A New World for Torchwood

jack-harknessTorchwood is destroyed, the team disbanded with many of them dead—even Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) has left Earth, dispirited and despondent. That was the situation surrounding the Torchwood team in July of 2009 as the conclusion of Episode 5 of Torchwood: Children of Earth. The future of Torchwood seemed resigned to the expanded universe of novels and comic books.  The series wouldn’t remain quiet for long, however, the buzz generated by “Children of Earth” rose to an outcry as fans of the series began to question the future of Captain Jack, Gwen Cooper and the most important question of all seemed to be—is Ianto really dead? In the ensuing months, Torchwood’s creator—Russell T. Davies—began dropping hints that the show’s future was not as certain as it seemed. There were rumors of a fourth series of the show and at one point even the Fox network was in talks with Torchwood’s creative team to continue the story. Additionally, John Barrowman has stated on many occasions that he would be willing to play Captain Jack again–now, it appears he’ll have the chance. In June, the official announcement was made that the Torchwood team would partner with Starz Entertainment for a fourth series. Russell T. Davies has now come forward with more details about the fourth series of Torchwood—including its full name and an explanation of why the show is being rebooted.

“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.” Davies says of his decision to return to Torchwood—though he is not content to offer his faithful fans more of the same. “We’re going to be absolutely faithful to people who followed Captain Jack’s story 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.”

That future takes place two years after the events depicted in Torchwood: Children of Earth.  The new series–Torchwood: The New World finds the team disbanded and Torchwood destroyed as it was at the end of Children of Earth.  According to Davies, “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.” A legend that is waiting to be discovered—CIA Agent Rex Matheson will be the one discovering it, though not alone: “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 decided. 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 excitement.”

Davies and his team also promise to be true to the show’s lore and its fan base—in every aspect. Including the show’s sexual undertones and overall sexuality—”Well, I invented Queer as Folk,” says Davies, “So I’ve always had loose standards and practices [. . .] Literally, having written Queer as Folk, I have done the biggest and boldest nude scenes of all time with that. So there’s nowhere to go after that really. But as long as the story is working, if the story demands savagery, if the story demands intimacy, then we will absolutely go there. … Any drama is good when it just has an unflinching stare, when it’s not worried. It’s, like, let people higher up on the sixth floor, worry about standards and practices. It’s like I will sit there and tell the story honestly and properly and then fight all the way through the edit with it, as would you. So just good, honest storytelling. That’s the way. We don’t worry too much about that really.” Julie 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.”

Slated to air on Starz in Summer or 2011 Torchwood: The New World will see John Barrowman return as Captain Jack Harkness, Eve Myles as Gwen Cooper and Kai Own as Gwen’s husband Rhys.

Torchwood Team Draws Seasoned SciFi Veterans

torchwood-miracle In a recent story; details ofTorchwood: The New World were revealed and anticipation has already begun to build. Now, as we crawl steadily closer to the 2011 premier of the continuing story or our favorite bisexual hero–Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman)–more information is here.

Torchwood’s creator, executive producer and head writer: Russell T. Davies has begun to tighten up his writing team for the ten episode story told in Torchwood: The New World. It isn’t clear yet how many episodes Davies will be writing himself–though with five years of Doctor Who and three series of Torchwood combined with the notoriety of Queer as Folk on his resume, fans are most certainly looking forward to what he will offer next.

Davies will be joined by writers from across the Sci-fi and drama realm. The list of writers for Series 4 includes John Shiban, noted for writing episodes of Breaking Bad, Supernatural and most especially noted by sci-fi fans as a Supervising Producer on The X-Files as well as a co-executive producer for Star Trek: Enterprise. Also joining the team is Doris Egan. Doris is noted for writing episodes of House (which also features a prominent bisexual character) Tru Calling and Dark Angel. Jane Espenson adds more flavor to the team, noted for writing for Caprica, Battlestar Galactica and BLGT favorite Buffy: The Vampire Slayer (the character Willow was openly bisexual and in a recent comic book expansion, Buffy herself is revealed to be bisexual). Last but not least, John Fay–a Torchwood writer from the show’s UK run–rounds out the team of announced writers.

The writing team is already hard at work on the next series of Torchwood which is set to air in 2011 on Starz.

‘Torchwood’ is Seeing Starz!

johnSince 2005, the cable network Starz has been airing an increasing amount of original programming—capitalizing on HBO’s successes with The Sopranos and Six Feet Under and Showtime’s successes with Queer as Folk and The Tudors. In 2011, a partnership with the BBC brings BLGT favorite Torchwood to the states where it will join the likes of Spartacus: Blood and Sand and The Pillars of the Earthon Starz. Bi Social Network has been following the evolution of this partnership from the beginning; and continues to report on the addition of Torchwood: The New World to the Starz lineup as the cable network releases more information on the upcoming ten part miniseries.

To this point, news has, and continues to be scarce with details surfacing sporadically. It has been confirmed that John Barrowman, Eve Myles and Kai Owen will reprise the roles of Captain Jack Harkness, Gwen Cooper and Rhys Williams, respectively. If that weren’t enough to whet the rabid fan’s appetite, Starz has now released a brief synopsis of Torchwood: The New World:

“When C.I.A. agent Rex Matheson investigates a global conspiracy, he finds himself unearthing a threat which challenges the entire human race. The answers seem to lie within an old, secret British institute, known only as Torchwood. But Torchwood was destroyed, years ago, and the keys to the institute are held by its only two survivors – former Police Officer Gwen Cooper, who has long since disappeared along with her husband and child, and the mysterious Captain Jack Harkness, a man whose history seems to stretch back centuries.

With Rex under attack from all sides, in both the US and the UK, he soon discovers there are forces at work within every level of society, determined to stop Torchwood’s return. As a chain of events across the world links together the most disparate and unlikely individuals – including a surgeon, a killer, senators and CEOs – a new Torchwood team takes shape. But this time, the threat is much closer to home, as they realize that their greatest enemy is mankind itself.”

In addition to the synopsis, Starz has released character biographies for Captain Jack, Gwen Cooper (SPOILER ALERT! The released biography of Gwen Cooper includes the name of her baby) and Torchwood’s newest team member—Rex Matheson (actor yet to be announced).

“He’s 28, the golden boy. Has been, all his life. Harvard education, fast-tracker in the C.I.A., destined for success. Though he’s never taken it easy – Rex hustles, seduces and campaigns to get where he is today. He can talk his way into anything, then charm his way out, fast. He’s made a lot of enemies, but his friends and lovers would defend him to death.

His choice of career is significant. Someone like Rex could make a fortune in Wall Street, or Hollywood. But choosing the C.I.A. says a lot about him: that for all his swagger, he does believe in justice. And will fight for it.

Slowly but surely, we see him make friends. He’s thrown together with a bunch of people known as Torchwood, the only people who might have the answer to a global mystery. To Rex, at first, they’re a bunch of freaks. Welsh women and World War 2 Captains, what’s that about?! But as they race from one crisis to another, dodging assassins, blackmail, corruption and conspiracy, from Washington to Wales and the slums of Shanghai, Rex forges friendships in the heat of fire. He learns to trust his new colleagues. And they realize that this dangerous, dazzling, reckless man is the best friend they could ever have, in a world going to hell.

They frighten us, men like Rex. We wish we were him; we never will be.”

Filming of Torchwood: The New World is set to begin in January of 2011 with an air-date closer to the summer.