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.