Major Who & Torchwood Changes?

Despite mega-ratings for both respective series, Sci-Fi Pulse reports that both “Doctor Who” and “Torchwood” will undergo some massive casting and storyline changes in the near future, including the loss of both key cast members.

The site reports that David Tennant will continue with his role as The Doctor through the entire upcoming fourth season, this year’s Christmas Special and three specials slated to air in 2009. The 2009 Christmas special (the third of the three specials commissioned) will see the character regenerate again, this time played by actor Robert Carlyle.

They also say that Burn Gorman (Owen Harper), Naoko Mori (Toshiko Sato) and even John Barrowman (Capt. Jack Harkness) will leave “Torchwood” next season, though Barrowman will make guest appearances. Former “Doctor Who” companion Freema Agyeman, who reprised her role for three episodes of this season’s “Torchwood”, will join the cast full time next year.

The show itself will apparently also lose its adult-themed content and be geared more toward “Doctor Who” style audiences – essentially working as sort of a filler series for off periods of “Doctor Who” – and only five episodes instead of the usual thirteen have been commissioned.

The news sounds questionable. Tennant’s tenure in the role was expected to finish up by the end of the specials so his being replaced is not news (especially as it remains unconfirmed), whilst Carlyle is one of the two names – the other being James Nesbitt – being cited most often as the most likely to takeover the role.

Carlyle himself however dismissed such talk on Monday saying no-one has approached him, however he’d certainly consider it if they did. More questionable is that the report says that filming has been underway on the four “Doctor Who” specials for the last few months already – surprising considering filming on the fourth season wrapped only a few weeks ago.

In other and more solid news, the BBC is unhappy with the leak of scripts for a two-part episode of Who’s fourth season to The Sun. The tabloid reports that the story, penned by the series strongest scribe Steven Moffat (“The Girl in the Fireplace,” “Blink”), is set on a ‘library planet’ in the 51st century where books give away SPOILERS about people’s life stories and creatures such as data ghosts and Vashta Nerada (who’re described as “piranhas of the air — shadows that melt the flesh”) wander the halls.

The fourth season of “Who” is scheduled to premiere sometime in April, until then however for those who don’t live in the UK be sure to view the upcoming season trailer below which aired in cinemas last month.