Torchwood started its life on television as a spin-off from Doctor Who, bringing Captain Jack to join new colleagues in a television series that quickly established itself as fresh and watchable television. It's fourth series, subtitled 'Miracle Day', continued its move from the niche channel of BBC3 to metamorphose into an international production between the BBC and the US network Starz. Torchwood has continued to entertain, provoke and attract large audiences and an expanding fandom. This is the first critical celebration of Torchwood across it four series, considering issues of representation, the fandom that surrounds the show and its complex, institutional contexts. Focusing in particular on how the meanings and understandings of cult television have shifted and become subject to technological, industry and marketing changes in recent years, Torchwood Declassified explores topics including the show's aesthetics and branding, its use of tropes from the horror genre, vast tie-in merchandise, status as a spin off, the nature of a celebrity that is both cult and mainstream, as well as the use of sound and music and of cult writers, and Torchwood's connection to place and location. The book will appeal to fans of the series, researchers and scholars, and anyone interested in ongoing questions over what cult television is, what it means, and why it continues to be of importance.
As Doctor Who nears its 50th anniversary, it is very much a part of British popular culture, and the Doctor has become a British icon. Nevertheless, thanks to BBC America and BBC Worldwide’s marketing strategy, as well as the Doctor’s and his companions’ recent in-person visits to the U.S., the venerable series is becoming more susceptible to an “American influence,” including the possibility of becoming “Americanized.” Doctor Who and recent spinoffs Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures offer American audiences very different insights into the Whoniverse and have met with varying degrees of success. Whereas Torchwood became a U.S.-U.K. co-production, The Sarah Jane Adventures was largely mismarketed. To complicate matters, the interrelationships that keep the Doctor Who franchise alive through radio dramas, audiobooks, comics, novels, etc., during hiatuses in television broadcasts, may give U.S. and U.K. audiences different understandings of the lead characters—the Doctor, Captain Jack Harkness, and Sarah Jane Smith. Although the past decade has been an exciting time in the Whoniverse, the Doctor—and the franchise—are poised for yet another regeneration.
Science Fiction in Shades of Gray on 21st Century Television
Author: Lynnette Porter
Category: Performing Arts
The heroes, villains, and monsters portrayed in such popular science fiction television series as Heroes, Lost, Battlestar Galactica, Caprica, Doctor Who, and Torchwood, as well as Joss Whedon’s many series, illustrate a shift from traditional, clearly defined characterizations toward much murkier definitions. Traditional heroes give way to “gray” heroes who must become more like the villains or monsters they face if they are going to successfully save society. This book examines the ambiguous heroes and villains, focusing on these characters’ different perspectives on morality and their roles within society. Appendices include production details for each series, descriptions and summaries of pivotal episodes, and a list of selected texts for classroom use. Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.
An Analysis of Doctor Who, Blake's 7, Red Dwarf and Torchwood
Author: Tom Powers
Category: Performing Arts
The subjects of this book constitute a significant cross section of BBC science fiction television. With such characters as the Doctor (an enigmatic time-traveling alien), Kerr Avon (a problematic rebel leader), Dave Lister (a slovenly last surviving human) and Captain Jack Harkness (a complex omnisexual immortal), these shows have both challenged and reinforced viewer expectations about the small-screen masculine hero. This book explores the construction of gendered heroic identity in the series from both production and fan perspectives. The paradoxical relationships between the producers, writers and fans of the four series are discussed. Fan fiction, criticism and videos are examined that both celebrate and criticize BBC science fiction heroes and villains.
A New and Exhaustive Work of Reference to the English Language, Defining Over 250,000 Words, with a Full Account of Their Origin, Pronunciation and Use, Comprising a General Encyclopedia ... a Gazetteer and Atlas of the World; a Comprehensive Dictionary of Universal Biography