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Opinion

Two Strips Of Latinum: Starz’s Gain Is Fox’s Loss

Despite Fox losing interest, ‘Torchwood’ finds a new home


Several weeks ago, Fox announced that it was passing on the opportunity to air the fourth season of Torchwood, much to the shock of some fans. This week, the news was much better as a partnership has been announced between BBC Cymru Wales, BBC Worldwide, and Starz Entertainment to produce and air the longed-for fourth season of the hit “Doctor Who” spinoff.

The absolute best parts of the announcement was that series creator Russell T. Davies, along with executive producers Julie Gardner and Jane Tranter, will return to the show. It also was announced that John Barrowman would return as his memorable character, Capt. Jack Harkness, and Eve Myles also will return as Gwen Cooper.

As many have said, there is no Torchwood without Capt. Jack.

The ironic thing is that the very thing that may have scared Fox from carrying the show may now become even more evident. As many know, Starz — being a premium cable channel — can allow some things to occur on its shows that other networks can not. Whether this will be a major factor in Season 4’s storyline, we will have to wait and see.

In his remarks about the new partnership, the controller for BBC Drama Commissioning not only talked about the new partnership, but hinted at what is coming for fans of the show.

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,” Ben Stephenson said 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.

One of the most exciting parts of this announcement is that the show will be moving outside of its Cardiff, Wales, home as it will be set in locations all over the world. This promises to take a great show and make it greater as it will not only get worldwide exposure with this new deal, but will go to sites that will help appeal to fans all over the world.

The one drawback to this new deal is the fact is Starz being a pay channel. This raises a very grave question: Will the move to Starz hurt the viewership of the show? It is this writer’s opinion that it will hurt the existing viewership, but it also will expand the viewership to folks who have never seen the show before.

I remember a science-fiction show that got its start on a pay channel called Showtime. After a few seasons, it moved to a channel that was called, at the time, SciFi, and became a monster hit. That show was called “Stargate SG-1.”

We will all have to see what happens when Torchwood comes to Starz, reportedly in the summer of 2011.

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