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Published on June 26th, 2011 | by Andrew Reynolds

Where’s Our Torchwood?

With its layers of intrigue, double bluffs and a silent, hidden Corporation waiting in the wings to strike you’d be mistaken for feeling that the MacGuffin for Torchwood: Miracle Day is pinpointing and locating someone at the BBC to clarify when the brand new series is going to air.

Predictably co-producers the Starz Network were always going to have first dibs when it came to who airs the show first but now other nations have the jump over the UK- with Canada, joining Australia, with the announcement that SPACE – the sci-fi network in Canada – and SPACE HD will also air the show before the UK.

According to Channel Canada the premiere of the fourth season which sees Captain Jack (John Barrowman) and what’sleft of Torchwood fight against an unknown enemy enforcing immortality on the human race will take place on the 9th July- a day after the American premiere

It’s not entirely unreasonable to expect that a show which has made no bones about the fact that its American and British counterparts clashing will form part of its dramatic thrust would air in one of those nations before others got the chance to see it.

Details on just when the UK chapter of the Torchwood fraternity would see the new series have been vague to say the least.

Come the end of last Tuesdays BBC Radio 4 programme Front Row’s interview with writer/creator Russell T. Davies host Mark Lawson happily announced that Jack and the gang would be heading to our screens next month (July) while at the Davies was both more exact and more vague commenting to On the Box that it would air somewhere around the 14th/15th of July.

Two dates which have already been confirmed by the BBC programme highlights for week 28 (which run from the 9th up to the 15th July) as being Torchwood free.

The official line on those highlights is that they are ‘subject to change’ but potentially the earliest Torchwood could air would be the 16th July leaving the UK a full week behind the American, Australian and now Canada.

Not only that, the 16th is also a Saturday which itself would be an odd time to schedule a show which has a distinctly post-watershed week night feel – potentially then we could be waiting until at least the 18th until Miracle Day finally airs.

By then of course this won’t matter as most people will probably procure the episode (and the next one) via downloads and torrents- that is of course if their brave enough to switch on a computer and potential stumble upon a spoiler or twelve.

One possible saving grace against leechers and seeders is that the UK and US shows will contain different footage from one another.

DWM Editor Tom Spilsbury’s Twitter page, meanwhile, indicates that both UK and US audiences will get extra content in the scramble to make each episode acceptable for the BBC’s guidelines governing what UK audiences can and cannot and to trim the episodes down for advertisements on the Starz network in the US.


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About the Author


Everyone has a favourite Doctor and mine - just for his honesty, his fairness and his ability to not notice the Master's awful, awful disguises/anagrams (Sir Gilles Estram!?!) - has to be the Fifth Doctor, Peter Davison. The stories didn’t serve him as well as his acting served those stories.

10 Responses to Where’s Our Torchwood?

  1. avatar krumstets says:

    Have you noticed that since Danny Cohen became BBC1 controller DR Who and Torchwood have been sidelined somewhat?
    Is there a hidden agenda here ? Is he the new Michael Grade (1980′s version) ?
    Torchwood should be on BBC the same day it is broadcast in the USA or at least the day after.
    Anything else is suspect decision making by the BBC..
    Or am I just seeing patterns in things that aren’t there?

  2. avatar YorkshireNed says:

    Do they really think this is good enough in the digital age? They may have been able to pull it off in 1996 with the TV Movie but what makes them think that they aren’t going to lose literally millions of viewers to torrent downloads?

  3. avatar Paul Cavanagh says:

    This really is very disappointng. I’m massively excited by Miracle Day – it’s a great premise, the trailer is fantastic, and there’s some serious talent in the cast and writing team. So why is the BBC acting so nonchalent about the whole venture?

    I’m trying very hard to not agree with you Krumstets – I really don’t want to believe that the BBC is sidelining TW and DW. It’s easy to panic – but both shows seem to have taken a bit of a drubbing by the corporation in the last few weeks.

    Let’s try and be positive. Whatever happens, we can be sure that Torchwood:Miracle Day will definitely air on the BBC sometime soon, almost certainly in July. It’s a brand new, well funded production with Russell T Davies at the helm. I’m sure it’ll be brilliant. If we have to wait a bit longer than the Americans, Canadians and Australians to get it, it’s slightly frustrating, but we’ll live. I certainly won’t be watching it after downloading – I’ll be waiting for proper transmission. It just seems more exciting somehow. Call me old fashioned if you like.

  4. avatar Leosw4 says:

    Krumstets, no your not the only one who’s thinking this.

    But then I kick myself and think, no hang on a minute, why would the BBC sideline a programme which, in the case of its mid season break episode, out performed every programme on the BBC network, bar one, and then only my a small gap, and beat every episode of its ‘flag ship soap’.

    And then I think, hang on a minute, this is the same network that comissioned’Dont Scare the Hare’ and I start worrying again.

    At least Steven M can take some comfort in that fact that Russell is held with the same high esteem so it seems.

    Bitter me, never.

  5. avatar BJAMES says:

    For all that has changed over time at the BBC in its attitudes toward Doctor Who (and by association, now Torchwood), some things haven’t. The tightwad approach to financing is still evident. Even though, yes, the BBC has given Doctor Who appropriate budgets (for the most part), and seen a huge return on its investments, its still willing to strap the show to meet its profit agenda. Torchwood being “co-produced” by Starz, though I’m sure will be creatively interesting, is no effort to achieve that creative goal. It’s the BBC getting away with not completely financing the show, while still being more than willing to profit from it (TV Movie, anyone?). They can stuff their politics and budget wrangling; in many ways, the BBC is as stupid about everything as they ever were in the past. Meet the new boss(es), the same as the old boss(es). The huge international success of Doctor Who, and to a great extent, its spin-offs, is the ONLY reason for the mock respect the BBC shows it; Its making them boatloads of money right now. The BBC has never hesitated to mess where they eat, to bite the hand(s) that feed it, and it certainly isn’t about to start now. We all need to greatly appreciate that we have both shows now (all three, counting the SJA), and enjoy every moment while we can. Odds are unfortunately good that the BBC rot will set in someday. I, for one, just hope it’s later rather than sooner, and that we aren’t witnessing it begin even now.

  6. avatar bromley001 says:

    it’s obvious why the Brit version will contain bits the US version won’t (and vice-versa).
    It’s so that all the pissed off UK fans, who will have no option but to download the US version ASAP after July 8th, will still tune in to BBC One to watch.
    The annoying thing (well, one of *many*) about this, is that, had the Beeb planned it properly, Miracle Day would have fitted perfectly into the gap between the two parts of this year’s Doctor Who.
    Instead, the BBC have treated UK Torchwood fans (and Doctor Who fans, for that matter) disgracefully, with no information forthcoming at all. Would it have been too much to ask for them to be upfront and say “We will not be broadcasting this until x amount of episodes have been broadcast in the US”?
    Disgusting. The useless pricks.

  7. avatar ChrisL says:

    The really annoying aspect of all this is that there’s absolutely nothing we can do about it.

    What can I do to register my disgust?

    Write to the BBC?
    Yep, done that. Pointless as it ultimately is, I have complained to the Beeb and told them how disgruntled I am. It’ll do no good though obviously but it did make me feel a bit better, if only for a few seconds. Still awaiting a reply, naturally – they REALLY don’t care.

    Or I could boycott this series of TW and future Dr Who episodes. This of course is never going to happen and the only person to suffer if I did would be myself.

    How about not paying my licence fee?
    Hmm tempting, but chances are I’d just end up with a summons, a fine, and possibly even a jail sentence. So that isn’t an attractive option.

    So once again, as in years past, we loyal fans of all things Whovian are left to take all this on the chin and just be grateful that they even bother to make the shows at all.

    It really is shameful how the BBC treat DW (and latterly TW) and their fans… but what can we do?
    Any suggestions will be gratefully received.

  8. avatar Dalek Space Marine says:

    To my mind the BBC have a duty to provide quality programmes across the spectrum of interests. Sport (which I hate beyond words) gets HOURS AND HOURS of tv time, and when that’s not on we have to endure brainless reality TV and all the tedious police and medical dramas that require so little of the audience. Dr Who and Torchwood cater for the Sci Fi fans and those with a sense of humour and the wit to sit though something that takes an effort to understand.

    Do we really want our TV to be about a policeman who dates a nurse and occasionally moonlights as a vet? Oh, have I suddenly inspired next year’s prime time production…

  9. avatar Paul Cavanagh says:

    I’m going to stick my neck out here. I really think that people are overreacting somewhat. Yes, it’s a bit of an insult that no firm transmission date has been set for Miracle Day yet, and there’s all of this hullaballo about how many episodes of Doctor Who we’ll be getting in 2012 but…

    Let’s put this in perspective. We’re half way through a 13 episode run of Doctor Who. We’ve got a full series of Torchwood, that’s had a whole shed load of money thrown at it. It really doesn’t matter whether that money comes from the licence payer or independent production companies (who are funded by subscription fee payers or advertising). We’ve also got six episodes of the Sarah Jane Adventures due to air in October.

    So remind me: just what are we all whinging about?

    We’re all having a good old moan because we might have to wait a little bit longer than the Americans to see Torchwood. Yes, it feels like Torchwood isn’t being given the respect it should be due by the BBC. Fair enough. But it’s been made, Russell T Davies is proud of it. It’s still Welsh. It’s got Jack’s naughty bits in it. So let’s not get carried away.

    Huzzah and hurrah for brand new episodes of TW, DW and SJA! Whenever they may arrive – I’ll be watching!

  10. avatar Paul Cavanagh says:

    And another thing…

    I’m really rather partial to a bit of True Blood. I might feel justified in getting slightly grumpy in waiting around six months after the original transmission in the US before watching it. Even longer than that for it to turn up on Channel 4. But guess what? I still watch it when it airs in the UK. I still buy it on DVD. I still get the novels when they come out.

    I do not throw my toys out of the pram. Being a fan of True Blood does not automatically give me the right to see it as soon as it is realeased in the US.

    In all liklihood, we’ll be waiting a mere six days (not months!) after the Americans see Torchwood: Miracle Day for the first time. Bit of perspective anyone?

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