Russell T Davies has spoken to SFX Magazine recently to promote the new series of Torchwood: Miracle Day and made a point of emphasising the fact that it is not a reboot or relaunch of the franchise, as some have said, but the same Torchwood, just this time primarily set in America. The former Doctor Who showrunner also told the magazine about the theme of the undead in ‘Miracle Day’, due to the main story of the the series of people gaining what is essentially immortality, much like Captain Jack.
“People are wondering, ‘Is it a reboot or a relaunch?’” he explains. “No: it’s literally the same show, but transplants itself to America. It’s absolutely based on the story, so we haven’t had to relaunch it, to say ‘Who is Gwen?’, and we haven’t had to say ‘How does Rex fit into this?’ because he’s a CIA agent – they only operate abroad. I did wonder about that – is it gonna look strange when the rushes come in, is it gonna be this weird combination? But it’s written to clash. I mean, Rex is the most swaggering, confident, brilliant American, and Gwen is not a shrinking violet. Put those two together and it’s just combustible! These people don’t naturally fit together, but the story makes it absolutely inevitable that they have to be together. So I think we’ve got it right.”
He also reveals that the big theme – suddenly everybody on Earth stops dying – doesn’t just mean people stop dying of old age: it means – people cannot die.
“In episode one there’s a soldier who’s blown up,” says Davies. “The body is in bits, stretched out across three tables, and he’s still alive! And it’s revolting and disgusting, and at the same time, it’s kinda great – you’ve got all the thrill of a zombie movie, but they’re not dead, y’know? The blessing of being a zombie is that you’re kinda brainless and you just wanna eat brains. These people are still alive and you cannot kill them.”
Which raises an obvious question: if you wanted to get rid of someone, what would you have to do? Annihilate every atom of their body?
“Exactly,” Davies says, “and those decisions are where the whole drama’s heading. By episode five they start to categorise what life is, and once human beings are in charge of what life and death is, that’s open to corruption and to some terrible things happening…”
The full interview will be available in the upcoming issue #210 of SFX Magazine.
Torchwood: Miracle Day premieres (local time zones)…
- BBC One (UK), Starz (USA), Space (Canada) – Friday 8th July
- UKTV (Australia) - Saturday 9th July 8:30PM
What do you think of this news? What do you think of Jack’s new look?