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January 25 2008

(SPOILER) James Marsters chats to TV Guide about Torchwood and Buffy. And there's a new Radio Times interview with him as well. So double the reading pleasure. James makes his Torchwood debut on BBC America tomorrow night.

Nice interview. He sounds like a really classy guy. I like how he doesn't talk about his private life, and keeps it just that:private. Unlike some other so called celebrities who sell every piece of themselves for fame.
I like how he lists Earshot and the W/T relationship, seeing as he wasn't involved in the former and only minorly featured in the latter. As with every interview I read he seems to really get Buffy (and Angel) and be proud to have been a part of the shows.
I heard in an interview RTD say that JM's agent gave him a ring and asked if JM could guest in Torchwood. Didn't believe that for a moment, and I see now it wasn't true. Damn shame RTD didn't want JM in Doctor Who - that would have been fun. Maybe there's a possiblity for a cross back into DW in a future season. Hope so!
Aw, he seems really happy with Patricia. I wish him all the luck in all aspects of his life. He deserves it.

He should get more roles that challenge him like this! It's clearly not just a treat for us but for him as well.

Now if I can only get James, Michael Rosenbaum, Johnny Depp and Joss Whedon in one room... *if she mentions it enough times maybe it will come true*
Hey, some of us do our aging almost entirely within so welcome to the club, Jamie.

As much as I want to read an autobiographyf rom him soemday (I paln to live long enough) I appreciate the private-life-private thing. Somebody with too few boundaries is scary, Is ee that nowadays in spades.
TV Guide: What was it like on the Torchwood set? More high-brow than the usual Yank sets?

Had to laugh at this. Got the impression the interviewer thought they were all sitting around critiquing Chekov and doing The Times crossword in 8 minutes and then James makes it clear that no, it was basically dick jokes and "Ooh no matron !" 12 hrs a day ;).

Two good interviews those.
Did the interviewer assume everything BBC is highbrow? ROFL! (Or does he think all Brits are posh? There are no words to express that level of hilarity.)

A lovely sense of vitality comes off from both interviews. His career is doing well now, which is great, and he seems very happy, which is greater.
Now if I can only get James, Michael Rosenbaum, Johnny Depp and Joss Whedon in one room...

It could (mostly) happen, all you need to do is get the BBC to make Ripper, get JM to do a guest appearance, get Joss down to Bath to meet/direct ASH and hope they all bump into Depp (who also lives here) while in the pub one evening. It's possible. Just.
What you mean Brits aren't inherently smarter than us?
Mind. Boggling.

James has always been a big fan of Buffy the show. He used to talk about he would watch the episodes when they aired, and would be just as excited as anyone else about what happened in the show. He was definitely a fan. One of us, you know?

Between Captain John, Brainiac coming up, Without a Trace, PS I Love You, and Dragonballz, it's a great time to be a James fan.
Two great interviews . James seems to be in a really good place (if you disregard the seagulls)

I don't have the link but believe that the BBCi player has this weeks Torchwood Declassified for replay . Basically it's a " making of" documentary for Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang and consists almost entirely of James being interviewd, James filming and everyone else saying how wonderful James is . They seem to have enjoyed having him on the show as much as he enjoyed being there
This is the same interview that was in the week before last TV Guide. It was a wonderful 2 page spread with the heading 'Spike TV' and had a big picture of JM as Captain John, along with 2 small pictures, one of Braniac and one of Capt Jack macking on Capt John. Good stuff. Can't wait till tomorrow night, it's almost here!!! I read that Kiss Kiss Bang Bang was the highest rated Torchwood to date with 3.7 million viewers. (I tried to post the page here, but apparently I wasn't worthy.) I was surprised by the WOAT comment, if they wanted him more, they should have had him in more scenes and gave him something to do. Was pretty disappointed in the whole thing, but I would be happy to see him in more episodes, I'd watch him in anything.

[ edited by luvspike on 2008-01-25 17:28 ]
debw - I don't think those of us outside the UK can get any of that content through BBCi. Of course I'm sure it will, or has, shown up in other places where it may be obtained by those outside the UK. Not that I'd promote that. (Oh man, wait till you see it! Chemisty. In spades.)
I hadn't considered the possibility of James popping up in Dr Who as Captain John until Wemb mentioned it there, and it's a brilliant idea. I also suspected James probably wanted to be in Dr Who, since it's the biggest show in the UK right now. I think Torchwood has been doing well but it hasn't seen anywhere near the same level of attention that Dr Who has experienced.

So I think it probably made sense to Davies to put James on Torchwood, since it's darker and more adult in tone, and it suits the Spike sort of character that Captain John was. But how brilliant would it be if Captain John's next appearance ends with him eventually being redeemed, and then Jack suggesting that he knows just the person to open John's eyes to helping others and exploring the universe without looking for person gain- the Doctor!

I think he'd made an excellent companion, especially since Jack's appearances in Dr Who will be limited because of Torchwood. Or he'd even be a great villain for a few episodes!

I think the next series of Dr Who seems like it is going to be pretty good, with Donna and Martha returning, but it would be great if John could make the crossover from Torchwood the following series, since I'm assuming the next series has finished filming?

[ edited by Razor on 2008-01-25 17:47 ]
Yep, 4's finished filming. "Series" 5 is just a few specials (because David Tennant's away treading the boards as Hamlet) and then 6 (in 2010) will be back to normal length (possibly without Tennant though, it's still up in the air).

As John is now he wouldn't fit on Who but if he sorted himself out and became good then why not ? Gotta have a female companion too though, it always feels slightly flatter when it's just blokes in the TARDIS (even if one of them's omnisexual ;).

(and no, 'Torchwood's ratings, while record breaking for BBC3, have been nowhere near the 7 or 8 million a week that 'Doctor Who' gets. To put that in context for our US chums, ratings juggernaut 'American Idol' gets about a 25 share on Fox, 'Doctor Who's 7 or 8 million amounts to a 35 share of the total viewership)
I'm also happy his career seems to be going so well. It's quite an accomplishment to be told by a Juilliard honcho you'll never make it (haven't heard that story before) and then go on to prove them wrong. Also good to see he's being less open with the private details, at least in print interviews. I've seen video of him at a convention where I wished I could have my memory erased: "No! I don't need to know that!"
Nice interview. Last night, I read "Tales of the Vampires," which has the story of Spike and Drusilla in Prague. I'm fairly new to the comic world, but I'd highly recommend this to Spike fans who haven't seen it.
...'Torchwood's ratings, while record breaking for BBC3, have been nowhere near the 7 or 8 million a week that 'Doctor Who' gets...

Just to add to this, the Doctor Who Christmas Special attracted a whopping 12.2 million viewers, which equates to a 50% share, making it the second most watched programme on all channels over the Christmas period.

The viewing figures for the opening episode of 'Torchwood' S2 were 3.7 million, 14.8%, making it the most watched programme on BBC2 that day. When it was repeated on BBC3 it attracted just under 250,000 viewers. The second episode attracted 3.4 million viewers on BBC2 (14%) and a further 240,000 on BBC3.
Maureen Ryan at the Chicago-Tribune also chimes in about Marsters and Torchwood.
I loved watching Torchwood Declassified. You can really see how James enjoyed the set. I was so grinning while everyone is all about James - loved it when JohnB was talking about the scenes. *grumble* They so should've done something like this for BtVS/Ats/FF. I love specials like this. I know more about cameras and how they work and angles and lighting now because I actually listened to every commentary in the DVDs.
Saw the first ep of Torchwood Season Two. (NOT on BBC America, thankyouverymuch. Ech.)
All I'm gonna say is:

By the way, regarding ratings vs Doctor Who?
Doctor Who gets more eyes on the screens because families can watch. It's a show that's more or less kid-friendly.
Torchwood, on the other hand, is for ADULTS.
Adult sci-fi fans, so we're pretty much talking niche demographics here.
When you factor that in, the ratings are pretty bloody good.
What is wrong with BBCA, AmazonGirl?
The impression I get is that it's fairly badly cut for the BBCA showing TamaraC.

When you factor that in, the ratings are pretty bloody good.

Well, no-one's saying they're not good AmazonGirl (it's not a versus thing either really, Who's been around for over 40 years so it's got nothing to prove and a family show on a Saturday evening is apples to 'Torchwood's Wednesday night, post watershed, oranges anyway). 3-4 million for BBC2 is very respectable (Buffy was in that region).

We'll have to wait and see what 'Torchwood's ratings are like in 2052 though ;).
Not quite Saje - Who had become a bad, bad joke by the end of the original series. RTD's reboot had -everything- to prove. I am a huge fan and I thought a new series, made by BBC Wales and scheduled against Ant and Dec was going to be an utter disaster.

Instead it took over the TV landscape. Quite astonishing - DW became -cool-. Good grief, the BBC even ran trailers in the cinema for the Christmas special this year. Unbelievable.
Just to back up what Saje said, 'Torchwood' has been a ratings hit for BBC right from the off, which is why it has been moved from BBC3 to BBC2. BBC2 has a weekly audience share of around 8-9%, but the first two episodes of the new season of 'Torchwood' have achieved 14.8% and 14%, a significant increase on the average.

Regarding the end of the original 'Doctor Who', it certainly had its critics, just as the new show has vehement critics among the more hard-line fans. However, I thought the second Sylvester McCoy season was fantastic, and I don't think I am alone in thinking this.
I loved the McCoy stories. They were amongst the best the season ever told - but I still must say that by that point the scripts were about the only thing that was right with the series. It's budget was dismal, the pacing slow and the scheduling catastrophic - but worst of all was the direction. I'd love to see Rememberance or Fenric remade with the passion (and flair) that RTD has brought back to the series.

But still, by the end, the original series was regarded by the general public as a complete joke. I still have to pinch myself and check I'm still in Kans^H^H^H Bath everytime I see how utterly the show has been taken to the nations heart.
Good interviews with James. Seems he's been taken to a few reviewers hearts too.
Not quite Saje - Who had become a bad, bad joke by the end of the original series. RTD's reboot had -everything- to prove.

The last few series weren't universally loved that's true BUT by the time the new series was coming on, there was very little but nostalgia and fondness for Who, most people (in the mainstream i.e. not fans) had forgotten the crapness of the McCoy years completely (partly because of the Fox co-produced film).

Leading up to the new show, I don't remember anything but eager anticipation and positive expectation and 'Rose', the very first new episode got nearly 11 million viewers. That's pretty good for a show people aren't sure about, that's apparently got a lot to prove ;).

(and in a sense, Who had long been the butt of jokes about its wobbly sets, general low budget and over-acting, that wasn't unique to the McCoy era by any stretch)
Do we know what he meant in regards to the stunt work on Buffy? In the Radiotimes interview it seems that he was saying that stunts with SMG were a bit "difficult". Does anyone else read it that way?
In the Radiotimes interview it seems that he was saying that stunts with SMG were a bit "difficult". Does anyone else read it that way?

I don't think so. He refers to "Buffy Summers", not to "Sarah Michelle Gellar". I don't think he would have made that distinction if he was intending a specific reference to SMG.
They're doing an edited more kid-friendly version of Torchwood, airing a week after the first showing on BBC. I wonder how the combined ratings for 2:1 were?
According to the ratings thread at Doctor Who Forum Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang was the highest rated programme of the week on BBC2 . I got confused with the combined ratings for the show, the repeat and the pre-watershed edit but they added up to well over 5 million .
The estimated "reach" ( ie individuals watching for the first time rather than the same people tuning in to see it again) is 5.05 million which doesn't include BBCi viewings.
Approval ratings were also high, KKBB had an AI of 84. Which is very good indeed :)

[ edited by debw on 2008-01-26 09:07 ]
TV Guide: Early on, Jack and John do something that Buffy's Spike and Angel never would have done, no?

Clearly the interviewer is not familiar with canon.
Or knows the difference between that and authorial intent.

*runs like the wind*
TV Guide: Early on, Jack and John do something that Buffy's Spike and Angel never would have done, no?

Clearly the interviewer is not familiar with canon.

Only the once, Sabrielle. In fanon, however...
One thing that I found strange in the interview, and which James has said before in other interviews, is his complaint about Spike only be a badass for a few episodes, and being neutered for the rest of his time on Buffy. I definitely never heard him complain about that during his time on the show, although obviously he can be more candid about his opinions now that he doesn't have to keep his opinions to himself.

But I've always thought it sounds kind of strange, considering that Spike became such a huge part of the show and was obviously one of the most beloved and cool characters. He makes it sound as if Spike became completely meek and pathetic from the point he was confined to a wheelchair on- isn't he forgetting Spike's stunning deception of Angelus and Drusilla in Becoming, withstanding torture and mocking his captor in Intervention, his bravery in The Gift, protecting Dawn from the Hellions in Bargainning, his sleeper agent killing sprees during season 7, and his contribution towards defeating The First, including sacrificing his life?

Yes, Spike wasn't always scary and badass, but the exploration of his weaknesses and history only made him more impressive in his current state, and throughout the rollercoasters of roles and relationships he had on the show, Spike always had an acidic tongue and always fought when he had the opportunity.

It's just weird to hear James almost lament the fact that his character became more interesting and fully developed over the years so he wasn't just a frightening vampire, and was instead a tortured, complicated man who went on an amazing journey over the years.
I assumed he just meant Spike wasn't an out and out villain for very long (he goes on to talk about how John is "unrepentant evil"), which is true in a sense because as soon as he went into the wheelchair, we started to sympathise with him and then as he gradually became a goodie, we sympathised even more.

(and Spike certainly can't take "badass credit" for his sleeper kills, anymore than a gun can take credit for people who're shot with it)
I appreciate how - in this day of way TMI about celebs - he shares his joy in his private life (gf and kids) but nonetheless keeps it low-key and private.
Capt. John certainly hasn't had a long on air stint (Spike had a long, nasty pre-program history, too) as "unrepentant evil" yet, and if he's going to stay interesting, he'll need to be more than pure badass eventually. I'm just saying.
I don't think he is sorry that Spike developed. He often reiterates his love of Spike. I think he is saying that it is fun to play strong, badass, unrepentant evil and that he got a taste of it with Spike, but not for long. I got that he was saying that it would have been fun to have been able to play Spike that way a bit longer but he didn't so it is fun to be able to revisit that in this character now. Kind of like remembering the good old days...of being evil. ;-)

As far as him never saying that before, if I recall correctly, he has said that he hated the wheelchair and purposely kicked it hard enough at the end of that one scene to try to break it. He only bent it though, and had to use it bent for the rest of the season. He has also commented on what a pitiful kill count Spike actually had. On the other hand I don't remember exactly what I read but he has also said that actors should not be trusted to decide where their characters would go because every guy will want his character to get the girl and beat up all the guys.
I agree with Saje and newcj. James adores Spike but like most men he fancies himself a badass anything-goes-fighter even on screen, and Spike really proved himself to be more than that which is basically the reason he was spared from a quick death as intended. If Spike was like John (I cannot even imagine Spike killing either Dru or Buffy the way he tossed Jack whom he clearly cared a lot for) I doubt he’d have been such a huge part of the show now. We already had Angelus so Spike needed to be different to survive on the show and he did. Thank God!

If you noticed in the video interview he kept on talking about his fight with John and how great it was. I think on Buffy he was such an asset that both he and Sarah weren’t really physical in the fight scenes but in Torchwood he had a blast (remember James saying something similar about S5 ANGEL). I remember reading that he said he hurt himself on the set and John helped him with the injury so none of the people in charge would know… and I don’t know… send him to the corner for being a stunt actor and let the professionals do it. LOL

I think in some level he misses his old badass days and acting is a way to relive it. But then again, he is a guy, and that’s answer enough at that.
If you noticed in the video interview ..........

There's a video interview?? I searched around both linked sites and couldn't find any video. Help anyone??? Thanks :)
It's in the 'Torchwood Declassified' documentary aired afterwards. It's available on the Auntie's website, but probably only to those with an IP address it thinks is in the UK. You may be able to find it via other means.
Thanks Wemb :)
What Wemb said, Shey. other means *cough* well says: different from that or those implied or specified, alternate, in another way... among other things. *blink* Was that helpful?

I love it when people in the biz praise James.

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