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Jane Espenson, John Shiban To Write ‘Torchwood’

Russell T. Davies is making sure his ‘Doctor Who’ spinoff gets some American genre input

It’s going to be hard to top the “Children of Earth” miniseries BBC aired last year, so Russell T. Davies is looking to some of America’s finest writers to help him get the fourth season of “Torchwood” off the ground for Starz!

Among those joining Davies in the “Doctor Who” spinoff’s writing room are genre favorites Jane Espenson and John Shiban, who will each get an episode when the series resumes production later this year, according to Maureen Ryan of The Chicago Tribune.

Espenson has a long resume with genre shows, including “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Battlestar Galactica” and the new HBO series “Game of Thrones.” She also was the showrunner for “Caprica” over a 10-episode span, but later stepped back to simply lead the writer’s room.

Some of Espenson’s episodes include “Conversations WIth Dead People” and “End of Days” on Buffy, “The Passage” and “Dirty Hands” on BSG, and “Haunted” on another Joss Whedon series, “Dollhouse.”

Shiban, of course, is known for his extensive work on “The X-Files,” writing 24 episodes for the series between 1995 and 2002, according to Internet Movie Database. He also wrote five episodes of “Star Trek: Enterprise,” including the Romulan-centric episode “Minefield,” as well as “Supernatural” and “Legend of the Seeker.” He most recently did writing and producing work for AMC’s “Breaking Bad.”

Also slated to write episodes are Doris Egan from “Tru Calling” and “Dark Angel,” and British writer John Fay, who already has a “Torchwood” resume, writing “Day Two” and “Day Four” of the critically acclaimed “Children of Earth” miniseries.

Could Espenson’s involvement help bring back a popular character to “Torchwood”? James Marsters, who played Capt. John Hart in “Torchwood’s” second season, says he wants to return … and teaming up with Espenson again from both their “Buffy” and “Caprica” days might be possible.

“Russell is over here [in Los Angeles] trying to get an American version of it done,” Marsters told io9. “If he doesn’t call me, I am going to find him.”

It’s doubtful Espenson’s involvement with “Torchwood” means a fate has been decided for “Caprica,” which is still waiting for a Season 2 green light from Syfy. Espenson’s outing is likely a one-off, something that can be done while still working on “Caprica” and other shows.

The new season of the show, which moves from BBC to the American premium cable channel Starz!, will be a 10-episode outing premiering next summer that will include John Barrowman and recently 2010 Portal Awards winner Eve Myles, along with some new characters trying to protect the Earth from alien threats. Taking on a more global feel, much of the new season will be filmed in North America, although at least one episode or so could end up back in the United Kingdom, especially since BBC remains on board as a production partner.

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