Fox withdraws from Torchwood USA

Posted Apr 22, 2010 by Andrew John
The Fox Network has pulled out of plans for an American version of Torchwood, the cult science-fiction drama starring John Barrowman as Captain Jack Harkness and Eve Myles as Gwen Cooper.
John Barrowman  Eve Miles and David Gareth-Lloyd
John Barrowman, Eve Miles and David Gareth-Lloyd
BBC publicity
The news of Fox’s involvement was announced earlier this year. In March, Barrowman cautioned against the any watering-down by the network of his character’s sexuality – Captain Jack, who, in the fictional world, is an omnisexual from the 51st century, is often seen on screen with male partners, including Ianto Jones (David Gareth-Lloyd) and Alonzo Frame (Russell Tovey).
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Fox and BBC Worldwide have agreed not to progress together with their plans for a US version of the BBC series. However, BBC America still hopes to continue the project with a new partner.
“BBC Worldwide Productions and the Fox Broadcasting Company have mutually agreed not to progress together with a 13-episode serialized Torchwood format,” said BBC Worldwide in a statement. “We are currently in discussion with several interested networks.”
Jane Tranter, who is the BBC Worldwide executive vice president of programming and production in Los Angeles, said that the network still intended to continue with the Torchwood project, adding: “It’s very much ongoing and very much alive.”
Torchwood – which was created by Russell T Davies (Queer As Folk) and began in 2006 – is a spin-off from Doctor Who, in which Captain Jack first appeared, first as a companion to the ninth Doctor (Christopher Eccleston) and then the tenth (David Tennant). To date, there have been three series.
Only one Doctor
The current series of Doctor Who (by Steven Moffat, and starring Matt Smith as the eleventh Doctor and Karen Gillan as Amy Pond) set a ratings record on BBC America when it launched in the US on April 17 – two weeks after its successful UK launch. An American-produced version of the science-fiction favourite has been talked about for many years and, since its successful return to television in 2005, the prospect has gained currency. However, Tranter appeared to dampen such expectations, saying: “It may well be confusing to have a British Doctor and an American Doctor at the same time. There is only one Doctor, so I don’t see that happening.”
Meanwhile, Steven Moffat, who recently took over from Davies as showrunner on Doctor Who, has suggested that he may well team Captain Jack with the eleventh Doctor in the future. Speaking to the Guardian in late March, he said: “Old favourites can return, provided you can do something new and exciting with them. There are no past characters coming back in this series, but I imagine that kids would love to see Captain Jack meet the new Doctor.”
In interviews, Barrowman often makes no secret of his willingness to continue playing Captain Jack in Torchwood, Doctor Who or even its other spin-off series, The Sarah Jane Adventures, which stars Elisabeth Sladen as Sarah Jane Smith and soon, in its fourth series, Katy Manning as Jo Grant.