Has Doctor Who Set Up a Possible Torchwood Return?

One of the most beloved and long-running British Sci-Fi TV shows may be setting up the return of a fan-favorite character in a spin-off series on Disney+.

This has been the plan from the start, that Sex Education star Ncuti Gatwa’s Doctor Who production era will feature multiple spin-off series and movies.

The newest Doctor Who era has Ncuti Gatwa taking the reigns as the pivotal character in the show, aka Doctor Who, and bringing a new, fresh take. 

This is what makes the Doctor Who universe last as long as it has, as every couple of years, the Doctor and other characters on the show will get a revamp with new actors. This also means that older stories and plots can be revisited with new ideas and even newer and sometimes old faces.

Making the Doctor Who universe a series that theoretically can run forever while rivaling cinematic universes such as Marvel or DC.

Why is There a New Doctor?

Doctor Who lore has built itself in a very smart way, allowing the show to continue smoothly throughout the years with different actors.

This can work as the Doctor is from a race of beings that, for all intents and purposes, are immortal.

They are called Time Lords and can travel across time and space using interdimensional time-traveling ships called Tardises.

They can change their look through regeneration, which is how they explain why the Doctor’s actor can change every few seasons.

How Will The Doctor’s Next Chapter Add To The Story?

Do not get confused into thinking that this is only the 14th season of Doctor Who. There are actually 39 seasons of Doctor Who.

This is because the original Doctor Who series ran from 1963 to 1989.

In 2005, the BBC brought back this beloved show and started with this iteration of season one.

The 14th season of Doctor Who is just around the corner, as the premier is in May 2024.

With the release so soon, the production team released that they will bring back the beloved spin-off known as The War Between Land and Sea.

This is the classic 1970s spin-off.

Doctor Who Season 15 is underway in production, and the spin-off show is reported to have started production in March 2024 in Cardiff.

This could be a sign of the return of another beloved Cardiff-based spin-off called Torchwood.

What is Torchwood About

Torchwood was originally aired from 2006 through to 2011 and was a spin-off of the 2005 revival of Doctor Who. 

In fact, this spin-off gave birth to another two specials that would see Torchwood try and break through to an American market.

Torchwood: Miracle Day and Torchwood: Children of Earth were marketed specifically with an American audience in mind, so much so they even had American actors cast.  

The Torchwood started offset in Cardiff, Wales, and followed the story of a covert agency called Torchwood. The main character, Captain Jack Harkness, was played by John Barrowman, and he investigated extraterrestrial threats on Earth.

Alongside John Barrowman, as Captain Jack, and Eve Myles, as Gwen Cooper, the show did not shy away from a lot of the moral ambiguity that Doctor Who tonally avoided.

While the show itself was a great hit among Doctor Who fans, especially as it was big on themes like existentialism and LGBT characters, in real life, some of the actors weren’t such a great hit.

Could Cancel Culture be a Massive Roadblock?

A potential problem a Torchwood return could face is cancel culture.

While Doctor Who is a progressive show and the character of Jack was a swaggering, omnisexual man from the 51st century who had romances with men, women, and aliens alike, these antics in real life were problematic.

There were reports of Barrowman exposing himself on the set of Torchwood and even on the set of a Broadway production of Sunset Boulevard.

His poor behavior, both on and off set, was enough to make him one of the victims of cancel culture. 

On top of this, there was reportedly a lot of tension between Barrowman and his costar, Eva Myles, which could also cause hesitance in the actors’ return. 

A lack of Captain Jack and the actor who faithfully portrayed him could make it a risk for a Torchwood transition to Disney+ if they want a reboot that maintains the heart and soul of the beloved show. 

Why Torchwood and not other spin-offs? 

There are various spinoffs and shows that can be rebooted and retooled for a new audience, like the Doctor Who spin-off The War Between Land and Sea and other shows like Class and The Sarah Jane Adventures, albeit without the character of Elisabeth Sladen. 

What makes Torchwood the better choice?

From a production standpoint, Torchwood is much easier to film since it takes place on Earth.

This makes it easy for set designers since it’s set in the modern-day 21st century as opposed to an alien planet or a futuristic ship.

A Torchwood return to streaming platform giant Disney+ means the spin-off can reach a wider market, which was the original goal, but it may be more achievable with a more accessible platform. 

The reason Disney is involved is quite clear.

The production team behind Doctor Who wants to expand the Doctor Who universe to make it similar to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, DC Cinematic Universe, or even the MonsterVerse by Legendary Pictures.

As Disney expands upon the building blocks that Doctor Who has paved, it is apparent that the House of Mouse is trying to cash in big on a legacy brand.

Do you think that Torchwood deserves a reboot on Disney+?

And if not, why?

Share all of your thoughts in the comments below.

Jason Collins is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. You can follow him on X.

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