07 More On Captain Jack Harkness from Why Torchwood Still Matters with Dr. Rosanne Welch, San Diego Who Con 2021 [Video]

I recently presented a talk on Torchwood (Why Torchwood Still Matters) where I highlighted a few ways in which the show (airing from 2006 to 2011) came up with progressive and innovative ideas that are being used by other franchises today. 

I always enjoy attending the SD (San Diego) WhoCon because the audiences are so well-informed on the Whoniverse and Whovians love Captain Jack and the crew that made this spinoff program so engaging.

RMW Rosanne Signature for Web

07 More On Captain Jack Harkness from Why Torchwood Still Matters with Dr. Rosanne Welch, San Diego Who Con 2021 [Video]


Imagine the idea that you could see two men kissing on television. That just was not done. In the mid-80s there was a show here called 30 Something and it was the first time two gay men kissed on American television and in something like eight states they refused to air it. They simply did not show that episode right? So here in you know England because of Queer As Folk and slowly. So I think Captain Jack is a fascinating character. It’s so interesting that he’s really – I mean he’s not any particular thing but he’s an American when we meet him right and that’s such an interesting – oh seed that into their culture. Maybe it made it easier to accept because he wasn’t an Englishman. I don’t know. It’s very interesting but he’s a fascinating character and of course, we’re going to talk about the fact that he starts out we all – look he’s bisexual because – look in Children of Earth we find out he’s got a daughter, and a grandson. So clearly there was a woman in his life at some point right? So that’s interesting. We don’t generally see that representation very much on tv either. People are either this or that and suddenly it’s like or both right? He’s a 21st-century guy which is a pretty cool thing right? He likes women. He likes men. He’s omnisexual, right? If you’re cute he’s all about it which is why not and this happened before. I teach college you know and now I have students who represent us pansexual, asexual. They all are much more comfortable about their sexuality right? They’re not defined by one thing. Nobody was having that conversation really and I’m not saying only Torchwood did this but as we start these conversations in the media they build into our society right and people feel comfortable then having a conversation about things. So I’ve been really impressed that they start with that and they tried to keep it up. It was hard because we want to see Jack with somebody we know and we like. So it usually is a human but that was laid into his character, right? This is what it’s like to be an alien.

Watch this entire presentation

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