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September 02 2010

Jane Espenson talks about writing for Torchwood. In an interview with Blastr, she talks about how she got the gig for the fourth season, coming in 2011 on Starz. She says how this will be a different experience from working on Caprica or Buffy, and what she hopes to do. She's expected to write a third of the fourth-season scripts.

Because of the length of our season and the lead time before production begins, we're actually approaching Torchwood in a very unusual way—all the episodes will be written before any of them begin shooting. This is allowing us to "break" all the episodes at once, with the entire writing staff working together in a very concentrated one-month work session.
Can more shows do this, please?
I second the motion. I'd be up for shorter seasons too, so that the writers could put all their energies into tighter storytelling.
I could see a firefly redux, existing in a 13 episode, Christmas special format
I have one more episode of Children of Earth to watch, and I'm currently crying my eyes out. I cannot wait for season four! I hope it's just as epic and human as Children of Earth was.
"I have one more episode of Children of Earth to watch, and I'm currently crying my eyes out."

If you're crying now, you're doomed! The last episode is brutal. Fantastic, but brutal....

I can't wait for S4 either, but I really hope they don't kill it by trying to make it to accessible to American audiences....
I am giddy with anticipation!

I too would love if more shows were completely written before filming. But not being someone 'in the biz' I have no idea how practical that is. Unless we moved towards more shows that are created to be one season stories.
I love this ship! It's so exciting!
I finished Children of Earth last night.

Oh my God, I take back every single comment I said about the show during series one. It was phenomenal.
I'm thrilled it's coming back and I'm thrilled that it's showing on Starz. Lots of room to tell the story on that network. :)

IMHO, Jane writing is gold for the fans. She's so good and I cannot wait to see where the season heads after the stunning and emotional Children of Earth.
I love blending tones—mixing the broadly comedic moment in with the darkly dramatic one can heighten both.

I certainly hope she brings a lighter touch to this. One of my problems with TW, especially in the early days, was the quipage. After being used to the Whedon touch, I thought it generally seemed very clunky.

Love CotE though - so if that is the tone that it's going to continue in, I'll be happy.
Jane Espenson is such a perfect fit for Torchwood - I'm more excited about her signing on than I was about the fourth season being announced itself.
So happy to learn she'll be writing 3 episodes of the season, which is like almost a third of the whole season.

Really looking forward for when this premieres.
This just tickles my heart, there's no finer than Jane!
Yay! I am so glad they are doing another season and I'm glad that Jane is writing!! So excited!!
I don't get Starz and certainly cant afford to add it to my satellite package, so I guess I'll be waiting for this to come to iTunes or Netflix. But I'm such a huge fan of Jane, I'm looking forward to it.
Also loved the shout-out to James Marsters. Too bad he's apparently too busy to come back for a guest shot.
Shey, Starz shows play on Netflix instant. It's how I watched Spartacus. So, in theory, you should be able to stream the new season of Torchwood.
I don't think that process is the norm even over here (where most - non-soap - dramas are entirely produced before airing), pretty sure 'Doctor Who' is filming as scripts are being written for instance. Interesting way to do it (unless it's another single story, in which case it's hard to see how else you could do it).

As to Jane writing for 'Torchwood', i'm still happy ;).

Oh my God, I take back every single comment I said about the show during series one. It was phenomenal.

I stand by every single comment I made about the show during series one. And CoE was phenomenal.

(TW is easily my vote for most improved TV show of the last 10 years)
Love Torchwood & Jane, but hate the long hiatus between seasons (series???) and the lessening of the amount of episodes when it finally does come back. 10 episodes in two years ain't much, but I guess it's better than it dying completely. It'll definitely be interesting to see where they take it this next season.
10 episodes in two years on the BBC is quite a lot. For my tiny British mind anyhoo.
10 episodes in two years on the BBC is quite a lot.

Waterloo Road has just stated its 24 episode run. I was depressed.
It's odd - I know people loved "Children of Earth" a whole bunch, and especially you, Saje, who had, like me, serious issues with Torchwood's earliest & fledgling episodes, but:

I've watched every Torchwood episode so far (though I haven't listened to the radio plays yet - just found out about them today) and I still prefer Season One's "Greeks Bearing Gifts", "They Keep Killing Suzie", "Random Shoes" and "Sleeper" - with "Random Shoes" topping the list as my favorite. (I also liked fragments of "Fragments" - Torchwood's "Out of Gas". ; > )

I could see that CoE was beautifully done - and there was some good acting and all, too - but they didn't particularly move me. Not like "Random Shoes" did, and a few others from around that time - all smallish stories, and by completely random writers, and not by regular Chibnall or Davies, the big cheese himself.

CoE was big and all, I could see that, but - it didn't get to me - not even when The really good stuff creeps up on you and gets you when you're not looking, I think - like life.

I dunno - it wasn't a plan or anything, it's just how I experienced it all. Maybe I'm just a fan of The Small.

Dear Abby, what am I missing? ; >
Had to google "Waterloo Road" to see what that's about. That story looks really interesting! Thank you, Simon!
I loved CoE because of its unflinching honesty. It was true in a way I have never seen on TV before.
And I am heartened that Jane loves it too. I am very curious to see what she brings to this. She has the talent, the ability to write drama and humour and the S-F creds. So looking forward to this.
It's a shame british series are so short but they're so good it's worth it.
about torchwood, I loved its sillines in s1 and its drama in CoE. even if I am still mad they killed my favourite characters.

Can't wait for torchwood and primeval to come back. thank you, states!
Children of Earth and pretty much everything they did with Owen made me love Torchwood even though the first season didn't immediately grab me. Plus, the James Marsters stuff. I can't wait for the new season

Children of Earth showed a boldness I didn't expect from the show and a certain realism that it didn't have before. Very impressive
"A Day in the Death ..." is one of my favourite episodes, the Owen arc was cool.

Waterloo Road has just stated its 24 episode run. I was depressed.

Is that cos it means you've got to go back to work Simon ? ;)

The really good stuff creeps up on you and gets you when you're not looking, I think - like life.

Totally agree QG and I also agree about "that" moment, to me it felt slightly flat and forced (possibly because I think John Barrowman is great at the flirty rogue Jack and not so great at the brooding emotional wreck Jack). But for me 'Children of Earth' worked in exactly those small moments you mention - . In fact that last perfectly captures a big part of what makes 'Torchwood' and Who (and most decent British TV) work on an emotional level IMO - it's not just small moments, it's what you might call "big-smallness". The idea that (I mean, if they were Scottish they might stand a chance... ;-). But the idea of them trying is HUGE, it's what it means to be human summed up in one short scene I reckon.

That to me is what makes 'Random Shoes' easily the best series 1 episode BTW, that "big-smallness", the "wonder of the mundane", the idea that sometimes it's about saving the world (or the girl) and sometimes it's about how:
EUGENE JONES: (v.o.) The average life is full of near misses and absolute hits, of great love and small disasters.


It's made up of banana milkshakes, loft insulation and random shoes.


It's dead ordinary, and truly, truly amazing.

This is something I really can't wait for. Knowing one of my favourite Buffy writers will be on board is just the cherry on top. She is saying all the things I want to hear too.

It's nice to hear a little appreciation for early Torchwood. As much as I loved CoE, good Torchwood had made the odd appearance before then. The owen arc in season two was fantastic and some this small moments already mentioned were great too. it had a lot of problems but that doesn't mean it didn't have moments of brilliance. CoE just took everything to another level.
Alrighty, you guys, I'll give "Children of Earth" another watch - among other complications, I watched 'em w/ station i.d. breaks on BBC-America OnDemand and on different nights, and that's definitely not the ideal method for maximum submersion.

Regardless, I do look forward to seeing what Jane makes of Torchwood - her influence is always interesting and very... Espensonian. ; >

(And yeah, Saje, I do agree w/ your - and Eugene's ; > - views on Big-Smallness - the Big is how the Small takes on meaning, and vice versa. It's that "music is made up of changing notes" thing again, in a slightly different way...)

(Lionness, I usually appreciate your take on tales, but I'm not exactly sure how you mean "unflinching honesty" - I obviously know what the words mean ; >, but not sure what aspect[s] of the run you're referring to - can you say more about that? I'm interested, especially in light of my planned re-watch.)

ETF: *sigh* T'arsome Typos

[ edited by QuoterGal on 2010-09-04 20:35 ]
Want to say something about this! Can't!
I'm assuming BTW that 'Children of Earth' was broadcast uncut in the US (I know that our hour* shows sometimes suffer quite a bit in that respect while crossing the pond) ? Cos if it was cut then there's no telling how that might've affected it. And i'd definitely recommend trying to see it contiguously, the way it ran for five consecutive nights over here really ramped up the momentum and dramatic stakes (and helped paper over a few cracks too, no doubt).

* sure it's slightly redundant but you try passing up a chance to say "our hour". It's physically impossible, tellin' ya ;)
I'd like to see her for the Sarah Jane Adventures. I've finally watched the first two series of the show and vastly prefer them to early Torchwood.
Took me a while to see beyond the 'kiddie' aspect of the Sarah Jane Adventures, Simon (and the fact that Maria's mum was played by an actress that never fails to annoy me when I see her onscreen), but I've come to really enjoy it for what it is. Even if watching means having to explain to my girlfriend why I have a CBBC show on my Sky+ listings.

Not sure I'd say that I prefer SJA to Torchwood but it's a fun little show to watch when you're in the mood for something a bit lighter in tone.
Don't know how I ended up back on this thread, but ....

Dear Abby, what am I missing? ; >
QuoterGal | September 04, 01:27 CET

Nothing, IMO. I could have almost written that comment myself, all of your favorites from season 1 are the same as mine, although I'd add Countrycide.
And my favorite ep from season 2 is Adam.

I agree that (the spoiler you mentioned) in CoE seemed like a big "announced emotional moment". But then I thought that a lot of CoE was ponderous and heavy handed.
I definitely prefer TW as an action/adventure romp with lots of dark underside (which is how I'd characterize seasons 1&2) so I can't wait to see how it plays out with Jane E. on the team.

And thanks b!x, for the Netflix info.

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