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Torchwood ( ) is a British science fiction television programme, created by Russell T Davies. It deals with the machinations and activities of the Cardiffmarker branch of the fictional Torchwood Institute, who deal mainly with incidents involving extraterrestrials. An initial 13-part series was commissioned by the BBC as a spin-off from the 2005 revival of the long-running science fiction programme Doctor Who with which it is closely interlinked. The main cast consists of John Barrowman, Eve Myles, Burn Gorman, Naoko Mori and Gareth David-Lloyd. Gorman and Mori left the programme after the second series, with Kai Owen promoted from a recurring role to the main cast in series 3.

The programme is produced in-house by BBC Wales. The Head of Drama at the time of the first season, Julie Gardner, serves as executive producer alongside Davies. (Julie Gardner is currently both Controller of Drama Commissioning at BBC Television and Head of Drama for BBC Wales.) The first two episodes of Series 1 of Torchwood premiered on 22 October 2006 on BBC Three and BBC HD. Series 2 premiered on BBC Two and BBC HD on 16 January 2008. The third series, a five part mini-series entitled Torchwood: Children of Earth, aired on BBC One and BBC HD between 6 July and 10 July 2009.


Before the revival of Doctor Who, Russell T Davies began to develop an idea for a science-fiction/crime drama in the style of American dramas like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. This idea, originally titled Excalibur, was abandoned until 2005, when BBC Three Controller Stuart Murphy invited Davies to develop a post-watershed science-fiction series for the channel. During the production of the 2005 series of Doctor Who, the word "Torchwood" (an anagram of "Doctor Who") had been used as a title ruse for the series while filming its first few episodes and on the 'rushes' tapes to ensure they were not intercepted. Davies connected the word "Torchwood" to his earlier Excalibur idea and decided to make the series a Doctor Who spin-off. Subsequently, the word "Torchwood" was seeded in Doctor Who episodes and other media which aired in 2005 and 2006.

The series is set in Cardiffmarker and follows the Welsh branch of a covert agency called the Torchwood Institute which investigates extraterrestrial incidents on Earth and scavenges alien technology for its own use (its origins are outlined in the Doctor Who episode "Tooth and Claw"). To paraphrase Torchwood Three's commander-in-chief, Captain Jack Harkness, the organisation is separate from the government, outside the police, and beyond the United Nations. Their public perception is as merely a 'special ops' group. The events of the first series take place some time after the Doctor Who series two finale, in which Torchwood's London headquarters was destroyed.

The main writer alongside Davies was Chris Chibnall, creator of the BBC light drama show Born and Bred. Other writers include P.J. Hammond, Toby Whithouse, Doctor Who script editor Helen Raynor, Cath Tregenna, and Doctor Who cast member Noel Clarke, who gained acclaim for his screenplay for the film Kidulthood. Russell T Davies wrote just the first episode.

In a 17 October 2005 announcement, Stuart Murphy described Torchwood as "sinister and psychological...As well as being very British and modern and real." Davies further described it as "a British sci-fi paranoid thriller, a cop show with a sense of humour. [...] Dark, wild and sexy, it's The X-Files meets This Life." Davies later denied ever making this comparison, instead describing the show as "alleyways, rain, the city".

As Torchwood is a post-watershed show — that is, after 9 p.m. — it has more mature content than Doctor Who. Davies told SFX: "We can be a bit more visceral, more violent, and more sexual, if we want to. Though bear in mind that it's very teenage to indulge yourself in blood and gore, and Torchwood is going to be smarter than that. But it’s the essential difference between BBC One at 7 pm, and BBC Three at, say, 9 pm. That says it all — instinctively, every viewer can see the huge difference there."According to Barrowman: "I don't do any nude scenes in series one; they're saving that for the next series! I don't have a problem with getting my kit off. As long as they pay me the right money, I'm ready to get out my cock and balls."Davies also joked to a BBC Radio Wales interviewer that he was "not allowed" to refer to the programme as "Doctor Who for grown-ups". The first series includes content rarely seen or heard in the Doctor Who franchise, including sex scenes (in episodes such as "Day One" and "Out of Time"), same sex kissing (with the exception of the Dr. Who Series 1 finale), and use of extreme profanity in several episodes.

BBC Three described Torchwood as the centrepiece of its autumn 2006 schedule.

Cast and crew

Torchwood, unlike its parent programme, centres on a team instead of a single character and companion(s). The show is oriented on Torchwood Three, the Cardiff branch of the Torchwood Institute, tasked (among other things) with keeping an eye on the space/time Rift that runs through the city, and on whatever washes through it. Torchwood Three is initially a team of five operatives, led by Jack Harkness (John Barrowman), with Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles) as the "new girl" who joins in the first episode and acts as an audience surrogate. Owen Harper (Burn Gorman) is the unit's medical officer and Toshiko Sato (Naoko Mori) is the resident computer specialist, while "administrative" duties are performed by Ianto Jones (Gareth David-Lloyd). Jones' role within the team is increased in series 2, and after Harper and Sato are killed the distinctions between the different member's roles are far less. Jones himself is killed in series 3, and Jack departs Earth leaving Gwen alone. Aside from the team, another major character is Rhys Williams (Kai Owen), Gwen's live-in boyfriend and later husband, who is initially unaware of the nature of Gwen's mysterious new job. After learning about Torchwood in series 2 episode "Meat", his role in the programme increases and he joins the main cast in series 3. Regularly recurring is PC Andy Davidson (Tom Price), Gwen's former police partner and occasional comic relief.

Prior to the programme's debut, publicity materials featured Indira Varma as Suzie Costello among the regular cast members, giving the impression that she would appear throughout the series. However, Suzie was killed off at the end of the first episode with Gwen taking her place on the team, reappearing only once more as an antagonist. Paul Kasey regularly portrays aliens on the series, as in Doctor Who, under heavy prosthetics, such as the alien Weevils and Blowfishes. Doctor Who's [[Martha Jones]]{{cite web |url=|title=More Martha! |accessdate=2007-07-02 |work=BBC Doctor Who }} ([[Freema Agyeman]]) crossed over to ''Torchwood'' for three episodes in the second series (from "[[Reset (Torchwood)|Reset]]" to "[[A Day in the Death]]"). Another prominent guest star in ''Torchwood'''s second series is former ''[[Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TV series)|Buffy]]'' and ''[[Angel (TV series)|Angel]]'' star [[James Marsters]], who plays [[List of Torchwood characters#Captain John Hart|Captain John Hart]], a villainous Time Agent and Jack's former lover. Introduced in the episode "[[Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang (Torchwood)|Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang]]", he reappears in the last two episodes of the series, forced to do Jack's brother Gray's vengeful will; he reforms when he escapes from Gray's influence.''[ John Barrowman rocks the TCA house] ''''[ Spike from 'Buffy' and 'Torchwood's Captain Jack Harkness - Yowza!]'', [[Chicago Tribune]] Making minor recurring appearances in the second series are a mysterious age-immune [[List of Torchwood characters#Little Girl|little girl]] ([[Skye Bennett]]) and [[Victorian era]] Torchwood member [[List of Torchwood characters#Alice Guppy|Alice Guppy]] ([[Amy Manson]]). ===Crew=== [[Richard Stokes (producer)|Richard Stokes]] produced Series 1 & 2 of ''Torchwood''. Originally, ''Doctor Who'' director [[James Hawes]] was lined up as producer. After directing the [[BBC Four]] drama ''[[The Chatterley Affair]]'', Hawes backed out of the project. Davies told ''[[Doctor Who Magazine]]'' that Hawes "has been having such a good time... that he's decided directing is his greatest passion, and as a result, he's stepped down." {{cite journal |last=Hickman |first=Clayton |authorlink=Clayton Hickman |coauthors=Tom Spilsbury |title=Torchwood Tales! |journal=[[Doctor Who Magazine]] |issue=366 |page=5 |publisher=[[Panini Comics]] |date=2006-03-01 cover date}}{{cite press release |title=Team Torchwood |publisher=BBC Press Office |date=2006-02-24 |url= |accessdate=2006-11-04}} Series 3 was produced by [[Peter Bennett (producer)|Peter Bennett]]. Helen Raynor and Brian Minchin are the programme's script editors. The series also shares ''Doctor Who'''s production designer, Edward Thomas. The show's theme tune is written by ''Doctor Who'''s composer [[Murray Gold]], and music for the series is composed by [[Ben Foster (orchestrator)|Ben Foster]] and Murray Gold. ==Production== Series 1 of ''Torchwood'' was filmed from May 2006 until November 2006. For the second series Lead Writer [[Chris Chibnall]] wrote the opening episodeDoctor Who Magazine 384. and the three final episodes.[] - Scroll to making history paragraph three Both [[Catherine Tregenna]] and [[Helen Raynor]] have written two episodes for the new series.{{cite web | url = | title = Helen Raynor's agency | publisher = |format=PDF}} The other episodes were written by [[James Moran (writer)|James Moran]], [[Matt Jones (writer)|Matt Jones]], [[J. C. Wilsher]], [[Joseph Lidster]], [[PJ Hammond]] and [[Phil Ford (writer)|Phil Ford]]. [[Russell T Davies]] was initially announced as writing two episodes, but due to commitments to Doctor Who he is no longer writing any episodes. Block One, which consists of episodes by Raynor and Tregenna and is directed by [[Andy Goddard]]. [[Colin Teague]] is directing Block Two, which consists of [[Sleeper (Torchwood)|Episode 2]] by Moran and [[Meat (Torchwood)|Episode 4]] by Tregenna, with [[Ashley Way]] directing Block Three, consisting of [[Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang (Torchwood)|Episode 1]] by Chibnall and [[Reset (Torchwood)|Episode 6]] by JC Wilsher.Doctor Who Magazine 384 An edited repeat of the second series episodes, suitable for children to view, was shown on BBC Two at 7pm. The third series, titled ''[[Children of Earth]]'', started shooting on 18 August 2008, and comprised a five-episode mini-series that aired at 9pm on [[BBC One]] from 6 July 2009 and 9pm on [[BBC America HD]] and [[BBC America]] from 20 July 2009. [[Russell T Davies]] and [[Julie Gardner]] continue as executive producers, [[Peter Bennett (producer)|Peter Bennett]] produced the series{{cite web|url= |title=Production News: Series 3 |publisher=BBC |accessdate=2008-07-21 }} and [[Euros Lyn]] directed all five episodes. [[Russell T Davies]] wrote the first and last episodes, the overall story arc, and co-wrote episode 3 with [[James Moran (writer)|James Moran]].{{cite web | url = | title = SDCC 08: ‘Doctor Who’ and ‘Torchwood’ Press Roundtables Part One | publisher = Pop Culture Zoo | date = 3 August 2008 | author = Joseph Dilworth Jr.}} [[John Fay (writer)|John Fay]] wrote episodes 2 and 4.{{cite news |title = Garden's Question Time |work = Torchwood Magazine | date = August 2008 | pages = 4-6 }} [[Russell T Davies]] has said that although a fourth series is "ready to go", its airing is entirely dependent on the performance of the third series.{{cite web |last=McEwan |first=Cameron K |coauthors= |title=Torchwood: Series 4 - "ready to go" |url= |date=[[2009-06-12]] |work=Den of Geek |publisher= |accessdate=2009-06-13}} He also has said that he has the next series planned out, stating, "I know exactly how to pick it up. I've got a shape in mind, and I've got stories. I know where you'd find Gwen and Rhys, and their baby, and Jack, and I know how you'd go forward with a new form of Torchwood." Although he would prefer for the next series to be another mini-series, Davies has no qualms about doing another 13-episode run.{{cite web |last= | first= |coauthors= |title=Russell T Davies Plans The Future Of 'Torchwood' |url= |date=[[2009-08-18]] |work=FANBOLT.COM |publisher= |accessdate=2009-08-18}} ===International broadcasts=== {{Refimprovesect|date=November 2009}} ====Australia==== In Australia, after the [[Australian Broadcasting Corporation|ABC]]{{cite web | author=Michael Idato | title=2007 from the couch | publisher=[[The Age]] | date=4 January 2007 | url= | accessdate=2007-02-15 }} and [[Special Broadcasting Service|SBS]] passed on the series, [[Network Ten]] acquired the rights to air it.{{cite news | title = Ten signs BBC's hit Dr Who spin-off | work = [[National Nine News]] | publisher = [[Australian Associated Press|AAP]] | date = 28 February 2007 | url = }} After its premiere on 18 June 2007, a reviewer for ''[[The Sydney Morning Herald]]'''s ''The Guide'' said, "The appeal of ''Torchwood'' is not so much that it's gloriously implausible sci-fi pulp, but that it knows it's gloriously implausible, sci-fi pulp."[ Torchwood: Think Men in Black, but without the budget] Jim Pembri, 18 June 2007, accessed 19 June 2007 [[Sydney Morning Herald]] Ten's press release cites rival programming in their decision to move the show to a Wednesday 12 am timeslot halfway through the series.[ Doctor Who and Torchwood schedule as of 31 July 2007] 7 August 2007. Retrieved 7 August 2007. ''Torchwood'' now airs on UKTV in Australia.[ Torchwood at UKTV] accessed 2 January 2008 [[UK.TV]] Series one was played on [[Imparja]], but as of 3 February 2008 the station is no longer affiliated with Ten and will not screen more.{{cite news | title = Imparja drops Torchwood | date = 5 February 2008 | url = }} Series 2 of ''Torchwood'' aired on Ten HD from 1 September 2008. On 19 June 2009, [[ABC2]] began broadcasting series one and two on Fridays at 8:30pm. When Series 2 started broadcasting on 18 September 2009, ABC2 started broadcasting ''[[Torchwood Declassified]]'' after each episode. Each episode of the third series was broadcast on UKTV and BBCHD the day after it was aired in the UK. ====Canada==== The Canadian network [[CBC Television|CBC]] was a co-producer of series one,{{cite web | author=Akyuz, Gün | title=BBC sci-fi thriller finds partner | publisher=C21 Media | date=6 April 2006 | url= | accessdate=2006-04-08 }} and premiered in October 2007.{{cite news | author=MacDonald, Gayle | title=CBC's 'new direction': more drama, reality TV | publisher=Globe & Mail | date=30 May 2007 | url= | accessdate=2007-06-03 }}{{cite web | author=Dertzo, Randi A. | title=Fall TV Preview | publisher=Channel Canada | date=4 June 2007 | url= |accessdate=2007-06-06|format=PDF}} The show airs for [[French language|French]]-speaking Canadian audiences on [[Ztélé]]. Series two began airing on [[Space (TV channel)|Space]] on 8 August 2008 and series three was aired on [[Space (TV channel)|Space]] over five consecutive nights in July 2009. Space has since broadcast series 1 and 2 episodes as well. ====France==== In [[France]], the first series began airing on 12 October 2007 on [[NRJ 12]], and since 13 January 2009 on [[Sci Fi Channel (France)|SciFi]]. The second series began on 5 September 2008 on [[NRJ 12]] and the third series began on 17 November 2009 also on [[NRJ 12]]. ====Germany==== In [[Germany]], the first series started airing on 11 March 2009 on [[RTL II]][ ''Torchwood'' on] and the second series started on 10 June 2009. The third series starts airing on 16 September 2009 under the name: ''Kinder der Erde''. ====New Zealand==== The first series began screening on [[TV2 (New Zealand)|TV2]] {{cite web | title=BBC Drama and Factual Titles Head to TVNZ | | date=10 January 2007 | url= | accessdate=2007-01-10 }} in [[New Zealand]] on Wednesday, 9 July 2008, starting with series 1 and running straight through to the 4th episode ([[Meat (Torchwood)|"Meat"]]) in the second series. Series 2 continued airing on February 11, 2009. ====Portugal==== In [[Portugal]], [[Sic Radical]] started transmitting the first series in January 2009, right after the end of series 2 of [[Doctor Who]]. ====Serbia==== In [[Serbia]], the first series started airing daily on RTS 1 on 19 August 2009. ====Sweden==== In [[Sweden]], the first series aired on 24 June 2007 on [[TV4+]] and the second series started on 6 July 2008. There are yet no news when or if the third series will air in Sweden. ====United States==== On 2 April 2007, [[BBC America]] had acquired the rights to broadcast the series in the [[United States of America|United States]].{{cite press release | title = Coming Soon on BBC AMERICA: "MI-5," "Hollyoaks," "Torchwood"... | publisher = [[BBC America]] | date = 2 April 2007 | url = | accessdate = 2007-04-04 }} The series started on 8 September 2007;{{cite web|title=Torchwood Secrets To Be Revealed|url=|accessdate=2007-07-16}} the initial broadcast of the series was tied-in to a "radical makeover" of the channel that was to occur later in 2007. The second series started on BBC America 26 January 2008,[ Outpost Gallifrey: Doctor Who RSS News Feed ] and the third on 20 July 2009.[ BBC America - Torchwood: Children of Earth] ''Torchwood'' has become one of the higher rated programmes for BBC America with its first series premiere in September 2007 attracting an audience of almost half a million viewers.[ AfterElton, Torchwood's US premiere ratings] [[HDNet]] acquired the US [[High-definition television|high definition]] rights for the first 26 episodes (Series 1 and 2) and began airing Series 1 episodes on Monday evenings, starting 17 September 2007.{{cite press release | title = HDNet Delves into the Supernatural with the Smash-Hit BBC Series “TORCHWOOD” | date = 2007-07-31 | publisher = [[HDNet]] | url = | accessdate = 2007-07-31}} On Monday 11 February 2008 HDNet began showing Series 2 episodes. ==Setting== {{Quote box |quote = "With ''Doctor Who'' we often had to pretend that bits of Cardiff were [[London]], or [[Utah]], or the planet Zog. Whereas this series is going to be honest-to-God Cardiff. We will happily walk past the [[Wales Millennium Centre|Millennium Centre]] and say, 'Look, there's the Millennium Centre'." |width=30% |source = [[Russell T Davies]]{{cite news |url= | title=Dr Who spin-off based in Bay | publisher=[[South Wales Echo]] | date=17 April 2006 }} }} ''Torchwood'' is filmed and set in [[Cardiff]]. The makers of ''Torchwood'' deliberately portray Cardiff as a modern urban centre, contrasting with past stereotypical portrayals of Wales. "There's not a male voice choir ... or a miner in sight, aside from John" said BBC Wales Controller [[Menna Richards]].{{cite news | first = Karen | last = Price | title = Action, aliens - and it's filmed in Wales | url =–aliens—and-it-s-filmed-in-wales&method=full&objectid=17956580&siteid=50082-name_page.html | work = [[Western Mail (Wales)|]] | date = 2006-10-19 | accessdate = 2006-11-04 }} [[Conservative Party (UK)|Conservative]] [[Member of Parliament|MP]] [[Michael Gove]] described the debut of ''Torchwood'' as the moment confirming "Wales' move from overlooked celtic cousin to underwired erotic coquette."{{cite news | first = Michael | last = Gove | authorlink =Michael Gove | title = What could be sexier than South Wales? | url =,,1055-2418867.html | work = [[The Times]] | date = 2006-10-25 | accessdate = 2006-11-04 }}{{cite web | url = | title = What could be sexier than South Wales? | accessdate = 2006-11-04 | last = Gove | first = Michael | authorlink = Michael Gove | date = 2006-10-25 | work = }} Filming has also taken place in areas outside of Cardiff, including [[Merthyr Tydfil]].{{cite news | first = Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council | authorlink = Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council | title = Torchwood! | url = | work = [[Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council]] }} [[Image:Roald Dahl Plass - Cardiff.jpg|thumb|left|250px|[[Roald Dahl Plass]], outside the Millennium Centre, acts as the exterior of the Hub.]] The team's headquarters, referred to as ''the Hub'', was beneath [[Roald Dahl Plass]] in [[Cardiff Bay]] — formerly known as the Oval Basin. This is where the [[TARDIS]] landed in the ''Doctor Who'' episodes "[[Boom Town (Doctor Who)|Boom Town]]" and "[[Utopia (Doctor Who)|Utopia]]" to refuel, and is the location of the [[spacetime]] [[Cardiff Rift|rift]] first seen in "[[The Unquiet Dead]]". The Hub itself was around 3 storeys high, with a large column running through the middle that was an extension of the fountain above; at its base lay the rift machine. The Hub had two means of access: a lift that rose to the plass next to the fountain (camouflaged by a perception filter), and a more mundane entrance hidden in a tourism office. The Hub was last seen as a smoking pile of rubble, after the Government destroyed it with a bomb in Series 3 in an assassination attempt against Captain Jack Harkness. The military base scenes in "[[Sleeper (Torchwood)|Sleeper]]" and the booby-trapped abandoned warehouse scenes in "[[Fragments (Torchwood)|Fragments]]" were filmed at [[Royal Navy Propellant Factory, Caerwent|RAF Caerwent]], near Chepstow, South Wales. ==Critical reception== {{Main|Reception of Torchwood}} As a spin-off of long-running British cultural artifact ''Doctor Who'', ''Torchwood'''s launch into British popular culture has received much positive and negative review, commentary and parody following the hype of its inception, especially regarding its status as an "adult" ''Doctor Who'' spin-off as well as its characterisation and portrayal of sex. Reviews for the first series were largely negative, with sites such as [[Behind the Sofa]] giving many more negative reviews than positive ones. Reviews of the second series were more positive. The third series, which took the form of a five-part story arc with the blanket title of ''[[Children of Earth]]'', received a number of positive reviews. Critics described it separately as a "powerful human drama"{{cite web|url=|title=Torchwood's Final and Finest Hour|accessdate=13 August 2009|author=Ben Rawson-Jones}}; "Best. Torchwood. Ever."{{cite web|url=|title=Torchwood: "Children of Earth" Review|accessdate=13 August 2009|author=Ahsan Haque}}; and "... against all expectations, a work of Proper Drama"{{cite web|url=|title=Captain Jack's Guts|accessdate=13 August 2009|author=Lawrence Miles}}. Conversely, ''[[The Daily Mirror]]'' gave the mini-series a negative review, describing it as "the modern-day ''[[Blake's Seven]]'': ludicrous plot, hammy acting, an adolescent penchant for 'Issues'"{{cite web|url=|title=Why Torchwood is the modern version of Blake's Seven|accessdate=13 August 2009|author=Jim Shelley}}. [[Metacritic]], an American review aggregator website, gives ''Torchwood'' series one a rating of 74 out of 100, meaning "generally favourable reviews".{{cite web|url=|title=Torchwood series one reviews||accesstdate=14 January 2009}} The show's second series rates higher, at 81 out of 100, indicating "universal acclaim".{{cite web|url=|title=Torchwood series two reviews||accesstdate=14 January 2009}} The third series rated 80, with the highest score being a 91 from ''[[Time (magazine)|Time]]'' and the lowest a 60 from ''[[The New York Times]]''.{{cite web|url=|title=Torchwood: Children of Earth series three reviews|accessdate=2009-07-26|}} In April 2007, ''Torchwood'' beat its parent series, which is also made in Wales, to win the Best Drama Series category at the [[BAFTA Cymru]] Awards. The awards, given by the Welsh branch of the [[British Academy of Film and Television Arts]], celebrate the achievements of film and television productions made in Wales. [[Eve Myles]] won the Best Actress category at the same awards, ahead of ''Doctor Who'''s [[Billie Piper]].{{cite news|url=|title=Dr Who sweeps Bafta Cymru board|publisher=[[BBC News Online]]|date=2007-04-29|accessdate=2007-04-29}} In 2008, the episode "[[Captain Jack Harkness]]" was nominated for the [[Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form]].{{cite web | title = 2008 Hugo Nomination List | work = Denvention 3: The 66th World Science Fiction Convention | publisher = World Science Fiction Society | year = 2008 | url = | accessdate = 2008-03-21}} A plot point in the Torchwood miniseries Children of Earth triggered protests from fans of the show, including the "Save Ianto Jones" campaign, which collected more than 10,000 pounds for the Children In Need charity.[ Save Ianto Jones] Other fans resorted to abuse and threats, causing writer James Moran to fire off an angry missive in a blog post.[ The Pen Is Mightier Than the Sword] Showrunner Russel T Davies made no apologies for the decision to kill off the character, saying, "I’m just delighted that the fans are so wrapped in the character to have that reaction."[ "Torchwood"'s Russell T Davies Makes No Apologies — For Anything] The death of a character involved in a same-sex relationship led several writers to accuse the show's creators of homophobia.[ “Buffy” Vs. “Torchwood”: Which Did a Better Job Killing Its Gay Character?] An opposing view analyzed the death in view of the character's earlier refusal to admit to his relationship with a man, and claimed that, instead of being an expression of homophobia, the death was a sign that the LGBT community was leaving behind its image of victimhood.[ Death By "Torchwood": Captain Jack, Ianto Jones, And The Rise Of The Queer Superhero] ==Ratings== The first episodes of Torchwood on BBC Three gave the channel its highest ever ratings, and the highest ratings of any [[digital television|digital-only]] non-sports channel at the time with 2.519 million viewers (though this has since been surpassed by [[Bionic Woman]] on [[ITV2]] which gained 2.553 million in March 2008 [ BARB]). The audience share was 12.7%, increasing to 13.8% for the second episode (shown immediately after the first episode on the same day), despite viewership dropping to 2.498 million.{{cite news|title=Torchwood scores record audience|url=|publisher=[[BBC News]]|date=[[2006-10-23]]|accessdate = 2006-10-23}} Ratings for later episodes dropped to around 1.1-1.2 million viewers during the first showing on BBC Three (the lowest being 0.8 million for week ending 24/12/06), but nevertheless, the show remained the most viewed programme on BBC Three by a wide margin.[ Weekly Multichannel Top 10 progammes], ''[[BARB]]''. Accessed [[7 December]], [[2006]] The repeat screenings on BBC Two later the same week were around 2.2-2.3 million (dropping to under 1.1 and 1.8 respectively for the weeks ending 03/12/06 and 10/12/06). For its second series which began in January 2008, Torchwood was moved to the more established [[BBC Two]] channel. Again, initial ratings were respectable and the first episode garnered 4.22 million viewers. However, the series again began to decline and had lost a million viewers by its fourth episode. It later dropped to a low of 2.52 million viewers towards the end of its run , even after the BBC had moved it from its usual Wednesday night slot (where it was being consistently beaten by [[ITV]]'s programming ''and'' [[Channel 4]]'s no.1 series, ''[[Grand Designs]]'') to Friday nights. The second series had an overall average rating of 3.26 million viewers on BBC Two. Torchwood's five-part third season, entitled ''[[Children of Earth]]'', premiered on [[BBC One]] in July 2009, with an estimated 5.9 million viewers according to overnight figures [ Digital Spy - 5.9m tune in for new 'Torchwood']. Ratings for the second episode dropped to 5.58m [ Digital Spy - Jackson memorial seen by 6.3 million], but rose to a high of 6.24m for the fourth episode.[ Torchwood hits new heights] According to the overnight figures, the mini-series garnered an average rating of 5.88 million viewers. According to official figures, published by [[Broadcasters' Audience Research Board]] (BARB), all five episodes of the mini-series garnered more than 6 million viewers, with the fourth episode gaining the largest audience. ==Themes== {{Main|Themes in Torchwood}} Torchwood explores several themes in its [[narrative]], in particular [[LGBT]] themes. Various characters are portrayed as sexually fluid; through those characters, the series examines [[homosexuality|homosexual]] and [[bisexuality|bisexual]] relationships. The programme also addresses issues around [[existentialism]], the nature of human life and the absence of an afterlife, and the corrupting nature of power. ==Episodes== {{Main|List of Torchwood episodes}} The premiere episode "[[Everything Changes (Torchwood)|Everything Changes]]" was written by Russell T Davies and serves to introduce the main characters and roles within the series, using newcomer Gwen as the [[audience surrogate]] in a similar style to the introduction of the [[companion (Doctor Who)|companion]] characters in ''Doctor Who''. The second episode, titled "[[Day One (Torchwood)|Day One]]", aired immediately after the first. It continues Gwen's neophyte role and includes a "sex monster" science fiction storyline{{cite video | people = Russell T Davies | title = Torchwood Declassified, Episode 2, Bad Day at the Office | medium = Television Series/Webcast | publisher = BBC | location = United Kingdom | date = 2006-10-23 }} similar to that seen in three different U.S. fantasy series from the 1990s: ''[[The Outer Limits (1995 TV series)|The Outer Limits]]'' episode "[[Caught in the Act (The Outer Limits)|Caught in the Act]]", the first season episode of ''[[Angel (TV series)|Angel]]'' titled "[[Lonely Hearts (Angel episode)|Lonely Hearts]]", and the second season episode of ''[[Charmed]]'' titled "[[She's a Man, Baby, a Man!]]". The first 13-episode series ended with a two-parter on 1 January 2007. The first part, entitled "[[Captain Jack Harkness]]", is a love story set in wartime Britain, with a subplot which serves to push the setting towards an "apocalypse" for series finale "[[End of Days (Torchwood)|End of Days]]". It deals with the ramifications of diseases and persons from throughout history falling through time and across the universe to arrive in the present day, and particularly in Cardiff. The episode also sets up Jack's return in the ''Doctor Who'' episode "[[Utopia (Doctor Who)|Utopia]]". The second 13-episode series of ''Torchwood'' begins by following on with Jack's return from the previous ''Doctor Who'' episode, "[[Last of the Time Lords]]" with the series premiere, "[[Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang (Torchwood)|Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang]]", which aired 16 January 2008. The series introduces Jack's ex-partner [[List of Torchwood characters#Captain John Hart|Captain John Hart]] in its premiere, reveals flashbacks to Jack's childhood in "[[Adam (Torchwood)|Adam]]" and shows how each member joined Torchwood in the penultimate episode "[[Fragments (Torchwood)|Fragments]]". A three-episode arc ("[[Reset (Torchwood)|Reset]]", "[[Dead Man Walking (Torchwood)|Dead Man Walking]]" and "[[A Day in the Death]]") in the middle of the series guest stars ''Doctor Who'' actress [[Freema Agyeman]] as [[Martha Jones]], temporarily drafted into Torchwood. The arc focuses upon the death and partial resurrection of main character Owen Harper, and how he coped as a dead man. The second series' finale, "[[Exit Wounds (Torchwood)|Exit Wounds]]" (which aired 4 April 2008) features the departures of main characters Owen and Tosh, whose deaths at the hands of Jack's long-lost brother [[List of Torchwood characters#Gray|Gray]] reduced the series' cast to Barrowman, Myles and David-Lloyd in its closing scenes. The Torchwood Three team made a crossover appearance in the [[Doctor Who (series 4)|series four]] finale of parent show ''Doctor Who'', "[[The Stolen Earth]]"/"[[Journey's End (Doctor Who)|Journey's End]]", which featured Jack Harkness leaving the Doctor at the close of the story, accompanied by [[Martha Jones]] and [[Mickey Smith]]. On November 13 an article was posted on [[Eve Myles]] homepage (actress playing Gwen) where [[Russell T Davies]] confirmed that work on Series 4 have begun and shooting will hopefully begin in January 2010. ==Spin-offs== [[BBC Two]] is airing ''[[Torchwood Declassified]]'', a making-of programme similar to ''[[Doctor Who Confidential]]''. Each ''Declassified'' episode runs under ten minutes, in contrast to ''Confidential'''s 45 (formerly 30). Torchwood Declassified is also available online at the BBC's Torchwood site.

Torchwood has "a heavy online presence". At the Edinburgh International Television Festival, BBC Director of Television Jana Bennett said that the online features will include the ability to explore the Hub, an imaginary desktop, weekly 10-minute behind-the-scenes vodcast. Due to digital media rights restrictions most video content on the BBC Three websites is only accessible to users within the UK. "You can join the corporation of Torchwood and be one of its employees," said Bennett. The Flash-based interactive website, including the Hub Tour, debuted on 12 October 2006.

Set between the end of Series Two and the beginning of Series Three, the BBC aired four Torchwood radio dramas featuring the cast of the series. As a tie in with Radio 4's CERNmarker-themed day on 10 September 2008, a CERN-themed radio episode of Torchwood written by Joseph Lidster, entitled "Lost Souls", aired as the day's Afternoon Play. This was the first Torchwood drama not to feature Burn Gorman and Naoko Mori. Three further episodes were broadcast on 1–3 July 2009: "Asylum", "Golden Age" and "The Dead Line".


Titan Magazines have launched a Torchwood Magazine which was released on 24 January 2008 in the United Kingdom. The United States version was launched in February 2008. The Australia/New Zealand version was launched in April 2008.

DVD releases

The complete first series has been released on Region 2 DVD in the UK. A North American Region 1 release occurred 22 January 2008, following the broadcast of Series 1 on BBC America in the United States and the CBC in Canada. Series One Part One, Two and Three have been released In Australia Region 4, with the Complete First Series released in February 2008. The complete series 1 sets released in the UK and US also include the episodes of the behind-the-scenes series Torchwood Declassified. The Complete Second Series was released on 30 June 2008 (Region 2), along with the Complete First series on Blu-ray and HD DVD. Series 1 and 2 episodes are currently available for download through iTunes in the US and UK.

DVD Name UK Release Date(Region 2) North American Release Date(Region 1) Australian Release Date(Region 4) New Zealand Release Date(Region 4)
Series One Part One (Episodes 1-5):26 December 2006 Complete (Episodes 1-13):22 January 2008 Part One (Episodes 1-5):31 July 2007 Complete (Episodes 1-13):11 September 2008
Part Two (Episodes 6-9):26 February 2007 Part Two (Episodes 6-9):6 September 2007
Part Three (Episodes 10-13):26 March 2007 Part Three (Episodes 10-13):2 October 2007
Complete (Episodes 1-13):19 November 2007 Complete (Episodes 1-13):6 February 2008
Series Two Complete (Episodes 1-13):30 June 2008 Complete (Episodes 1-13):16 September 2008 Complete (Episodes 1-13):2 October 2008 Complete (Episodes 1-13):15 January 2009
Children Of Earth
(Series Three)
Complete (Episodes 1-5):13 July 2009 Complete (Episodes 1-5):28 July 2009 Complete (Episodes 1-5):1 October 2009

Blu-ray releases

Release Name UK Release Date(Region 2) North American Release Date(Region 1) Australian Release Date(Region 4)
The Complete First Series 30 June 2008 16 September 2008 1 October 2009
The Complete Second Series 22 June 2009 7 July 2009 1 October 2009
Children of Earth 13 July 2009 28 July 2009 1 October 2009


Accompanying the main series of Torchwood are a series of novels. The books are published in paperback-sized hardcover format, the same format BBC Books uses for its New Series Adventures line for Doctor Who. These novels were later released, abridged, as audiobooks.

Original soundtrack

On 22 September 2008, Silva Screen Records released a compilation of music featured in the show's first and second series. The disc features 32 tracks composed by Ben Foster and Murray Gold. The soundtrack for Children of Earth became available for download 7 July 2009.

See also


  1. Attitude. (August 2008)
  2. Source:, accessed 3 May 2008
  3. Source: Retrieved 21 June 2008.
  8. "Silva Screen Records: Torchwood Soundtrack Release"

External links

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