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What Does John Barrowman’s New ABC Pilot Mean For Torchwood’s Future?

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If you’re a follower of our sister site Cinema Blend, you may have spotted the news earlier today that Torchwood star John Barrowman has signed on for a role in the new ABC pilot Gilded Lilys. Set in 1895 and executive produced by Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes, Gilded Lilys focuses on New York City’s first luxury hotel. Barrowman will play a member of the show’s central family named Julius Ashford Lily.

At this point Gilded Lilys has only been ordered to pilot, so we won’t know for a while whether it will go to series. If it does, the show could theoretically hit the airwaves next fall or later. Assuming that’s the case, what does that mean, if anything, for the future of Torchwood?

Whether Torchwood even has a future is still up in the air at this point. After a much-hyped premiere on the Starz network last summer, Torchwood‘s most recent incarnation as Torchwood: Miracle Day was a disappointment in both quality and ratings. While I would argue that the show rallied somewhat and wound up in an interesting place, it spent waaaaaaaaaaaay too long getting there. If the show is to return at all, its presence on Starz is definitely not a sure thing.

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A Torchwood Movie in 2013?

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The latest season of the Doctor Who spinoff Torchwood was not the show’s best outing.  Despite a promising premise, talented cast, and an international co-production that upped the show’s budget, Torchwood: Miracle Day descended into absurdity before finishing on a veritable cliffhanger.  There’s been no official word on when (or if) Torchwood will return, but one of its stars is opening up about what it might look like when it does.

In a recent interview with CultBox, Eve Myles – known to Torchwood fans as the ass kicking ex-policewoman Gwen – revealed that she is also in the dark about when the show might return.  Despite the fact that the showrunners “can just pick the phone up and [John Barrowman and I] will be there before they’ve even put the phone down”, everything regarding Torchwood is in a kind of limbo.  Myles cites nebulous “things” happening in Russell T. Davies’s personal life as a primary reason for the delay, but it’s likely that the new television show he’s been working on figures into it, as well.  The Welsh actress does say that Torchwood definitely won’t be back in 2012, though.

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Details On Doctor Who Showrunner’s New Series, Aliens & Wizards

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It was a bit surprising when Russell T. Davies – the man who resuscitated Doctor Who and created it’s sexed-up adult cousin Torchwood – decided to make a The Sarah Jane Adventures in 2007, but it also made a lot of sense.  The Doctor Who world is extremely popular and expanding into the children’s market with one of the Who-verse’s most beloved characters could capitalize on that.  With the death of star Elisabeth Sladen and the end of The Sarah Jane Adventures in 2011, it would have been understandable if that had been the end of Davies’s childrens’ television career.  It seems that Davies has a taste for it, though, as he’s now working on a new children’s show he’s created with Doctor Who and Sarah Jane Adventures writer Phil Ford, Aliens Vs Wizards.

Davies describes Aliens vs Wizards as “a wild, funny, thrilling and sometimes scary collision of magic and science fiction.”  The protagonists of the show are two teenaged boys – one wizard and one “science super-brain”.  An alien race called the Nekross comes to Earth in a destructive search for magic, and the two boys have to join together their talents to fight the aliens and protect their planet.  I’m curious as to what kind of restrictions or limits they will put on magic and how they’ll blend it together with science, since the two concepts don’t always sit well together.  Then again, it is a children’s show, so maybe resolving conflicting ontologies isn’t a big concern.

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Captain Jack Harkness Sings Superhero Theme Songs

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John Barrowman is best known for playing Captain Jack Harkness on Doctor Who and Torchwood, as well as for occassional off-screen crime fighting.  He’s also a pretty successful recording artist and theater star, though, touring and starring in shows across the UK on a fairly regular basis.  His musical styles lean toward the Broadway or big band, so it must have come as a surprise to the audience at the Newcastle stop on his 2010 tour when they found themselves watching Spider-Man and Wonder Woman duke it out on-stage while Barrowman belted out their television theme songs. It’s his self-described “tribute to everything superhero – with a special JB twist!”

Watch it…

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Captain Jack Harkness Stops A Real Life Robbery

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On television, John Barrowman plays Captain Jack Harkness – a never aging, never dying, time travelling 51st century man from BBC’s Doctor Who and Torchwood.  He protects the world from alien invasions, creatures that slip through the Cardiff Rift, and global conspiracies, although not without venturing into some pretty dark places.  In real life, though, Barrowman is an affable singer and veteran of television, film and musical theater who never seems to be above a music video parody or a Katy Perry singalong.  In an Glasgow hotel this weekend, real and fictional personas collided when John Barrowman busted a burglar late last week.

WalesOnline reports that Barrowman is currently in Glasgow starring as Robinson Crusoe at a local pantomime and staying at the Radisson Blu hotel.  After returning to the hotel after attending a concert with his parents, Barrowman heard a kerfuffle in the room across the hall:

“The concierge was trying to sort my air conditioning.

“We heard this woman scream and shout, ‘Stop him, stop him.’ We saw this young boy running down the hallway.

“I told the concierge to chase him and called the hotel operator and told them to block the staircase so we could get him.

“The lad had tried to get away through the staff elevator and punched the concierge.

“I grabbed the kid’s ankles, yanked him to the ground and then pulled him out into the hallway. I pinned him down.

“My tour manager then arrived and the three of us held him down until the police came.”

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John Barrowman Would Love To Do A Doctor Who Movie With David Tennant

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John Barrowman, the swarthy and hilarious actor who plays Captain Jack Harkness on Torchwood has indicated he’d be interested in doing a Doctor Who film. The caveat being that it would have to be with David Tennant. Clearly Barrowman meant no slight to Matt Smith, since he’s yet to play Captain Jack opposite the eleventh Doctor.

But the truth of the matter is that there’s no need for a Doctor Who movie, it just is unnecessary. Between the seasons, Christmas Special, and other intermittent specials I’d find a movie version to be a bit too much. Barrowman himself says that Torchwood’s format lends itself far better to a movie. I have to agree.

Barrowman also spoke briefly about his love for recent co-star Bill Pullman saying, “”For goodness sake, I fancied Bill Pullman when he did Spaceballs. I thought he was a hunk and I told him that.” My wife has met both men and can attest to their charm and inherent hunkiness, I know this because she’s mentioned it at least once before. I have no direct comments on that, although a Capt. Jack/Lonestar team up would be pretty epic. I’d be more interested in that than a Doctor Who or Torchwood movie.

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