Saturday, July 9, 2011

Torchwood: Miracle Day - USA Weekend: Russell T. Davies, Alexa Havins, John Barrowman Interviews

Source: USA Weekend [follow link for complete interviews]


TORCHWOOD: MIRACLE DAY - USA WEEKEND: It’s a ‘Miracle’! Creator and stars talk about the return of ‘Torchwood’ tonight

July 8th, 2011
by Brian Truitt

If you fancy yourself a Torchwood fan, and are also a Starz subscriber, then you’ll want to tune into the premiere of Torchwood: Miracle Day [July 8]. The new 10-episode season shifts the action from Wales to Los Angeles as the two remaining members of the secret British organization Torchwood — Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) and Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles) — team up with a pair of CIA agents (Mekhi Phifer and Alexa Havins) when people suddenly stop dying all around the world, including a child rapist and murderer (Bill Pullman) who gets an accidental stay of execution. I recently talked with Barrowman, Havins and series creator Russell T Davies about an all-new round of episodes for the Doctor Who spinoff, so read below for their thoughts ...



... Q: Developing this as a Starz as well as a BBC series, did you struggle with the balance between keeping old and bringing in new viewers?

Russell T. Davies: "To be honest, the trick to that is not to look upon it as a problem, but to look upon it as a joy. You have the culture clash between America and Britain, you’ve got the clash between old and new, you’ve got the old British Torchwood and the new American Torchwood. It’s exactly the same thing I had to do when I brought Doctor Who back in 2005 and people said, “Oh, that’ll never work again. You’ll alienate old fans, and new viewers won’t want to come to an old property.” All you have to do is relax and stop getting so brittle about things like that. They get very tense and they stew in dark corners considering these things to be problems. Everyone wants to have a good time watching television. I don’t mean the drama has to be fun all the time. It can be as dark as hell, but that’s a great watch, when something’s challenging and vigorous. You simply let down the borders, bring down the walls. You literally let people in. In the first episode, if you’re a new viewer, you’re sitting there thinking “What is Torchwood? Is it an organization? Is it a festival? Is it a disease? Is it a code word?” CIA agents practically in scene 1 are sitting there going, “What is Torchwood?” I think old viewers like watching that stuff, too. I’d be more than happy watching The X-Files when a new character walks in saying, “What are the X-Files? Who are you, Mulder? Who are you, Scully? What’s going on?” I like all the stuff I love being unpacked for new characters..."



... Q: In the original season of Torchwood in 2006, we saw the mystery unfold through Gwen’s eyes. Now Esther is the new Gwen.

Alexa Havins: "I loved in Season 1 seeing her put it together and her mind working. It’s so interesting now — I’m the girl who got retconned. It’s such an honor! [Laughs] Esther and Gwen are very different. Gwen’s the badass with a rocket launcher — she’s this amazing, angry tough Welsh woman. And there’s Esther, she’s very naive and there’s an innocence to her. It was very rewarding for me to play out the season because she starts in this place where she’s not quite sure. Her best weapon is her computer and her brain, and quickly she gets thrown into this world of chaos where the world is ending and being a part of this team she doesn’t have a clue of where to begin. It’s was interesting watching her learn on her feet and stumble..."



... Q: Were you excited to get into Captain Jack mode?

John Barrowman: "I was totally excited. If someone said, “You’re only going to play Captain Jack for the rest of your career,” I would be completely happy and content. I love the role, I love what the show stands for, I’m a sci-fi fan myself so I love what we do in the show, and to be honest with you a lot of things have been huge catalysts in my career. Captain Jack for the most part has literally changed my life, which is the most incredible thing to say..."

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