To say that interest in the fourth iteration of Torchwood is intense would be an understatement. Ever since the five episode Torchwood: Children of Earth miniseries posted huge ratings last year and generated a variety of reactions for its very dark storyline, fans wondered whether the show would return.
That question was answered in June with the surprising news that a fourth season of ten episodes was going to be produced jointly by BBC Cymru Wales, BBC Worldwide and the U.S. cable network Starz (best know for Spartacus: Blood and Sand). Not only will Starz be producing, but much of the series will actually take place in America including in Los Angeles and Washington DC.
Torchwood‘s creator Russell T Davies and co-executive producer Julie Gardner appeared in front of television reporters Saturday to discuss the new series which is titled Torchwood: The New World. Afterward, AfterElton.com spoke with both about the show in an interview which will run tomorrow.
Julie Gardner and Russell T Davies
So what do we know about the new series? Torchwood: The New World, a ten episode minseries, will debut the summer of 2011 and, yes, John Barrowman is returning as Captain Jack.
The events of Torchwood: TNW take place two years after the grim conclusion of of CoE including the death of Captain Jack’s lover Ianto Jones.
Davies and Gardner refer to TNW as a reboot because Davies is "keen to move on" but that it will be very welcoming to new fans. "We’re going to be absolutely
faithful to people who followed Captain Jack’s story" says Davies,
"and to John Barrowman’s career. So we do acknowledge
the past stories while at the same time moving on to
new stuff. [Captain Jack] was left very dispirited, and almost defeated at the end of the last series,
which we acknowledge and we deal with in a language
that will both satisfy old fans and also will move
forward into the future."
Gardner adds that "There
will be references that you will get that a new
audience won’t, but it’s absolutely rebooted to
welcome in a new audience."
Asked what inspired him to do another series of Torchwood, Davies says, "It could have ended where it did. What changed my mind
or what inspired me was the response to Children of
Earth, which was — it got phenomenal figures in
Britain. It did beautifully over here on BBC America.
And there was just a buzz about it. Children of Earth was a new form of Torchwood,
and something clicked."
Joining Captain Jack and Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles) in TNW will be an American CIA agent named Rex Matheson (the part is not yet cast). Davies says that Matheson is an "entrance into the new story," a way for new viewers to learn about Torchwood along with the character. Davies explains that given the fact that Torchwood was destroyed and the team broken up after CoE, Matheson will have no idea what Torchwood is since "It’s like something that ceased to exist
a long time ago that’s spoken of only in whispers. It’s like a legend now."
But Matheson will begin investigating and stumbles onto something that will turn into a "massive, great big story." In this way, Davies feels he can start a new story and bring in a new audience. Says Davies:
You can start a brand-new story
this way, in the way that Mulder’s X-Files had been
sitting there as a mystery and a legend to be
uncovered before the series even started. So Rex is
drawn into this, has no choice but to be drawn into
this through complications that you will see in the
"Also, he’s at the CIA. We also have a watch
analyst at the CIA called Esther, who is not friends
with Rex, but works with a colleague of Rex’s. The
two of them become embroiled in the Torchwood legend
and investigate what Torchwood is or was and then find
themselves on the run from that moment onwards and
having to decide — having to meet Captain Jack and
Gwen, decide whether they’re friends, whether they’re
enemies, a decision that takes a long time to be
That’s part of the ten episodes, is the two
teams coming together. Is that a new Torchwood team,
or is the CIA in charge, or are they friends? Are
they enemies? There’s a lot of sparks, a lot of
With Torchwood’s Cardiff headquarters having been destroyed in Wales and news already leaked that the much of the series will be filmed in the U.S., does that mean the show’s Welsh setting has been abandoned entirely? No says Gardner. "The Welsh setting still features in a
really significant way as we move forward. So when we
start filming in January, we will start in Wales. And
there will be beautiful, beautiful landscapes. Gwen
Cooper [Eve Myles] is still that character. She’s still Welsh.
She will — her story takes place in the U.S., but
also very much in the U.K. So that flavor of Wales
will be very apparent."