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October 31, 2014

Fox Plans to Import Sexy Sci-Fi Series 'Torchwood'

by Gary Susman, posted Jan 19th 2010 3:00PM
Is American network television ready for the sexually freewheeling sci-fi of 'Torchwood'?

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Fox is developing an imported version of the popular British sci-fi series (seen in the U.S. on BBC America) about a super-secret agency charged with protecting Earth against alien threats. It's like '24,' with tentacles and sex. Lots of sex, and especially lots of same-sex sex.

It's not clear how much of the show's open sexuality will survive the transition across the pond; this is still American primetime network TV we're talking about. Still, it seems likely that the show would retain that element, since much of the original production team is on board, including series creator Russell T. Davies, who also created the original U.K. version of 'Queer as Folk.' The only real difference between British and American 'Torchwoods' that is cited in the Reporter article is that the American version would have a more global plot than the original, which is set in Wales and tends not to venture outside Great Britain.

British imports, from 'Coupling' to 'Life on Mars,' have done poorly as American remakes, with only about two exceptions: Showtime's 'Queer as Folk' and NBC's 'The Office.' So it helps that Davies is on board for the U.S. version of 'Torchwood,' and the Reporter says he may even bring along some of the U.K. cast, notably, John Barrowman (pictured, at last year's Comic-Con), who has the lead role as the unkillable Capt. Jack Harkness.

'Torchwood' ran for two full seasons in the U.K. and had a third mini-season of five episodes. In recent months, Davies and Barrowman have both spoken of plans for a fourth season that would begin shooting in early 2010. It's not clear whether the planned Fox version would supersede those plans.

Before 'Torchwood,' Davies successfully rebooted the venerable British sci-fi franchise 'Doctor Who,' of which 'Torchwood' is a spinoff. (The word "Torchwood" is an anagram of "Doctor Who.") Now that Davies' 'Doctor Who' star David Tennant is attached to the NBC pilot 'Rex Is Not Your Lawyer,' might we see an American import of 'Doctor Who' as well? The Reporter says we might, since former BBC exec Jane Tranter is an executive producer of the Fox 'Torchwood.' Let the geek squeals of joy begin.

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