John Barrowman John Barrowman   Image Image  
Image Image Image Image Image

Doctor Who spin-off made in Wales

17 October 2005
Story from BBC NEWS

A "sexy, funny" spin-off from the Doctor Who television series, is to be made by BBC Wales and set in Cardiff.

The 13-part sci-fi drama will be called Torchwood - an anagram of Doctor Who. Russell T Davies will also write and co-produce the "paranoid thriller".

Torchwood, which is aimed at adults, stars John Barrowman as Captain Jack - one of the main characters from the recent Doctor Who series.

The drama features investigators solving human and alien crime.

Mr Davies, from Swansea, said the series would be sexy, funny and very different to Doctor Who.

"Doctor Who has a completely different feel to this kind of thing. This is set in the same place every week. It's a different sort of fun to Doctor Who," he said.

"It's an urban series, very much set on earth. It's a Welsh series that I'm very, very proud of."

He said Cardiff would be used more often as a location than in Doctor Who, and that he hoped the series would provide work for Welsh actors and directors.

"With Doctor Who we often had to pretend that bits of Cardiff were London, or Utah, or the planet Zog," he said,
"Whereas this series is going to be 'honest-to-god Cardiff'. We will happily walk past the Millennium Centre and say "Look, there's the Millennium Centre".

"It's nice to be able to say this is the city, and this is how good it looks."

Mr Davies said the name Torchwood was used as a security measure during the production of Doctor Who to disguise preview tapes of the first episodes.

"When we were making the first Doctor Who series, television pirates were desperate to get their hands on a tape," he said.

"One of the people in the office had the idea of calling the tapes of episodes, as they went form Cardiff to London, Torchwood, instead of putting Doctor Who on it.

"I thought: 'That's clever!' I've had that taped away at the back of my head for a good six months, and now here it is as a show."

Although Doctor Who inspired Torchwood, no stories will cross over between the two series.

Actor John Barrowman said he was thrilled: "It's going to be a dark, wild and sexy roller-coaster ride...I can't wait to explore Captain Jack even more".

Filming is due to start early in 2006, with transmission for a post-watershed BBC Three audience in the autumn.