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Published:August 5th, 2011 13:27 EST

John Barrowman Talks Torchwood

By Paulette Cohn

As Starz gets ready to air the fifth episode in Torchwood: Miracle Day tonight at 10 p.m., series star John Barrowman, who plays Captain John Harkness, talks about his long run as the character, which has spanned two series.


Is it weird to think that Torchwood in the U.S. is more popular than Dr. Who is here?

John Barrowman: You said it, I didn`t.  A big grin on my face, I came from the mother ship.  I came from Dr. Who and I loved Who and don`t ever let anyone tell you that I don`t. But it`s a great thrill to know that the little show that started out very small has become really, really big.  I say it from the bottom of my heart that it`s because of the fans. They`ve stuck with us.  They`ve kept on board.  They`ve watched the show.  They`ve allowed us to progress. They`ve let the changes happen and also we`ve landed on our feet with Starz. They`ve given us the budget to make it and without them we wouldn`t be here today.  So I am humbled and absolutely grateful to the fans and to Starz.


Do you think Torchwood would ever return to its roots over in Wales?

John Barrowman: We will always be a part of Wales.  We will continue to do stuff in Wales.  We will continue to be part of the BBC, so we will always be doing part of Torchwood in the UK.  So it`s not like we packed our bags and left. You can`t deny the roots. [Creator] Russell [T. Davies] loves doing big action sequences in South Wales. We never have vacated there.

The thing for us with the show, the thing that`s always been the way we`ve treated things, is we always move forward.  We put the Easter eggs in from the past, but we continue to change and develop, which we think -- and we hope -- keeps our core audience wanting more. If we didn`t change we`d be dull.  We`d be cancelled and that`s what we do not want.

From an actor`s stand point, how do you keep the story straight?  How do you remember everything?

John Barrowman: Sometimes you forget. That`s one thing with Eve [Myles] and I, when we`re working together, I may mention something to her and say, `Do you remember in episode blah-blah-blah where this happened? Where does that put us here?`  So we actually discuss with directors we`re working with, and they`ll ask us -- particularly the new directors from America.   They trusted us an awful lot and said, `You guys know these characters inside. Would they do this?` And we would either be `yes, they would,` or `no, they wouldn`t.`  It`s hard to keep it all straight in your head, particularly since I`ve been playing Jack now for almost eight years, having done the arc Dr. Who and Torchwood.

Do you keep a character diary?

John Barrowman: No it`s all in my head.  I`m not one of those actors.  I`m not what I call a wanky actor.

It`s a lot to keep straight.

John Barrowman: I totally understand.  I get it.  When I`m doing my scripts, I will take the script and I will make my notes at the side.  Actually, I told a fib because if you were thinking of my scripts, then they are my notes I have every script from my first episode of Dr. Who and I have all my notes.  So I told you a fib.  It`s not really a diary but I`ve kept all those notes.  I haven`t looked back at them, so it`s not like a journal.