Starz is really finding its legs as a channel. It’s been slowly building up original content for a while now, though shows like Crash and Party Down have gone largely unnoticed by the TV-viewing crowd. Now that the network is hosting bigger fare like the miniseries Pillars of the Earth, it’s finally getting a bit more attention — and might just get a few more subscribers as well.
Here’s one reason I might be subscribing to Starz: Torchwood. The Doctor Who spinoff is being co-produced by the network, who will also be airing the series in the US, instead of BBC America, which aired the first three seasons of the show. Unlike Doctor Who, Russell T Davies is still in charge of Torchwood, which has become his main show since his move to Los Angeles earlier this year.
Like Children of the Earth, the subtitle of Torchwood‘s third season (a miniseries event), the fourth season will be “very dark,” Davies told SFX. “It’s too soon to give away the story, but I’ve always had this story in mind, and the whole existence of season four will make sense once you know what that story is.”
Children of the Earth, which featured some major deaths, might have been a turning point in the series, but Davies assures viewers that it’s still essentially “the same people in the same world, following on… It’s still Gwen, it’s still Jack, and hopefully more. You’ll feel very comfortable with it. And there’s great new American characters coming into it.”
That’s one aspect of the series that will be much different from previous years — it’s expanding culturally. Though main character Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) is an American (a strange thing for British television), the cast remained predominantly British. With the show’s expanded horizon and producers, the change seems necessary. What still remains unknown is whether or not the new series will feature Russell Tovey (Being Human) as Alonso Frame. The character, who appeared in the Doctor Who Christmas special “Voyage of the Damned,” reappeared in the Who episode “The End of Time,” where the Doctor introduced him to Jack as a potential romantic interest (for those who don’t know, Jack is bisexual). This seems like a set-up to bring Tovey into Torchwood, and I hope it follows through.
Torchwood will premiere on BBC One and Starz in Summer 2011.