Photo courtesy of BBC
So today I’m doing Captain Jack. The character in Doctor Who played by John Barrowman. For any Whovians reading I apologise for my lack of detail, this won’t read like an encyclopedia. It is more simply my little homage to the man who brought sexy back. We were introduced to Captain Jack in The Empty Child, one of my very favourite episodes. Of course I will watch a different episode tomorrow and think of that as my favourite too. It is definitely my favourite Eccleston story if nothing else. My daughter watched this episode when it first aired, she was seven years old, it absolutely terrified her and nothing ever scared her. In fact I asked her if she wanted to watch it with me last night, she still won’t watch it, seven years later. This is the girl who loves Sweeney Todd and Death Note, let’s say it’s unusual. There are some brilliantly funny details in the scenes, it is set during the blitz in London and at one point Rose is swinging from a rope under a barrage balloon wearing a t-shirt with a huge Union Jack on it. It is also exceedingly chilling, I have always been of the mind that the most terrifying things of all are those we can relate to the most, and the ‘monster’ in this episode is a four year old boy in a gas mask, constantly repeating the line ‘are you my mummy’ By the end of this story that line is the most unnerving four words you are ever likely to hear. It’s one that seven years later is still repeated by everyone in my house, used both to chill and cause hilarity depending on the moment.
Photo courtesy of BBC
Then of course there is Jack, the reason for this post in the first place. Captain Jack Harkness spots Rose swinging from the barrage balloon and realises by her attire that she too is not of this time, he promptly rescues her using the technology from his Chula Spaceship and then does what Captain Jack does best, he flirts outrageously with her. Those watching the episode may have already noticed him earlier flirting with a soldier, Captain Jack happens to be the first openly bi-sexual character in Doctor Who. Having seen all of the Doctor Who episodes with Jack in and most of Torchwood, I really feel Jack needs another term re: his sexuality, Omni-sexual maybe? This man will do sexual bumping with anyone or any species on any planet in any time. By the end of this story Jack has no spaceship and goes on to travel with The Doctor and Rose for a while. In a very thrilling climax to one story whilst fighting Daleks Rose makes him immortal whilst she is filled with the time vortex. This is when Jack get’s really interesting, being immortal certainly has its benefits.
The next time we see Jack is in Torchwood, a Doctor Who spin off series. Torchwood is an agency set up to fight alien threats and is based in Cardiff as that is where they need to be to monitor the time rift. Jack has many flirtations during Torchwood but none as heart wrenching as his relationship with Ianto Jones, another member of the Torchwood agency, who ultimately dies tragically. Captain Jack has appeared in Doctor Who on a few more occasions but never with the eleventh Doctor, in my head I decided it was because we now have River Song, another massive diva with a unique connection to The Doctor. If both these characters appeared in the same episode it would be more 42nd Street than Doctor Who. I hate to think that Jack will never return, I think the chemistry between him and The Doctor is perspicacious and because of his unique story it’s a relationship that the Doctor can have with no other, we are led to believe that eventually Captain Jack Harkness turns into The Face of Boe. This pleases me, I love both the characters so.
One last thing, I can’t think of Captain Jack Harkness without thinking of my friend Hayley, an Artist, dj, curator, teacher and Jack lover extraordinaire. Hayley carries a Captain Jack Harkness figure in her bag with her and tends to whip him out at opportune moments, if you were privy to my facebook page photo’s you will see him tagged on many an evening out, looking far more sober than either her or me. Of course carrying your favourite man around in your handbag has its disadvantages especially if you are apt to drink too much vodka and she did lose him one evening. However, for her birthday this year I scoured eBay until I found the figure she had lost, it was no longer available in the shops. They were happily re-united over tea and cake.
Photo courtesy of one very drunk evening
Captain Jack bringing Sexy back until the end of time.