Doctor Who‘s tease of Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) last season if finally going to pay off … well, sort of.
Deadline reports the actor and character will appear in the upcoming holiday special, “Revolution of the Daleks.” Picking up from the Season 12 cliffhanger, it will see The Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) attempt to break out of an interstellar prison while the TARDIS Team face readjusting to life on Earth and a Dalek invasion Sheffield. Captain Jack will assist the group on Earth; which, bizarrely, makes the special sound more like an episode of Torchwood — which starred Barrowman as Captain Jack — than Doctor Who.
But perhaps that isn’t such a bad thing.
Current Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall has yet to deliver a true Christmas special since taking over the program a few years ago. Instead, he delivered a New Year’s Day special at the end of his first season and the BBC used the first episode of Season 12 as holiday content while the plotline itself featured no references to the end-of-year festivities. Indeed, we’re still not sure when the new special will air as the BBC has yet to lock down its holiday programing schedule. According to Deadline, “Revolution of the Daleks” will air “across the holiday season.” Perhaps a holiday themed episode more in the Torchwood format gave Chibnall, who also wrote for that series, a fresh way to tackling snow and Christmas trees.
For his part, Barrowman said in a statement, “Putting on Jack’s coat and setting foot back on the set of Doctor Who was just like going back home. It’s always thrilling to play Captain Jack. He’s a character very close to my heart who changed my life, and to know the fans love him as much as I do makes his return even sweeter. I hope everyone enjoys Jack’s heroic adventure with Thirteen.”
Doctor Who will also return for a short, 8-episode season late in 2021.