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X-Files Writer Joins Torchwood


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Hi folks,

Here's a bit of news just in that I thought you might find interesting. Torchwood was originally envisioned as a sort of British X-Files meets Buffy meets Angel and now that the show has gone to the US for its fourth season it's probably not surprising that it has hired a former Buffy writer and The X-Files' John Shiban to join to the writing team. Whilst Torchwood may have taken some time to find its own voice, the last mini-series that the show attempted was amongst some of the best science fiction I have seen in a long time and I am far more excited about Torchwood these days than I am Doctor Who. The thought that the mighty John Shiban is joining the team is beyond superb.

Here's the pertinent bit from article in question with a link to where you can read it in full.

Eth

Back in June, we reported that the popular sci-fi series “Torchwood” would make its return to the small screen in 2011. It was picked up by the Starz cable network from the BBC, who will still co-produce future episodes. According to Zap2it, season 4 of the British series will be infused with some top notch American writing talents. We’re talking people from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “House,” Breaking Bad, “Battlestar Gallactica,” and “The X-Files” — “The X-Files”!!

“Torchwood” will welcome three new writers to their camp including Doris Egan, Jane Espenson, and John Shiban. Between them they’ve had a part in some of the most groundbreaking shows on television. They’ll work alongside “Torchwood” creator Russell T. Davies and John Day to make sure that the new season will be up to code because they have a lot riding on it.

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Guest Sidewinder

Honestly? I was a little bit shocked that the series went to the US. I'm wondering how this will influence the style, the tone, the character of that show. But Shiban is a good man, so let's see what he's doing with Torchwood.

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  • Elders (Admins)

That's a very interesting mix of writers. Jane Espensen I remember from Buffy, and Doris Egan worked on House. I've just checked Doris Egan's imdb page and see she worked on Tru Calling and Numbers, as well. As far as House is concerned, fans of that show regard her as being one of the best writers, and certainly I could see a quality in her episodes in terms of tight scripting and good characterisation.

No doubt we'll get to see the next season over here and it'll be intriguing to see how it all pans out.

Libby

"Humans need fantasy to be human. To be the place where the falling angel meets the rising ape." Terry Pratchett

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Guest WaveCrest

I'm not too surprised that John Shiban is joining the writing team on Torchwood, what with the fourth series being filmed or partly filmed in the US.

I remember at the time The X Files was still on air that some of the fans hated John Shiban's X Files episodes. I thought the criticism was unfair as he wrote some good episodes. I've had a look at his IMDb writer filmography list to remind myself of which episodes he wrote, but it's hard to see which ones he provided the story for and wrote.

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Guest Sidewinder

I agree. I loved (for example) "Tunguska" and "Terma" very much (poor Krycek). Or "Unruhe" with the great Pruitt Taylor Vince, CMM's "Musings" (everyone seems to hate this one, I still like it), "Memento mori"...

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Hi folks,

Thanks for the additional info on the other writers whose work I was not familiar with. I have to say the team that has been established for season four of "Torchwood" definitely seems to be meeting with universal approval and many consider the names on the list to be shining examples of their kind. Thanks for the additional info and John Shiban, I had no idea that his "X-Files" was not considered amongst the greats of that show. I had a look at the X-Files wiki to see a breakdown of his episodes and the ones he co-wrote included some 'greats' as far as I can see and the ones he wrote alone were also competent if not sensational so I'm still fairly chuffed he got the role.

With a new US duo leading the American viewers into "Torchwood" I am sure we are going to see some shades of Fox and Dana in Rex and Esther but that's no bad thing. If it's currently back in vogue to do-an-X-Files then who better to do it than a former member of the Ten Thirteen family.

Here's another great article about the 'reboot' of "Torchwood" from uk.tv.ign.

He's immortal, so we shouldn't be surprised that Captain Jack Harkness is coming back. Today at the TCA (Television Critics Association) press tour, Torchwood producers Russell T. Davies and Julie Gardner spoke about the return of the series next year, as Torchwood: The New World premieres on Starz.

While the show doesn't begin filming until January, a trailer was shown using footage from previous seasons, with text on screen saying, "Now the mission is global," and, "A new Torchwood must emerge."

It's been confirmed that John Barrowman and Eve Myles are returning as Jack Harkness and Gwen Cooper, but just how much will this new incarnation of Torchwood connect to what occurred preciously? Said Davies, "It's partly a new series - a new title with Torchwood: The New World. But at the same time, we'll be absolutely faithful to people who've followed Captain Jack's story."

Those who saw Torchwood: Children of Earth know that when last we saw Captain Jack Harkness, he was in an incredibly dark place. As far as dealing with that, Davies said, "We acknowledge that and we deal with it in a way that will both satisfy old fans and new viewers."

Davies said that the entry point for The New World is a new character, CIA agent Rex Matheson. As Davies put it, "A massive great big story comes along that becomes a global issue." Torchwood in the meantime "is like a legend now," a group that's been gone for a long time. Joined by an analyst named Ester, Rex's investigation ends up leading him to Jack and Gwen.

Davies said that once the two teams come together, the questions raised are, "Is it a new Torchwood team? [Or] are the CIA in charge?" He remarked that this tension brings with it "A lot of sparks" between the characters, which he was looking forward to.

- Starz

Jack is back in 2011

While the new Torchwood is going for an international feel and will be partially shot (and set) in the United States, "The Welsh setting still features in a really significant way," Gardner noted. "Gwen Cooper is still that character. Still Welsh! Her story takes place in the US but also the UK."

Davies also confirmed Gwen's husband Rhys will be returning, stating Rhys and Gwen are, "A husband and wife team," who are, "Fun and kind of sexy." With Gwen now a mom, Davies joked that he wanted a Torchwood poster made that showed Gwen holding a baby in one arm and a gun in the other.

As for Captain John Hart, the popular Torchwood antagonist played by James Marsters, Davies said he wouldn't be appearing in The New World, but could certainly appear in later seasons, should the series continue.

While they hope to continue Torchwood past The New World, they are treating the ten-episode season the same way as Children of Earth, in that it "Comes to a very definitive end." Davies said the season has been heavily arced out and noted, "Some characters might die" – a proclamation that shouldn't be a surprise to any fans of the show.

Torchwood: The New World will debut in the summer of 2011 and Gardner said the hope is that, "scheduling will be very close" between the US and the UK – even closer than Children of Earth's short window.

As revealed by Chicago Tribune's Maureen Ryan, a very impressive writing staff has been assembled for The New World, including John Shiban (Breaking Bad, Legend of the Seeker, Supernatural, The X-Files), Doris Egan (House, Smallville, Tru Calling), Jane Espenson (Battlestar Galactica, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Caprica) and Torchwood writing alum John Fay.

So did being on Starz, the home to the incredibly graphic Spartacus, mean we should expect a more graphic Torchwood? Said Davies, "If the story demands savagery, [or] if the story demands intimacy, then we'll absolutely go there, unflinchingly." That being said, Davies also laughed about the fact that he didn't want to evoke other shows or films he'd seen where, "There's a great international issue and it [suddenly] stops for a sex scene."

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Guest WaveCrest

I agree. I loved (for example) "Tunguska" and "Terma" very much (poor Krycek). Or "Unruhe" with the great Pruitt Taylor Vince, CMM's "Musings" (everyone seems to hate this one, I still like it), "Memento mori"...

All strong to very strong episodes, "Tunguska" and "Terma" being one of my favourite X Files mythology two-parters.

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Guest lilblackgirl

As fans of Torchwood, my wife and I were concerned about Torchwood coming back after CoE. And even more concerned about it getting "watered down" here in America, but knowing that Davies is at the helm of this and now seeing this cast of writers got us very excited once again. And since it'll be playing on the STARS network, there will be much more wiggle room to push it into the R-rating direction, which is kind of what it was in its previous 3 seasons/series.

If you've not seen TW, I heartily suggest you check it out. It has a very XF feel to it. Excellent series.

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It's nice to see some Torchwood love around here and I agree with the above, if you haven't seen the show do check it out. It is very, very enjoyable. I had an awful feeling when that when "Children Of Earth" had been broadcast that that was the end as we know it. With

a vast bulk of the original cast now dead

and the BBC not confirming a fourth season even in the face of a ratings and critical success it really did feel that COE had been written as the final chapter of the story.

I only hope (and I mean this with the greatest respect) that the show doesn't become too Americanised. With RTD at the realm I am confident he will resist any pressures to make Torchwood lose its heart which is what made the show work so well for me.

I have to say I was comforted to discover that James Marsters will not be reprising his role as Captain John which I assumed would be a given when the show moved state side.

I only hope the characters RTD creates are as endearing as Tosh, Ianto and even Owen (well, on occasions Owen) :oneeyedwinK .

Eth

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Guest WaveCrest

At the time the mini-series COE was first shown on BBC1 in the UK there was an unsure air over Torchwood, whether it would return for a new series.

With the fourth series of Torchwood being shown on Starz there won't be a problem with episodes being watered-down, what with Starz showing Spartacus: Blood and Sand (have only seen the trailers and read about it, but it's quite graphic).

Now I don't know whether he will appear as a recurring character during the season, but James Marsters is playing the

villain

in the pilot episode of the Hawaii Five-O revival. The episode was filmed a few months ago (sometime around March), but

his character may be a recurring villain, like Wo Fat (Khigh Dheigh) in the original Hawaii Five-O TV series.

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