Tag Archives: John Barrowman

Who on earth expected us to like that?

Is Steven Moffat taking us for granted? I found myself watching the Christmas episode of Doctor Who with mounting surprise. ‘Is this it? Whatever happened to the idea of a special something for Christmas?’

The 50th anniversary episode a month earlier was so very, very good that I somehow imagined they knew what they were doing. Perhaps they used up every ounce of great ideas for that, and now there was none left. My loyal in-house Whovian pointed out there were some nice in-jokes. Maybe there were. Maybe the hardcore fans always get more out of an episode than the mere spectator. But even idiot viewers should be given some fun, while the experts chuckle over the cleverness of whatever they’ve come up with.

If I was Peter Capaldi I’d sue for getting such a crap entry to what should be a fantastic new job. If I was Matt Smith I’d sue for getting nowhere near the kind of exit David Tennant had. I was just sitting there willing it to be over. Die and let’s see this new Doctor and then we can all go and watch Downton Abbey.

I’m gladder than ever that I watched the 50th shebang in November. It made me pleased to ‘be part of it.’ (So for the sake of clarity; I had nothing to do with the Christmas failure. Not the 50th either, obviously, but, you know…)

My in-house fan then showed me the Peter Davison half hour programme about the other former Doctors who – supposedly – weren’t part of the 50th show. That was terrific! I could happily watch it again.

Thankfully Doctor Who won’t be back for a while. They will need time to write something we will want to watch.

The Eccleston reign

Would fish fingers and chips – bunged in the oven – have made a difference, I wonder? I’ve been informed this is how mothers coped with Saturday dinners in the olden days of Doctor Who. Because it’s astonishing quite how many episodes I never watched as the Doctor returned to the home screens eight years ago.

I think I plonked Offspring down in front of the box to watch, because it was what you did. Generations of British children watched the Doctor and the Daleks from behind their sofas. I don’t think I really expected to watch. I had no proper upbringing that led me to want to do it. So I probably watched a couple of episodes to keep people company. And I caught glimpses of the Tardis and stuff as I dashed in and out of the room.

I have long been under the impression that I watched every other episode of season one. Now I know better. I didn’t. Not by a long shot. I ‘met’ Captain Jack Harkness only by hearing him talk soothingly to Rose, as she sailed across the London sky. I have a lot of weird, half-fake memories. Sat through the ‘are you my mummy’ episodes to keep Daughter calm. But they were creepy.

In fact, I didn’t care that Christopher Eccleston stopped Doctoring, because I simply didn’t know the man well enough to miss him. And he was followed by the lovely David Tennant, so was easily forgotten by me.

Luckily the lapses of yesteryear have been rectified. I have just watched every single episode of season one, up to and including the Christmas one where David Tennant mostly slept on the job. They were pretty good, on the whole. And I’m beginning to see why some fans moan these days. They really did write them better before. They just did.

Never mind who was the Doctor. It’s who wrote the script that matters.

Christmas 2012

Christmas card - John Barrowman

Have a Barrowman Christmas!

It’s 45 candles on the cake for John Barrowman

Happy 45th birthday to John Barrowman!

John Barrowman and parents

Hardly surprising John is like he is with such crazily fantastic parents. Good thing they gave up on the idea of throwing him out for being a noisy baby. (Although he is still pretty noisy at 45.)

(Photo Helen Giles)

John Barrowman – the book interview

In my infinite generosity I have decided to share last week’s book interview with John and Carole Barrowman with my CultureWitch readers on the grounds of John generally being a culture kind of celebrity. He sings and he acts, but he certainly doesn’t write books.

I know, it’s confusing isn’t it? He gets his sister Carole to write books for him. This time it’s Hollow Earth, which is a children’s adventure novel, and that is why I went to Glasgow a week ago to speak to them.

Carole and John Barrowman

They are crazy, and very nice. The interview is a little crazy too. It sort of rubbed off.

and John

By very strange coincidence I appear to have processed another television hero in the book business. My photographer and I travelled to Glasgow on Monday to witness the book signing for Hollow Earth, the new children’s book by Carole Barrowman and her baby brother John.

I thought it’d be a profound sort of thing to interview John and Carole on their old home ground in Glasgow, although I quite forgot to ask them to switch to a Scottish accent. But we had a great deal of fun anyway, and I’m sure they’ve never encountered the concept of acting their age.

Carole and John Barrowman

There is no doubt about John’s popularity. As the two of them walked down the stairs at Waterstones in Argyle Street they were greeted like like superstars by the fans, many of whom had queued for four hours.

John Barrowman 2011 tour

This is the sort of thing I like best; blogging merrily away when I’ve not had to do a thing. (Other than wait up by the phone to hear that Daughter returned ‘home’ safely after gallivanting all over Scotland for John Barrowman’s concerts.)

John Barrowman

This year was hard. Not as bad as when I delayed buying tickets and we ended up not going, but when the tickets went on sale in the spring she had no idea where she’d be once the concert dates came round. So with a shortlist of favoured university and insurance university, she bought more than one ticket.

John Barrowman

And just to be safe (hah!) she bought tickets for both the Scottish venues. Luckily it was the Scottish ones she could use. Trouble is the country is larger than it looks and fitting in travelling between lectures and things was no easy feat. But she did it, and I can now blog off her efforts.

John Barrowman and Jodie Prenger

The fact that she’s been asleep in today’s lectures (only joking!) doesn’t matter. Apparently the Scottish concerts are the best, because John allows himself to be Scottish, rather than American. And in Glasgow last night the audience linked arms and joined him in the singing, making him cry. Fitting end to a tour finishing in John’s home town.

Firth of Forth

And what could be nicer than the sun rising over the Forth railway bridge on a sunny November morning?