Capt. Jack Harkness is certainly going to need a strong dustbuster to pick up these pieces.
When "Torchwood" returns next summer for "The New World," the omnisexual time agent will find his government entity established by Queen Victoria to be nothing more than legend, with some interest coming from a couple of Americans who are trying to stop the latest worldwide crisis caused by aliens.
Showrunner Russell T. Davies outlined some of what fans can expect from the "Doctor Who" spinoff when it premieres on its new home on Starz in mid-2011. And it seems many of the early reports were correct.
Torchwood is "like a legend now," Davies told reporters at the recent Television Critics Association summer press tour, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "It's like something that's ceased to exist, and is now spoken of only in whispers."
As previously reported, the series will have two new people joining John Barrowman and Eve Myles. CIA agent Rex Matheson and analyst Ester Katusi come aboard, bringing together two teams that will raise the question of whether they will be friends, or more like the Maquis on "Star Trek: Voyager." Neither Matheson or Katusi have been cast yet.
"We definitely have a really big story to tell," executive producer Julie Gardner said. Gardner was a key part of the past three "Torchwood" seasons, and left "Doctor Who" with Davies following David Tennant's finale specials. "It's absolutely rebooted to welcome a new audience."
Although Gardner talked about a reboot, sources re-assure Airlock Alpha that canon will remain intact, and that the fourth season is indeed a continuation of the events in the previous three seasons. Gardner's choice of the word "reboot" is more about how the story is told, and less about the story itself.
Following the success of "Children of Earth," "The New World" will be a self-contained story told over 10 episodes. And now that it's on an American premium cable channel, Davies -- known for drawing new lines in terms of language and nudity in his hit series "Queer as Folk" -- will have some new freedoms here. But will he take it?
"I've always had loose standards and practices," Davies said. "If the story demands intimacy or savagery, we will go there absolutely. [But] there's nothing better than a great big global thriller that stops for a sex scene -- it's probably hard to make that happen in a thriller."
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