Allyn Gibson wrote:
After Torchwood season 1, I've always felt that Doctor Who got Jack "wrong." That Doctor Who stripped him of his angst and treated him less realistically.
Interesting, cause IMO after New Who Season 1, I've always felt that TW and DW have gotten Jack "wrong." In Season 1, he's the straight forward James Bond of the Future, the flashy, charismatic, gunslinging pretty boy from another time, somewhere between the Doctor, advanced enough to share technobabble and exposition with him, and Rose, as after all they are both human companions at the end of the day.
There was a little darkness or angst in him (the fact that he was a con man, his missing two years), but unfortunately, Torchwood didn't decide to follow that line of character at all and instead just turned Jack into Angel to get protagonist angst, an aggressive immortal who broods about it but occasionally has a sense of humor. And honestly, it's way out of John Barrowman's acting range. Have him be flirty? He can do that. Have him portray the anguish of living hundreds of years while watching loved ones die around you? He just can't pull it off and it's made Jack in every appearance since TW S1 an awkward, schizophrenic mix of John Barrowman-as-John Barrowman flirting with blue girls or James Marsters and then immediately do some kind of cold hearted, for-the-greater-good action and look stoic.
I really enjoyed him in The Empty Child through The Parting of the Ways, but I have no desire to see Captain Jack again because since then, he's just become a convoluted, overly complicated (so tired of "What secret was in Jack's past THIS time..." every TW season), all-over-the-place mess of a character.