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Adaptation Addict: The Future of ‘Torchwood,’ ‘The Hobbit’

Both fan favorites release news of their next steps

I admit that I am a fan of both “Torchwood” and “The Hobbit.” So I joined the ranks of happy fans to find out that “Torchwood” finally found a new home.

On the other side of fandom is the news that “The Hobbit” continues to have issues getting started. Every time it looks like progress is made, something else happens.

Lets start with “Torchwood” before we get to Tolkien.

In some ways, its not appropriate to write about the future of “Torchwood” in terms of adaptation. According to Russell T. Davies, the show is a continuation and not a reboot. We already know that along with showrunners Davies and Julie Gardner, John Barrowman and Eve Myles (both 2010 Portal Award nominees) return to the show. We also will see a bit of a return or nod to Wales, but the new twist is the inclusion of American actors and setting.

The best news is that the show received its new life as a continuation on the pay channel Starz. The channel is starting to make a name for itself in television series production with the successful and guilty pleasure show “Spartacus,” which is getting a prequel and a second season, as well as in the upcoming “Camelot” series.

Unlike being on a network like Fox, who initially turned down the show, being on a premium channel allows an openness to what could happen in the storylines, in the action, and possibly in the sex department. As fans of the show know, “Torchwood” and its characters featured a great mix of all of these elements, and always managed to push the envelope. Hopefully with its new home, the show will retain a lot of its maverick spirit with which it started.

The downside of being on Starz is that its a premium channel that costs additional money to access. To me, the access to the show is not as big of an issue as the show not having a future. Im just glad to see that the show will get a continuation with some of its original team on a channel that will allow for more “Torchwood” excitement and some new life.

In “Hobbit” news, Guillermo del Toro recently informed us that he is leaving as director to the pair of movies. He will finish the screenplay along with Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Phillipa Boyens. But he wants to move on since the movie continues to experience delays.

Through Twitter, Sir Ian McKellen expressed his opinion that shooting will start by the end of 2010. Photos of the set for Hobbiton and other Middle Earth settings being built are all over the Internet. It looks like the project is on the precipice of actually happening.

However, the debate rages on over who will become the director now that del Toro is leaving. Several names float around in the news and in blogs and will continue to do so until a final decision is made.

At this time, Peter Jackson has not stepped up to take the reigns, which is puzzling. Considering his great success with The Lord of the Rings trilogy, he is the most obvious choice. He did the best at adapting the trilogy from books to film, and hit a home run with fans in his reverence to the story and Tolkiens own words, especially with his extended versions.

Two movies supposedly have the green light. It could be that the book is being cut into two, but it is more likely that the second movie will be a bit of a prequel to the trilogy and include original storytelling to link “The Hobbit” to the trilogy. Either way, Tolkien fans and fans of the Lord of the Rings movies are ready for something more positive to happen. More specifically, I think most of us are ready for Jackson to go ahead and just take his rightful place in the directors seat.

Fans of both the “Torchwood” and Tolkien franchises should be glad that something is happening in both worlds. A future for both franchises gives us something to anticipate and fodder for future stories, blogs, and columns such as this one.

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Could they be a Rut-ro! Shaggy
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