With production of the fourth series of Torchwood drawing closer, creator Russell T. Davies and producer Julie Gardner have let more information slip out about the show.
Collider.com did an interview with them recently, and both gave more details on the partnership with Starz, story ideas, new characters, and the new writing staff. They also hope to take the show to the 2011 San Diego Comic Con.
Here are a few snippets from the interview.
Question: What do you feel Starz will bring to Torchwood that fans of the show haven’t yet been able to see?
DAVIES: There’s a great ambition behind Starz to have contemporary pieces that are saying a lot about the world. As a drama, Torchwood is very ambitious. Starz is not after plain, domestic pieces, and we’d already started to do that with Children of Earth. That had a lot to say about society, and that’s what Starz latched on to. In terms of what we can do that’s new is that we can tell stuff on an international basis and have great American stories. A lot of it is going to be set in America and it’s going to have an examination of America, an ambition that’s American and a thrust that goes with this nation that’s very exciting and truly contemporary. Let’s be honest, certainly in the West, America is the dominant culture. It sends shockwaves across the whole of Europe. It’s a really interesting place to take the story, once you see what the story is. We’re coming to the story’s heartland by bringing it here. Starz offers an enormous stage, and the confidence and freedom to tell the story that we want.
Question: Will it change the look and feel of the show at all, or will fans of the show still recognize what they loved?
GARDNER: They’ll completely recognize it, but we’re building on the work that we’ve done before. When you look at it season by season, the show moved from channel to channel every year. It’s always reinvented itself and always stayed lively on its feet. You can still recognize it. Even though from Season 1 to where we are now is a very, very different show, there’s a flavor there that is very consistent.
GARDNER: Yes, a lot will be. We have some U.K. settings and stories, and then a lot of it moves to America. That’s what we mean by international. There’s a big global threat at the heart of it, and we see the implications play out in those two countries, predominantly.
Question: Are you going to be very specific to the locations you’re using in the States?
DAVIES: I hope so. The ambition is to shoot in Los Angeles, but that is yet to be confirmed. Any place can double up as a number of places. There will be scenes set in Washington, certainly, but we won’t go to Washington to shoot. No one does that anymore. But, we have a very experienced production and design team, so we’ll be able to do that. It’s exciting.
On story formatting:
Question: What are the advantages that the mini-series format gives you, in telling an ongoing story, as opposed to doing individual episodes?
DAVIES: I love it. I simply prefer it. The monster-of-the-week stories were brilliant, in their day, in Torchwood, but having discovered this new format, I think it’s more ambitious and intelligent. It allows you to stop and take pause and look at the world. Those ambitions are admirable. While I’m on the show, that will never stop. While the show keeps running, we’ll never go back to the week-to-week stories.
Question: Does that help keep things more fresh for you?
DAVIES: Yes, it does, that’s true. When I was working on Doctor Who, it was always one-off stories every week and I wanted to do something different, so I started working on The Sarah Jane Adventures, which is the children’s spin-off of Doctor Who, and that’s one-off stories. I want different things on my plate and on my palate.
It appears the mini-series format for Torchwood is here to stay. I can take it either way, but for me the individual stories hold a certain charm that a mini-series can’t compete with.
What do you guys think?