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BBC Two (ended 2009)

FOX to "Americanize" Torchwood????

  • Avatar of zzbeach

    zzbeach

    [1]Jan 21, 2010
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    Let's just say that after I read this I was shocked. Here are a couple of links

    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/television/news/e3id183d5e80b48e57c7ceb299df8e4c2b0

    http://www.tv.com/torchwood-is-coming-to-the-u.s./story/20871.html?tag=spfeats;2

    I've got to say that I've always thought Torchwood was more "Americanized" than Doctor Who and it looks like FOX thinks so to.

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    dragon22a

    [2]Jan 22, 2010
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    My hope is that it is just an American Branch of Torchwood rather than a remake. This way they can have crossovers with the original. In my opinion they should make season 4, and have a one or two part episode in the middle of the season as a back door pilot for the american series. Introduce the characters and the dynamic. Have them interact with the British group. Maybe spend one part in England and the other part in America at that teams base.
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    The_void_68

    [3]Jan 24, 2010
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    *Prays for dragon22a's idea*

    I hate American remakes with a passion. What, exactly, is the point? It's not like it's in a different language! We Brits manage fine with American shows, why can't it work the other way round?
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    dragon22a

    [4]Jan 24, 2010
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    The thing with American remakes of British Shows in general is that British TV can go farther than American shows because of the censorship levels.

    I direct you to the remake of the British comedy Coupling. It was a hit in Britain because it went far with talks of sex and relationships. America tried to literally import the show word for word by reshooting the scripts with american actors. And it failed, horribly. lasted about 2 episodes. Why? because in order to bring the scripts over, they had to alter not just some of the words because of dialect differences, but also because of censorship. The conversations just could not be shown on NBC at 8:30.

    BBC America is even under constraints when it comes to shows having to edit content for Amercian censorship rules.

    Torchwood is a dark and gritty show which is why I like it so much. It pushes the envelope on violence and sexuality.,While those type of things are not unusual on shows like Nip/Tuck and Rescue Me, those shows are on FX after 10 pm where they can show more. Fox airs programs pre 10 pm and have to keep things less controversial.

    My biggest fear is that if they were to simply remake the series rather than make it a spin-off, the scripts would have to be toned down. While the aliens and fighting may be retained, the true nature of the series, the character development and relationships would just not pass censorship. Jacks morally and sexually ambiguity would be toned down, his loving relationship with Ianto (something that is just too important to the series) would be reduced to maybe flirting or allusions rather than expression. Even though sexuality is not the basis for Torchwood, my fear is that things like Ianto and Jack would just be watered down to the point where their love is not shown to the same effect it was. What we would end up with is a watered down Torchwood.

    So, I would watch a Torchwood US but would still feel that Torchwood UK is the real deal. If they really want to keep the darkness and the lessons, then go for another network like FX which has no Sci-Fi series and is close to losing Nip/Tuck and Rescue Me as they are in their last seasons. Even if this turns out to be a spin-off and another branch of Torchwood, If they want to really keep the tone of the original, then they have to have the show on a network that can push things far.

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  • Avatar of zzbeach

    zzbeach

    [5]Jan 25, 2010
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    To all the British fans out here I have to tell you that an "Americanized" Torchwood would probably not be a spin off. It would not have any Doctor Who references. The Doctor is not that popular here even among sci fi fans. It's like soccer here in the US. We all know what it is but we don't care to watch it. Torchwood would have to be a stand alone show.

    And as for speaking the same language, I must admit that I do have a hard time understanding from time to time. The Welsh accent is especially difficult. I dare say that if I took some of you Brits to a South Carolina barbecue, you'd be a little lost, too! LOL!

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    drewshack

    [6]Jan 29, 2010
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    The_void_68 wrote:
    *Prays for dragon22a's idea* I hate American remakes with a passion. What, exactly, is the point? It's not like it's in a different language! We Brits manage fine with American shows, why can't it work the other way round?

    Because Americans are stupid. Life on Mars(BBC) was AMAZING..just..AMAZING. The US version...not so much. They didn't even get to finish it off right. I think the Office is one of the few imports that has standed a test of time...not sure if that's thanks to the writers or Steve Carrell.

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  • Avatar of zzbeach

    zzbeach

    [7]Feb 5, 2010
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    Americans aren't stupid just different. Some of us are proud to be Americans and some are self loathing. Moving on...

    Anyway, this thread is interesting when the show Merlin was broadcast on primetime on NBC and has just been picked up by SyFy which is owned by NBC. I find Merlin very easy to follow but there are times during Torchwood where I literally threw up my hands. Torchwood uses a lot of "slang" and Merlin doesn't. I think Merlin was specifically written to be eventually sold to American tv where Torchwood was written just for a British audience.

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    steamheaduk

    [8]Feb 10, 2010
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    zzbeach wrote:

    I think Merlin was specifically written to be eventually sold to American tv where Torchwood was written just for a British audience.


    British TV productions are by and large written primarily for a British audience, especially BBC ones which every TV viewer effectively funds through the TV licence. Us Brits are notorious for "writing letters of complaint" should the mood take us, and if we thought anything "British" was being diluted for "those damned colonials" there would be public uproar, literally dozens of letters would be written

    I think you'll probably find the reason Merlin isn't so slang ridden is because it's not set in a modern language period, so even to us Brits any use of slang would jar as anachronistic.

    Though slang aside, I would say there is a fantastic opportunity in Torchwood to adapt for the American market as a "new series" rather than a simple American rewrite. Given that Torchwood was started by Queen Victoria, which if the organisation operated covertly in the US, especially given the timing as not that long after the Civil war, could create some interesting new dimensions to the story.
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    ebony_kunoichi

    [9]Feb 10, 2010
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    I dont want a remake, just a branch here in the states is fine, but really the Censors here would murder a show like Torchwood.

    I dont like Americanized version of any British Show except the office, but I still feel the British version is a tad better. I understood everything in Torchwood. Not too much slang since jack has no accent in the show. I just hate that American shows tend to strip the realisim out of most shows. The females are overly beautiful and not normal looking. To me Gwen is very ordinary, not some hyper attractive Tart. I appreaciate real looking people. Not supermodels.

    Torchwood is gritty, but I'm scared the American version would rely on cool gadgets, sarcastic supporting characters and overly cliche prototypes for supporting cast. Such as the geek, the misfit, the womanizer, the tough girl, etc. Yuck. Basically Dollhouse meets Torchwood. Oh the humanity!!

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    netgoddess

    [10]Feb 10, 2010
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    It could be good if done properly. But I just kind of doubt the ambisexual aspects of the show would survive in the US without being on HBO or Showtime. Much to my dismay Americans are rather homophobic, and one of the things I love about Torchwood is its no-apology, no-embarrassment stance on atypical relationships. So I feel like if they put it on a major network like SciFi then they'd tone down that aspect which would make it less interesting. Still I guess if they can put a lesbian on Stargate Universe then maybe there is hope.

    They do however need to do it as a US-based branch for a spinoff rather than a "remake". Torchwood's Cardiff connection is too strong and they'd have to retcon a lot of things to try to do a "remake".

    I also wonder why they don't just do a show called U.N.I.T. or something (well maybe that would be confused with the show "The Unit") but it seems like that is another entire organization that has only been slightly brushed upon in the Whoverse and is ripe for picking for a spinoff.
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  • Avatar of zzbeach

    zzbeach

    [11]Feb 12, 2010
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    First, Ebony you stabbed me in the heart. Gwen is not ordinary, she's smoking hot. But I do think the 6 foot, 105 pound blondie that can kick the collective asses of a squad of marines is over done.

    Second, Americans are not homophobic, especially when it comes to tv shows. What American sci fi fans don't like is crazy bed hopping. We have so many dramas where it happens with no real story. I think that's why Stargate Universe has not been well received by the fans.

    If Torchwood becomes "Americanized" I think it will resemble more of the X-Files or Fringe look with an investigative science approach like CSI. They won't have the Doctor Who influence for a background so they'll have to start from scratch.

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    Anime-Alchemist

    [12]Feb 15, 2010
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    zzbeach wrote:

    They won't have the Doctor Who influence for a background so they'll have to start from scratch.



    and that would absolutely kill everything related to Torchwood
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    steamheaduk

    [13]Feb 16, 2010
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    zzbeach wrote:

    They won't have the Doctor Who influence for a background so they'll have to start from scratch.


    I'm not sure why you would say that, it's not like you need to know Doctor Who to understand or enjoy Torchwood. The "Torchwood Charter" is that it was set up by Queen Victoria to protect the Empire from Extra Terrestrial threats. You don't need to know that her reason for doing so was triggered by an encounter with the Doctor at Torchwood house - it makes no difference to the understanding of the show.

    The only episode with any really deep investment in the Doctor Who back story is Cyberwoman, what with mentions of the Battle of Canary Wharf and all. Yes if you saw that episode of Doctor Who you get more out the episode.

    But talk of the Battle of Canary Wharf is not really any different than all the recounting in Doctor Who of specific events in the Time War. Nobody has seen those events on TV, but in the context of the episodes concerned they were just "off screen back story". The Doctor Who references in Torchwood work just like that if you haven't seen what they refer to. We didn't NEED to have seen the Time War to understand NuHu, you don't NEED to have seen Doctor Who to understand Torchwood.

    I have friends that don't and won't watch Doctor Who because they remember how bad it got towards the end of it's original run, but watched, enjoyed and understood Torchwood without having seen ANY of NuHu.

    Having said all that Julie Gardner, Jane Tranter and RTD are involved in the American production. Your original post points to an article that hints that Tranter might try and reboot Doctor Who for the US audience, which makes it highly unlikely they'll strip Doctor Who out of Torchwood as it becomes an ideal vehicle to help promote it to a new audience.
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  • Avatar of zzbeach

    zzbeach

    [14]Feb 17, 2010
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    Unless they reboot an "Americanized" Doctor Who character for Torchwood, the Doctor Who we all know will be stripped from the show. Not enough people in America know of Doctor Who to create a prime time show for a large network like FOX based on the Doctor Who universe. And I respectfully disagree, in oder to understand the beginnings of Torchwood UK, you must be some what familiar with Doctor Who. Torchwood is directly spun off of Doctor Who. The Catptain Jack Harkness persona is based on his adventures with Doctor Who. How can you explain the man who cannot die without Doctor Who in the current show?

    If FOX does "Americanize" a Doctor Who character for the new Torchwood, I shutter to think what that character might be like. And because I live near the beach on the east coast I'll have to prepare for a huge storm because the tidal wave of discontent coming from the UK will flood the entire east coast. Doctor Who is a British creation and that's part of the charm. An "Americanized" Doctor Who character created for the new Torhwood will not have the charm and will not "translate" well into the new Torchwood. That's why I think this new show will have nothing to do with Doctor Who.

    I also must warn my fellow fans from the UK. Don't take this the wrong way but in no way will an "Americanized" Torchwood have it's beginnings with Queen Elizabeth, Queen Victoria or Mary Queen of Scots or any British leader or monarch. If the new "Americanized" Torchwood is to start in the 19th century it will have its creator as a popular post Civil War President like Ulysses S. Grant or most likely Teddy Roosevelt at the beginning of the 20th century. Yup, looking at the shore I can already see the waves getting a bit higher.

    In fact, in order to avoid any severe flooding of the east coast of America, I recommend that British fans of Torchwood not watch any "Americanized" Torchwood. My homeowners insurance is already high enough! LOL!

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    steamheaduk

    [15]Feb 18, 2010
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    zzbeach wrote:

    And I respectfully disagree, in oder to understand the beginnings of Torchwood UK, you must be some what familiar with Doctor Who. Torchwood is directly spun off of Doctor Who. The Catptain Jack Harkness persona is based on his adventures with Doctor Who. How can you explain the man who cannot die without Doctor Who in the current show?


    You can respectfully disagree all you like, it doesn't change the FACT that there are people in the UK that have watched, enjoyed and understood Torchwood without ever having watched Doctor Who (new or old). There is NOTHING in the UK Torchwood that REQUIRES you to have watched Doctor Who. Yes, there is stuff in it that means you will get more out of the show if you have watched Doctor Who, but as with ANY spin-off, they are always written to make sense standalone without ever having watched the spawning show, just with "treats" for loyal viewers of both.

    My kids enjoyed Star Trek the Next Generation, but did so before ever having seen Kirk and Co. (way before their time) and yet that is almost a direct continuation of the original. The same with NuHu, despite the fact it is written with a rich inheritance from the old show. Why do you need to explain how Jack cannot die? It's just an element of his character, introduced quite clearly in the show as a mystery that nobody else initially even knows about. It's called untold back story, the fact that it IS explained in another show is irrelevant, if you watch Torchwood alone it's just part of his character, that maybe one day will be explained. Of course you are making an assumption that Captain Jack Harkness will be in the US Torchwood. Whereas it would be a great vehicle for Captain John Hart, who we knew nothing about until Torchwood Season 2, but his backstory was fleshed out plenty enough in his first episode. Did we need to SEE his back story - no of course not, even though there is still plenty we clearly don't know about him.

    In the original Doctor Who series in 1966, 3 years into the run the main character drops to the floor and changes into somebody else. But we didn't find out he was a Timelord until 1969, we didn't find out there was a 12 regeneration limit until 1976, or how that limit worked until 1983. It didn't make the series any less understandable, it just added an air of mystery.

    Anyone watching Torchwood without Doctor Who just sees the show as an X-Files/Fringe genre show with a main character with a mysterious past. Which is how many shows start without ever being spun off anything. Lost didn't start explaining the full back story of the Island, why should Torchwood US be any different. But of course being a spin-off, if you enjoy it, it might make you want to go back and watch the source show, which is exactly how the BBC could achieve a reboot of Doctor Who in the US.
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    Nashirathena

    [16]Feb 20, 2010
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    Personally I'm horrified at the thought of an American version of Torchwood. The censors would just murder it. The basic premise of Torchwood may be transferable, but the heart and soul of the show isn't. You need all the relationship stuff, the sexually ambiguity, the dirty winks, the violence, the lack of talking about Jesus every 4 f**king minutes. America is just waaaayyy to homophobic, uptight, and generally up in arms about every little thing to have Torchwood be even a little awesome. A country that loves Sarah Palin is not a country that would also love Torchwood.

    Plus, spin-off, remake, whatever: How would you do it without Barrowman? How!?!?!

    Edited on 02/20/2010 3:51am
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    zzbeach

    [17]Feb 20, 2010
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    Nashirathena couldn't be more wrong. Sexual ambiguity? Violence? Not on American tv? Sarah Palin??? What??? I don't know if you're an American but it's no wonder Europeans have such confused views about us when such rhetoric is spewed. To quote a famous British playwright Me thinks he doth protest too much. Enough said.

    There's a reason Torchwood was chosen to "Americanize", because it already resembles something that can translate to American audiences where Doctor Who may not. And if you don't need to watch Doctor Who to understand Torchwood why would you have a Doctor Who character at all?

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    lynna12000

    [18]Feb 20, 2010
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    zzbeach wrote:

    Nashirathena couldn't be more wrong. Sexual ambiguity? Violence? Not on American tv? Sarah Palin??? What??? I don't know if you're an American but it's no wonder Europeans have such confused views about us when such rhetoric is spewed. To quote a famous British playwright Me thinks he doth protest too much. Enough said.

    There's a reason Torchwood was chosen to "Americanize", because it already resembles something that can translate to American audiences where Doctor Who may not. And if you don't need to watch Doctor Who to understand Torchwood why would you have a Doctor Who character at all?



    I don't think Nashirathena is completely wrong. Even though American TV has become a bit more open minded when it comes to sexuality, there is NO WAY that FOX will be able to do Captain Jack Harkness the way that the BBC does. The average American viewer doesn't mind violence on the screen. For some strange reason, most don't seem to want to accept the main, male, character making out with someone of the same gender.

    I'm American. (well half of me. Mom's British ) I've enjoyed TW on BBCA. I've purchased the DVD's and hype them to my friends. But I'm NOT naive enough to believe that FOX will be able to sell the Brit concept of TW to the American public. And the mere idea of a watered down American version makes me want to cry. I say leave it as is.
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    Nashirathena

    [19]Feb 20, 2010
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    zzbeach wrote:

    Nashirathena couldn't be more wrong. Sexual ambiguity? Violence? Not on American tv? Sarah Palin??? What??? I don't know if you're an American but it's no wonder Europeans have such confused views about us when such rhetoric is spewed. To quote a famous British playwright Me thinks he doth protest too much. Enough said.

    There's a reason Torchwood was chosen to "Americanize", because it already resembles something that can translate to American audiences where Doctor Who may not. And if you don't need to watch Doctor Who to understand Torchwood why would you have a Doctor Who character at all?



    Yes, I am American. And exactly what are all these shows on TV with sexual ambiguity that are available to the masses? If you're going to quote Shakespeare, at least get it right. It's "The lady doth protest too much, methinks". Methinks is one word, at the end, and it's a lady, not a man. And I'm a lady. And I'm not even sure how that even fits into your argument. Why would you have Captain Jack Harkness in a series that has cut ties with the Doctor Who universe? Because such a large percentage of the show's awesomeness comes from that one character. You have to transfer the awesomeness as well and not just the premise in order for the show to even get 1 season.
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    lynna12000

    [20]Feb 20, 2010
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    I'm probably going to hate myself in the morning.....but zzbeach maybe every so slightly correct about ONE thing. You probably could get away without directly referring to Dr. Who. If they gave the scenes enough explained detail to the audience, they could get away without referring to Dr. Who.

    I wasn't able to get into the latest version of Dr. Who, I'll be honest. The details of The Battle of/at Canary Wharf didn't come to my attention until after a DW fan saw the TW episode with 'Lisa'. That episode made sense to me even without the backstory. The lack of DW aside, there is no way to do the sexuality on American tv. I'm sorry; but I don't see any sexual ambiguity on Jacks' part; only sexuality. As Jack himself has said, he's 'omnisexual'. Something I take to mean that he will sleep with anyone or any thing. I still haven't forgotten Captain John's comment 'What's that?...It's lovely!' and poor Gwens' reply 'That's a POODLE!'

    Americans are becoming more broadminded. But they masses are NOT that broadminded.
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