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New ‘Torchwood’ Means New Viewers

Russell T. Davies promises even new fans will be able to watch Starz version

There is a lot of reluctance to jump into a show late in its run — especially the fourth season. But if you’ve been hearing a lot of the hype around the Starz version of “Torchwood,” but have never seen the show during its BBC run: Don’t worry. Showrunner Russell T. Davies is explaining everything.

“When the whole world is watching, then i can relax a bit and start in the middle of the story, but until then, I’m just going to keep doing this,” Davies recently told AfterElton. “We want to carry old viewers with us, but I always want new people to join us. So the joy of starting in a new country, a new channel, is that you actually have characters on screen asking the questions that you are wondering about.”

“Torchwood” started in 2006 as a spinoff to “Doctor Who.” It has Capt. Jack Harkness, a character from Davies version of “Doctor Who” played by John Barrowman who is immortal, and the leader of Torchwood. It also stars Eve Myles, a former Cardiff police officer who stumbles on Torchwood — a secret agency that deals with alien threats to Earth — and ends up joining the team.

But like “Game of Thrones,” “Torchwood” has not been afraid to kill off main characters. The second season saw the departure of Burn Gorman and Naoko Mori as Owen and Tosh. Then in the abbreviated (but critically acclaimed) third season of “Torchwood,” better known as “Children of Earth,” Davies killed off very popular Capt. Jack lover Ianto, played by Gareth David-Lloyd.

Since you can’t have 10 episodes with just two people, this opens the door for a lot of new characters, especially on the American side. And with new characters come the same questions that new characters will bring to the table. Like what we have with Rex Matheson, a CIA agent played by Mekhi Phifer.

“You actually get the process of that discovery, and there’s a joy in that discovery, onscreen as a viewer alongside the characters,” Davies said. “And then, of course, the moment that they find out what Torchwood is, there’s trouble, and things start exploding, and everyone’s running and screaming. So you get the fun of that as well.”

Since the show has moved to the United States, there continues to be concern that “Torchwood” is actually a reboot, like it was rumored to be when Fox almost picked up the series. Davies, however, says that couldn’t be further from the truth.

“We’ve started showing the first episode to people, and it’s been a very big reaction from people, saying we did the same show,” Davies said, adding that a reboot was never in the cards, even when Fox was considering the show. “It’s absolutely the same show. It’s hard to get across how much the same show it is, it just happens to be set in a different place. And we’re literally a continuation of the same people and the same events in the same world, just starting a new chapter in their lives.”

“Torchwood: Miracle Day,” focused on a world where no one dies, is set to debut its fourth season on Starz beginning July 8.

To read Davies complete interview with AfterElton, click here.

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