L to R: Noel Clark, Matt O’Toole, Craig Tomashoff, Chris Chibnall, Richard Clark
Chris Chibnall, writer Noel ClarkThe show revolves around the character Captain Jack Harkness (played by John Barrowman), who was introduced in the first season of the revived Doctor Who series as a 51st century ex- Time Agent. Here, he has found himself in present day Cardiff heading a branch of the now mostly defunct Torchwood, a secret organization investigating aliens and alien technology. His team have plenty of opportunities to investigate since Cardiff is located on a rift in time and space. Think the Hellmouth in Sunnydale and you’ll get the gist. Despite the fact that this is a spinoff show, Torchwood stands alone and builds its own mythology.
The panel started by showing the audience several scenes from the first episode, "Everything Changes." Then the floor opened up for a Q&A. It was quite apparent from the questions that a large portion of the audience had already seen the show despite the fact that it has not yet aired in the US. Many of the questions involved the omnisexuality of Captain Jack and other characters on the show and how different that is from conventional sci-fi. Replied Chris Chibnall, "that’s how we like our heroes in Britain these days!" Other questions dealt with links to Doctor Who both within the shows and behind the camera. Many questions were answered with advice to keep speculating, a popular response from this producton team. One of the most interesting questions dealt with the treatment of people of color in Doctor Who. Noel Clark, speaking for himself, felt that Mickey was treated fairly on the series. He felt that the character had an arc and to get that satisfying hero status after two seasons of experiences and growth, he had to start out as a cowardly zero. Our own Marsia asked the panel if there will ever be a time when the show airs in the US at the same time as the UK to which they replied that the technology is there but there are a lot of companies to deal with and contracts to work out. It was agreed that it should happen.
Craig Tomashoff mentioned during the panel the well known fact that James Marsters will be appearing in the second season. While the panelists did not have anything to say about that and refused to answer questions about future episodes, they did say that the second season begins with a deserted road and that the word "orgy" is in the first episode. When you couple this with all the sexy and coy comments made by both John Barrowman and James Marsters, the mind certainly boggles!
The panel concluded with thanks to the audience for coming out. Chris said they were "chuffed" at the warm reception they’ve had at Comic-Con. You can see for yourself why (and get prepared for James’s appearance next season) beginning September 8 at 9pm on BBC America.