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Do you want a Torchwood Season Four? A few fans speak...

by Nick Zaino, posted Aug 8th 2009 1:00PM
TorchwoodA couple of weeks removed from the American showing of Torchwood: Children of Earth, the mini-series that served as the Dr. Who spinoff's third season, I am still thinking about what a season four would look like. I've been a fan of the show since the first series, and I have liked the Torchwood team and admired the writing.

But the ending of Children of Earth complicated things. At the end of season two, two major characters died, then COE killed off another. The immortal, normally untouchable Captain Jack Harkness had been compromised to the point where he had to leave the planet, and Gwen was pregnant and happily married. So what would a fourth season even look like?

I would hate to see Torchwood: Baby Boomer, with Gwen balancing the baby with fighting aliens, and all the clichés that come with the balancing-a-job-and-motherhood plots from movies and television past. But then, series creator and writer Russell T. Davies has done a fantastic job of avoiding the predictable, so I'd be willing to take that leap of faith to see what he comes up with. And Davies is already on record as saying that Captain Jack is "fundamental to Torchwood."I asked a couple of friends and fellow fans of Torchwood what they thought, and everyone seems to want the show to continue. Ken, a Boston comedian, says, "Captain Jack would be involved, obviously, but I think the dynamic would be far different. Gwen would take on more of the leadership role. I'd like to see some more Doctor Who characters be a part of the team."

That would be interesting; Captain Jack having to take orders from Gwen, not charging in everywhere recklessly just because he's immortal (although as reasons go, being immortal is a fairly good reason for doing anything). That would create a constant tension, where Gwen is always a mistake away from losing control of the team to Jack, and testing Jack's respect for Gwen to not overstep her.

Chris from Buffalo would like to see Torchwood come back, but with a change in mission, ditching the one-off episodes for a more continuous storyline. "With the time invested as a viewer and the death of long time characters," he says, "I'd like to see it mean something. Fighting off the random alien attack is fine, but I'd like to see the bigger issues they've touched on (corrupt government, the changes that Jack mentions are coming, etc)." Children of Earth proved that Davies could write a good continuous plotline for Torchwood, and it would be wonderful to see him bring that same nail-biting quality to a full season four.

Amber, an actress/playwright/burlesque performer from Boston, appreciates Davies' willingness to kill off main characters, taking nothing for granted. She'd like to see new characters that don't resemble Owen, Tosh, or Ianto, with a possible Dr. Who tie-in (maybe Mickey Smith on the team). She'd like to see Torchwood even further underground. "Torchwood should be more James Bond meets La Femme Nikita," she says, "while keeping with its awesome story arches."

I would guess the ratings for Children of Earth alone would be enough to bring it back, and there have already been a couple of reports out of Comic-Con that the BBC had agreed to it. Tim, another comedian from Boston, said COE was his first experience with Torchwood. He loved the storytelling and "gorgeous creepy atmosphere" for four and a half of the episodes (the exception being the ending, which he thought was devoid of tension, "In the last five minutes, Jack's like, 'Wait, what if I kill my grandson? Sweet."). I'm sure COE hooked a lot of new fans, and it certainly solidified my admiration of the show.

From a storytelling standpoint, the first few episodes of a new season would have to be devoted to how Captain Jack comes back, which will be tricky. Another world-threatening crisis drawing him back would be redundant. It's possible that Gwen could lose the baby and Rhys and that Jack would come back to save and comfort her, but that might be more death than fans can bear.

What might be more fun would be if Jack came back to help without being seen -- by the public or the team. He would be a fringe player, tilting the scales at just the right moment and then retreating, hiding his tracks. He has an undeniable attraction to Earth and especially Gwen, and it's understandable that he wouldn't want to be visible and face his long history. But could he resist keeping an eye on things from above?

However it turns out, I doubt that it will be anything I or most Torchwood fans could guess, which is what makes Torchwood so much fun in the first place.

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SPOILER WARNING... While this is clearly the best write and produced season, BBC has killed off the series with Season Three, including most of the major characters. As with the SciFi channel in America, they appear to be abandoning quality science fiction in search of the quick profits to be had from pandering to the lowest common denominators. Like the SciFi channel, I expect they will soon be peddling mostly horror and disaster, instead of the "Innovative. Bordering on the avant-garde." Shame on them. I'm through with BBC. I can get trash TV in America without any import duties.

August 27 2009 at 2:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Nell Tory

I was very diserpointed and annoyed when I heard that in response to the hundreads of fans chanting bring Ianto back they simply said "In Torchwood when your dead your dead" when they brought back Suzie and Owen! I know that the reserection gauntlet has been destroyed so they couldn't bring Ianto back with that but i'm sure they could think of something. It seemed to me that when Ianto died they didn't seem as ditressed and upset as when the other characters died and they didn't start thinking of all they ways they might possibly be able to bring him back they just kind of gave up like ok this must be the end of Torchwood. If the makers are going to do that then don't bring it back because it just won't be Torchwood.

If season 4 is made and turns out to just be Jack and Gwen or just Jack who is at a complety different place and has to rebuild it then I won't be watching Gwen can't exactly be in it until her child has grown up abit so it would proberly just be Jack and I think having his teammates around him is what brings out the best in Jack.

If they make a season 4 they could have an episode when Jack keeps on having flashbacks of Ianto and goes crazy and goes through all the universes looking for some thing alien that can bring back Ianto! If that was one of the episodes then I would definatley be watching it! Theres got to be something out there that could bring Ianto back. If not at least a few Ianto flashbacks! But without Ianto or any of the original things that made Torchwood, Torchwood I don't think season 4 will be anything to look forward to.

August 20 2009 at 1:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Hey well I think its definitely Up to people if they want series 4 of tw or not Tbh im not that interested in it anymore i wasn't attatched from the start though s1 and s2 were way more interesting than coe the Characters were more human i Mean do you Honestly think A human can decide to Sacrifice a relative that was a stupid Idea even though they were trying to Make it all sci-fi action it was good at first i was interested in it But I hated the Ending it Just showed that Jack was really a coward in the end Not Hero at all ..Dr who is crap now as well taking away David tennant but i don't really care to me its just a Tv programme Im not getting Upset that A Character is dying because its not real its something You do when your bored or Hooked supernatural Prison Break great shows (Supernatural ive only started to watch Prison Break was Clever beyond and sad Making you Hooked)Torchwood use to Have the same Effect on People .Like loads of people i Dont want to see Gwen being the star role person shes just Not the leader at all And i don't think Jack should go back i WOULD like to see s4 though see how it comes out Then decide then But whatever :)Watch it or not its your choice though I like alot of people's views Rtd Did a crap Job on coe especially the Ending and why is Gwen his favourite ?

August 15 2009 at 2:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think if torchwood season 4 capt. Jack will come back by the help of the doctor and become his old happy self. But he still remember Ianto. Then he decide to rebuild torchwood without the government help also getting Gwen and another people join torchwood. I think he even find another love interest who is almost like Ianto(Pc Andy). I think he going joined the group by now in this season. Even Lois because she is computer genuis. I think Gwen is going to be less ingoring, a little busy with the baby and with Russy. It's also up to the writer and creater Russell T. Davies . Also, I haven't seen the adventure of Sara Jane let and how good will she be for the torchwood group. So I really can't wait until season 4 come's out.

August 13 2009 at 8:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I actually enjoyed Children of Earth, but also agree it should be the end for this version of Torchwood. Gwen is to be mum. Jack needs some time away.
I think you actually go one of two ways, Future Torchwood with Jack and a new crop, dealing with an even more enlightened population in regards to aliens and their interaction, or you go retro Torchwood and see Jack in the 50/60's and the team then, before aliens were so public. Either way Jack needs to be in it.

August 12 2009 at 11:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It would take alot to get me to watch S4. S3 effectively burned everything I loved about Torchwood to the ground and spat on the ashes. I probably would have liked COE as a stand alone story... or if the writers had taken the time to create a tight, well-written Torchwood story.

I wonder if the writers had even watched the first 2 seasons-- the characterizations were completely inconsistent as were the situations (are you seriously going to tell me that Ianto could track the SUV in the middle of the countryside with a PDA but couldn't' do it in the middle of Cardiff with the Hub at his disposal?) If any one is interested I'll be happy to share my list of plot holes (I'm up to 25 majors).

Ianto and Tosh were my favorite characters... I was warming to Owen over S2... I liked Jack because of his relationships with the others... I've never had any attachment to Gwen (beyond liking Rhys)-- she was a plot device-- someone to argue with Jack and tell the audience what they should feel if the were "human." I liked Ianto because he was normal-- he was a good, practical match to Jack's (and Gwen & Owen's) "in your face" personalities... He he was a nice, normal guy who survived alot was intensely loyal to those he loved-- and that made him very special.

That being said-- my issue with COE isn't that they killed off Ianto *ducks*. It's how poorly written the entire series was-- most especially the lead up to Ianto's death. I simply don't find it believable that Ianto would walk into that building without a gas mask or hazmat suit (they knew that the 456 had killed with viruses before and it was in a tank of poison gas). Additionally, I don't find it believable that Jack would let him (especially having just lost Tosh and Owen). I also disagree with Ianto's death as "motivation" for Jack's actions... I think it makes it even less likely that he would do what he did (honestly, I'm not surprised that Jack sacrificed Stephen-- it was awful but Jack's sacrificed kids before and RTD likes to use kids in danger as an emotional button-- Dr Who Xmas 2009 anyone?).

I could have accepted Ianto's death if it had been part of a tight, well written story. I wasn't this upset when Tosh and Owen were killed off-- perhaps because it made sense in the context of Torchwood and the story that was written.

The writing for COE was sloppy and lazy at best (from Day 1 you knew at least one of the kids was not making it past day 5). The climax of Day 5 was also disappointing-- 4 3/4 days for a solution that took 5 minutes? But, I've noticed that RTD's endings usually leave alot to be desired (all build up, no follow through). Speaking of lazy-- anyone else notice that the PM's name (Green) was the same as the Slitheen PM in Dr Who S1? They could have at least picked another color.

From Day 1, RTD has been pushing Gwen as the "heart of Torchwood" and the "human" one-- apparently that gives her a free pass (and no, Rhys dying for 5 minutes at the end of season 1 doesn't count). I read that Torchwood was a re-worked pilot that RTD failed to sell called Excalibur which was meant as a vehicle for Eve Myles. He's finally gotten that-- all that's left is Gwen and I have absolutely no interest in watching Gwen hold a baby in one arm and shoot at aliens with the other (Eve Myles said it an interview with Wales Online that she thinks that would be great). Frankly, I don't really find it believable that she could lead Torchwood with as little experience as she has and her sunshine and roses outlook (but it SHOULD be this way... that's WRONG, you CAN'T). Part of being a leader is being able to make the tough choices and Gwen's never done that... I choose to consider Gwen "leading" the team while Jack was away between S1 & S2 a plot hole I ignore since I didn't actually have to sit through it.

While personally I was glad to see that Jack didn't give into Gwen's crying for him to stay... the ending just made the whole series seem like a build up so that Captain Jack could be all broken and run away from Earth so he could hook up with the Doctor for the Christmas special... and that was probably the cheapest trick of all.

August 11 2009 at 10:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Before CoE, I would have said yes to S4 even though 2 characters I loved had been killed, because I had hope and they handled both deaths beautifully. Owen's rant and Tosh's "You're killing me" brought tears to my eyes, and Tosh's recorded message was such a lovely epitaph. But now - another character is dead and Jack is changed beyond my knowing him. It is really hard for me to see how I could watch Torchwood because it wouldn't *be* Torchwood. It would be a show with the same name but not the same people.

And okay, if they want to go in that direction, make it an anthology series with an episode or group of episodes set at a certain time/place in the future or past. I would watch that - but I wouldn't get as invested in such a series as I was with S1&2 because these would be characters that come and go, with Jack to tie them together. I certainly wouldn't buy the books or the audioplays, or go to conventions to see any of the new characters (John B. I would go to see, but only if they take him into the past or show some significant change in his character from these events). I watched for the Team, and now that the Team is gone, I won't get invested in a new one, knowing that they will all die from Torchwood.

Oh, except for women that Jack loves, apparently, as Gwen is still alive and Alice's mother not only survived Torchwood but also lived long enough to have a grandson who remembers her and to die of a regular illness. And what about Yvonne at T-One - she died, but she was no spring chicken and had apparently been with Torchwood long enough to rise to a position of power. And Archie at T-Two who has apparently been there for a long time, long enough to develop a memorable personality. So that, for me, makes me take everything that the producers of Torchwood say with a grain of salt. "Everyone in Torchwood dies young...except for..."

August 11 2009 at 10:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I don't think there should be another Torchwood series - RTD made a big enough mess of the last one! If there is no Jack and Ianto then there is no Torchwood. Frankly I would not waste my time watching because the number of lies that came from the hype that surrounded series 3 as to how it was going to be [even the actors being forced to imply for example that Jack and Ianto was going to go through major changes - yeah well Ianto dying big change but not quite the relationship change the fans were looking for!

RTD is on a major ego journey whereby he thinks he is God and everything he does is wonderful - well sorry pal, but generally everything he touches tends to be quite average whereby anything else by the other writers is spectactular - especially when written by the guy who plays Mickey.

Realistically when would they fit the next series in? John Barrowman is in La Cage aux Folles until November then straight into panto until January plus he is supposed to be getting a role in Desperate Housewives. Eve Myles is taking time out for the birth of her first child and frankly I wouldnt want the Gwen & Boring Rhys Show!

So just leave it - series 3 was disappointing enough why pile on the agony? Captain Jack will be back in the final two episodes of Dr Who with David Tennant that will be shown on UK tv Christmas 2009 and New Year 2010 - that is more than enough.

Of course if they were to find a way to bring Ianto back preferably as an immortal -- I could be persuaded but ....

August 11 2009 at 8:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Boy, you can tell when the linking post to this went up on Livejournal, can't you.... ;)

As a long-time fan who loved all three seasons of TW, I'm absolutely up for a s4 based around Gwen and Jack and a rebuilt team. One of the huge appeals of TW for me was always the sense of history it had to it, the feeling that (with the notable exception of Jack) it wasn't a particular and static group of characters but rather a constantly changing and evolving roster. Sure, characters have died and that's upsetting, but it's also life, and I'd much rather have that sense of uncertainty to keep me interested than a dull expectation that nothing and nobody will ever change.

So, bring on s4! If some folks don't want to watch it, that's their call - the viewing and AI figures were high enough that I doubt the BBC is too worried about losing a few. I want to see a recovered Jack, and Gwen in a leadership role, and Rhys the house-husband; I want to see Lois and Johnson and a whole bunch of new characters to love and then eventually mourn. I want to see where things go next! What I don't want to see is any dead characters from previous series getting resurrected - it's time to look to the future, not the past.

August 11 2009 at 7:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

No, I wouldn't watch Torchwood series 4 - for a variety of reasons, but there are two main ones.

1) They took a show that was cracky, diverting and different, and turned it into "24 with added aliens".

And they didn't even do it that well.

CoE's story was derivative, cliche-riddled, laden with plot holes you could drive a bus through, and utterly inconsistent with not only the previous two series of Torchwood, but also Torchwood's parent universe, Dr Who.

Indeed, the Torchwood team seemed to be reduced to being bit players in their own show.

At times the disconnect was so great, it almost seemed as if the writers had never watched either Torchwood or Dr Who before launching themselves on these scripts.

Established characters acted entirely out of character, and in places the ony way the storyline could continue was if all the characters - and not just the established ones - acted in manner that was not just implausible but bordered on the imbecilic.

I can put up with a lot of things from my favourite shows, but lazy, slipshod, insult your intelligence shock value writing is not one of them.

2) I watch shows for the characters and their (on-going) relationships.

I watched Torchwood for the team, and in 5 episodes the team whose mad, spiky, fun interactions I enjoyed so much, was destroyed, leaving only a broken and almost unrecognisable Captain Jack and Gwen, to me the least interesting member of the team.

They will, of course, create new characters for season 4. But if, as Russell T Davies is apparently intent on demonstrating, everyone on Torchwood is a Red Shirt, I can see little appeal in taking the time to get on board with them if they can be killed off for no other reason than, as RTD puts it, "they can".

There's a lot of competition out there - and not just Supernatural - and I have a very busy and demanding life that doesn't leave me much time for TV watching.

So, no, I'm not going to waste what little downtime I have on the Torchwood world as CoE left it.

August 11 2009 at 6:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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