Torchwood USA.

TV I meant to write about The Wire tonight but there’s a Who fanpocalypse happening online prompted by a post at the Hollywood Reporter about a US BBC/Fox co-production version of Torchwood (with some random speculation at the bottom about a Doctor Who remake).

The article (which has been digitally remumbled at The Guardian) is unsourced. There are lots of “are”s and “will”s but nothing in the way of “says” or “has announced”. The writer doesn’t say where he got the story from and there isn’t a quote from anyone involved to verify or deny anything. How does he know the original production team are involved?

Which isn’t to say it isn’t happening. Last November, John Barrowman said that there was going to be a fourth series with a full thirteen episodes. At the time, there was some scepticism as to whether the BBC could even afford to fund that these days, and there were a few non-denial denials, thrown about by the corporation’s press office.

Barrowman could have been referring to this which would suggest this isn’t a remake but a US-backed continuation. Since the lead time on this would have had to have been fairly long it would explain why Russell T Davies, Julie Gardener et al up sticks to work out of the US. And why there was a certain semi-colon nature to the storytelling at the close of Children of Earth, with Ianto dead, Gwen pregnant and Jack put back in a sulk.

A continuation could play the nuWho game of being a remake & continuation. Captain Jack returns to Earth but having burnt his bridges in the UK decides to give the US a try and opens up Torchwood: Chicago or Miami or LA or New York or whatever. Perfect jumping in point for new viewers – who is this mysterious indestructible man? That’s the version I’d prefer. RTD doesn’t strike me as someone who’d want to do the same thing over again. Why start again when you can build on what you’ve already accomplished albeit in a new setting with a different set of characters.

Especially since you then have to consider exactly what Torchwood is. Davies had the original idea for the series long before he brought Doctor Who back. Then it was called Excalibur and was roughly the same show – Who simply gave him a predetermined canvas to work in. He could simply go back to those original notes and create something which isn’t saddled with Doctor Who’s continuity. Though clearly there’s an element of wondering what the point of that would be.

As for Doctor Who USA: it’s been mooted before. It’s happened before. It’s not a horrible idea. The trick would be to replicate the methodology of the first 2005 series of keeping the mythology on the back burner until the character has bedded in and been accepted. The mistake the TV movie made was not to telling the whole story from Grace’s point of view and essentially remaking the film Star Man. It would be another new continuation and not simply a remake of that first series – it’d be up to fans to decide where it fits within the mythology.


crossoverman said...

I'd much rather Torchwood USA be a continuation - though very light on the continuity - rather than a reboot. With Barrowman as Jack in it, I can't really see how it could be a clean reboot anyway - since as far as I'm concerned, his best character stuff was in Who anyway.

I'd rather they didn't try Doctor Who USA ever again, though. Unless - rather unlikely - they make it about the Eighth Doctor. But I think FOX tried that once already ;-)

Anonymous said...

I like it.