Having spent more than a decade neglecting Doctor Who on screen, the BBC isn’t wasting any time catching up. Not only has it commissioned two further series of the show itself, it’s also now approved what is only the second televisual Who spinoff. (The first, K9 & Company, is not normally mentioned in polite company.)
Torchwood, due some time in 2006, will be an adult-oriented drama, set in Cardiff and featuring Captain Jack Harkness, the character portrayed by John Barrowman who created such a splash in the latter half of the latest Who run — not least because of his willingness to sleep with every passing alien, regardless of gender. Despite the name (an anagram of ‘Doctor Who’ used by the production team), Harkness himself, and a promise the story will be “seeded” in the next Who series, there’ll be no direct Who connections once it starts running. Russell T Davies, the main force behind the Who revival, is writing and producing.
On the whole, this can only be a good thing, though the fact that the series will go out on BBC Three and will have a modern-day setting suggests it won’t get the extravagant budget the Who series enjoyed. However, if all the other actors are of Barrowman’s calibre, it’s bound to come off well. Whether it means Captain Jack won’t appear in Who again remains to be seen.
(Incidentally, it’s a bizarre coincidence that the first post I’ve done post-Whovention is also Who-related . . . better broaden my celebrity gossip horizons pronto!)