and actually rather moronic. They chat to hear themselves chat. Shut up or say something meaningful, what a waste of time this was!

  18. zadbat says:

    Torchwood is fine for kids, there is nothing wrong with sex or gay’ness. Its a super show!

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