Torchwood, the British sci-fi series that spun-off from Doctor Who, is making its way to American shores this year and next — but not in the way you expected. Picking up the U.S. TV rights to the series, Starz Entertainment has decided to forgo the usual remake treatment (a la the 2008 Brit-to-U.S. version of Life on Mars) and instead co-produce the next season of Torchwood with the BBC.
Earlier this year, word around the Internet was that FOX was considering picking up the rights to a U.S. version of the distinctly Brit, and very sexy, series about the secret Torchwood Institute and the members making up its Cardiff division. Within days, fans of the original show were rightly fretting about how FOX might remake and tone down everything that made Torchwood so unique, whether it was the tongue-in-cheek nods to its Doctor Who source material or same-sex kissing.
But if the press release issued by the two companies is to be believed, fans have little to fear with the Starz-infused version, and every reason to rejoice FOX passing on the option. While Torchwood is, in effect, getting retooled for the new 10-episode series, both Eve Myles and John Barrowman will be back as Gwen Cooper and omnisexual time-traveler Captain Jack Harkness, respectively. What will change though is the scope of the show, with episodes turning away from Cardiff-centric storylines and taking on a more international setting. It also seems that Starz and BBC Worldwide Productions plan on adding more diverse cast members, although the show has never been a stranger to that considering Tosh (Naoko Mori) and Doctor-Who transplant Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman) were once members of Torchwood.
With production likely starting this year, Starz and BBC aim to premiere the show next summer under the watchful eye of current showrunner Russell T. Davises, who recently resurrected Doctor Who from decades of disuse into a hit show that’s surged in popularity both in the U.S. and the United Kingdom.
And a definite bonus about Torchwood being picked up by Starz? The show will include locations in the U.S., finally giving American fans a chance to scope out sets firsthand.