John Barrowman created a bizarre cover story to hide his 'Doctor Who' comeback

Ben Arnold
Contributor
John Barrowman (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

John Barrowman tried to convince his social media followers that he was refurbishing a flat in Cardiff so fans wouldn't twig that he was back on Doctor Who.

Barrowman appeared in Sunday night's episode Fugitive of the Judoon, reprising his role of Captain Jack Harkness, the “time agent” from the 51st century who first appeared in 2005's The Empty Child.

But not before trying to throw fans of the scent with a pretty convoluted yarn, involving trips to Asda and asking fans for their suggestions of how he should renovate his property.

John Barrowman as Captain Jack Harkness (Credit: BBC)

Read more: Jodie Whittaker hopes a female Doctor will not be headline news again

Barrowman posted various 'updates' on the flat project, with pictures of lighting solutions and choices of worktops.

However, after getting himself in too deep with the story, he then had to actually renovate the flat he owns in the city.

“I actually then did have to renovate it,” he told the Radio Times. “Because of the fib I was telling I had to really do it, because I had to show it online. So I’m sitting here right now, in the flat in Cardiff. It’s renovated, it’s beautiful, and it was a lie at first.

“I feel bad having to tell the fib to everybody, but like I’ve always said, when I’m doing something and I can’t say what it is, because I want to enjoy the excitement that other people are going to feel when Jack appears… that’s why I’m not going to tell anybody.”

Read more: Doctor Who’s Jodie Whittaker is now an actual doctor

But the ploy worked, it seems, with Harkness's appearance in the episode coming as a surprise to fans, while the BBC held back critic previews of the show until just a few hours before broadcast, in order to ensure secrecy.

Barrowman hadn't played Harkness for over a decade before Sunday's episode, and has also teased that he may be back again in the future too.

“If they ask me to come back, I always say this; I will be back at the drop of a hat,” he told The Sun.

He initially played the role under Russell T Davies’s tenure as showrunner opposite Christopher Eccleston's Doctor, and later fronted the Davies-created spin-off series Torchwood, which ran for four series.

Current Doctor Jodie Whittaker revealed last week that she'll be doing another series of the show, though it's not yet known whether it will be her last.

Doctors usually have three series before bowing out.