Torchwood returns to television under new management

For its new season, Torchwood is being produced in the US, and almost the entire cast is changing.

Last time we saw Torchwood, it was starting to get really heavy: Major characters were being killed off, plot arcs were being disassembled, and the protagonist came close to giving up on life on behalf of, not just herself and her unborn child, but the entire human race.

She wondered if perhaps The Doctor had chosen not to save the Earth because none of them deserved to be saved. The story closed on a hopeful note, of course, but with the Torchwood office destroyed, and most of the team missing or killed, what could they do next?

Apparently, they go to Disneyland. 

Or close to it… The series production has been picked up by Hollywood production company Starz, and the new base of Torchwood will be in Los Angeles. Filming began last month, and the series will premier on 8 July 2011.

John Barrowman and Eve Myles will be returning to the cast as Capt. Jack Harkness and Gwen Cooper, and a few other secondary characters who survived “Torchwood: Children of Earth.”

Joining them will be Mekhi Phifer, as a CIA Operative; Alexa Havins, as a CIA analyst; Arlene Tur, as a surgeon; and Bill Pullman, as a convicted child-killer who becomes mysteriously unkillable on the day of his execution.

The plot will center on this strange immortality, which seems to have struck the entire world at once. At first seen as a miracle – thus the subtitle of the series – it soon becomes a nightmare, as the hundreds of thousands of people who are supposed to be dying each day around the world are quickly starting to overbalance food supplies and other resources. Gwen and Jack team up with the CIA to solve the mystery of this “curse,” which will span ten-episodes.

The move to shorter ‘mini-series’ style arcs over the old monster-of-the-week format began with the last Torchwood series, Children of Earth, which lasted five episodes. That was an awful long time with a single mystery, and the amount of action and interaction was almost too much, and perhaps, at times, became a bit melodramatic.

What will happen with ten episodes (or, perhaps more appropriately, a ten-hour Torchwood episode). Is that even viable? If the previous series is any indication, the characters are liable to explode with dramatic tension before it’s over.