At the MIPTV event in Cannes, BBC Worldwide Productions SVP Julie Gardner and actors John Barrowman and Bill Pullman are promoting the upcoming fourth series (content warning: adult language) of Torchwood, which is getting something of a makeover as part of the production moves to the U.S. – which includes a much bigger budget, thanks to the Starz network. According to Gardner the budget is triple what it was under just the BBC.
What does the bigger budget mean? “There is so much more we can do with Torchwood now having made the leap to America. It’s going to be even bigger and better,” according to star Barrowman. Big stunts and more sexual chemistry. “The audience is going to need a forklift truck to pick their jaws off the ground. The stunt work is unbelievable. I used to do quite a lot of stunts except if it was jumping off of buildings but now I’m not allowed to because of the insurance policy. I’m much more valuable in America!”
Per TV|Line, the premiere date for Torchwood: Miracle Day in the U.S. has been set for July 8th on Starz. No word if the BBC will match it yet, or will still use the originally rumored July 1st date.
Torchwood: Miracle Day is jointly produced by Starz and the BBC, with the Torchwood team dividing time between Britain and the U.S. Captain Jack (John Barrowman) and Gwen (Eve Myles) return, and this time are being joined by Mekhi Phfifer (ER) and Alexa Havins (All My Children), and the cast also includes Bill Pullman (Independence Day) and Lauren Ambrose (Six Feet Under).
Torchwood is a moving target today, but at Television Critics Association press conference a short time ago, Russell T. Davies revealed some details about the upcoming new season of Torchwood – including a new title. It is now Torchwood: Miracle Day, and on that day everyone stops dying. ““No one quite dies,” according to Davies. “The Earth relies on people dying. It’s a crisis affecting everyone in the world.” Hmm…sounds like there could be a little Captain Jack in all of us?
BBC One and Starz have jointly announced that the premiere for Torchwood: The New World will take place on both channels on July 1st, 2011 at 9PM (I’m guessing for both channels in their respective time zones).
Update: The BBC is now denying the start date…stay tuned…
The Torchwood team is getting bigger. Michael Ausiello broke the news that Alex Havins (All My Children) is joining the cast as a regular, playing Ester Katusi, a CIA Watch Analyst, and will reportedly have a crush on Rex, played by Mekhi Phifer. In addition, Dichen Lachman (Sierra, Dollhouse) will guest on the season premiere, although her role hasn’t been specified, other than working for the CIA.
Seems the CIA is going to be involved a lot…
Hoping Torchwood lasts more than the current series being co-produced in the US jointly by the BBC and Starz? Apparently so are the networks, according to Captain Jack himself. John Barrowman, in an interview with the Scottish Sun newspaper, talked about turning down plenty of roles (including Grey’s Anatomy, which would have made him an untouchable heartthrob to women on two continents), to do Torchwood: The New World, where he said, “”They’re planning to make it for the next seven years. So I’ll be spending six months a year in Hollywood and six back in the UK.” Networks usually seem to have more grounded expectations – but this is a good sign.
Michael Ausiello at Deadline is reporting that Bill Pullman (Independence Day, Revelations) is joining the cast of Torchwood (on the heels of Mekhi Phifer), but in this case he’s the bad guy – Oswald Jones, “a dangerously clever convicted murderer who escapes his lifelong prison sentence on a technicality and quickly becomes a media sensation.” I haven’t seen Pullman draw a bad guy yet, but I can see him as the muted super-intelligent psycho type…
According to Deadline.com, actor Mekhi Phifer (ER, Lie To Me) will join John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness) and Eve Myles (Gwen Cooper) as the third lead in the Starz/BBC joint production of Torchwood, now setting up production in the U.S. Phifer will play Rex Matheson, a CIA agent who is ” a fast-tracked high-flyer with a lethal sense of humor who starts to feel his mortality when his life is put in danger.”
Although Starz Entertainment hasn’t mentioned when they plan to air the upcoming U.S.-produced season of Torchwood, there are rumblings that it could be July. In the meantime, former Buffy The Vampire Slayer producer (among other Whendonverse shows) Kelly Manners has signed on as a producer of Torchwood. So Captain Jack fans may still have several months to wait…if you need your John Barrowman fix, check out I’d Do Anything, the Andrew Lloyd Webber singing/talent competition airing on BBC America where he is a judge. Just don’t look it up on Wikipedia – its actually two and a half years old, and the article contains spoilers.
Espenson is not a name you normally see associated with Torchwood – Davies, Barrowman, Myles…but you are probably familiar with that name already. Jane Espenson is no stranger to SF TV, having written for and produced a whole solar system of shows – Battlestar Galactica, Caprica, Warehouse 13, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, etc. Now she’s taking on a bit of a different beast – Torchwood – and she spoke with Blastr about the production. The fourth series will include 10 episodes, and she will write three of them. And the production style is very different for her – with the long lead time and short series, everything will be written before filming.