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‘Time to Move On’ Barrowman Tells Torchwood’s Ianto Jones Fans

By on July 23, 2011

The ghost of Ianto Jones is very much alive.  Ever since coffee-serving fan favorite Ianto (played by Gareth David-Lloyd)  was killed in the Torchwood mini-series Children of Earth, fans have been quite vocal in their demands for his return.  Some have gone as far as to send coffee to Starz, the premium subscription channel responsible for picking up the latest incarnation of the hit show Torchwood: Miracle Day.  It’s unsurprising therefore that mention of Ianto made its way to the Torchwood panel at San Diego Comic Con on Friday.

John Barrowman, who plays Captain Jack Harkness on the show, dealt with the subject squarely, suggesting to fans that perhaps it was time to move on.

“We, as a show, love the fact that you’re all passionate about the characters,” he told fans. “The one thing that we are is a drama, and in a drama you have to do things that will unfortunately upset and cause change. It wasn’t our decision. It wasn’t our fault, but in order to move the drama on, we had to do something drastic.”

While it’s true that Ianto, who played Jack’s lover in previous seasons, does get a mention this season, he is not about to make a return.  “Jack’s going to have another involvement,” Barrowman told fans. “It’s an absolutely fantastic story,” which will explored in-depth in Episode 7.

Barrowman may be making reference to a controversial upcoming explicit sex scene which British audiences will not see.

According to a statement from the BBC, “It wasn’t that it was a gay scene that worried people, but just the fact that it was such an explicit sex scene full stop. You can get away with scenes like that on American cable channels, but you can’t on primetime BBC One. Even though the show airs after the watershed, it has a lot of young fans who would have been shocked at the graphic nature of the sex.”

In an interview with British tabloid The Sun, Barrowman defended the scene saying “It’s not gratuitous sex, it facilitates the story. It’s nothing they grab just to put on the camera and sensationalise it.  You go back into history with Jack and you discover an integral relationship that is part and parcel to what is happening. It’s a massive story.”

However, the BBC stands behind their decision stating that the sex scene (along with another scene cut for violent content) does not change the essence of the story.

Torchwood continues on Thursday on BBC1 in the UK and on Friday on Starz in the US.


  1. peter

    July 23, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    I guess he’s getting his wish then, the ratings for Torchwood have been terrible and keep dropping, plenty of people “moving on”. Telling fans and/or viewers to move on if they don’t like changes is a risky business, just ask the producers of Stargate. They told their fans to go away if they didn’t like SGU and killed a 15 year old franchise, not looking too clever now are they? I’m betting Torchwood won’t see another season either.

  2. Linda

    July 23, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    He absolutely did not tell fans to “move on”. If that’s what you get from reading his quote:

    “We, as a show, love the fact that you’re all passionate about the characters,” he told fans. “The one thing that we are is a drama, and in a drama you have to do things that will unfortunately upset and cause change. It wasn’t our decision. It wasn’t our fault, but in order to move the drama on, we had to do something drastic.”

    then YOU need a class in reading interpretation!

  3. Dee

    July 23, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    Peter, if you read the article you will see that John didn’t actually tell fans of Ianto Jones to move on at all – he talks about the drama moving on, which is a completely different thing! A very misleading headline.

    • Missy

      July 30, 2011 at 1:35 am

      Maybe not in this article but he has been known to say ‘get over it’ and ‘move on’ before. It’s been talked about on After Elton before. I don’t think he meant to seem cold but it has been seen that way by many.

      And no, I don’t have the links to the other articles but do a search and you can find them, I’m sure.

  4. Jennifer Griffin

    July 23, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    Apologies guys. It wasn’t my intention to mislead you.

    For my own part, I DO believe John B. was talking about fans moving on from Ianto’s death. He references change and moving on. We may be splitting hairs as to whether he meant fans are now moving on, or the show is now moving on. I think maybe it comes down to the same thing in the end. If you are watching the show in its current incarnation (Miracle Day) then you’re along for a ride that doesn’t feature Ianto.

    That’s my interpretation of his words within the context of the question asked at Comic Con and the answer given.

    • Pat

      July 24, 2011 at 6:57 am

      I think people should watch the panel on youtube. They will see that indeed he is asking us to move on after making a big sigh. And he insists at the end that Jack will have a new involvement….
      Anyway I am not about to move on.

  5. Shann

    July 24, 2011 at 5:33 am

    I dealt with the death of Ianto. I dealt with Torchwood changing. I dealt with it becoming Americanized (I know its cause of money ok… w.e). What I cant deal with is how the BBC have decided that they can treat us like children….
    Im sorry but Torchwood has clearly been sated its for adults… I was like 13/14 when series 1 came out and I was only alowed to watch it while my parents were in the room to turn it off if they deemed it inapropriate.
    Im sorry BBC but if parents are letting children watch Torchwood despite the warinings then can we not just let them bare their own consequences? I hate being treated like a 5 year old… post- watershed is post watershed however you want to sugar-coat it. Pathetic & poor show BBC.

  6. missthingsplace

    July 24, 2011 at 8:49 am

    An answer from the BBC to an email i sent to their complaints dept. and i quote:

    “It is not unusual for co-productions to have slightly different versions of a show to reflect the different audiences. For episode three of ‘Torchwood: Miracle Day’, as part of the usual discussions between broadcasters and the production company, small potential edits in two intercutting scenes of gay and straight sex were discussed and made by production. This minimal edit makes little difference to the episode to be broadcast in the UK. Both scenes remain but run a few seconds shorter than the US version. In a later episode a sequence of gay sex is important to the story and therefore both the US and UK will show the same version.”

    So according to the BBC, the first scene in ep3 is going to be cut, the second scene in ep6 will remain in full!

  7. Jennifer Griffin

    July 26, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    John Barrowman has been quoted by The Windy City Times recently in relation to Ianto Jones’ death.

    He says:

    “I think we have moved on.”

    “Torchwood creator Russell T Davies explains it better – he says we couldn’t have transplanted the show in the States and brought the entire company with it. People had to die!”

    • Missy

      July 30, 2011 at 1:41 am

      Which goes to show that even those involved in the show DON’T KNOW why Ianto had to die.

      1st it was because it would give Jack that push needed to kill his grandson. Then it was because they needed his death for drama. Then it was because it was needed for Jack’s character development. Then because he wouldn’t fit in this new idea of Torchwood. Now it’s because they couldn’t bring all the cast to the US? So… they could afford 2 but not 3 of the actors? Riiiiiight. Next thing we know they’ll be saying “Ianto died because his eyes were too blue and they wouldn’t look right on screen’.

  8. Magpie

    August 2, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    I understood the article (title included) is an interpretation of Barrowman’s quote…and a correct one at that.

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