Doctor Who News no image

Published on July 13th, 2011 | by Meredith Burdett

Everything Changes!

Whilst chatting away to promote the latest series of Torchwood, actor John Barrowman has revealed his thoughts about the identity of his show.

Barrowman thinks that:

“It’s still sci-fi, but it doesn’t just deal with spaceships and aliens all the time… Our sister show, Doctor Who, is the one that does that…we’re something completely different now… Our science fiction is more psychological.”

We’re paraphrasing here but the point stands that the actor is incredibly accurate.

When Russell T Davies and his mob created Torchwood back in 2006, the show was much more of a direct spin off. You can see that Davies had the whole Buffy/Angel idea in his head and wanted to play that out as he has gone on record as being a big fan.

Torchwood started life very similarly to Angel. The handsome warrior relocating to another part of the world to fight the good fight, with a tortured soul and a mysterious past, trying to do good even though he has committed a multitude of sins. The first series even contains the same style of “sweeping over the city” shots that the Angel camera crew liked to do!

But that all changed from the second series, as Torchwood found its footing it couldn’t help but evolve. The show we now look forward to is in the format that it always should have been. Yes, it’s a spin off from Doctor Who but it’s a very loose connection – it’s a big universe out there and everyone’s story is different. This is where the first series fell down slightly; it was trying too hard to be something that it really wasn’t.

So here’s to Torchwood being a different show to Doctor Who. Something that grew from it but is emphatically not the same at all. You might say that it developed a new life in The New World.

Long may it continue.


Tags: , , , ,

About the Author


What happens when an eight year old kid watches the 1993 repeat run of Planet of the Daleks? He pretty much ends up here writing about the show that grabbed hold of him and never let go!

4 Responses to Everything Changes!

  1. avatar ChrisL says:

    I’m sorry Meredith but I couldn’t disagree more!
    In my opinion, the desire to separate Torchwood from the Dr Who universe, ( or ‘Whoniverse’ as some refer to it), is a huge mistake.

    Whilst I agree that the first series was patchy, the show improved during the second series and immeasurably so during ‘Children of Earth’. This natural evolution didn’t however take away the special feel of the show. It still retained its own style and developed its own mythology whilst at the same time being obviously part of the same universe inhabited by The Doctor and his associates.
    This played out well during the Dr Who episodes “Stolen Earth” and “Journey’s End” which saw characters from both shows interchanging and mixing in a totally natural way.
    The fact that Captain Jack could appear on many occasions in both series’ without any continuity problems, or loss of credibility to the story lines, is testament to this fact.

    Not only did this connection between the two shows guarantee good viewing figures for the early days of Torchwood it gave the show a ready made history and sense of belonging that other shows can only dream of.

    Having said all this, for me the most important feature of both Dr Who and Torchwood is their innate ‘Britishness’. This set them apart from the vast majority of science fiction seen on our tv screens.
    Seeing the storylines played out by British actors, in British locations, with a British sense of humour gave Torchwood a unique identity.

    Yes, America makes great sci-fi (sometimes) but it also makes a whole shedload of awful, pulp sci-fi which sticks to a tried and tested formulaic structure that invites scorn and ridicule from non sci-fi fans… and justifiable scorn and ridicule at that. Some of these shows are dreadful!

    Now I admit i’ve only watched the first episode of the ‘new’ Torchwood so my argument is based upon scant evidence. However, the first indications are that ‘Torchwood: Miracle Day’ has fallen into the same formula and modus operandi that is so prevalent amongst the bulk of the pulp sci-fi churned out ‘ad nauseum’ by the American networks.
    This saddens me, it saddens me immensely!

    For them to sever the link with Dr Who takes away so much more than it gets back from bigger budgets, explosions, gunfire and flashy opening scenes. It reduces the show to the level of the poorer examples of the genre that flood our screens with their inanity on a daily basis.

    As I said previously, this really saddens me.
    Torchwood was on the threshold of something really special. ‘Children of Earth’ was a magnificent piece of theatre with unique qualities that set it apart from the mundane fare we are normally subjected to. Unfortunately, ‘Miracle Day’ showed none of these. In fact it could have come from any one of so many other sci-fi programmes with the clichéd locations and dialogue.

    For me, Torchwood should be proud of it’s association with Dr Who and should revel in the fact, not shy away from it.

  2. avatar ChrisL says:

    Ok, this is a rare event.

    This doesn’t happen often… in fact I can’t even remember the last time I did this, but…

    I apologise, most humbly and profusely.
    I was wrong – very, very wrong!

    Torchwood: Miracle Day is magnificent.
    Absolutely magnificent.

    Thanks to the wonderful innovation we all know as the internet I have been able to watch the first two episodes of this series ( the first episode five times in fact as I compared the British & American versions) ahead of their scheduled release here in Britain.
    My initial misgivings have completely vanished, I am totally hooked now and cannot wait for the next episode.

    It is wonderful! Exciting, enthralling and completely engrossing. I wish to apologise to anybody and everybody who may have been offended by my earlier rants about Torchwood: Miracle Day. It promises to be the most epic Torchwood series to date and, I repeat, I was completely wrong about it.
    I can’t believe how wrong I was!

    • avatar Andy says:

      Then you don’t recognise complete and utter s**** when you see it!

      Torchwood has become a complete joke full of over-acting, poor scripting and dumbing-down for an American audience.

      I won’t waste a second more of my life on it.


      • Dumbing down? From the same series that brought us Countrycide?

        Are you quite certain about what you’re saying? Are you implying that Torchwood was previously in some way high brow?

Please be aware that all comments are subject to adherence to our comments policy.

Back to Top ↑