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24 November 2020

Back in 2005, for many fans of a certain age, a long period of Doctor Who televisual drought had finally come to an end; the wilderness years were over.

Despite having so much to live up to, Christopher Eccleston's first series was a palpable hit, with Russell T. Davies having rooted the show with more story arcs, more emotion and more budget than we could have possibly dreamed of. 

There were a number of takeaway favourites from that first series; Rose and the Doctor's chemistry, the (previously mentioned) season-long story arc, "Are you my Mummy!" and good old Captain Jack Harkness, played so wonderfully by John Barrowman.

During the closing moments of Series One, poor Jack was left for dead, and it wasn't until Series Three's three-part finale that we would see him again in Doctor Who. But the minute he reappeared on that screen, you couldn't help but feel the excitement and love that this character brings to the Doctor Who universe. A big part of that is down to Barrowman's own love for the show and his character, and it effortlessly comes across on-screen.

Captain Jack would make one more cameo appearance in the Series Four finale (The End Of Time: Part Two) - and then nothing for a further eight series...

Whilst the show has evolved over the years and several Doctors have come and gone, Jack has always been at the back of our minds. Russell T. Davies and Steven Moffat left us with a number of big questions and mysteries surrounding Jack, that even his own Torchwood series never got to the bottom of. What happened in those missing years? Did he really become the Face Of Boe? If so, how?

And such is the enigma of Jack; a character who has always left us wanting more. Peppered lightly, but so meaningfully in Doctor Who - a force for good who always has the Doctor's back. 

For us, Jack almost seems to be the embodiment of Doctor Who fandom; someone that is there to support the Doctor. Someone who is clearly thrilled to be in the Doctor's presence and who has been changed by the Doctor to make choices for the better. Like Jack, we all have the Doctor's back and to take the analogy to its conclusion, fandom will go on living for many years to come.

Earlier this year saw the long-awaited return of Jack in the Series 12 story Fugitive Of The Judoon. Jack had an important message for The Doctor, and left with the promise that he would see her again (although we didn't actually get to see them together in the episode). Having witnessed the joy at Jack's surprise return via fandom on Twitter, it was so clear just how much he was missed and just how much he means to fans. Jack is a touchstone to the show's return 15 years ago, and seeing him back rebuffs all those happy memories and emotions.

Last night we all got the news we were hoping for... Jack is back once more, and finally...FINALLY, he gets to meet our fantastic new Doctor. A Christmas special, no less, with Daleks and futuristic prisons and...well... at least an hour of two old friends thrown back together. 

How apt is that?! It's all of us - The Doctor, his friends, and no matter how much time goes by, we're all still here and ready for the next adventure.

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