Captain Jack Harkness to return for 'Doctor Who' Christmas special

John Barrowman as Captain Jack Harkness - Doctor Who: Revolution of the Daleks (Credit: James Pardon/BBC)
John Barrowman as Captain Jack Harkness - Doctor Who: Revolution of the Daleks (Credit: James Pardon/BBC)

John Barrowman's Captain Jack Harkness will be back for the Doctor Who Christmas special, it's been confirmed.

It will be the character's first proper episode for more than a decade, following his brief cameo spot in the last series of the veteran BBC sci-fi adventure, in the episode Fugitive of the Judoon, which aired in January.

Captain Jack will pitch up in Revolution of the Daleks, coming to the aid of the Yaz, Ryan and Graham as they battle the Doctor's nemeses.

Watch: Doctor Who fan’s massive memorabilia collection

Jodie Whittaker's Doctor, however, will not be on the front line – as we left her in the final episode of series 12 of the show, The Timeless Children, she will still be trapped in a distant space prison, after being taken into custody by the Judoon.

Said Barrowman: “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.

Read more: Next Doctor Who series cut to eight episodes

“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.”

Whittaker in The Timeless Children (Credit: BBC)
Whittaker in The Timeless Children (Credit: BBC)

Added showrunner Chris Chibnall: “A Doctor Who festive special means treats galore, and there’s no bigger treat than the return of John Barrowman to Doctor Who for an epic and emotional feature-length episode.

“If anyone can blast away the sheer rubbishness of 2020, it’s Captain Jack. Daleks beware.”

Barrowman's last full episode of the show was The End of Time, broadcast in 2010, a two-parter back when Matt Smith was playing the Time Lord.

He also fronted the spin-off series Torchwood from 2006 to 2011.

Read more: Who is the best Doctor of all time?

Chibnall recently revealed that the 13th series of the show will be shorter than usual, weighing in at eight episodes rather than 11.

“Given the complexity of making Doctor Who, and with new and rigorous Covid working protocols, it's going to take us a little longer to film each episode, meaning we expect to end up with eight episodes, rather than the usual eleven,” he said.

“But rest assured, the ambition, humour, fun and scares you expect from Doctor Who will all still be firmly in place. For everyone around the world, this is a challenging period — but the Doctor never shirks from a challenge."

Air dates for the Christmas special and series 13 are yet to be announced.

Watch: The Doctor Who cast talk series 12