Fox and BBC Worldwide Productions are developing an American remake of the U.K. hit sci-fi series “Torchwood” reports The Live Feed.
A more adult-targeted spin-off from “Doctor Who”, the story follows a covert group that investigates and fights alien activity led by the omnisexual immortal adventurer Capt. Jack Harkness (John Barrowman).
They key difference here is that unlike some previous UK-to-US TV series adaptations, this one will incorporate the original UK production team on it – namely series creator Russell Davies, his producing partner Julie Gardner, and BBC Worldwide’s US production V.P. Jane Tranter.
Davies will pen the pilot which will contain a global-targeted story line as compared to the more localized Wales-set sensibility of the first two seasons. Davies has previously been working as showrunner on both “Torchwood” and “Doctor Who” along with writing many episodes for both franchises.
How this will work is unsure. While there had been hope of another mini-series or full season, at last report the BBC hadn’t made any official plans to continue with the show.
After two seasons of the series meeting with very mixed reaction, the original show rebooted itself last year with the stand-alone five-part ‘Children of Earth’ mini-series event which scored record ratings and critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic.
That mini ended with all dead aside from two of the regular cast and one recurring character. One regular looked to be essentially retiring and settling down to start a family, while a grieving Captain Jack headed off into space and was last seen cameoing in the recent “Doctor Who” special.
This incarnation of the series could either start over with new actors playing the same characters, or effectively continue in the show’s current continuity with John Barrowman reprising his Harkness character as a regular or recurring role.
Either way the links to “Doctor Who” will be entirely excised. The sexuality question is another issue as the original “Torchwood” was noted for its use of swearing and sex. Even the more toned-down mini-series still featured an affectionate gay couple – something that may not fly on the conservative Fox free-to-air network.
The article also indicates Jane Tranter is considering an American remake of “Doctor Who”, a far more dicey and difficult proposition. A previous attempt to do an American adaptation of that franchise was the 1996 TV movie/pilot on Fox with Paul McGann and Eric Roberts which scored dismal ratings and mixed reviews.