As a Canadian, I grew up watching Doctor Who. Now, Doctor Who is not nearly so iconic in Canada as in the UK, but there’s definitely a strong following. When the BBC decided to start again with Christopher Eccleston, I was thrilled. I was even more thrilled when they brought David Tennant in to replace Christopher Eccleston (I’m reserving judgment on the new Doctor). But one of the all time greatest characters emerged from this reinvention of Doctor Who — Captain Jack Harkness. Capt. Jack is one of the coolest, most attractive, most charming characters I have ever seen. How much of that is the writing and how much can be attributed to the skill of the actor (John Barrowman) behind Capt. Jack? I have no idea. But Capt. Jack was captivating from his very first appearance in Doctor Who, and I was completely ready and willing to follow his spin-off, Torchwood.
I was NOT disappointed. Torchwood was edgier, darker, and had a hero (Capt. Jack) who described himself as omnisexual. In fact, Jack’s whole crew was rather flexible in the sexuality department, which was fascinating in and of itself – I can only assume the UK viewing audience is more liberal, and they get a thumbs-up for that! Go UK! Regardless, the series was enjoyable and the developing relationship between Jack and one of his crew, Ianto Jones, was touching.
SPOILER ALERT. I know there are groups out there lobbying for the return of Torchwood and the survival of Ianto (e.g. Save Ianto Jones). Things looked very dismal for him at the end of Children of Earth, the third and possibly final season of Torchwood. Of course, that’s the beauty of sci-fi. There may be a way to bring him back. Torchwood has brought people back from the dead, although, they weren’t exactly… right. With proper alien technology, though, it could happen. And yet, part of Capt. Jack’s emotional torture stems from people he cares about continuing to die, threatening his sanity each time it happens. I adored Ianto, but I totally understand if, should the series renew, he remains dead.
Of course, I was reminded of all this by an article in which Capt. Jack and Ianto were named #1 and #3 (respectively) on AfterElton’s Top 50 Gay Characters. It seems I’m not alone in my appreciation for these two and Torchwood. Bring ‘em back, please! And find a way to keep Capt. Jack shirtless more often!