Although Captain Jack Harkness made a surprise appearance in the Season 12 episode of Doctor Who, "Fugitive of the Judoon," his and the latest Doctor’s paths did not cross. But all that changes in the upcoming holiday special, Doctor Who: Revolution of the Daleks. According to John Barrowman, who plays the flirtatious immortal captain, Jack and Jodie Whittaker’s 13th Doctor finally come face-to-face. And sparks may fly. Okay, probably not (but not for lack of trying).
“Jack will meet Thirteen. He will also be on the TARDIS,” Barrowman assured folks via Entertainment Weekly. And although he was careful not to disclose Jack’s upcoming exploits, Barrowman did admit that “Jack is Jack” and Doctor Who showrunner and Revolutions writer “Chris Chibnall knows Jack really well.”
“So, yes, there will be some flirtation,” Barrowman teased. “The two hearts of the Doctor will be beating, I hope.”
Jack’s return to the series and to the Doctor’s bigger-on-the-inside time traveling spaceship, the TARDIS, is a reminder to Barrowman why the series has always felt like home for him, and for many people in the LGBTQ+ community.
“When I walked back into that TARDIS ... I felt like I was coming home again,” said Barrowman. “It means so much to me and I know it means so much to the audience. Being someone from the LGBTQ+ community ... the Doctor accepts people who feel they are different, misfits, whatever. However you define yourself, the Doctor accepts you and doesn’t care.”
Revolution of the Daleks features Captain Jack returning to help the fam (Yaz, Ryan, and Graham) thwart a plot to destroy the world featuring some revamped Daleks posing as defense drones while the Doctor is locked away in space prison. Barrowman noted that the theme of separation rings particularly true these days and commends Chibnall & Co. for how “the episode touches on current issues but in a way that’s very entertaining.”
“What I love about it is not only is the episode mimicking what is happening now — the Doctor is separated from the family as we are all separated from our families — but it’s also helping with Yaz’s mental health,” he said.
Although Barrowman doesn’t know if Captain Jack will be returning after this episode, he made it clear he’d be back “at the drop of a hat” if they ever ask him to come back.
“I love the show so much, I love the character so much, that if they ever ask me, at a drop of a hat, I will be back,” he said. “I’ll make it work, I’ll figure out a way. It will always happen.”
Doctor Who: Revolution of the Daleks airs New Year’s Day 2021.