CAROLE E. BARROWMAN INTERVIEW
In January 2009, we exclusively interviewed John Barrowman's sister, Carole E. Barrowman, regarding the comic strip, Captain Jack and the Selkie, she had recently penned with her brother, which appeared in issue #14 of the Official Torchwood Magazine!
The story sees Captain Jack Harkness facing a deadly threat on a remote Scottish island, where people are disappearing one by one... But to his horror, Jack starts to suspect he may know who - or perhaps more specifically what - is responsible!
Q. Hey Carole. Obviously we're all looking forward to the release of Captain Jack and the Selkie, but what inspired you to write it and where did the first ideas for the plot come from?CB: The first ideas for the plot came from a short story I'd written a year or so ago called "The Tale of the Selkie." The story has nothing to do with Torchwood or Captain Jack, but it has enough elements of the mysterious and the unusual that when John and I did start to brainstorm ideas for the comic, he remembered my story and we decided it would be perfect for the first Captain Jack tale.
Q. How long did the comic take to write, and how closely did you work with John to produce the final project?CB: John and I worked closely at the beginning when we were working out the elements of the story and we stayed in regular contact after that. When John and I finished the story's outline, the artists - brilliant guys - Tommy Lee Edwards and Trevor Goring, worked out the panel breakdowns and then I wrote the script from there. At that point the script and panels went back to them for the art and to John Workman for the lettering. Overall, from first outline to finished project... maybe two months. We would have liked more time, but each one of us squeezed this in between other projects.
Q. (Sent in by Reginald) Does the comic feature any of the regular Torchwood characters (Gwen, Ianto, etc...), or it set when Captain Jack is a freelance agent?CB: I'm afraid not, Reginald. This story is just Jack. He's in Scotland investigating a series of bizarre murders that have something to do with his past... won't say anymore less I spoil it for you.
Q. Did you have any influence over the artwork in your comic?CB: Probably the biggest influence we had was that we picked two of the best artists in the business to work with us. During the process, Tommy sent us sketches and rough drawings and my only job in relation to the art was to make sure that some of the visual clues that we needed in early panels were visible.
Q. Did spending time with John and the other members of the Torchwood cast and crew on the set give you any inspiration for your story?CB: Spending time on the Torchwood set did give me insight into Jack's character. It's always exciting to watch the actors bring life to their characters, but the story is more a personal tale of Jack's and so it's set outside the Torchwood world.
Q. (Sent in by DdWho) Does knowing the real John influence how you write his character, Captain Jack, in any way?CB: Hmm, interesting question, DdWho. I really try to keep the two separate in my head (which isn't always easy); otherwise, I'd just see my 'wee' brother all the time.
Q. You've previously worked with John on the publication of his autobiography, Anything Goes (we met you at a book signing in Cardiff). Did you find your relationship with him was strained during work on these projects?CB: John and I are close enough as siblings and as collaborators that when we do start to fray each other's nerves (which honestly doesn't happen that much), we usually can tell and we can deal with it. We both share a similar sense of humor and usually we need to control that more than we ever need to worry about other things.
Q. Are you looking forward to hearing the fan's reaction to your story?CB: I love hearing from fans. I'm getting lots of emails via my website and I'm reading all of them and enjoying the reactions tremendously. Torchwood/Jack/ fans in particular and scifi fans in general seem to be a very close and vibrant community and I'm enjoying being part of it.
Q. (Sent in by Matt and Mark) If the BBC were to offer you a guest role in an episode of Doctor Who or Torchwood alongside your brother, would you accept it?CB: Well, Matt and Mark, I think I'd have to think about it for, oh, all of ten seconds... I'd love to play a rogue scientist or some character that has some kind of secret that Jack and the team needs... actually, here's two little known facts for fans of the series. My son, Turner, John's nephew, spent time working on set one summer and he got on camera as an extra. John didn't know what part Turner would be playing and there's a great shot in the show of John/Jack walking into a tent passed Turner and realizing it's him... Also, my daughter, Clare, has been used by the makeup artists a couple of times when she's been with John to test out the make-up for wounds etc. before they're used on the actors.
Q. (Sent in by Sam) What's it like to see your brother act on TV?CB: It's really very cool, and I think I'd love Captain Jack even if I didn't know the actor who plays him. Some of us in our family can separate his character from John better than others. Clare sobbed her way through most of the last episodes of season two because all she could see was her Uncle John was really sad and upset...
Q. Have you got any plans to work with John again for future projects, Torchwood or otherwise?CB: We do have a few things we're working on right now and I think (hope) fans will be as excited about them as we are. Thanks for the good questions, WhovianNet.
WhovianNet ©2007-2017 WhovianNet.co.uk. All rights reserved.WhovianNet is an unofficial Doctor Who fansite. We are not endorsed by or affiliated with the BBC or any other companies
connected with Doctor Who and its spin-offs. The official site can be found at bbc.co.uk/doctorwho.