In my personal opinion, Torchwood is long gone. I pretty much gave up hope when a US network took it over (I firmly believe it should have remained a British show, and that’s coming from a Canadian) and when it didn’t return right away it just sealed the deal for me. A few days back, John Barrowman (Captain Jack himself) posted a link to this article. Maybe this is a hint, like Arthur Darvill’s version of Let It Go? 🙂
Torchwood is coming back!
I mean, it might be. It’s almost definitely not, but it might be.
That’s the thought process of every single Torchwood fan, every single time we’re given a new scrap of hope to cling onto regarding the show’s possible resurrection.
Latest said scrap comes courtesy of – yes, you guessed it – John Barrowman, who was asked in an interview with NerdBastards whether he’s said his final farewells to Captain Jack Harkness.
“I go around with Eve [Myles] and people to these conventions…” he responded. “…and we see the humongous following that we have and also the hunger that there is for Torchwood.
“If I’m asked to play Captain Jack Harkness again, I would do it at the drop of a hat. I think there’s a lot more to tell, there’s a lot more out there.”
Encouraging words – and d’you know what? Barrowman is absolutely right. The character of Captain Jack is far from creatively exhausted and there’s definitely the story potential for more Torchwood.
The trouble is, John and his ever-optimistic co-stars have been giving these same answers ever since Miracle Day wrapped in September 2011.
In November of that year, Barrowman described the show as “in limbo” rather than outright canceled, while Eve Myles voiced her desire for “closure” in January 2012 and again in April 2013.
It’s not their fault, of course – asked the same questions, ad infinitum, Barrowman and Myles have no new news to deliver, so in its place comes a pleasant soundbite designed to placate the fans.
So fans, here’s my question for you – is it time we let Torchwood go?
Torchwood had a difficult birth, with an initial 13-episode run that was bold but misguided. With its F-bombs, lesbian snogs and scantily-clad Cyberladies, Torchwood Mark 1 for the most part felt like a 14-year-old boy’s notion of a ‘grown-up’ sci-fi series – and lines like “When was the last time you came so hard and so long you forgot where you are?” didn’t help.
But if Doctor Who post-2005 proved anything, it was that Russell T Davies knows how to revitalise a property and, from series two onwards, Torchwood sporadically regenerated itself – yes, I went there – and had something new and exciting to offer with each relaunch.
Series two was RTD’s attempt to do Buffy in Wales – replicating not only the tongue-in-cheek tone of that show’s early years but also its brutal offing of much-loved characters. The show even cast James Marsters as a swaggering anti-hero – basically Spike in space.
But it’s pretty widely accepted that Torchwood was never better than in 2009 – acclaimed five-parter Children of Earth was epic yet human, intimate yet hugely ambitious. As exciting as it was emotional, this was Torchwood at its absolute peak – even if Ianto fans still haven’t recovered from his untimely exit.
I’m a bit of a Miracle Day apologist – I even liked Rex ‘What is this so-called Torchwood team?!’ Matheson – but even if you had issues with the execution, you can’t fault this iteration’s ambition.
Thanks to investment from US cable network Starz, Torchwood was able to go even bigger (if perhaps not better) than Children of Earth and became an international property – a remarkable journey for a cult BBC series born of Cardiff, Wales.
Russell T Davies and the entire Torchwood team provided us with hours of entertainment, but it’s telling that when RTD next returns to television – following an absence taken for personal reasons – he won’t be writing for Gwen and Captain Jack.
The world feels like it’s moving on – Doctor Who certainly has, with an entirely different creative team in charge since the Torchwood days and Captain Jack notably absent from that show’s 50th anniversary celebrations in November.
Is there still life left in Captain Jack as a character? Certainly. But is there any sort of creative impetus or force pushing for a new Torchwood series? The unfortunate truth is… right now, there just isn’t.
Maybe it’s time to stop asking John Barrowman and Eve Myles questions that they don’t have answers to and accept the difficult truth – Torchwood is gone and it’s probably not coming back.
Then again, that’s what I thought about Heroes.