SFX interviewed “Torchwood” show runner Russell T Davies, who talked a bit about the show’s next series. Or season. See, it’s being co-produced by Starz, and will be mostly shot in America, with a couple of new American main characters. Some red flags are being raised by this, mainly by the propensity for American fingerprints to destroy anything British. But since Davies appears to still be in creative control of the show, that really leaves the most pressing question: will it be a fourth series or a fourth season? Wars have been started over less picky semantics.
“Torchwood: Grandchildren of Earth” is expected to broadcast in the summer of 2011. Although it will be ten episodes instead of five, the fourth series will be structurally more similar to “Children of Earth” than previous seasons. It will be “one long story,” as SFX puts it. The tight serial nature of “Children of Earth” was a great strength, but I’m not sure if stretching a story like that out to twice the length will lose a bit of its urgency. Also, even though they had a lot of weaknesses, there were some excellent stand alone short stories told in the first two series, so it’ll be a shame if that sort of storytelling falls completely by the wayside of the show.
And he also assures us that the fourth series will stay dark: “Actually, this story is also very dark. I think with that, Torchwood found its feet. People found something very compelling and very chilling about it. I love the way people got on their high horse saying, ‘Oh, he killed his grandson!’ Hello! He saved every single child in the world! If you would fail to do that then you’re the monster, frankly.”
At first blush it seemed like it might be difficult to top the darkness of “Children of Earth,” really they’re running out of characters to kill. Yet except for the death of Ianto, all of the emotional sucker punches involve characters introduced in that series. Frobisher, MacDonald, Jack’s daughter and grandson … “Children of Earth” didn’t just go dark, it went dark the hard way by building tragedy out of characters you’d only just met.