About the show

Original plans and ideas

Below is the original press release for Torchwood released in 2005. It details the original plans and ideas for the BBC Three hit series. It explains how the writers wanted it to be different and separate from Doctor Who.

Original Torchwood press release – 17th October 2005

Captain Jack to get his own series in new Russell T Davies drama

Russell T Davies is to write a sci-fi paranoid thriller in a major new drama commission for BBC THREE, it was announced today by Stuart Murphy, Controller of BBC THREE.

Torchwood is a 13-part drama series aimed at a post-watershed audience and has an organic link to Doctor Who.

“Torchwood is a British sci-fi paranoid thriller, a cop show with a sense of humour,” says Russell T Davies.

“It’s dark, wild and sexy, it’s the X Files meets This Life. It’s a stand-alone series for adult audiences which will have its own unique identity.

“I have just begun working on the scripts with a team of writers and cannot wait to see the results.”

Set in modern-day Cardiff, Torchwood stars John Barrowman as Captain Jack from Doctor Who; it’s in the Christmas special and second series of Doctor Who that the story of Torchwood – a renegade group of investigators – is seeded.

However, no stories will cross over between Torchwood and Doctor Who.

The drama series is produced by BBC Wales and will be transmitted later next year.

Stuart Murphy says: “The renegades investigate human and alien crime, as well as alien technology that has fallen to Earth.

“Torchwood is sinister and psychological – Russell was really keen to play with your head – as well as being very British and modern and real.

“But at the centre of the drama are warm, human relationships and the overcoming of adversity.”

I’m absolutely thrilled about Torchwood. It’s going to be a dark, wild and sexy roller-coaster ride John Barrowman

John Barrowman says: “I’m absolutely thrilled about Torchwood. It’s going to be a dark, wild and sexy roller-coaster ride.

“Working again with Russell T Davies, Julie Gardner and the BBC is like hooking up with family again. I can’t wait to explore Captain Jack even more.”

Murphy adds: “Torchwood is a massive coup for BBC THREE, and a major commitment – it’s the biggest drama we’ve ever had on the channel.

“It introduces a different tone into our drama, just as Russell’s Casanova earlier this year brought warmth and humour.

He’s an absolute genius – you look at what he has done with Doctor Who Stuart Murphy

“He’s an absolute genius – you look at what he has done with Doctor Who – we said to him, ‘What would you do with a post-watershed sci-fi?’ Its subject and tone is a perfect fit for BBC THREE.”

Filming on the 13 self-contained episodes will begin early next year in Cardiff; other writers so far confirmed include Chris Chibnall and PJ Hammond.

The executive producers are Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner, Head of Drama in BBC Wales.

Torchwood follows the success of Casanova (which attracted a record audience for a drama on the channel), Bodies, Conviction and Outlaws, with which the channel has begun to establish a reputation for cutting-edge British drama.

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