Home / Arrow / Arrow Bait: Show Producers & Stephen Amell Talk John Barrowman

Arrow Bait: Show Producers & Stephen Amell Talk John Barrowman

The series premiere of Arrow is less than a half hour away in certain parts of the world, and although he isn’t in tonight’s premiere episode, a lot of people took notice of the series when it was announced that Torchwood’s John Barrowman would be guest starring on the series soon as a mysterious character that is known so far only as “The Well-Dressed Man.”

So, potentially as bait to ensure that the loyal Barrowman fan base watches the pilot tonight (8PM on The CW and Canada’s CTV) here’s what show producers Marc Guggenheim and Andrew Kreisberg as well as Arrow lead actor Stephen Amell (Oliver Queen) had to say about the former Captain Jack Harkness coming onto the show.

“Whenever I see dailies with him, literally the word that always comes to my mind is ‘magnetic.’ He is incredibly magnetic,” Guggenheim says, pointing out that unlike Kreisberg, who was very aware of Barrowman’s past work, he had not seen what may be Barrowman’s most famous role. “Not having seen him in Torchwood, I am like ‘this guy is unbelievable!’ I had come to his performance on my own terms. He lights up the screen, and he really energizes the actors that he has scenes with.”

“He is a force of nature,” Stephen Amell says. “Our first scene together, when I was reading the script, I actually audibly gasped. I went ‘WHOA, that’s great! That’s really exciting!’ It’s a jaw dopper,” he reveals.

Andrew Kreisberg was already well aware of what Barrowman was capable of.  “I am a lifelong Doctor Who fan,” Kreisberg admits. “I mean lifelong…. Peter Davison and Colin Baker. Lifelong fan. So when John Barrowman’s name came up for this part, they said ‘you should call him, Andrew.’ So I did, which was amazing. I basically laid out the plan that we had for his character, and who he is, and how he relates to everybody, what’s going on. At the time, we didn’t have a lot of it written. And I said, ‘so I guess I’m asking you to take a leap of faith’,” Kreisberg recalls.

“He said, ‘you know, it’s funny. Seven years ago, Russell T. Davies told me to take a leap of faith with him, and I hear your passion and creativity the way I heard his, so let’s do it.’ That was the best phone call I’ve ever gotten,” Kreisberg says. “It’s so exciting. What’s most exciting is he’s not playing Jack. This is a completely different character. He’s just such a tremendously talented actor, and [the casting is] one of the things we’re most proud of with this show.” Kreisberg relates how people took notice of Batman Begins once actors like Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, and Liam Neeson were cast, and hopes that the population of Arrow with very known talent in addition to its rising stars will help make people take note that Arrow “isn’t just a standard super hero show.”

And now… it’s time to see for yourself if Arrow is “a standard super hero show” or willing to go the distance. Watch the show tonight, come talk about it on our Arrow forum, and then of course spread the word about our Arrow site GreenArrowTV! Our thanks to Team Arrow for talking with us the other morning! Look for John Barrowman to show up on Arrow sooner rather than later.

About Craig Byrne, Editor-In-Chief

KSiteTV Editor-In-Chief Craig Byrne has been writing about TV on the internet since 1995. He is also the author of several published books, including Smallville: The Visual Guide and the show's Official Companions for Seasons 4-7.


  1. Former Captain Jack Harkness? Where did that come from? Just because Torchwood isn’t on our screens right now doesn’t mean it’s dead! Anybody who knows anything will know why it’s off the screen at the moment. I’m not going into details but it’s down to Russell T. Davies being unable to make it….So when things are better for RTD, hopefully in the not so distant future, we will hopefully get Torchwood back. But right now Russell’s personal life is more important! ‘Former’ indeed!

  2. Mickie, it’s all but set in stone that Torchwood is not coming back. The disappointing fourth series was the nail in the coffin – most of the longterm fans moved on after that, because if they want to give us more rubbish along the line of Miracle Day, we’d rather see it end before it taints the memory of the three series of the excellent original series.

    Former is right.

  3. I am very excited about John Barrowman’s involvement in Arrow, and these comments by the producers are very complimentary. It’s great to see him held in such high regard on both sides of the Atlantic.

    As for Torchwood, I would love to see John and Carole Barrowman’s novel Exodus Code brought to the screen. There it is, Torchwood series 5, already written.

  4. I have to agree, after season 3 Torchwood went downhill. They got rid of too many characters that people loved. Miracle day would have been better if the original cast was in it. After the character death in season 3 I was quickly turned off of the rest of the show. Only reason I watched season 4 was for John. If season 5 does premier at all I’m only watching for john.
    Torchwood is not back on the screen because RTD partner has Brain cancer I believe.
    Onto Arrow now. Arrow was amazing last night. It kept my attention and the filming was amazing! I was able to follow along really well without ever reading any of the comics. I can’t wait to see Johns Character

  5. It is no way set in stone that Torchwood is not coming back – Starz has said they’re ready whenever Russell is, and Russell has some other pressing concerns these days. Ratings were decent on both sides of the Atlantic as well. I’m sure John’s contract doesn’t preclude him from doing more Torchwood if it should pop up. Given the producers of Arrow’s enthusiasm for his work however, he might be pretty busy in the future in both happen at the same time.

  6. Starz might *say* that they’re ready for it to come back, but the fact is that the ratings and reviews were nowhere near successful. If they were serious about continuing it, general plans would have been made despite RTD’s partner’s health issues. RTD as well as the cast have made comments previously that they weren’t happy with the outcome of the fourth series, and I’ve yet to meet someone who genuinely loved it. It was mediocre, generic, and Americanized.. and it felt nothing at all like the Torchwood we all know and love. RTD is working on Wizards Vs. Aliens and before Andrew’s illness, he was in development with a new show that he’s very passionate about. Torchwood has been fizzling out post-COE. Exodus Code wasn’t a strong enough story to support a series or miniseries, in my opinion. It’s time to admit that it’s over. At least we got three brilliant series.

  7. I agree that Torchwood is most likely a dead series. Even John Barrowman isn’t enough to make me watch another series with Gwen Cooper in it. I totally hated that character from day one, and that character is the only one to survive! Blech! So like others here, I will get my fix of Mr. Barrowman via Arrow. The series has started out good, good enough to hold my interest.

  8. I would love to see more of Torchwood, even after the disappoint that was Miracle Day, “Too American.” Now is the time to take, the newly resurrected and now Immortal, Rex Matheson to the UK and reopen the Torchwood Institute. I would have shed no more tears for Gwen Cooper than any other character, had she died before she became pregnant, but now that she is a mum, I am even more invested in the character than ever. RTD get off your ass and give us Jack back. As for Arrow, I am only going to watch if the hotness shows up soon, maybe I blinked and missed him on the Premier episode, but if the man don’t show him self soon I will find some other diversion, like repeats of DW or Torchwood.