On the 21st of May 2005, Doctor Who fans were introduced to a very special character named Captain Jack Harkness. Con man. Expert flirter. Amazing Coat. My introduction to Jack was a few years later, but since the 9 year anniversary came the same day as I finished another Torchwood/Doctor Who rewatch, I thought it was only fitting to dedicate a little post to my love for Jack.
Right from the very first moment we’re introduced to Captain Jack Harkness, seemingly a WWII solider, he’s admiring Rose’s behind as she dangles precariously from a barrage balloon. Mere moments after that, he slaps a fellow officer rear and tells him that he too has a nice bottom.
“You people and your quaint little categories.”
It a breath of fresh air for Doctor Who and television in general. One that you can hardly believe until Jack continues to flirt with both males and females. In media, where bisexuals are usually portrayed as ‘going through a phase’ or fall victim to other tropes and stereotypes, Jack Harkness is the real deal. Though he is labelled as omnisexual and you soon come to realise why – he is an equal opportunitist. If he can flirt with it, he will. This includes aliens and androids.
“Wish I’d never met you, Doctor. I was much better off as a coward.”
But there is more to Jack than his flirting and brilliant smile. He grows into a real hero throughout his journey with The Doctor and Rose, willing to put his life on the line to save the universe. These heroics are evident when we see him, a much darker Jack -though still charming – in his own series Torchwood. This was my first introduction to Captain Harkness, I hadn’t seen Doctor Who and Torchwood was being hailed as “a little bit like the X Files.” Since that had been over for some years, I needed something like it in my life again, Torchwood sounded perfect to me. I watched it for a bit but didn’t resume with the series until 2010 where I marathoned all the episodes in one hit. I laughed, raged, cried and fell completely in love with Jack.
I’ve watched and rewatched series 1 and 2 countless times now. And I’m not sure I would ever grow tired of watching Jack in any kind of adventure. His charm, his wit, his coat, his love for his team, his love for life, his ability to make tough decisions – even the unpopular ones – when no one else will. What’s not to love?
My love for Jack brought on a new found love for Doctor Who, because once I finished Torchwood that first time, I needed more Jack. I headed straight for his episodes of Who and the rest is history.
There is no doubt that Jack’s charm comes from his portrayer, John Barrowman, who I have an equal amount of admiration for and its hard to imagine anyone else filling Jacks shoes.
Now that John Barrowman has signed on as a regular for Arrow (another role I am loving him in) it seems we may never get to see the fair Captain back on our screens again. Of course we understand John can’t hold on forever like we do, hoping that Moffat may grow some sense and bring Jack back, or that a smart network will want to invest in Torchwood again. But he’ll be greatly missed, thats for sure.
Tell me about what you love about Jack below.