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After receiving hate mail from fans based on comments from actor John Barrowman, Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat has forcefully denied any involvement in keeping a Torchwood revival off the air. This story was first reported this week by Radio Times, and has since spread around the globe.
John Barrowman told Radio Times this week that “certain egos” were preventing Torchwood from returning to TV, and then doubled down on that assertion by strongly hinting that Steven Moffat was one of those preventing the show’s return on stage at a recent convention event.
“I was told that there are some obstacles to overcome, and every time I tried to talk about a way around them, it was almost like there was another obstacle,” Barrowman told Radio Times.
“And this is a personal thing for me, this is not anything that was discussed, but I find it really a little disheartening that a company like the BBC can’t just say ‘Put your egos aside, we’re gonna go forward with this.’” he continued. “I travel all over the world, and I see the popularity of Torchwood. But when it comes down that it’s not being done because of people’s egos, I find that really difficult.”
Steven Moffat, the longtime Doctor Who showrunner who will soon be leaving that show, was not pleased with Barrowman’s words.
“You may be aware that John Barrowman has been saying, publicly, that I’ve been blocking a new series of Torchwood.” Moffat said in a statement to Doctor Who News. “To be very clear – I haven’t blocked it; I wouldn’t block it; I wouldn’t even be ABLE to block it. I didn’t even know a revival had been mooted ’til I read about it on the Internet.”
“As John perfectly well knows, it’s not my show and I could no more prevent it happening than he could cancel Sherlock. I am bewildered, and a little cross, even to be included in this conversation,” Moffat continued.
“For the record, I really liked the show (especially the third series) and would be very happy to see more – monsters and mayhem, why not? But the fact is, it has nothing to do with me. Please pass this on to the anxious and the angry – I’ve had enough hate mail now.”
Torchwood (a rearrangement of the words Doctor Who) was a Doctor Who spinoff series created by former showrunner Russell T. Davies in 2006. So far the series has spanned 41 episodes and 4 seasons between 2006 and 2001, having appeared on various BBC channels, CBC, and Starz!. The show followed the exploits of a small team of alien hunters, who make up the Cardiff-based, fictional Torchwood Institute, and dealt mainly with incidents involving extraterrestrials. The central character in all the seasons was Captain Jack Harkness, played by John Barrowman, an immortal former time agent and con-man from the future who first appeared on the 2005 revival season of Doctor Who.
It remains to be seen if a Torchwood revival will happen in the near future, if at all. A new Doctor Who spinoff series geared towards children, Class, will premiere this fall on BBC. Steven Moffat, Patrick Ness, and Brian Minchin will act as executive producers.