’Torchwood’ comes stateside :: Saving the world & man-on-man sex

by Jim Halterman
Sunday Jul 10, 2011

For some of us who don’t breathe, eat and live science fiction, the word "Torchwood" has always been something just barely out of our grasp. Yes, it’s known to be the name of a popular TV show in the United Kingdom; and, yes, it stars John Barrowman, a sexy, out actor who has occasionally popped up in American television in "Desperate Housewives" and (going way back) the short-lived soap "Central Park West."

And, yes, its out creator, Russell T. Davies, also created a little show that most of us are very aware of called "Queer as Folk" (the original UK version) as well as help to re-launch the classic sci-fi series "Doctor Who," of which "Torchwood" is a spin-off.

Starting this summer - this weekend, actually - "Torchwood" is coming to America in a big way and with compelling storytelling and focusing more on character than the usual sci-fi series, it is sure to suddenly become a part of the pop culture zeitgeist in the US.

A world without death?

Previously produced solely in the UK, the show shot its 10-episode fourth series, entitled "Miracle Day", in a new partnership between BBC Wales, BBC Worldwide and the premium channel Starz. Besides Barrowman and his fellow returning "Torchwood" castmates, Eve Myles and Kai Owen, familiar faces like Bill Pullman ("Independence Day"), Mekhi Phifer ("ER") and Lauren Ambrose ("Six Feet Under") also play prominent roles in the series.

In the series, we catch up with the members of "Torchwood," which is the name of a small group of alien hunters led by Captain Jack Harkness (Barrowman) and Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles), as they come out of hiding to confront a unique problem the world is having which is that suddenly, without explanation, people stop dying.

Capt. Jack :: a big, old gay

As Barrowman told EDGE’s Jim Halterman on the Los Angeles set of "Torchwood" this Spring, the miracle is soon realized to be not necessarily a positive. "We run into problems of population," he explained. "We run into problems of food. What do we do with the sick? What do we do with the dead? If you were in a car accident when this happened and your head was chopped off you’re still alive, you’re still in pain." Surely Captain Jack and his team can find a way to make things right again!

While there has been a lot of secrecy about the new series, what about the always sexy and smoldering love life of Captain Jack, who in the entire "Torchwood" series has been seen having relationships with men and women? Will Jack find time to satisfy his manly urges in between trying to save the world?

"Captain Jack is full of love and he’s full of lust, as well," Davies told EDGE. "We’re a premium cable show on Starz and we’re on BBC One, which is very strong and independent like HBO and Showtime but there will be some Jack-loving."

Barrowman was more than a little excited to discuss which gender Captain Jack would indeed be bedding this season. "I’ve had a couple of wonderful days where I woke up and my partner (Scott Gill) would say ’Where are you going?’ and I’d say ’I’m off to work to have sex with a 22-year old.’"

But, ever the flirty tease, Barrowman finally got around to letting the cat out of the bag, so to speak. "In the past we know Jack is omnisexual, we know he’s had a daughter and a grandchild so we know he’s had relationships with women and our old core audience will know all that but our new audience is just going to think he’s a big gay because it’s all men this season and I’m so glad!"

Story continues on following page:

Watch this behind-the-scenes preview of "Torchwood: Miracle Day":

Watch this BBC interview with John Barrowman from "Torchwood: Miracle Day":


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