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Cult Interview

John Barrowman talks 'Torchwood: Miracle Day': 'We delve into Jack's past'

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Captain Jack Harkness in Torchwood: Miracle Day

© Starz

We're a little way into Torchwood: Miracle Day now, so while on a jaunt to San Diego to cover this year's Comic-Con, Digital Spy took the opportunity to catch up with the sci-fi drama's cast members and get a few hints and teasers as to what's coming up in the second half of the season!

Expect interviews with Eve Myles, Mekhi Phifer, Alexa Havins and Bill Pullman over the coming days, but we kick off with the main man himself - John Barrowman. Read on to see what John had to say about Jack's past loves, the controversy over Torchwood's sexual content and whether or not he's destined to become the Face of Boe!

How much bigger is Torchwood: Miracle Day than previous series of the show?
"The production value is bigger, and I don't want to negate what we did with the BBC, because we did a fantastic job with the budget that we had there. But all of a sudden, our budget has increased, and we're glad it did, because, to be honest with you, if it wasn't for Starz, we wouldn't have Torchwood [now]. That's the bottom line, and we're chuffed that they've taken us onboard. We're able to collaborate with the BBC, and we're still on BBC One [in the UK] so our roots are there. But we love being on Starz, and they're a great family to us now. So I hope that we get another [series]."

Torchwood S04E03
Jack is now mortal, but will his immortality be restored before the end of the season?
"All I'll say to you is this, because I don't want to spoil it - you find out which one he prefers, and which one he wants. How he gets it, who gives it to him [and] what happens, I'm not going to tell you. Before he had the dilemma [where] he didn't like being immortal. And now all of a sudden he's mortal, and he's experiencing all these new things, and there comes a point where choices are made."

We get to see an old romance of Jack's in episode five, don't we?
"I'm exceptionally proud of that episode, because [showrunner] Russell [T Davies] said it was a gift for both Eve [Myles] and I. We also delve into Gwen and Jack's relationship and how they really feel about each other, and it's something that you don't expect. It's not what you think is going to happen. You [also] learn about [how] Jack falls in love, and has a passionate romance with this other man, like everybody else does. The sex happens, and there's a wonderful love-making scene. It's not gratuitous and it's a great love story. I'm very proud of that as John, and also as Captain Jack. If I were a young man growing up, and I saw that on television, to know that there is romance out there for me [would have helped]. Not that I had a difficult [time] growing up, but in the '70s and '80s, it might have changed a lot of things earlier for me. So I'm really proud of it."

What else can you tell us about that episode?
"You learn a lot about Jack. How he came to be the lover that he is today. A great deal of it [takes place in flashback]. The only real-time stuff that you have is the stuff between Jack and Gwen, and what happens with them is very quick."

Rex, Jack and Gwen in Torchwood: Miracle Day S04E02
There was some controversy recently about a Torchwood sex scene being cut for UK broadcast. Will BBC One viewers miss out?
"No, they won't, because there's not very much cut out. I do have to say, and I'm defending myself, because one of the newspapers took an interview I did four or five months ago, talking about... putting sex into the programme and how it fits in. They took quotes and made it sound like I was disagreeing with the BBC, and they have put forward an apology because they basically stirred it up, trying to make it look like I didn't agree with Russell. I do agree with the decision that was made. Some younger kids are going to watch Torchwood. If they're sitting watching it with their parents, it might make it a little uncomfortable [and] the parents might click off. In order to stop that from happening, we've just taken a snippet off the end of it. You still get a good chunk of it. And it's not that we're taking it away [completely]. It's not that it was 'Oh my God, we can't show sex between two men', because they also cut down Mekhi and Arlene's [sex] scene, so it was done from both ends. The controversy... was raised by a newspaper that didn't know what it was talking about."

Now that Jack is mortal, does that mean he no longer becomes Doctor Who's Face of Boe?
"No, because we're not dictated by the rules of what we created before. In science fiction, the beauty of it [is that] you can change something, and you can find a reason why you've changed it. So I'd like to think that Jack will still become the Face of Boe, but who's to say that my head doesn't get lopped off in this series? And then Gwen carries me around in a jar - it would be totally Futurama!"

Torchwood: Miracle Day continues on Fridays at 9/8c on Starz in the US and on Thursdays at 9pm on BBC One in the UK.

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