Big Finish productions cancelled the reunion planned in the audio production of Torchwood: Absent Friends. John Barrowman was set to voice the part of Captain Jack Harkness and David Tennant was lined up for the role of the Tenth Doctor in the audio play. Why would they cancel the project? Well, it has a lot to do with Noel Clarke.
From 2005 to 2010, Noel Clarke played Mickey Smith on Doctor Who, during the same stretch of time as David Tennant. Recently, Noel Clarke’s name has been in the headlines for sexual misconduct allegations that span his career, including his time on Doctor Who. The Guardian reported 20 women with stories of groping, harassment, and bullying from Clarke. Following that announcement, an old video of Noel Clarke circulated online. In the video, Clarke is on a panel and recalls John Barrowman exposing himself on the set of Doctor Who.
These recollections about Barrowman’s behavior are not new. They happened in 2008. At the time, Barrowman was reprimanded by executives who told him he could not do that and never would again. According to reports from many people who’ve worked with him, he hasn’t. Barrowman himself has said that he apologized at the time, meant the behavior in humor, has since realized it was inappropriate, and adjusted his behavior and thinking on the matter. It was a known entity when Big Finish signed on David Tennant and John Barrowman for the project, but it was also one that wasn’t being talked about anymore since Barrowman had moved forward and changed his behavior.
However, in the midst of the accusations against Noel Clarke, and then tying that together to do this old incident with Barrowman, Big Finish productions has apparently decided to cut all ties with anything that may lead to a major scandal. They didn’t say much when they canceled the John Barrowman and David Tennant project, only that they had removed it from their releases and currently have no intention of bringing it back.
Meanwhile, David Tennant seems interested in producing voice work. He recently signed on for an animated production of The Amazing Maurice. The movie will be an adaptation of Terry Pratchett’s children’s book. He’ll be joining Hugh Laurie and Emilia Clarke for the animated movie.
Previously, David Tennant starred in the first season of Good Omens, another adaptation of Terry Pratchett’s work. That’s expected to see a second season move forward soon, though there’s been no official word yet.
David Tennant has also joined ARK: The Animated Series. This series sees him joining up with Vin Diesel, Gerard Butler, Elliot Page, Alan Tudyk, Michelle Yeoh, and many more. The series is expected to release in 2022. The story is an adaptation of a popular video game from 2017. The short trailer for the series centers on a young woman trying to survive as she is attacked by a raptor.
It’s disappointing that David Tennant’s Torchwood: Absent Friends production is being canceled. It’s unclear how far they were into the project before the project was scrapped. Clearly, the actor has an interest in moving forward with voicework at this time, and he’s always seemed okay with revisiting the world of Doctor Who, so it seems like this would have been a great project for him at this time, and like the behind-the-scenes issues surrounding this decision had little to do with Tennant.