It's been a week since Doctor Who vet John Barrowman's flashing allegations resurfaced thanks to a viral video that became relevant again following the host of allegations against fellow franchise actor Noel Clarke. Despite Barrowman's apologies both past and present, the renewed attention is taking its toll on Barrowman's future regarding Doctor Who projects, among other industry gigs. Just days after it was first announced that Barrowman was removed from the immersive Who experience dubbed Time Fracture, the UK studio Big Finish has cancelled the upcoming audio series Torchwood: Absent Friends with David Tennant.
The Torchwood audio drama was heavily hyped as being the highly anticipated reunion between David Tennant's iteration of The Doctor and John Barrowman's Captain Jack Harkness, but was shelved by Big Finish for at least the foreseeable future. The official statement from the company (via io9) was brief but made it clear what the plans are with the project going forward
Big Finish has taken the decision to remove Torchwood: Absent Friends from the Monthly Range release schedule and has no plans to publish this title at this time.
The statement is obviously a major bummer for fans, but it's worth noting that Big Finish did not rule out the possibility of Torchwood: Absent Friends being released at a later date. It's presumed that the entire project's production was complete, considering it was set to release this month, so it's almost likely that it will see the light of day at some point in the future.
That outlook is a bit more optimistic than what happened with Time Fracture, the immersive experience that completely removed a video of Barrowman attached to the project. That event is still scheduled to proceed as planned, sans Captain Jack, and at this point, one would assume the creative team will close out the experience's run without re-adding Barrowman's footage to it, since it appears it won't be necessary for the experience to make sense.
The canceled audio drama may not even be the latest project to drop John Barrowman following the viral spread of the resurfaced video in which Noel Clarke talked about Barrowman routinely exposing his genitals to others on set as a prank. Clarke's claims were confirmed by multiple people associated with Doctor Who, though it was stressed by many that his actions weren't perceived in ways one would consider sexual in nature.
John Barrowman's loss of two Doctor Who-related jobs may cause some concern with fans. After all, the actor had only just returned to the franchise for these key appearances as Captain Jack after years of being away. With Barrowman's recent setbacks, one has to wonder if the controversy could impact whether or not Captain Jack will appear in Season 13 or any later seasons. There has been no explicit confirmation that Jack was set to appear in Season 13, though a leaked tie-in novel featuring the character was teased for Episode 3, so there were expectations.
Doctor Who Season 13 is still in the works, so it's difficult to speculate too much on who will or won't be involved in the season. We still don't even know for sure how much longer current Doctor Jodie Whittaker will be with the series. For more on that, be sure to read up on some of the chatter about who could be the one to replace her if she does leave after Season 13.