Saturday, February 04, 2006

Captain Jack, positive bi role model

I was living in the States last year when the new series of Doctor Who came on, so I never saw any of the new episodes. This week a friend lent me the DVD box set of the whole series, so I've been spending the week watching them. They're great. I love the fact that a Doctor Who fan, who clearly knows what makes Doctor Who great, has written the new series. I also love the fact that that person is Russel T. Davis, the writer of Queer As Folk. Fantastic.

Anyway, another reason I'm loving the new Doctor Who is the character Captain Jack, played by John Borrowman. (By the way: phwwahr! - and you thought this was one of those intellectual Unitarian blogs, not some big old queen drooling over actors - don't worry I'll get back to that soon). Apparently he's getting his own series, called Torchwood.

The character is also bisexual. And the first bisexual character I have ever seen in the media presented in a positive light. He's not 'mixed up' or 'confused' or moaning about not knowing whether he's gay or straight. He's simply positively bisexual, exuding confidence, charming, and chatting up men and women in different places in time and space. OK, so maybe he's suggested to be a bit promiscuous, but in no different way than a straight character would be. He's like James Bond, just bi.

When Rose first realises Jack is bi she asks the Doctor about it, he simply shrugs and says 'Hey, he's a fifty-first century guy.'

It's such a positive presentation of bisexuality. Jack is presented as being somehow whole and and natural, at ease with himself. It's liberating, and I hope 13 year old kids watching this with their parents are liberated, and know that it's OK to be bi. In fact, it's kinda cool. I wish I'd seen these episodes of Doctor Who when I was 13.


Blogger boyinthebands said...

"Phwwahr!" indeed.

SciFi channel just played the first episode of The Empty Child. Only I wished Captain Jack didn't sound like an American because the accent is just imperfect enough to annoy.

But the story has me on pins and needles.

3:09 am  
Blogger boyinthebands said...

OK, I looked him up and see John Barrowman was reared in the US, and pulled up the videoclip he put out for his fans (on his site) to hear him speak: American Midwest standard.

I'm guessing the over-enunciated Omaha-meets-Hollywood intonation is a part of the character. Is that, per se, camp?

11:57 pm  

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