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Doctor Who's 50th: The Real Reason John Barrowman Won't Appear in Anniversary Special

Unless you’ve been locked in staring contest with a Weeping Angel, you know that John Barrowman‘s Captain Jack will not be among the Doctor Who vets appearing in the franchise’s upcoming 50th anniversary special.

But, contrary to Interweb scuttlebutt, the actor tells TVLine that it was absolutely not for lack of interest on his part.

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“Everyone on Twitter tries to make it like it’s my decision, but the bottom line is I was not asked,” he maintains. “[The Powers That Be] don’t want to put Jack in it. And I know fans are really upset about it, as was I.”

Barrowman is particularly frustrated that some have suggested that his busy schedule — in addition to his recurring gig on The CW’s Arrow, he just shot a guest stint on ABC’s Scandal — precluded him from slipping back into Jack’s trademark trench coat  WWII greatcoat.

“People have tried to say it’s my schedule; it’s absolutely not,” he insists. ”I was told by the producers of Arrow that if I was asked to do the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who they’d let me go and do it. It was nothing to do with my schedule. It’s just a matter of fact that I wasn’t asked.”

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And despite his disappointment, Barrowman stresses, “I understand why they did it. They want to move forward, they want to try some different things… I know from how [former EP exec producer Russell T. Davies] approached things, they’re not doing [the special] just for the uber fan; they’re doing it for the wider audience. And if they’re going to bring a character back it wouldn’t be just for the uber fan, it would be for everybody. So perhaps that’s the thinking they had. I don’t know.”

The Steven Moffat-penned anniversary special is currently in production and is scheduled to air on BBC America later this year.

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