Doctor Who’s John Barrowman teases the next Doctor ‘could be gay, bisexual or fluid’

Patrick Kelleher
·3-min read

John Barrowman has thrown his support behind the idea of the next Doctor being LGBT+.

The Doctor Who actor, who is set to reprise his role as “omnisexual” time-traveller Captain Jack Harkness in the upcoming New Year’s Day special, told The Telegraph that he can see an LGBT+ Doctor in the show’s future.

“Of course the next Doctor could be gay,” Barrowman said. “The Doctor could be bisexual, the Doctor could be fluid, whatever, it doesn’t matter. The Doctor is an alien that can try anything and everything. And that’s where the audience is right now.”

Barrowman also hinted that his Doctor Who character will be seen flirting with Jodie Whitaker’s Doctor in the New Year’s Day festive special.

“Jack doesn’t recognise the shell, he recognises the two hearts and the soul of the Doctor,” he said.

“Jack doesn’t give a damn that she’s in a female body, a male body or an alien body. Jack will have sex with anything with a postcode.”

“I remember when I kissed the Doctor and Rose in the same episode, a journalist said: ‘Well, that was shocking for the nation.’ I said: ‘Really? Because you’re probably the one who has a problem with it.'”

He added: “Today, so many kids have two dads, two mums, trans parents… it’s a completely different time.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Barrowman waded into the ongoing debate around whether straight actors should play gay characters – a discussion that was recently reignited following James Corden’s polarising performance as gay Broadway star Barry Glickman in Netflix musical The Prom.

“I believe that as actors we should be able to play all sorts of roles,” Barrowman said.

“I have played straight, gay, drug addicts and terrorists. James Corden being a straight man has always had the option to play gay or straight. We as openly gay men, gay women, have only recently had the option to play both roles,” he said.

“Remember, I worked for a producer a long time ago who told me not to come out. They wanted me not to talk about Scott [Barrowman’s husband], who at that time was not my husband but my boyfriend, and I refused and I was written out of the show.”

Playing Captain Jack in Doctor Who changed John Barrowman’s life.

Barrowman first appeared as Captain Jack Harkness in the long-running BBC series in 2005, and he quickly became a fan-favourite.

He reprised his role in a January 2020 episode titled “Fugitive of the Judoon” – and the BBC later announced that he will return for the New Year’s Day festive special, titled “Revolution of the Daleks”.

“It’s always thrilling to play Captain Jack,” Barrowman said when his return was announced in November.

“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.”