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Tuesday 23 Sep 2014

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Torchwood: interview with John Barrowman

John Barrowman

About Captain Jack Harkness

I speak like Captain Jack because I've known him for a long time. And it's great to do new things with him because then I'm learning something new about him every single day we film. Jack is a time agent, who in his past, started out as a guy who was very self-centered and very egocentric. And he developed, through a relationship with two other people, how to become a team member. Jack's been to the future and to the past – he's very old, yet he never ages. He knows a lot about the solar system and a lot about the world. He is knowledgeable in everything. With Torchwood, he was the leader of the pack. He was the one who was the muscle of the group, while Gwen was the heart. They both kept the team together and they're searching for a new team.

Don't ask me to tell you how old Jack is, like any true person who is a little bit vain about themselves – as Jack is a little bit. One important thing about Jack is that he will do anything to save humanity or save the planet, and that means sacrificing anything. So if they are in a situation where one person must die in order to save the planet, or in the group, Jack will sacrifice. It's a harsh reality, but it's got to be done.

The thing that Russell and the team of writers want to do this season is to take Jack into territories he hasn't been taken to before. Discover those darker areas, discover the more emotional areas because Jack has been very reserved with his emotions in the past. With Miracle Day, I think we're going to delve into things where he's more exposed, raw, and there is more emotional pins and needles with what's happening to him.

Jack's relationship with Gwen is – he is very fond of her, but it's more than that. He is very protective of her. Gwen was always the heart of the group, but she has evolved herself. She's still the heart, but now is a bit of the muscle. And Jack, through the process of them being together, has taught her the art of fighting, gun slinging and all that stuff. She has come a very long way. But their relationship is funny, because it's almost like a brother and sister relationship and it's almost like a husband and wife relationship. But there's nothing sexual between them, it's the type of thing where she might finish one of his sentences or vice versa because they know each other so well. And, between Jack and Gwen, if they're in a sticky situation, all it needs is a look from one of them and then they know exactly what they're thinking.

Working with Eve for so long – we always have a good time, yet we get the work done. We do have a laugh, and as a result, Jack and Gwen have a laugh sometimes with what they do, yet they get the work done. And it's very interesting because for me the characters of Jack and Gwen are not so far from the real people of myself and Eve, because we put a lot of our own personalities into them.

The one thing that makes Torchwood work so brilliantly and makes it a little bit above the rest of all other sci-fi dramas out there is that we have a sense of humour. The story can be heavy, there can be the worst thing going on, the world is going to be destroyed, but there's always a little joke right at the end. Or there's always a sense of humor within that drama and that's real life. We laugh at things when they happen. If they're terrible things, there's always a humorous aspect to it. And that's why this show works, because we actually reflect real life.

Bringing the show to the US has an effect on Torchwood the agency, because we can be in Washington DC, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Atlanta. We can be anywhere and that's one of the beauties of filming in the States

In this day and age, you can't put drama or a sci-fi show on television without having any action in it, and we have tons of action. We are oozing with action and overflowing with the stunts. That's why I say it's going to be bigger and better. It's just an action-packed sci-fi, fun-filled, roller coaster of a drama.

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