Fans of Doctor Who and Torchwood have been longing for John Barrowman to return to the franchises. Until that happens, Barrowman has landed a gig at The CW on Arrow, and its creative team couldn’t be happier.
Back at Comic-Con in July 2012, John Barrowman was hinting in several interviews that he had something big in the works that comic fans would love. Being a self-professed sci-fi, comics, and superhero geek, Barrowman clearly knew what he was talking about. He landed a part in the new CW series called Arrow, based loosely up on the Green Arrow series by D.C. Comics.
The showrunners couldn’t be more pleased with having Barrowman in their arsenal. In speaking with Collider, co-producer Marc Guggenheim was not familar with Torchwood or John Barrowman at all; however, after viewing the dailies, he classified Barrrowman’s performances as “magnetic, charming, and unbelievable.” It seems to be exactly what’s called for in a character that has only been described to the press as “a mysterious, well-dressed man.”
Guggenheim’s fellow co-producer Andrew Kreisberg knew exactly what he was potentially getting in John Barrowman. He stated:
“I’m a lifelong Doctor Who fan. Like Peter Davison/Colin Baker, lifelong fan. So, when John Barrowman’s name came up for this part, they said, ‘Well, you should call him, Andrew,’ which was amazing. I basically laid out the plan that we had for his character, and who he is and how he relates to everybody and what’s going on because we didn’t have a lot written, and I said, ‘So, I guess I’m asking you to take a leap of faith.’ He said, ‘It’s funny, seven years ago, Russell T. Davies told me to take a leap of faith with him, and I hear your passion and creativity the way I heard his. So, let’s do it!’ That was the best phone call I’ve ever gotten. What’s most exciting is that he’s not playing Jack. This is a completely different character. He’s just such a tremendously talented actor, and it’s one of the things we’re most proud of with the show. We just feel like, in addition to our newer actors, we have this incredible cast of actors who’ve done other things that we hope will make people realize that this isn’t just a standard superhero show. We’re really trying to do something special.”
The Hollywood Reporter wasn’t able to unravel any more of the mystery when it was given two exclusive photos of Barrowman on the Arrow set today. All it was able to confirm was that, “Barrowman will make his debut in the fifth episode of the freshman drama titled Damaged, playing a character who is only being referred to as ‘Well Dressed Man.’ He’s described as being as mysterious as he is wealthy and recur as an acquaintance of the Queen family and prominent figure in Starling City.”
The two photos show Barrowman looking very corporate with a touch of the familiar Captain Jack suave-cockiness. In one photo, he’s staring down Susanna Thomson, who plays Moira Queen, the title character’s equally devious and dangerous mother.
In speaking about his role on After Elton, Barrowman stated that he’s actually going to play a villain instead of the familiar conflicted hero that is Captain Jack, “I’m playing a character who is pivotal to the plotline. I can’t tell you anything about him. He is only known as ‘the well-dressed man,’ but I’m saying as the fan, I’m sure you’ll find out at some point, but it’s the genre I love, science fiction and fantasy, and it’s something different. I’m a bad guy, but I think– me as the actor looking at it– I see myself as a good guy.”
The series just premiered on The CW this week. If you missed the debut episode catch it online. Give it a try; the intrigue, danger, and elements of leading a double life should appeal to Torchwood fans.
Have you seen Arrow? Would you recommend it to Torchwood and Doctor Who fans?