by Sherry Lipp
Out of all the guests at Emerald City Comicon 2015 I was the most excited to see John Barrowman. I love him as Captain Jack Harkness on Torchwood and Doctor Who, so getting the chance to see him in person was pretty awesome, and he did not disappoint. Barrowman gets the award for most energetic panelist. From the moment he took the stage he was a ball of non-stop energy. He sang, he danced, he told stories, and he took questions from the crowd until they practically had to drag him off the stage (more on that later).
Barrowman joked with crowd as he took questions from the audience, but he did pause for a few moments of seriousness. He talked about his participation in the NOH8 campaign and talked about being a role model to gay teens and anyone struggling with personal issues. “I will be your voice when you don’t have one,” he told the audience. He went on to say that connecting with fans is something very important to him and not something he takes lightly.
One thing Barrowman also cares about is entertaining. He broke into song several times and even agreed to perform a duet of “Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better” with an aspiring actress in the audience. He invited the teen up on the stage and sang the song though he was not entirely familiar with the words, which he attempted to read from a cell phone. His improvised line, “I can fart on anything,” brought down the house.
Fellow Doctor Who alum Alex Kingston made a surprise appearance in the middle of Barrowman’s panel much to the delight of everyone there. The two joked about never having worked together and hinted that they hoped they would have the chance. Kingston then persuaded Barrowman to serenade her and he obliged with an A cappella version of “You’d Be So Easy To Love.”
Though Barrowman put on a great panel, it ended on a bit of a sour note. Somehow there was some kind of miscommunication about the ending time of the panel, which resulted in some awkward moments between him and the ECCC staff. At one point they attempted to turn off the audience microphones prompting Barrowman to say, “You’re not really going to do this to me?” The mics were left on, but Barrowman was not entirely pleased. “Don’t do that, because if you do I won’t come back,” he told them. He went on to say that fans pay a lot of money to be there and he wasn’t going to let them down. He was able to finish his time with no problems.
That bit of confusion aside, Barrowman put on a great panel and it was one of the highlights of my time at Emerald City Comicon 2015. I hope he will be back. A few days following this incident, a fan at Fan Expo in Vancouver asked him if there was any fallout and he said everything is fine between him and the folks at ECCC (check out this video). I’m taking that as good news because I would love the chance to see him again someday.
Emerald City Comicon 2015 John Barrowman Panel Photos: Sherry Lipp