Wow, things keep getting more interesting today. First the Bruce Campbell movie news and now, Fox is planning on making an American version of Torchwood. I’m not certain what I think of that, because to me Torchwood is very much DOCTOR WHO. It’s a spin off from Doctor Who and it works because it takes place in the darker side of Doctor Who’s world.

If you’re unfamiliar with Torchwood I did a Complete Series Overview last year that’s largely spoiler free, while still breaking down the basics of the shows couple of seasons and specials.


According to the press release, John Barrowman (Captain Jack) might be a part of this and Russell T. Davies will be writing, which means that at least part of the script and idea will remain the same. I still don’t know how you could focus a show on an immortal with a close connection to Doctor Who, without bringing up Doctor Who.

A more straight-faced spinoff of “Doctor Who,” “Torchwood” is about a covert group that investigates and fights alien activity. Two series aired domestically on BBC America as well as last year’s well reviewed stand-alone miniseries, “Children of Earth,” which broke all ratings records for the network.

Unlike U.S. adaptations that have gone awry, “Torchwood” fans can take comfort that the original producing team is on board. In addition to Davies, exec producers include Davies’ producing partner Julie Gardner (former head of drama at BBC Wales for the show’s first season) and Jane Tranter (another BBC vet, now exec VP programming and production at BBC Worldwide Prods. in the U.S.).

Also, some of the current cast — most likely John Barrowman, who plays the immortal Capt. Jack Harkness — might star if Fox orders “Torchwood” to pilot.

As for the new show’s plot, the U.S. version will contain a global story line compared to the more localized sensibility of the first two BBC seasons.

Tranter might try to reboot “Doctor Who” for U.S. audiences while departing “Doctor Who” star David Tennant stars in NBC’s pilot “Rex Is Not Your Lawyer.”

Interesting that the Hollywood Reporter is saying that a Americanized Doctor Who could also be in the works. I’m not a fan of that at all. Doctor Who is decidely British. While Torchwood might could be reworked into an American show, I have my doubts that you could do that with Doctor Who. Fox’s “American” Doctor Who movie left a LOT to be desired and didn’t catch on very well.

I wouldn’t oppose Fox airing Doctor Who though, as I think it could get some penetration in the states if done properly and as part of a lineup of Sci-fi shows on the network. The latter of these seems to be a rumor, whereas I assume the US version of Torchwood is actually in the works.

8 Responses to Fox to Make US Version of Torchwood

  • revsears says:

    If it's not in current doctor who continuity, i simply will not watch. But if it is, and it's a way to keep torchwood going i'm in. I loved the show and am Really looking for more.
    The doctor Jack new is gone, they don't necessarily have to interact with the next doctor, Heck the new doctor may want to avoid his past. Leaving Jack to deal with aliens etc. No crossovers could be problematic, but to be honest the story of people in the world not all believing in Aliens after the repeated invasions is a problem that keeps being swept under the rug.

  • I agree. I think it should be kept in the Doctor Who world, with subtle nods here and there, but not focus much if at all on it. Jack could head to the US to lead up a Torchwood branch there and that would make sense. I guess we'll have to see what they cook up.

  • Wes says:

    UGH. I could see being behind this if Barrowman were the only mainstay — "Torchwood" is a terrible show, but I still love captain Jack — but I am not at all a fan of keeping Davies and others around. Davies writes abysmal science fiction.

    And I dunno, I think an American "Doctor Who" could work — the scope of the show should transcend nationality, and part of why the current series is so bad is that it's so stuck in the UK — I just don't think it's at all necessary. The premise is easily adaptable, though, and there have been plenty of similarly themed shows, so they could always develop one of those and just call it something else.

  • revsears says:

    I dunno wes, the humor, style, history is all British. I think it's British flavor is partly what attracts American sci-fi fans to it, it's different than what we make over here.

  • Wes says:

    Well, the history obviously wouldn't be there if it were a new show — it'd be an American reboot, so I'm not especially concerned with that. And I disagree that the style is quintessentially British, especially regarding the current (awful) series — the new series is pretty derivative of any other scifi show (and arguably has more in common with nonsense Michael Bay films than the classic series… or anything worth watching). And perhaps the humor is British, but I don't especially care if Doctor Who is funny or not. 😛

    I just meant that there are basic elements of Doctor Who in plenty of scifi shows — Journeyman, Quantum Leap, and Sliders come to mind — in that they feature protagonists who end up in different worlds/times each episode. And of course shows like Buffy, Angel, and other supernatural/scifi dramas have featured characters facing off against different aliens/monsters on a weekly basis. So I'm not sure what this "reboot" would entail, but I maintain that one could borrow the basic premise of Doctor Who and come up with something highly watchable. Yeah, it wouldn't be Doctor Who, but it wouldn't need to be to be good. (I mean, all of the shows I just mentioned are better than the current series was under Davies.)

  • Gunzlingr says:

    I hope they do Torchwood justice (unlike Red Dwarf). I don't know how they can keep it edgy with US censorship standards. The language and sex would have to be toned way down unless it is on a cable network.

  • dave says:

    Wes your not overly bright the whole reason Dr Who works is precisely because it isnt Americian the tone and pace of the show has always been different which makes it interesting if you americianize it you would ruin it hence this is why Davies would be doing the Americian Torchwood which will give it the proper candence and with John Barrowman in it the show will stay mostly as it was when the BBC made it . Torchwood has the advantage of not being an instituition like Dr Who is so there is room to play with.

  • dave says:

    you sir are out of your fracking mind

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