Friday, January 25, 2008

Gorman Glad U.S. Gets Torchwood

Burn Gorman, who plays Dr. Owen Harper on the Doctor Who spinoff series Torchwood, told SCI FI Wire that he's pleased to see how the show has managed to emerge from the shadow of its predecessor, especially among American audiences.

"Personally, I find that really refreshing, that, basically, it's accepted as a stand-alone series," Gorman said in a phone interview. "It's certainly very different in tone. It still uses references to Doctor Who, but I think it's really good that it's being appreciated for what it is. Although I am a Doctor Who fan myself, so I always enjoy when there are references. When Jack goes off and disappears, it's kind of nice to have a mothership."

Torchwood stars John Barrowman as Capt. Jack Harkness, the leader of a secret organization charged with protecting Earth from alien threats. The character of Capt. Jack was originally introduced in the first season of the revitalized Doctor Who series in an episode titled "The Empty Child." He recently returned to that series in a three-episode arc culminating in the third-season finale.

As the second season of Torchwood begins, Jack is reunited with his team, who were left in the dark following his abrupt departure to be with the Doctor.

"Back to Cardiff, where he belongs," Gorman said. "He's a really fun guy to work with, John. He brings a hundred percent commitment. And I think one of the reasons we wanted to do it again is because we all genuinely get on and are able to spark off each other. The scripts are always very different as well. They're never pedestrian. Sometimes they're kind of really out there, but that's kind of what you want as an actor, isn't it? It's a sort of challenge, really."

When it premiered in the United States last September on BBC America, Torchwood became the highest-rated series in the history of that network. Gorman said that the cast and crew were heartened to see that the show has such universal appeal.

"We're really, really pleased about that," Gorman said. "In England, it started off as a kind of cult show, really. And then I think it's just like any show. Word of mouth. We just finished filming season two, and we're hoping it's kind of even better than the first. It's all you can hope for, really."

The second season premiere of Torchwood, featuring guest star James Marsters (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel), airs Jan. 26 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

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