We've already wondered whether Torchwood could possibly top its world-crashing "Children Of Earth" miniseries in 2010, and we're also dead curious about the rumored Doctor Who movie. So we asked the BBC's Julie Gardner what's in store for both institutions.
We were lucky enough to have a one-on-one interview with Gardner, who's supervised both Who and Torchwood for the BBC, the other day. And she shared her thoughts about both shows, going forward. Plus she explained why, exactly, she's moved to Los Angeles.
She says the BBC will fully try to top the current season of Torchwood, assuming it actually returns in 2010. That's "part of the fun, and part of the adrenaline rush of working in TV drama." She adds, "The joy, for me, with Torchwood, is that it's a show that, every single years, has reinvented itself." That's certainly true with the new format of a five-part miniseries airing across five consecutive nights, which Jane Trantor suggested and Russell T. Davies found an exciting challenge.
We're kind of having conversations now, about what the next step is, because I do think it's fun working on a show that reinvents itself constantly. We're looking at all of this, whether another serial arc, or possibly something else.
As to whether series four will show the Torchwood team rebuilding after the challenging events of "Children Of Earth," she says "You go where the story needs to take you. I think it's always possible to rebuild."
"Children Of Earth" started from Davies "wanting to tell a first contact story," says Gardner. "It's not the usual action adventure. It's a story about what could plausibly happen." And he looked at all the terrible atrocities happening in other countries, and how people behave when they're pushed to their limits, and tried to imagine how that could happen in Britain.
So is there any truth to the idea that a Doctor Who movie is in the pipeline? Gardner says at this point, it's mostly speculative. "At the moment, we are absolutely concentrating on the new production of the Doctor Who series." She'd love to see a Who movie, but doesn't see it happening any time soon.
As to what Gardner's doing in L.A., she's not actually working on bringing Doctor Who, or any other British show to American shores. Rather, she's looking at positioning the BBC as a production company, much like any other U.S. production studio, which can create new shows for American networks. Rather than creating American versions of British shows, she says the BBC is "looking at new ideas." The U.S. production arm of the BBC has been there for a number of years, and now the time seems right to move it forward. "The U.K. and American TV scripted industries have never been closer," says Gardner. "There is a shared culture." She may be able to bring some lessons from the BBC to American broadcasting, and she has a lot to learn from U.S. television as well.
Julie Gardner image by Fazzinchi.