With cable network Starz co-producing its fourth season, Torchwood has gone from being a UK show aping a US show to a US show in its own right. That is now reflected in the series’ new writing staff, which houses fan-favourite Buffy writer Jane Espenson, X Files scribe John Shiban and Doris Egan, veteran of shows such as Dark Angel and Tru Calling. Torchwood: The New World, as it’s now dubbed, will also incorporate two new, significant characters in Rex Matheson and Ester Katusi, who’ll be joining Gwen and Captain Jack on the show.
Personally, I’m optimistic about such staffing – Torchwood will benefit from being an international thriller type of show. Looking back at its early days, having a US-type mentality when you’re doing episodes about Welsh farmers going insane is somewhat jarring. In its second season, such problems were ironed out for the most part, but it was always going to take the input of Starz to really let this show become what it wanted to be.
I believe the new cast members and self-contained approach towards the show’s ten-episode season will help it no end. Starz naturally wants to extend the show’s US fan base beyond that which already exists – changes in the thinking behind the BBC drama are what’s called for, in my opinion.