It's an exciting day for all the Whovians out there. Tonight at 10 p.m. (ET/PT), the fourth season of the Doctor Who spinoff Torchwood premieres on the Starz network. Dubbed Torchwood: Miracle Day, the new season of this cult favorite is set in America. And to add insult to injury, it won't air on U.K. telly until July 14 — just one more reason for the Brits to hate us Yanks.
For those Philistines not acquainted with this series, Torchwood concerns itself with a group of extraterrestrial hunters from the Torchwood Institute, a covert organization whose purpose is to protect the Earth from alien threats. Returning for this new series is Torchwood leader Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman), his partner Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles) and her husband Rhys Williams (Kai Owen). Other returning characters include PC Andy Davidson, now a sergeant (Tom Price), and Gwen’s parents (William Thomas and Sharon Morgan).
Torchwood: Miracle Day finds Captain Jack and Gwen recruited by the CIA to help solve a bizarre new crisis: inexplicably, people have stopped dying. While that sounds pretty cool, it causes a host of problems, such as criminals that can't be stopped and rampant overpopulation.
Though Jack and Gwen do come to the rescue, they've both gone through major changes since we last saw them. Gwen is now a mother and happily married, though she still holds feeling for Jack. And let's just say that Captain Jack is not the man he once was and leave it at that.
New to the Torchwood universe are Mekhi Phifer as Rex Matheson, a CIA operative; Lauren Ambrose as Jilly Kitzinger, a complicated public relations specialist; and Bill Pullman as Oswald Danes, a convicted killer who's become famous since his release from prison. Guest stars will include Dichen Lachman (Dollhouse), Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters) and John de Lancie (Star Trek: The Next Generation).
Because the show has been picked up by an American network, Torchwood fans have been concerned about whether certain elements would be modified. But they need not worry. Barrowman recently told EW.com, "If it was watered down, I wouldn't have done it. For those people who are our stanch fans, it's going to have the heart and soul of Torchwood which we've always had, plus the energy and excitement of a show that’s bigger and better."
And what of Captain Jack's controversial bisexuality? Did that survive the censors during the hop across the pond? Apparently so. Barrowman said Captain Jack "gets to have full-on boy-sex a couple of times. On those days going to work I'd wake up and Scott my partner would say, 'What are you filming today?' And I'd say, 'Oh, it's going to be a tough day, I get to have sex with a 24-year-old.'"
Based on the trailer embedded below, this new season looks great. According to Torchwood: Miracle Day showrunner Russell T Davies, "[The new season is] faithful and careful and honest, but at the same time, it's brand-new for a whole new audience."
If you've loved Torchwood for years, you should be happy. If you're new to the show, Miracle Day is the perfect opportunity to jump on. "In Episode 1, you have a brand new cast of American actors who have never heard of Torchwood saying, 'What is Torchwood?'" said Davies. "So all those questions in the mind of a new audience are literally being said on screen and being answered."