In answer to my question: Is it just a spinoff? The answer is absolutely not. The difference between Doctor Who and Torchwood have an obvious difference to those who have seen both shows. Doctor Who has a lighthearted feel at times with serious information put in every episode. Torchwood has serious information with a lighthearted feel thrown in every episode. From the very beginning, I have been aware of all of the characters. They all have very important functions on the team, and they all have their own individual problems. Whether they like it or not, their personal problems impact everything they do in their jobs. *Spoiler Alert!* At the end of Season 2 during "Exit Wounds," we have seen the loss of both Tosh and Owen, both of them being vital members of the Torchwood organization. Of the many Torchwood fans in America, I am interested in finding out how they have continued to function due to the now defunct members of the original team.
I started watching Torchwood when I heard James Marsters was going to be a guest star, and being a Doctor Who inquisitor, decided to watch both shows to catch up on what was going on. I was very pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed both shows, and am now dedicated to each show that is produced. I am by no means an expert on either show, but I will continue to enjoy them for a long time.