Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Torchwood Secrets To Be Revealed

John Barrowman, who plays Captain Jack on the BBC Two's Doctor Who spinoff Torchwood, told SCI FI Wire that the upcoming second season will reveal more about his character's complicated backstory.

"Every day I come in, or every new script I get, I learn something new about my character, which keeps it fresh," Barrowman said in an interview at the Television Critics Association summer press tour in Beverly Hills, Calif., on July 13. "And it means that when I play things, I play them differently, because I know different things about him now."

The character of Captain Jack was introduced in a two-part episode of Doctor Who and went on to appear in the final five episodes of the first season. Later, he become the leader of a secret organization at the center of the spinoff show, Torchwood. How he got from one place and time to the other is a mystery that will gradually unfold over the course of Torchwood's second season.

"You don't know the exact date when Jack returned yet," Barrowman said. "We do know he was left on Satellite Five [at the end of season one of Doctor Who]. He was brought back to life. He then came back to Earth and arrived back in another time and had to live through it to get to the point where the Doctor came back. In [season] two of Torchwood, there's some of that revealed."

In his performance, Barrowman is also now bearing in mind an intriguing new piece of information about the character, which was slipped into the end of the recent third season of Doctor Who (currently airing on the SCI FI Channel). He couldn't talk about the twist in specifics, but he did say that it came as a shock, not only to him, but also to co-star David Tennant, who plays the Doctor.

"It's always something that takes you by surprise, otherwise it wouldn't be fiction," Barrowman said. "And I love that. And that script, when it came out, David read it. We were filming at the time, and he came running to my trailer and he went, 'F--k me. Have you read this?' And I went, 'No.' And he went, 'Oh, my God. Hurry up.' I went, 'Shut up and get out of my trailer. I'm not reading it yet.' ... So then I read it, and on a lunch break I ran to his trailer and knocked on the door, and he went, 'Well?' And I went, 'F--k me!' But it's absolutely brilliant."

Season two of Torchwood will also further develop the character of Martha Jones, played by Freema Agyeman, who will be making a guest appearance in three episodes.

"It's a perfect progression for her character," Barrowman said. "Because she develops such a strong character by the end of [season] three. So if Jack needs help, who else is he going to call? Jack trusted her to save the world. So did the Doctor. So who are you going to call? Martha Jones."

The third season of Doctor Who is currently running on SCI FI Channel Fridays at 8 p.m. ET/PT. Torchwood's first season will begin airing on BBC America on Sept. 8 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. —Cindy White

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