Apr 22, 2010

Fox Blows Out the Torch on Torchwood

Crisis averted. For now. Sorta. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Fox has passed on developing a U.S. version of the U.K.'s Doctor Who spinoff, Torchwood.

You may remember me being concerned about this when the news first broke back in January, although I thought it might have some potential I was generally against the idea. Turns out, even though Fox passed, U.S. Torchwood is still a go. "We are currently in discussion with several interested networks,” said BBC Worldwide. Executive VP of Programming and Production, Jane Tranter added, "It's very much ongoing and very much alive."

So the bad news is, Torchwood USA could still happen, but you must consider the good news - Fox won't be doing it. Why is this good news? Because Fox tends to ruin good things. *cough*Sarah Connor Chronicles*cough* That's assuming this version will be good, which I'm still highly doubtful of, but you never know. Remember, Russel T. Davies and Julie Gardner are on board.

So what do you think? Have you warmed to the idea since January? I'm with a commenter from the last time we discussed this, "We all speak English here. Just put the original on."

6 comments:

Nick said...

I actually wouldn't have any problem with the Americans having a stab at Torchwood, as I thought the original version wasn't that good (except for Children Of Earth), and a revamp with more Russell T Davies involvement might be an improvement.

And I am actually British, if that lends my opinion any more weight.

Rebelcomix said...

I'm not sure why this upsets you really.

American versions of British shows rarely work, but occasionally you get things like The Office.

I doubt Torchwood would translate very well to US channels because it would be severely watered-down. For instance, Capt Jack was rumored to be part of Torchwood USA, but even post- WIll and Grace, I doubt most audiences are ready for someone as "out" as Jack Harkness.

BUT if Davies could pull this off as its own unique thing, we would get a LOT more Torchwood! The problem with the show is that they don't give us much. Series 3 wasn't even a season.

American TV could use a new great scifi show. I hope Davies does it.

Lisa said...

I just don't understand why we have to remake shows that were successful on their own. i do think that the office is an exception, there's several versions of it and i think it's a show that relies on a lot of direct cultural references, even though the british version is still funny. I personally don't think it would have had the same mass appeal with out being americanized to represent the American every-person.
But i just think about flops based on originally english language shows and it kills me: Coupling, Kath and Kim, even who's line is it anyway. I'm glad that some of them, like hte US version of the IT crowd got shut down before they ever went. Why are americans allergic to have having another country's english language tv show air?
I guess my concern about something like torchwood is the translation to a culture where Dr. Who isn't really a huge part. I mean a lot of us are fans but it has to appeal to hte greater US audience and i'm afraid it would flop ratings wise, even if it was good because there's not as much reason to watch it here. I'd watch it but i worry about its overall reception in a country that doesn't have Dr. Who mania.

Byrd said...

Thank God! The Fox Dr. Who was bad enough. Other than The X-Files and now Fringe what Sci-Fi show on Fox haven't they ruined or failed to show real support?

KB said...

Torchwood is heavily dependent upon Doctor Who. Besides being able to rearrange the letters to make Doctor Who, there are numerous cross connections with the Doctor Who series, including the origin of Torchwood in the Queen Victoria/werewolf/David Tennant episode, Martha's connections with Torchwood, and of course Captain Jack, etc. An American Torchwood minus the Doctor Who connection - why would that be much different from making a TV version of Men in Black? It would be cool if an American company were to finance BBC Wales to continue Torchwood in America with Russell T. Davies and his crew writing and producing, and have actual crossovers with Docttor Who with appearances by the Doctor in Torchwood, AND actual crossovers where a Doctor Who episode and a Torchwood episode were part of the same story. How cool would that be!? Torchwood varied in quality and also didn't have anything like the budget Doctor Who has, but it still gained quite a following. I agree, though, that some American audiences might not be able to accept Captain Jack kissing other guys, or Gwen having a same sex fling.

Several of you made comment to the effect that the American Office was a good adaptation but personally I think it stunk. I'm British originally but now American. The original office worked for me as a concept because of how droll and utterly 21st century British it was. I was horrified when I saw the US version and it came across to me as a very poor imitation that totally missed the point of the original. I do think that a completely new, American Torchwood lacking the underlying background and philosophy of the original would be pretty worthless. Russell T. deliberately uses his work to promote acceptance of bisexuality and homosexuality, and Torchwood itself both existed to keep check on aliens including The Doctor, as well as relied heavily on him being there when needed, at least with Jack in charge. So my opinion is if it works don't fix it. Continue the original in the manner suggested above.

pblfsda said...

The whole reason I never bothered watching "Sanctuary" is because the ads made it seem like a watered down, 'safe' for US audience version of "Torchwood". And didn't it start the year after "Torchwood" made a huge splash in UK ratings and then again on BBC America? If you really want to recreate its success here in the US, find a cable channel that will run it without capricious edits and commercial breaks every seven minutes. And maybe an ad campaign that runs outside the channel showing it might help. Otherwise it's just "Life On Mars" all over again.