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Barrowman: ‘Torchwood’ Is Psychological Fiction

The secret to ‘Torchwood’s’ success is in embracing human issues amongst the science-fiction

Back in 2006, “Torchwood” became a hit in the United Kingdom for drawing in 2.5 million viewers on its opening night for BBC Three, the smaller multi-channel arm of the British Broadcasting Corporation.

Since then, the show has been retooled, reformatted and no longer resembles the series that original premiered. But even after such drastic changes the series is still a hit and according to series star John Barrowman the reason for that is the show is psychological fiction as much as it is science-fiction.

“You know, every year ‘Torchwood’ has become something a little different than it was before,” he recently told New York Magazine. “It’s still sci-fi, but it doesn’t just deal with spaceships and aliens all the time, because we’ve done that. Our science fiction is more psychological.”

Take for instance the third season, “Children of Earth,” which revolved around the impact of an alien ultimatum more than it did on the aliens themselves. The five-part drama ran on BBC One primetime and was proven an enormous success in the new format by increasing in viewership on an almost nightly basis.

Even though the series remains part of the “Doctor Who” mythology it is not coasting through life on the coat tails of its mother series and will remain more grounded.

“‘Doctor Who,’ is the one that does that: talking cats and Cybermen and Daleks – which is brilliant, but we’re something completely different now,” he said. “That’s not to say that it will never happen.”

“Torchwood: Miracle Day” airs on Fridays at 10 p.m. ET on Starz, and will then launch on July 14 on BBC One.

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