Captain Jack is pregnant again! Jack told himself, all the way back in the very first
episode of Torchwood, that he would never get pregnant again. Since then, fans have been longing for a story about Jack’s mysterious pregnancy (or pregnancies). This is not that story. I guarantee you it is an even better one.
‘Expectant‘ promises listeners to be a strange, zany, laugh-filled adventure. Weird cravings, pregnancy hormones, and one very stressed out alien midwife certainly deliver on that promise. Aaron Anthony, as midwife Jonty, is a scene-stealer as he runs around Cardiff and later a particularly strict, and increasingly odd, health & wellness spa chasing after our favourite captain. Jack Harkness doesn’t seem to understand the meaning of the words, “slow down”. It’s not an ideal mindset for a heavily pregnant surrogate, meant to be safe-guarding the next ruler of the Yalnix Empire, so Jonty is understandably anxious at all times.
However, it’s when the story digs deeper into the “why” of the situation that it goes from a fun romp, into a more impactful story and more heartfelt character study. Why does Jack refuse to slow down? Why did he even agree to become this surrogate at all? It’s all in the timing. ‘Expectant‘ is set very shortly after the end of Torchwood season 2 and the deaths of Toshiko and Owen. This mad plan is hatched in grief.
Starring John Barrowman
Now, under normal circumstances Jack is a very private person. The brilliance of this story though is that the crazy pregnancy plot, and all the weird hormonal imbalances that come with it, are the perfect way to weaken Jack’s resolve and get him to open up. John Barrowman does a wonderful job navigating all of Jack’s conflicting emotions in this story. He is clearly enjoying himself with over-the-top meltdowns and other fun pregnancy gags. He similarly does not hold back in the moments where Jack is able to tell Jonty (and us) just how he really is feeling. We get an insight into how Jack is trying to grieve. It’s messy. It causes problems not just for him but for Ianto as well, and from an outside perspective it’s not entirely logical, but it’s real.
The pregnant-Jack adventure that fandom has been waiting for could have very easily been an enjoyable, but forgettable story. Instead, it gives fans a deeper look into the mind of a beloved character who, even at his lowest, is always looking for connection (even if it is with a spawn-baby named Junior). This is a must-listen for fans of Captain Jack and really exceeded my original expectations.
The Yalnix Empire is a fragile alliance of a dozen systems, under constant attack from their ancient enemy, the Vad. With the Empress unable to trust any of her court she gives the job of growing the next Ruler of the Yalnix to an old friend – Captain Jack Harkness.
With hunters on the loose and a battlefleet in orbit, Cardiff’s suddenly became a dangerous place for a man to be pregnant.
- John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness)
- Gareth David-Lloyd (Ianto Jones)
- Aaron Anthony (Jonty)
- Catherine Ayers (Paula)
- Meryn Davis (Resident)
- Jessica Hayles (Brigadier)
- Emily John (Resident)