It was announced today that Jacob Anderson, best known for Game of Thrones, will be joining the series in a regular role. He plays a gun-toting character named Vinder. He is neither described nor presented as a new companion, however. There were rumours that Captain Jack was to have played a significant role in the new series, after his return last New Year's Day. Could it be that this new character has been created to replace Barrowman, following "flashergate"?
You'll recall that the character of Captain Jack was created primarily to have a fighter on board the TARDIS, as the Doctor would not bear arms. Well, 13 is even more of a pacifist, and the series needs to rediscover its Action-Adventure roots.
On a personal note, I've just had another emergency operation (bringing forward something they would have to have tackled later anyway). It has resolved one of my main issues, but set my recovery back slightly. I should be back home in August, when I can pick up the blog more fully.