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Steven Moffat shoots down accusation that he ‘blocked’ another season of ‘Torchwood’

There's drama brewing behind the scenes of the 'Doctor Who' universe.


Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

Internet Culture

Posted on Sep 14, 2016   Updated on May 26, 2021, 12:42 am CDT

Actor John Barrowman is keen to film another season of Torchwood, as fans will undoubtedly have noticed from his many convention appearances and recent return in the Doctor Who/Torchwood audio dramas.

Unfortunately, Torchwood is still very, very canceled. And Barrowman thinks Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat is to blame.

Last week, a video surfaced of Barrowman speaking at Honolulu Comic Con. It shows him commenting about “executives” who are supposedly blocking a new season from being made, a dig that most fans interpreted as a reference to Moffat.

Barrowman went further during a recent interview with the Radio Times, talking about Torchwood‘s renewal being blocked by “people’s egos” and “politics” at the BBC.

These hints basically amount to a conspiracy theory, but the idea spread because it’s not entirely implausible. With the exception of the 50th anniversary special episode, Moffat made a noticable effort to detach his era of Doctor Who from the previous four seasons when Russell T. Davies was in charge. Torchwood barely exists in Moffat’s Doctor Who, which went back to using UNIT, the government agency from the days of “old” Who.

On the other hand, there are plenty of simpler explanations for why Torchwood hasn’t been brought back for a fifth season. The final season wasn’t very well received, Russell T. Davies has moved on to other projects, and the BBC is about to launch a new Doctor Who spinoff, Class.

While Barrowman didn’t actually mention Moffat by name, Moffat got the message loud and clear. In a statement to Doctor Who News, he said that he was “bewildered, and a little cross” about the rumor.

“You may be aware that John Barrowman has been saying, publicly, that I’ve been blocking a new series of Torchwood. To be very clear – I haven’t blocked it; I wouldn’t block it; I wouldn’t even be ABLE to block it. I didn’t even know a revival had been mooted till I read about it on the Internet. As John perfectly well knows, it’s not my show and I could no more prevent it happening that he could cancel Sherlock.”

He added that he enjoyed Torchwood, and would be happy to see more of the show. We look forward to John Barrowman’s next volley in this unexpectedly public spat. 

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*First Published: Sep 14, 2016, 12:37 pm CDT