The writersÂ room; aÂ hodge-podgeÂ of college graduates, seasoned veterans and tired-eyed assistants who’ve clambered there way in the door after submitting spec script after spec script after spec script. In the USA, this system has produced some of the greatest (and some awful) television.
In the UK, this system has produced My Family.
Torchwood Over-fiend Russell T. Davies, whose creation is being redressed in international dress for its fourth season believes whatever the system, its still going to need writers pounding keyboards and swallowing every hour available whole with work.
â€œWell, itâ€™s all writers sitting at a keyboard in the end. When everyone talks about the British system and the American system,Â no-one ever factors in the evening soap operas that we have in Britain, which are run in exactly that way, with a writersâ€™ room and a commissioning process. Weâ€™ve been doing it since 1960, so itâ€™s really nothing new.”
Davies, whose currently working with a staff of writers on the new series believes it simply comes down to pounds and pence as to why the system isn’t more widely used.
“Itâ€™s just we canâ€™t normally afford to do it in Britain, whereas here because theyâ€™re in constant production, thereâ€™s constant money paying for that system to keep people permanently on board. Weâ€™ve some great names coming along -Â though I canâ€™t say them yet â€“ so itâ€™s very exciting.â€
So far Davies is only confirmed to write the first episode of a ten-part serial.Â The writers rumour mill began churning recently when Davies was photographed with Pushing Daisies and Dead Like Me creator Bryan Fuller posing with a Dalek.
Torchwood, a co-production between BBC Cymru, BBC Worldwide and US premium entertainment network StarzÂ Â is scheduled to air simultaneously in the UK and US in Summer 2011, and star John Barrowman and Eve Myles reprising their roles as Jack Harkness and Gwen Cooper.