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Torchwood – Fox developing US version and John Barrowman may star

Posted by LiveFor on January 20, 2010

Not sure how I feel about the news that THR recently posted.

The project is from BBC Worldwide Prods., with original series creator Russell Davies writing the script.

A more straight-faced spinoff of “Doctor Who,” “Torchwood” is about a covert group that investigates and fights alien activity. Two series aired domestically on BBC America as well as last year’s well reviewed stand-alone miniseries, “Children of Earth,” which broke all ratings records for the network. (If you’re a fan of serious sci fi such as “Battlestar Galatica” and haven’t seen “Children of Earth,” rent it. You don’t need to know anything about the series. And I know the previews for “Torchwood” can look silly. Trust me, it’s terrific. Like “24” with aliens).

Unlike U.S. adaptations that have gone awry, “Torchwood” fans can take comfort that the original producing team is on board. In addition to Davies, exec producers include Davies’ producing partner Julie Gardner (former head of drama at BBC Wales for the show’s first season) and Jane Tranter (another BBC vet, now exec VP programming and production at BBC Worldwide Prods. in the U.S.).

Also, some of the current cast — most likely John Barrowman, who plays the immortal Capt. Jack Harkness — might star if Fox orders “Torchwood” to pilot.

As for the new show’s plot, the U.S. version will contain a global story line compared to the more localized sensibility of the first two BBC seasons.
Tranter might try to reboot “Doctor Who” for U.S. audiences while departing “Doctor Who” star David Tennant stars in NBC’s pilot “Rex Is Not Your Lawyer.” “Torchwood” (which is an anagram of “Doctor Who”) debuted in 2006 on BBC 3 and set ratings records, then was moved to BBC 1. Russell also reinvented “Doctor Who” in 2003 and was writer-creator of the series “Queer as Folk.”

I am really hoping that this is not going to be a reboot of Torchwood, but instead be the next instalment of the Torchwood tale. After the devastatingly amazing Children of Earth it would be a shame if they just go back to the beginning. I am assuming it will be a follow on with a more global feel as having Barrowman back as Captain Jack and Russell T Davis writing it certainly seems that way. Imagine what they could do with a US sized TV budget.

However, one of the main character points of Captain Jack Harkness is his omnisexuality and that he will sleep with just about anything and anyone – in the UK version his main relationship was with a man, Ianto Jones. Would Fox be comfortable with keeping that aspect of the show?

As for the possible Americanised reboot of Doctor Who well I am just not sure about that at all. Maybe it is just me but I always feel as if Doctor Who is a very British kind of thing. The TARDIS is a very British police box and the Paul McGann Doctor was set in America for his one fateful visual outing and that wasn’t too hot. Is it just me? What do any American readers think about the news? If there was an American version of the Doctor who could play him / her? What on earth would the TARDIS be in that version?

How do you feel about Torchwood going global? Would you be okay with a totally new version or would you want it to carry on from the miniseries? How is it going to effect the UK version if Captain Jack is in the States?

Just imagine if Torchwood or the Doctor had cameos in Fringe, Lost, Flash Forward etc.

Check out the official BBC Torchwood site.

5 Responses to “Torchwood – Fox developing US version and John Barrowman may star”

  1. pjowens75 said

    As with most “americanizations”, there is no real need. I think both Torchwood and Dr. Who are so essentially British, that changing that aspect can only hurt. The only bright spot in all this is that it isn’t the SyFy channel.

    • liveforfilms said

      I know exactly what you mean. Although if they carried it on as a new series of the original Torchwood but now on a global scale that could work

    • anotherzen said

      Syfy has given us much nice stuffs tho, the BSG reboot, Lost Room, Andromeda, Caprica, Eureka, Farscape, Stargate SG1 and Atlantis, the Triangle, Taken, Tripping the Rift, Alice, Tin Man, Children of Dune, and Wherehouse 13. Even Cube 2 was kinda cool.

  2. anotherzen said

    Just as long as they have John Barrowman, its all good 🙂

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