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John Barrowman: 'Captain Jack and the Doctor meet as two great friends'

John Barrowman Doctor Who

How do you fight the Daleks without the Doctor? Well a helping hand from Captain Jack Harkness is always useful!

John Barrowman makes a memorable cameo appearance in this year's Doctor Who Christmas special, as Captain Jack Harkness returns to help the Doctor do battle against the Daleks.

Revolution of the Daleks begins where the most recent series left off, with Jodie Whitaker’s Time Lord incarcerated in an alien prison, while her friends Graham (Bradley Walsh), Ryan (Tosin Cole) and Yaz (Mandip Gill) continue their lives on Earth.

After discovering a Dalek plot the trio spring into action, but how do you fight the fearsome aliens without the Doctor?

We caught up with John Barrowman to find out more about an action-packed episode that promises some spectacular shocks and surprises…

You must be very excited to be in a festive special? It sounds like one hell of a story!

John Barrowman: "I’m so excited because it’s the first time Jack has been in a holiday episode, so totally exciting. It's an epic adventure, which pays homage to the journeys that Jack used to go on with the Doctor in the old days, in different incarnations. I don't want to give too much away, but it's amazing!"

Jack has a bit of history with the Daleks doesn't he?

JB: "Yes he does, although I don't think he was expecting this! As we know, the Daleks always find a way to survive and the way they survive this time is very creepy and out of line, so Jack knows immediately that it has to come to an end. Captain Jack spends a lot of time with Yaz and Jack Robertson (Sex and the City star Chris Noth) while he's trying to stop them though..."

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What was it like working with Chris Noth?

JB: "He's as nuts as I am in real life and we had a blast together. It was like crazy time in the make-up trailer and some of the outtakes, they need to do a real because its just bananas!"

Jodie Whitaker Doctor Who

The Doctor is incarcerated in an alien prison as Revolution of the Daleks begins (Image credit: BBC/James Pardon)

What are your first memory of the Daleks?

JB: "I've been a fan of Doctor Who since I was a kid and they're one of the two big villains – actually I have to include three, the Daleks, the Cybermen and the Autons. The Autons because when I was a kid that was my first introduction to Doctor Who. I remember watching it on a Saturday, being so scared and then my mother taking me to the shops on a Monday and I wouldn’t walk past the shop front because of all the mannequins - she had to hide me in her coat! But having the Daleks back for the festive special, it's going to be event TV."

Will Captain Jack and the Doctor meet?

"They will meet, they will meet. I can’t tell you how!"

That must have been a hell of a moment?

"It's like two great friends seeing each other again. I didn’t look at the scene like I was playing it with a different person, I looked at it as I was still playing this sentient being. I knew whose heart they were and whose soul it was, it was just a different body they encompassed, but it’s just the Doctor. Whovians will understand that and I know a lot of other people won’t. But people who know the show will get it - you go on the journey in the TARDIS with the doctor, you’re not going because of who’s in the TARDIS!'

John Barrowman Doctor Who

Captain Jack has important knowledge to pass on to Yaz as they do battle with the Daleks. (Image credit: BBC/Ben Blackall)

Captain Jack and Yaz (Mandip Gill) seem to build a real bond during this episode?

"They do and Jack has a really important conversation with her. Someone's had this conversation with Jack, he’s had it with someone else and now he’s having it now with Yaz. He’s had it with people in Torchwood. But it's the explanation of why you’re here, what the journey is, what to expect from the Doctor."

What Christmas present would you buy Captain Jack and the Doctor if they were coming to dinner?

"I would give the Doctor a calendar and say you will meet me on this date! For Captain Jack, I have his vortex manipulator here, so I would give that back to him. River Song – it ain’t yours!"

Doctor Who: Revolution of the Daleks airs on BBC1 on New Year’s Day at 6:45pm. Check out our TV guide for more information on the latest shows.