Now this news came out of nowhere. THR’s Live Feed blog is reporting that Fox is developing a U.S. version of the British series Torchwood, which was a spinoff of the recent Dr. Who series. Russell T. Davies, who launched Torchwood and the revamped Dr. Who, is on-board to write the script. The rest of the original producing team is also on for the remake — in addition to Davies, exec. producers Julie Gardner and Jane Tranter will be crossing the pond as well.
And to prove that this isn’t your typical U.S. TV series remake, word is that original star John Barrowman, who plays Captain Jack Harkness, may star in the U.S. version as well. Quite honestly it doesn’t seem like they’re remaking the series so much as they are continuing the story from the U.K. version.
For those unfamiliar with the series, Torchwood is about a covert group of secret agent types that investigate alien activity. Conceptually, it’s like 24 meets The X-Files. The series was notable for catering to more adult sci-fi audiences than Dr. Who — so it’s definitely the sort of thing the Battlestar Galactica crowd would enjoy. Children of Earth, a mini-series that also served as Torchwood’s third season, wowed everyone last year, and they’re currently in production for the fourth season.
My biggest worry with this adaptation is if they try to go for a full reboot, instead of continuing off of the original series’ narrative. Word is that they’re going to make the scale of the show more global than the U.K.-centric original, which makes it very easy to build on the original series.
Fox also better cast Barrowman as the lead, otherwise Torchwood fans would likely revolt. He does amazing work as the immortal Capt. Jack Harkness, and he’s pretty much the soul of the original series. There’s also the worry that Fox could mess with the character’s bisexuality — his biggest romantic relationship in the series is with another man.
Fox honestly hasn’t been that kind to sci-fi series for some time — but with Fringe doing well, and the fact that they gave Dollhouse a second season, there’s a chance that Torchwood could really take off here. For those interested, the first two seasons are currently available on Netflix Watch Instantly. You can also feel free to just jump into Children of Earth, because it stands alone pretty well.
Discuss: Torchwood fans sound off, is this a good idea or not? Would you rather they keep making more U.K. seasons? If you haven’t watched Torchwood before, would a U.S. remake seem more enticing to you?