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'Torchwood' Enters World Stage, Fourth Season Ordered

Production will now become a global partnership of BBC Cymru Wales, BBC Worldwide and Starz Entertainment

"Torchwood" was never dead. It was just ... well, sleeping for a bit.

But no more. The "Doctor Who" spinoff is coming back not only to British and American audiences, but viewers worldwide with a fourth season order that will include 10 episodes, and feature the return of both John Barrowman as Capt. Jack Harkness and Eve Myles as Gwen.

Following the short-lived plans at the American Fox network that ended earlier this year, BBC Worldwide shopped the series around and developed a production partnership that will include BBC Cymru Wales and American premium cable channel Starz Entertainment.

"'Torchwood' has attracted remarkable attention and loyalty in both the U.K. and the U.S., and in this new partnership with Starz, the next chapter will not only reward our current fans, but also introduce new viewers to the most impressive installment yet," said Jane Tranter, executive vice president of BBC Worldwide Productions, in a release.

Following the highly successful "Children of Earth" miniseries that aired last year, fans thought a renewal of "Torchwood" was a given. However, at San Diego Comic-Con last summer, both executive producers Russell T. Davies and Julie Gardner were non-committal. Last fall, when Fox announced it would develop an American version of the show with Davies and Gardner, fans shared mixed feelings about how the show may lose its soul if transferred from its Welsh home to the United States.

When Fox decided to not pursue the series any longer, fans were even more concerned that the run of
"Torchwood" had ended. Instead, BBC is looking to making the show into a worldwide phenomenon.

Unlike the first three seasons, "Torchwood" will no longer be based in Cardiff, Wales, where it's filmed. Instead, production will be on-location in various places throughout the world, including locations in the United States.

"We have a long history of working with many U.S. networks, but it is incredibly exciting to be working with Starz for the first time, as well as to be reunited with the best of British in Russell, Jane and Julie," said Ben Stephenson, controller of BBC Drama Commissioning, in a release. "'Torchwood' will burst back onto the screen with a shocking and moving story with global stakes and locations that will make it feel bigger and bolder than ever."

Davies will return to showrun his creation, being joined by Gardner and Tranter as executive producers.

It's likely the American run of "Torchwood" will first be aired on Starz or sister channel Encore, which would make "Torchwood" a premium cable series, much less accessible than its previous home of BBC America in the United States. The release did not state where "Torchwood" would air, but it's highly unlikely Starz would be involved unless they were getting broadcast rights.

The cable channel Starz was launched in 1994 while Encore is a little older, coming in 1991.

Like its competitors HBO and Showtime, Starz has been pushing itself into high-end original series, beginning with "Crash" and continuing with shows such as "Gravity," "Party Down" and "Spartacus: Blood and Sand." It will premiere "The Pillars of the Earth" later this year.

About the Author

Michael Hinman is the founder and editor-in-chief for Airlock Alpha and the entire GenreNexus. He owns Nexus Media Group Inc., the parent corporation of the GenreNexus and is a veteran print journalist. He lives in Tampa, Fla.
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