Starz and BBC join forces to drag Capt. Jack back to Earth

Torchwood series four is a go! Again. Almost. Well, it’s scheduled for 2011, anyway. Details after the jump.

It seems fitting to me that my first post on Tor.com involves the awesomeness that is Torchwood, for I wouldn’t be the SFF geek I am today without it. Back in 2008 one of my nearest and dearest friends sent me a YouTube clip of Spike from Buffy making out and fisticuffing with some hot dude in a blue coat. Cue fangirl-induced heart attack.  Suddenly SFF made sense to me in a non-Whedon/non-X-Files way. 

After seeing that clip I went full on geek, devouring anything and everything SFF that came my way, from books to TV to comics and beyond. Two years later, I have now seen every episode of Doctor Who and Torchwood more times than I can count. In air-date order. I relish my copy of the “Doctor Who Technical Manual” and my Etsy-ified Jack and Ianto Christmas ornament. My second tattoo is “Blaidd Drwg” written in the 2005-2009 series logo font and I’m considering the Torchwood “T” as my third. To put it mildly, I am a fan.

When it was first announced that the third series of Torchwood was only going to be five episodes long I suspected that its time was up. Then RTD killed off Ianto just to irritate me. And then Jack went off to sulk, drink, and flirt with midshipmen in galaxies unknown. Gwen and Rhys went off to have babies in London and everyone forgot that the entire Cardiff sewer system is crawling with man-killing Weevils who are still pissed off about that whole fight club/torture thing.

And then Torchwood was picked up by Fox. At this point I knew the show was doomed. The bar for network sex and violence is extremely low and Fox has an especially atrocious track record for risky SFF shows. Even if the show got past script approval, even if it shot a pilot, even if the pilot was picked up, my gut told me it wouldn’t make it through a full season. Sure enough, on April 21st of this year, four months after Fox announced its consideration, Captain Jack and poor preggo Gwen got the old heave-ho.

Now, I sat through two years of squees and heartbreaks with the back and forth between David Milch and HBO over the fate of Deadwood, only for it to end in tears. So it is with great excitement and a lot of trepidation that I announce that Torchwood is greenlit once more. On June 7th Starz announced that they had picked up the show for a 10 episode arc starting in 2011.

According to RTD, “It’s not a new version, it’s not a reboot…It’s not going to be Lost and take 20 years to find out what’s going on. It’s going to have a most remarkable conclusion after 10 episodes.”  On an even more positive note BBC Worldwide EVP Jane Tranter said, “Capt. Jack’s sexuality is certainly not going to change. Whether it’s man, woman, or alien [or robot fashion designers], Capt. Jack is a gloriously sexually active being.” (Go here and here for RTD interviews and here for the official BBC press release.)

Will RTD and Barrowman have more freedom on paid cable? Yes. Am I disappointed that the Monster of the Week format will be dropped in lieu of serialization? *sigh* Yes. Does the inclusion of the word “conclusion” in the Davies quote send shivers down my spine? Frak yes. Now, most Doctor Who/Torchwood fans know what happens to Captain Jack in the very distant future, but Gwen, Rhys, and baby don’t have such luck. I’m not sure I can handle anymore deaths in Torchwood Three, and I’m not sure I’m willing to accept a Torchwood Five (or, counting Torchwood India, would it be Six?).

There’s still no (official) word on the story arc or any news as to what Jack and Gwen are supposed to do without any of Three’s nifty alien technology, so unless Jackie Boy’s managed to bring to earth a caravan full of bits and bobs, they’re basically baseless, defenseless, and offenseless. Anything could happen, but without some very specific first episode arrangements they can’t get a gorram lot accomplished. Anyway, the long and short of it is, as of June 7th, your Torchwood squees are justified…at least for now.


Alex Brown is an archivist in training, reference librarian by day, writer by night, and all around geek who watches entirely too much TV. She is prone to collecting out-of-print copies of books by Evelyn Waugh, Jane Austen, and Douglas Adams, probably knows far too much about pop culture than is healthy, and thinks her rats Hywel and Odd are the cutest things ever to exist in the whole of eternity. You can follow her on Twitter if you dare…

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