Torchwood - A Doctor Who Spin-Off
The BBC have just announced a Doctor Who spin-off that puts John Barrowman's character from the series, Captain Jack Harkness, in the lead role of a more adult-oriented TV series. As you'd expect the usual cynics are already writing off the idea of Torchwood with some describing it as Russell T Davies' own "fanwank".
However, let's take a step back and consider the idea for what it could be. One thing British TV is sorely missing is an intelligent science fiction series aimed at an adult audience - Sci-Fi in the UK has always been slightly camp and aimed at the family sitting around the TV on a Saturday evening. To me this is a sign that the Beeb are taking the ideas and potential of a sci-fi show seriously and want to exploit those opporunities - how better to do it than in a universe that has already been established and is crying out for more exploration.
While there are reportedly no plans for cross-overs with Doctor Who, I very much expect we'll see some familiar faces other than Captain Jack along the way. Despite misgivings, Davies has worked wonders with Doctor Who and I'm keen to see how he develops Captain Jack in the long term. In the right hands something like this can really work and despite lower budgets than Doctor Who, I really think Torchwood has a lot of potential.
The Beeb are taking Sci-Fi seriously now so let's not put a dampener on it. If Torchwood doesn't hit the right notes then fans would be justified in airing their misgivings, but let's give it a chance!