Interview: John Barrowman & Carole E. Barrowman

A very special Torchwood novel has appeared this month, written by series star John Barrowman and his sister Carole, who previously contributed a comic strip to the official Torchwood magazine. Set in the aftermath of Miracle Day, it sees Jack help to combat a new global threat with the help and hindrance of Gwen, Rhys, Sergeant Andy and even a certain member of the CIA. The Barrowmans kindly agreed to answer a few questions from Paul Simpson about the new story…


The first obvious question: how did you come to write the novel for BBC Books? Did you approach them or vice versa?

John Barrowman: It was a bit of both actually. Carole and I thought it would be fun to write an episode of the series together and then the BBC came back and said how about a Torchwood novel?

Carole E. Barrowman: The more we thought about it the more we liked the idea of the novel and the broader canvas it would give us for our story.

Did you choose to set it after Miracle Day, or was that something you were asked to do?

CB: We began this process before Miracle Day aired so originally we thought we’d set it between Children of Earth and Miracle Day to explore what Jack might have been doing after C of E.

JB: One of the reasons it ended up being set after Miracle Day is that lots of people had to read and approve of the plot before we could begin. From Russell T Davies to the BBC and even Starz who still own a percentage of the rights.

CB: The delay ended up being a good thing because we could draw on some aspects of Jack’s character that we thought had been downplayed a bit in Miracle Day and bring them to the forefront in Exodus Code.

JB: Like Jack’s sense of humour.

How do you write the book between you? (Some writers take a plot thread each then cross-edit; others plot together, and one person pulls it together – there’s no set way!)

JB: We have a different collaboration. We brainstorm together, we outline plot together and then Carole takes all our notes and ideas and goes off and does all the writing. I can do a lot of creative things but I’m not a writer.

CB: Which is great for me because I am. When I’m finished with a draft I’ll send it to John and we’ll have another round of discussion and feedback because during the actual writing process things in the plot change, and characters can do unexpected things.

The book heavily features a real medical condition (no spoilers!); was this something you were aware of before working on the book, and how did you research it? (i.e. talking to sufferers?)

JB: I’m so glad you asked about this because it turns out that Carole has a mild version of the condition that plays such a critical part in the story and I knew nothing about it. Can you believe that? A secret! From her brother! When I was reading a draft I’m thinking where did this come from because we hadn’t included it in the outline? But it got me thinking… it read so authentically.

CB: I never thought it was a big deal or any deal actually. It’s just the way my brain works so I don’t know anything different. I certainly don’t see myself as a ‘sufferer.’ In fact, I didn’t have a name for the condition until I was an adult and a friend who also has the condition said something about it and I realised, wow, not everyone is like this. I thought I was normal.

JB: Not! And not just because of that…

What was the most challenging part about writing Exodus Code?

JB: There wasn’t much that was a challenge after we got through the whole process of getting our outline approved and we made the decision to give the story a global appeal.

CB: For me the hardest part was during the more erotic moments in the story not to imagine John the actor playing Jack the character. Does that make sense? As a TW fan, knowing Russell and having spent time on the set of TW I know Jack the character pretty well and I needed to draw on that when I was working on any of the sexy bits. Don’t want my brother in my head for those bits…

Torchwood has changed considerably from “Everything Changes”: what makes something a “Torchwood” story? What, for you both (with your different perspectives), is the ‘archetypal’ Torchwood story – if such a beast exists?

CB: No question in my mind there’s an archetypal TW story. TW has become such an important part of Sci-Fi’s zeitgeist and it’s obviously woven into the Doctor Who universe too. For me, an archetypal TW story has to feature Jack. No question. He’s our Byronic hero–set apart from the rest of us, flawed, rakish, romantic but willing to make sacrifices that we can’t and won’t make. Plus, I think there has to be an alien presence of some kind.

JB: Guess what? I agree with all of that. I’d also add that a TW story must have Gwen. She’s everyone. She’s us–the audience. I think Gwen is a critical point of view for every story to help the audience make sense of the TW world.

A lot of the fans are – still – very unhappy about the death of Ianto in Children of Earth; would you consider writing a story set prior to then (say between the end of series 2 and the start of Children of Earth)?

JB: Carole and I would be happy to write a Torchwood story set at any time in the canon.

Torchwood has been a bit of the “little engine that could”: do you think we’ll see the show back on screens?

CB: We structured this novel cinematically because we think it would make a good mini series or film.

JB: I love playing Jack. I’m ready whenever they want him back on screen.

What do you think the strengths of the format are, compared with other SF shows like Doctor Who / Star Trek? Are there stories that can only be told by Torchwood?

CB: I think any good writer can make an intriguing story idea work for any format, but that said I do think there are lots of unique elements that only TW can do, one being Jack’s presence in both the human world and the alien.

JB: TW can also tell more adult stories with more controversial themes.

Thanks to Sally Wray at BBC Books for her assistance in setting up this interview

Read our review of Exodus Code here


75 thoughts on “Interview: John Barrowman & Carole E. Barrowman

  1. Did you notice? As soon as you say “Ianto” it’s like saying “I am suffering from the plague”. Even JB is getting wussy about it…Go figure…Anyway will not give my money anymore to a show which is not able to deal with his bad decisions properly and is not able to respect part of his fans…

    Posted by patou gravitule (@HW308_gravitule) | September 19, 2012, 10:44 pm
  2. Like I said on the original review. I would like to see the old Torchwood return. Three years on and I still miss Tosh, Owen and esp. Ianto, Cardiff, the Hub, even the pterodactyl. I miss the old Jack, who is so different from what we saw in Miracle Day. And I think many fans feel like I do. I also think it’s really sad that TPTB still ignore that most of the time. For example the “Lost files” (radio play) aired before Miracle Day, but set before Children of Earth, was a huge success and probably the last time I saw the fandom really come alive in the forums and on the boards. The episodes of Miracle Day didn’t get a quarter the response those plays got.

    And, though I’m only a part of the audience, I have to disagree with Barrowman here. Gwen in not everyone and Gwen is CERTAINLY not me. She is nothing but a selfish little princess to me. She has Rhys, claims to love him, risks the world for him and people die in the progress, only to run off to play grieving widow at Jack side seconds later. She cheats on Rhys, then tells him about it only to have him already drugged to forget, so SHE can feel good about it. She would have kissed Jack on her very own wedding day if it hadn’t turned out to be the shapeshifter. She has a good laugh on the oh so lovely Tosh. She always thinks she knows best and hurts people badly trying to get it her way- and she NEVER learn from it. Next week. next episode, same old troll. Tbh I think out of the original cast she was the one who least deserved a happy ending,because she has it all and gives a flying **** about it and she’s the one who always get’s a happy ending. Also let’s not forget her lovely confession that it made her feel important to see her co-workers die. I’ve found myself wishing more then once that Suzie would have made it past the first episode and not Gwen. Yes Suzie was a mass murdering manipulating person, but at least she was interesting.

    I’m not interested in a movie or a mini-series based on anything that is set after the episode Fragments.

    Posted by Aimèetheclassictorchwoodfan | September 19, 2012, 10:56 pm
    • I agree with everything you said. I would love to see the old team return, it’s not the same without Ianto, Tosh and Owen and all the things that made Torchwood wonderful.

      Barrowman was way off when he said Gwen is everyone, she one of the most hated character in the Torchwood fandom and claims like that will turn all those who dislike her off buying books like these or watching any new series. Her confession in MD angered a lot of fans and made my hate for her all the more soild.

      I agree with you about Suzie being more interesting then Gwen. I’d rather they played out Suzie’s long fall into darkness rather then watch Gwen make everything about her.

      Torchwood is a dying fandom and attempts like this only make it’s death all the more painful, it’s time to either let it go or listen to the fans and bring back the Torchwood Three we’ve all come to love.

      Posted by Sherri | September 20, 2012, 3:04 am
      • Gwen is one of the most hated characters in ANY fandom. No harm to the actress, she had to play what was written.
        Hoeever Torchwood for me has ceased to exist. I watch my vids, but won;t waste my money on thse pretendy-Torchwood rip=offs

        Posted by Ray \newton | September 20, 2012, 10:28 am
      • I always thought Suzie would have held some much potential as the evil yet awesome character within the team, the team has no clue about. It could have been such an interesting story arch at least in season 1, peaking with Suzie draining the vortex power from Jack instead of Abbadon. Suzie could have also been the one tempting Owen to open the Rift, as it is hinted that they had an affair. Or Suzie could have been the one sending not Tosh and Jack back into the past, but Tosh and Ianto, because they came too close to find out about her evil plans or something.

        Well thank God for fanfiction, it’s for free and usually a lot better then the canon plots when it comes to Torchwood. Plus I can pick the ones who still have the characters I like and miss.

        The only two kinds of novel/mini-series/movie of Torchwood I would be interested in would be a) one that resets the show to the original team or b) one in which Gwen finally dies. Hopefully as hopeless as Tosh and Owen, both burdened with way too much heartbreak and grief and both so close to finding love again with each other and as pointless as Ianto. Walking into a(not evacuated) house containing an alien that is able to release a deadly virus without as much as a hazmat suit dragging the mortal person they want me to believe you love along… sorry Jack but that was also the point where you lost the title “Head of Torchwood” for me. Even the tiniest hospital has better protection against daily stuff like the noro virus.

        Posted by Aimèetheclassictorchwoodfan | September 20, 2012, 11:17 am
  3. I have to admit to some dissapointment as there had been previous suggesting that some of the original cast might have a role within the novel.Without giving much away there is a very very minimal reference to the classic TW cast.I find it very difficult to be enthusiastic re the combination of Gwen and CJ as it now feels past it sell be date and their relationship has very little interesting to offer.Although I stuck with MD to the end sadly the going global has left me cold and this just seems to be more of the same.The only reason one could call this novel special is because it it written by John Barroman and his sister but to be honest I fail to see why this novel should be considered more superior to the previous novels-it just gets more publicity hype.The only real bit of news that moved me was John saying that Starz still has a percentage of the rights. After the disastrous overall production values of Mircacle Day I was hoping if TW did return it would be without this poorly concieved collaboration.But my experience of having followed John Barrowman interviews since the beginnings of TW is that accuracy is not always his strong point so I keep my fingers crossed that Torwchwood can still be salvaged.”

    Posted by nan00se | September 19, 2012, 11:11 pm
  4. Please don’t make a claim like “Gwen is everyone”…. *wobbles shakily* I feel sick to my stomach now.

    I know its difficult to understand but for *many* of us torchwood fans the thing that drew and kept us into the show was… Are you ready for this? Was NOT Jack and Gwen. I only like Jack when he’s with Rose and the Doctor. And I never saw Gwen as anything but a nuisance who is incompetent and dull. I certainly don’t see her as the eyes to torchwood or “everyone”. She’s nothin
    Which ie why I tried but ultimately failed to watch Miracle Day. As a longtime fan, the first episode was boring and took too long for anything to happen.

    Posted by jackie | September 19, 2012, 11:45 pm
    • I’m not anyone and I’m so not bloody Gwen Cooper
      To me in the beginning she was a bit okay but the more I watched and re-watched Torchwood I started to see why she’s one of the most hated character in Torchwood, she’s selfish, two-faced and an attention-seeker I felt sorry for Rhys, the man she claimed to love, when she started sleeping with Owen and chasing after Jack….
      Poor Rhys, Ianto and Tosh, they got ignored 😥
      Children of Earth and Miracle Day killed me so any more new series of Torchwood comes out and I’m not leaving my room for months….

      Posted by Amanda Lundie | September 20, 2012, 4:14 pm
  5. Torchwood to me is Jack & Ianto, Tosh & Owen, these characters are why I fell in love with the show… simple.

    Posted by Cathy Norman | September 20, 2012, 12:08 am
  6. Oh my dearest John, if Gwen is meant to represent us all, then Lord help us! If I acted as self important as she does my family and friends would dis-own me. Don’t quite understand his obsession with that character; she is easily in my top 10 list of the most annoying fictual characters ever.

    Posted by Lori | September 20, 2012, 2:57 am
  7. I can hardly believe he thinks Gwen represents that audience. I don’t need a character in a show to represent me, to show me the fictional world through my own eyes. That’s what I have eyes for!! Besides, I thought she was the heart of Torchwood. John is an actor and maybe has to say the things he does. Maybe he believes them. I know there are people who see Gwen in a positive light. I don’t and won’t be watching any more story lines about Torchwood that feature her prominently. She is annoying and I’ve had enough of being disrespected by TPTB who run Torchwood. I’m insulted that anybody that annoying, selfish, mean, violent, and clueless can be said to represent the audience, especially when I am part of that audience. That is not a complement, John!

    Posted by Cassandra costley | September 20, 2012, 4:19 am
  8. I am actually insulted to be compared to Gwen. Gwen is not me. She will never be anything like me. Gwen is, in fact, a mixture of the absolute worst of everyone. There is practically nothing redeeming about the character. So please don’t even think it’s a good idea to compare her to anyone because it really isn’t.

    If anyone was the viewpoint character of the show, it was Ianto. He was the one I really could relate to, in his struggles to save the woman he loved, who did the best job he could, and who was loyal to a fault. I could easily see things through his eyes. It’s just too bad his character was completely wasted.

    I had considered buying your novel, but this has changed my mind because apparently I’m not the fan you’re catering to.

    Posted by Ray | September 20, 2012, 5:06 am
    • I love your last comment and wholeheartedly agree. I don’t know who the book is aimed at but it definitely isn’t loyal Torchwood fans…

      Posted by Cathy Norman | September 20, 2012, 7:48 am
      • It’s aimed for those who are rabid Barrowman fans, the ones who watched Miracle Day for a glimpse of Jack’s butt. Yes, it’s a fine one, however I wasn’t going to sit through ten hours of hell in order for a couple of small flashes of it, and of Jack with different men I couldn’t see the point of. I don’t watch Torchwood for the porn, thanks much.

        I also don’t watch it to see Gwen think she’s better than her other former teammates, just because she’s still alive. Keep classy, Gwen Cooper.

        Posted by Ray | September 20, 2012, 2:17 pm
  9. I will never be anything like Gwen. She cheats on her husband, pines after her boss even after she knew he was in a relationship, she was cruel to all her teammates in turn, and she has to make everything about her. She messes up epically on the show and suffers little to no consequences. Everyone else, while they have made mistakes, in many cases owned up to them or suffered terribly as a result of them.

    In the beginning, I tried to like her. I could see from all the hyping of her character that she was supposed to be ‘important’ so I really did try – but every time she did something that could count as redeeming, she then turned around and did something else to make me despise her even worse than before. The retconning of Rhys so she could confess her affair and her behavior at her wedding definitely sealed her fate in my eyes. I don’t think I have ever hated a character from a show quite so much in my entire life!

    Until the show gets better writing, teaches Gwen a little humility, and finds some way (It is sci-fi after all!) to bring back at least Ianto (though I desperately want Tosh and Owen, too) then I will not be watching the show. I will buy no DVDs or books that take place anytime after season 2.

    The rest of my friends here in America feel the same way, as well as my penpal in Japan. She says that while there are many shows in her country that have terrible people as a main character (adulterers, liars, and even murderers and rapists) they are never also praised as being ‘good.’ From what she tells me, Gwen’s behavior is definitely not something that impresses her and the rest of her friends in Japan.

    So there you have it – England, America, Japan – Gwen is pretty much hated world-wide. If the people in charge want to make Torchwood a show that we can all enjoy and that will succeed financially, then they need to do some serious soul-searching. Is having RTD’s ‘favorite’ character center stage more important the show’s success?

    Posted by Serena Parker | September 20, 2012, 9:43 am
  10. You can add Australia to that list please…

    Posted by Cathy Norman | September 20, 2012, 11:25 am
  11. “a TW story must have Gwen. She’s everyone. She’s us–the audience. I think Gwen is a critical point of view for every story to help the audience make sense of the TW world”

    REALLY?! I can’t imagine any other TV character to whom I felt less connected, ever. Of all TW characters Gwen is the farthest from “audience point of view”, and JB would know that pay he any attention to what his primary audience thinks, thank you very much.
    So, I would reafrain from saying that audience needs Gwen to be able to understand TW world, because Gwen is the main factor that makes this world so muddy and confusing, and not in good sense. She suck the lifeblood out of TW and introduces egouism, chaos, and half-witted cliche.
    I think making Gwen obligatory for every TW story is a sure way to the book’ failure.

    Posted by Jenny | September 20, 2012, 3:03 pm
  12. I will not read this book, and I’m very sorry for it because I love Carole’s writing style.

    But I won’t read another book where miss Gwen-teflon-marysue Cooper is the centre of the story.

    Gwen is one of the worst fictional character I have ever seen, it is appalling the way she is so badly thought/written. She is not the eyes of the audience and surely she isn’t mines.

    Gwen doesn’t represent me. Why should I like a manipulative, hypocritical, sanctimonious, patronising, selfish, self-absorbed, stupid, useless, s**t, who thinks she is better and knows better then anyone else, even the more skilled, trained, experienced ones? She never obey/follows orders; she never faces the consequences of her mistakes, decisions, actions, choiches; she always ends up un-scarred, un-harmed, always getting a free pass for every f***-ups she does.

    I know and understand that John is an actor and maybe has to say the things he does, but really being compared to Gwen is an offence.

    I miss the old Torchwood, the one where Jack was a competent leader and a great character; where him and his team worked to protect Cardiff and the world; where there ware the Hub, the SUV, Myfanwy; where we could find hope even in the dark hours, we could find humor and witty remarks.

    I love Captain Jack and I love how John portays him, but CoE and MD destroyed, annihilated, trashed and adused the character; now Jack is just an incompetent idiot, a cold bastard, a whining, emotive, shallow prostitute and that sadden and anger me to no end because I lost one of my favorite character ever.

    Posted by bri | September 20, 2012, 3:36 pm
  13. Please can everyone note – we are happy to run comments but not with four-letter words please.

    Posted by PS | September 20, 2012, 3:48 pm
  14. No-one controls what I watch or who I like or dislike
    Especially Gwen stupid Cooper
    I miss the true Torchwood team; Jack, Toshiko, Owen and Ianto and I would love to see Suzie in action more than being a killer but no what do we all get in it’s place, Cooper the Telflon Tart, mary-sue, the two-face twit….I have a lot of names to call Cooper but I don’t want to get into trouble with my potty-mouth

    JB sorry to say this but no-one likes Gwen we all think she’s a useless character and not even worthy of licking the dirt off our shoes let alone being the ‘Heart of Torchwood’

    Posted by Amanda Lundie | September 20, 2012, 4:30 pm
  15. You can add Denmark to the list of countries that severly hates Gwen. I have never happened upon a character that I hated so much before Gwen Cooper. I tried to like her from the start but every episode she just became worse and the interesting characters were shoved to the back to give room for that B****. I have no intention of buying anything about Torchwood that does not feature Ianto, Tosh and Owen (and a competent Jack).

    Posted by Tanja Jørgensen | September 20, 2012, 9:44 pm
  16. Would love to buy a Torchwood book with the old team Jack ,Ianto, Tosh, Owen. These characters made me love the series.And sorry, not Gwen.

    Posted by Viane | September 20, 2012, 11:06 pm
  17. Please note that some offensive comments have been removed.

    Posted by PS | September 21, 2012, 6:51 am
  18. Hi I was really looking forward to hearing about this book but I have to say the comment about how Gwen was everything (supposedly me) has made me decide to spend my money elsewhere. I AM NOT GWEN, I cannot empathize with a two timing, scheming women who thinks the world revolves around her as proven by her comment is MD, her affair with Owen and then her retconning of him. Sorry if you write something with Suzie, Owen, Tosh and Ianto I would happy to part with my hard earned money but please stop trying to make Gwen everything – just grrrr.

    Posted by Natalie | September 21, 2012, 7:54 am
  19. Good point -i wish they would just stop calling anything after COE Torchwood-why not Captain Jack’s global adventures or something similar then all the classic Torchwood fans could avoid the dissapointment of hoping that what follows will match up to the original Torchwood

    Posted by nan00se | September 21, 2012, 8:05 am
    • ITA, I also think that was one of the big problems with the casual viewers. I remember the #Torchwood tag being overrun with questions like “What’s that, that’s not Torchwood?”, etc, on Twitter when the first episode of Miracle Day aired. They should have made it another spin off instead of trying to fool people a bit with a name they’ve already heard before and they connect to the Dr.Who universe. Without spoiling too much, the big twist at the end of Miracle Day totally stands against Jack’s history with the Doctor, it makes Miracle Day Jack and Doctor Who jack two totally different characters, who happen to have the same name, face and dressing style.

      Posted by Aimèetheclassictorchwoodfan | September 21, 2012, 10:50 am
  20. I am wondering if Mr Barrowman could explain why he rubbished all other Torchwood novels in his publicity trail for this novel. He was asked on two occassions as to why this novel had a different cover than the other novels. His reply on both occassions was because this is the first real Torchwood novel. I do not know what he thinks the other novels are but I quiet enjoyed them. Unfortunately I will not be buying this particular book as I feel if one of the authors has to run down other peoples work to get their work noticed then I am not interested. The book will do well because of John Barrowmans name and the following that he does have. I really wish people would buy the book on its merits rather than the fact that John was one of the authors. Try the other Torchwood novels. They are well written and written quite often by the writers that helped pen the actual episodes of Torchwood

    Posted by Rachel | September 21, 2012, 8:31 am
    • Yeah, read that too and found it very offensive and insulting towards the writers of the other novels, I guess they spend as much time researching, ploting and writing was the Barrowmans did. Plus I love some of those books and even though I’ve gotten over Torchwood in general I re-read them from time to time. Gareth David-Lloyd (Ianto) wrote the script for a Torchwood comic (Shrouded) that was actually very good and interesting a while ago, so I’m sorry John but it’s not even that special because it’s the first Torchwood tie in written by the cast. The only reason why your book will sell better then the “Miracle Day” novels released earlier this year, is probably that your name is on the cover and that you still have a few very devoted fans left, that’s the only thing that makes it special and different.

      Personally I think the reason why this book has a “better” cover then the old ones, is the hope that people will see it rather like a standalone novel then as a tie in to a series that had terrible viewing numbers last summer.

      Posted by Aimèetheclassictorchwoodfan | September 21, 2012, 9:16 am
  21. We can ”Gwen bash” but we can not have a POV, my comment was not offensive, just honest!

    Posted by Cathy Norman | September 21, 2012, 8:33 am
    • You were making personal comments about people involved in the show running; other similar remarks have also been removed.

      Posted by PS | September 21, 2012, 8:40 am
      • Surely we are all adults here, I did not name names except for mentioning the BBC. Is that the issue here, a comglomerate as huge as the BBC has a delicate ego and is sensitive to one fans critique, please…

        Posted by Cathy Norman | September 21, 2012, 8:50 am
        • Sorry, the remark that was removed – which I quoted back in an email to you – was taking about the people running the show, not “the BBC” as a conglomerate. And we have an all-age following hence the four-letter word removal (which didn’t apply to you, I should add!)

          Posted by PS | September 21, 2012, 8:56 am
          • ITA being polite is a must, but I can also understand that the blood of some fans get’s cocking when it comes to some of Torchwood’s TPTB. IF I remember correctly the deleted comment was about the ego of some of Torchwoods TPTB. I have no idea how much you know about the aftermath of Children of Earth and I will try to keep this short because it’s a bit OT, because this is about JB’s book, but:

            Before Children of Earth a few DVDs were delivered to early and news leaked that the character Ianto would die. Some of Torchwoods TPTB went on Twitter and posted stuff like: “Don’t believe it!” “Ianto/Janto fans will love the new series”. It was lying straight into those fans face.

            Then it became clear that those fans were not happy at all and Russel T.Davies himself said that they were just “9 hysterical women without a life” and that they were only there for the “boykissing” anyway.

            James Moran claimed to have received death threats from former fans. To this day I have not seen a single hard proof of that and I guess you have to agree that this is a very heavy accusation. He still repeats it every now and then in an interview or so.

            When the first news of Miracle Day leaked, USA and all that, and fans were not all jumping up and down for joy, Russell T.Davies said: “I need viewers, not fans.”

            Now tell me that those people really value the old fans which supported Torchwood and helped it climb up all the way to BBC1 prime time. The people who bought DVDs, novels and action figures. The people who travelled to conventions to meet their stars, even Mister Davies himself at the San Diego Comic Con.
            And yes, I guess one could say that the ego of some people involved with the show has outgrown them and the product they are trying to sell.

            Please note this is not meant to be insulting, it’s just observation.

            Posted by Aimèetheclassictorchwoodfan | September 21, 2012, 9:43 am
            • Yes, the removal was because it was too specifically aimed at certain people. I am aware of the various things that went on around TW fandom and problems always arise when fans take “ownership” of a series. There’s an interesting take on that in the new Dr Who Magazine talking about the long-running producer on that show, John Nathan-Turner. Showrunners can’t afford to kowtow to the fans’ demands – but on the whole they do respect their opinions.

              Posted by PS | September 21, 2012, 9:58 am
              • True, showrunners can’t make everyone happy, but in the end they only sell their product to the viewers/fans. If the fans and viewers don’t like the product and voice that, the showrunner should have the chance to a)defend their choice or b) just ignore them and hope that enough people remain watching to get the green light for another season. If I don’t like a show no longer I move on to another one. That’s easy. Happened to my with Supernatural for example, I’m not a fan of that whole demon/angel stuff, I’m no longer watching. no bad blood. But if TPTB start to insult the fans no longer happy with the product, then that goes to far. I think every show has troubles like that every now and then, but tbh I have never seen a case where TPTB acted like they did with Torchwood.

                It’s simple, if, let’s say, McD. suddenly starts to sell vegan porridge instead of burgers, that’s their choice, but if they tank with that concept, they have no right to start insulting the people who filled their restaurants before the change.

                Posted by Aimèetheclassictorchwoodfan | September 21, 2012, 10:37 am
                • PS: Or to make this more Torchwood. I would bet good money that if the BBC would produce another series in the same setting, with the same actors as Series 1 or 2, it would be well received. IF it is not already too late for that.

                  If they produce another series like Miracle Day, with Gwen (seems as if she’s not the most beloved character after all) as one of the leads, chances are that it will tank just like Miracle Day did, losing viewers from week to week, being laughed at in blogs and articles everywhere, getting beating in viewing numbers by Big Brother.

                  I agree, it’s Mr.Davies decision, the question is which one would be wiser? And I don’t think that this is about fans “ownership” any more, Torchwood has just removed itself too far from it’s roots and original concept. The Ianto fans are now just a part of the people unhappy.

                  Posted by Aimèetheclassictorchwoodfan | September 21, 2012, 10:45 am
              • I’m sorry if this very long post is out of contest, I hope you will forgive me, but I wanted to explain better what I think about TW.

                You know I always wonder about this “the fans can’t take ownership of a show because the writers have the right to write the story they want to tell, with the characters they want and in the way they want” debate.

                It is true that the writers have the right to tell their story, but I don’t like this contrast between “writer ownership” versus “fans ownership”. You have to agree that professional writers wants to sell their stories – be it books, or movies, or TV shows – and possibly they want to sell the stories the way they wrote them; the problems arise when the viewers don’t like those stories, especially if it is a TV series. If the audience, be it fans or viewers, don’t like those stories the show is canceled.
                Saiyng that writers write for themselves is a bit naive, because if you want to sell your works then people have to like them. If people won’t like them, you won’t sell your book, your movie will flop, your series will be axed. It must be hard to accept but it is the reality.
                A good writer if the one who write the story he/she wants to tell in a way that the audience will like it and will want more.

                What happened with CoE and MD is just that, a contraposition between the writers, in this case Russell Davies, and the fans. Mr. Davies thought that whatever he wrote the audience would have liked it, just because he said so; he thought that if he said that Gwen was the best character, the audience would have agreed, just because he said so. It didn’t happen. When TPTB (writers and producers) marketed CoE they made promises they didn’t keep.

                The fans complained about the fact that CoE and MD were stupid stories, full of plotholes and very badly written; they complained about the fact that all the best character were killed off (Tosh, Owen, Ianto and even Susie) or annihilated and ruined (Jack); they complained that they wanted to see TW as “Jack’s and his tema show” and not as the “fantastic adeventures of Gwen-annoying Cooper”. After all that Mr. Davies, Mr. Moran, Mr. Espenson and other producers were all outraged because the fans called them on their lies and because they didn’t like the shows.
                Mr. Davies (and on some extent Mr. Moran too) was very insulting towards the fans, he called them “bunch of ming mong”, “hysterical women without a life”, “people who didn’t understand real serious drama should just read poetry and watch Supernatural”. Mrs. Miles said in a video interview that Gwen was the central character of the show and Jack and Ianto were there just for the comic relief and that they (writers, producers, actors) couldn’t mollycoddle the fans and that a show has to evolve and try something new to keep people interested (*).

                I believe in respect, because respect is a must, but it is also a thing that goes two ways around. You pretend respect, but you are keen to give respect. Mr. Davies and the others didn’t give respect because they received negative criticism. You know what, everyone, in every job receives criticism. Of course we don’t like when our job is criticised, it is normal, but you have to be able to take criticism in a gracious way, especially if you are a public figure and we can’t forget that constructive criticism can help to improve our job, allowing us to not make the same mistakes again. Again that didn’t happen.

                (*) I always wonder what mean the sentence “that a show has to evolve and try something new to keep people interested” has. For example, if a new writer (a very good one) became the new DW showrunner and started writing new stories, mind you great stories, the way he/she liked/wanted, but in doing so he/she took away the Tardis, or the fact that the Doctor is an alien who can regenerate and travels all around in time and space with companions, saving the universe, would you still call this show Doctor Who? Because that is what happened with TW, the show was stripped of everything that made it, of each of its peculiarities and became something else, but certainly not TW.

                Posted by bri | September 21, 2012, 11:27 am
                • That’s very good summary. I’m with you on all accounts.

                  Posted by Jenny | September 21, 2012, 3:50 pm
                • Bri ITA, esp. on the last bit. It’s not Torchwood anymore, all that remains is Jack, a character that has changed too much, and Gwen and maybe Rhys and Andie in the backgroud.

                  I still think that after CoE there would have been two ways to bring back the show.
                  1. New team in Cardiff, but same or alike setting, likeable characters the fans can connect with, not the kind of character Rex was, and hope you can rebuild what you had and go on from there.
                  2. Taking the whole team, maybe minus one character because “everybody dies young in TW blahblahblah” through CoE, THEN move the whole show to the USA and pray that the fans will follow or the show will be so good that you will find many new viewers on that new market. Miracle Day failed there.

                  Posted by Aimèetheclassictorchwoodfan | September 27, 2012, 10:09 pm
              • Re: problems always arise when fans take “ownership” of a series

                Before CoE was filmed many of the Torchwood Cast gathered for SDCC 2008 (that is two thousand eight -not nine I was at 2009 too) In July 2008 RTD had to cancelled out as he was still working on a rewrite of Children of Earth largely because he lost two guest stars he thought were going to be there. So he sent his business partner Julie Gardner in his place and I remember it all too well.

                I remember it so well in fact that it still resonates like so many lost opportunities…Because at SDCC 2008 there were TOO many things that was said in 2008 that NEVER CAME TO BE — and the point is that IF we are ever to make this as you say about fans wanting to take ownership…THEN what was said in 2008 by TPTB, ALSO needs to be addressed…

                Here are some: all from SDCC 2008
                John Barrowman when referring to this planned novel he said it would have juicy JANTO moments in it…Apparently; like many novels this novel took time to write — but now with a desire to make his novel current/and perhaps made into a movie — this statement is no longer the case…Fans wanted the story he first mentioned…JB also said this about Children of Earth “JANTO fans would be happy” we of course were not.

                Perhaps the one person who I would like most to be held to their word is Julie Gardner; she said many things about how the character of Ianto was going to be “DEVELOPED MORE” “MADE A PROPER MEMBER OF THE TEAM” she went as far as saying also that “THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN JACK AND IANTO WAS IMPORTANT TO TORCHWOOD” and she followed up an answer to a fan’s direct question about Jack and Ianto and marriage with “NOT UNTIL SEASON SIX, SEVEN, NO SOONER THAN SIX” — SO The point here is that it is for some not about “wanting ownership” — BUT wanting what they told us we were getting in 2008 — BUT what we got instead got was everything that the fans loved about the show gutted; Jack became this marginalized figure, Gwen became the centralize figure so bolstered up that no one could identify with her any more least of all be seen as the POV character…and Ianto, the character Julie Gardner said was going to be made a proper member of the team, WELL, we all know what happen there.

                Posted by DVanB | September 21, 2012, 11:32 am
  22. I still don’t get why my post was pulled, I thought the BBC was running the show. Anyway, I won’t be bothering with the book because it’s not Torchwood, it’s the Jack and Gwen show. They should have called it the ”The Exodus of Gwack”…

    Posted by Cathy Norman | September 21, 2012, 12:35 pm
  23. “His reply on both occassions was because this is the first real Torchwood novel”-lucky for him that his book recieves the publicity it does regardless of merit but really it is just another Torchwood book which will sell a few more copies because his name is on the cover-those who were dissapointed with the recent MD will just stay well clear of it.The only post COE Torchwood extras I have been interested in were the Lost Files –

    Posted by nan00se | September 21, 2012, 1:40 pm
  24. Sorry, John. Tout Gwen all you want – you’re allowed your own opinion – but I disagree with your point of view on that subject and TOTALLY agree with all the above comments re Gwen. I didn’t like the character *before* she ever joined Torchwood, and I haven’t seen anything since to change my mind (nor have I seen any character growth or development), and certainly don’t see her as necessary or filling any need for the show. She could be replaced by any other incompetent, lying, stubborn, shrill, inconsiderate, selfish animal, vegetable, or mineral, and the show wouldn’t have suffered.

    I found all the other members of the team much more interesting than her, and nearly all of the guest actors, as well. Killing off all the other characters and marginalizing Jack won’t (didn’t) change my opinion of her, and I’m one of those who feels offended when people insist that “she is us”. No, other than having female genes, she’s nothing like me. My parents raised me to NOT be anything like Gwen (before I was out of my teens), and I’m VERY grateful that they did. (I would be a bit more tolerant of Gwen’s behaviour in a teenager. In a 30+ year old woman, it’s inexcusable.) I don’t imagine John would be very happy to be told that the Jack of COE and MD is “everyman” – when that “everyman” [Jack] is someone who kills family members, wanders off for sex with strangers in the middle of a worldwide emergency, is ignored/marginalized/made the butt of jokes because of the sex of his one-night-stands/murdered by his lover and then turned over to be abused and tortured by many, many people.

    It’s a pity that TW only consists of 26 episodes. Whatever the 27th episode and those afterward are, well, it’s not TW in my “book”. I’m picky about what I read. I tried the earlier TW novels, and was turned off by them. For now, I’ll stick to reading fanfic by the good fanfic writers who remember what TW is and who the TW characters are, who write believable and interesting stories, and who understand and use continuity, correct grammar, vocabulary, and good structure in their writing.

    Posted by Taffy | September 22, 2012, 4:05 am
  25. To get back to the subject…

    Just finished it and I liked this book !
    I’m a fan of Jack and there is plenty of Jack !
    I’m happy !

    Posted by Potiron | September 22, 2012, 11:54 am
  26. Thank you very much for posting this interview. I have bought and read “Exodus Code”, and enjoyed the continuation of Jack’s story post-Miracle Day. This book would make the perfect fifth series of Torchwood, in my opinion; and I hope John and Carole will write more Jack-centric novels in the future.

    Posted by Beverley | September 22, 2012, 3:15 pm
  27. As TW book written by JB and his sister I am sure it will recieve support but as a series or film I cannot see it working.The last two TW series have relied very much on anticipation,surprise and suspense to draw viewers in and much of the originality,sharp dialogue,charismatic team acting and quirky fun which made it a cult series has dissapeared.The fact that we would know the storyline and out come makes it unlikely to be marketed under the current TW franchise which is following very much in the stadardised format of todays series.Films which are based on novels usually go for works of literature which have more substance and are either literary or cult sucesses.The exception perhaps being Game of Thrones but from all accounts that has very high production standards.I certainly hope they do not use it if it means TW continues in the vien of Miracle Day.

    Posted by nan00se | September 22, 2012, 5:02 pm
    • Nan00se, MANY books are turned into TV series or films. Just look at the BBC and ITV’s recent drama commissions. I’m sorry, but your arguments don’t really hold water.

      Posted by Beverley | September 22, 2012, 6:16 pm
  28. If you re read what I wrote you will see I did not say books are not turned into series or films -I said when they do they are usually books with literary or cult credibility as per Paradise End,Dickens, Austen or have a cult readership like Cloud Atlas,Game of Thrones and the aim is too create something which brings an original literary work to life on screen.By original i mean something with newly concieved charactors,plot etc.It is very rare they use lightwieght fictional add ons to a TV series which is what Exodus Code is and when they have its mainly to please fans and not for artistic merit I personally cannot see the point in them making a film of it when a new unknown series would create more of a buzz..Alot of the series being produced in the US at the moment rely on anticipation,suspense etc the Living Dead,Lost,the Wire so why base a new series of Torchwood on something where the outcome is known.

    Posted by nan00se | September 22, 2012, 6:45 pm
    • I have read and enjoyed both “Exodus Code” and this interview with the authors. I wish John and Carole Barrowman every success in this and any future ventures, Torchwood or otherwise.

      Posted by Beverley | September 22, 2012, 7:30 pm
  29. A great interview and a great book – more please!

    Posted by Evie | September 24, 2012, 2:10 pm
  30. I think it’d be better reading the book first and then made a comment.
    Please don’t judge before giving it a chance.
    At least from my reading (still on the way) mainly,it’s about Jack’s adventure and very enjoyable book (however I also don’t like Gwen character that much as many fans).

    Thanks for a good interview anyway.*(o^冖^o)*

    Posted by monchari | September 25, 2012, 5:50 am
  31. One of the purposes of reviews and critiques is to help viewers or reader’s decide if this is a piece of fiction that might interest them.We all have limited time and finances to pursue our liesure interests and I certainly would not want to buy a book which I then fail to read because it does not interest me.From my perspective i will read multiple critiques and listen to individual reasoned opinions if necessary before reading a book.TV programme add ons like this books are not somethong i would normally read so i rely on what others have to say before I make a decision. This includes the articulate and informative posts by those on this forum who have not read the book but are put off by the previewed material.What i find does not help with that decision making process is when people say -I just like the book as it gives you liitle insight into why the person commenting has made that decision.I do not as a rule subscribe to the celebrity culture that if it has a brand name or celebrity attached to an item it must be worth buying. unless through my knowledge of that person i am sure that what they offer will be of merit.

    Posted by nan00se | September 25, 2012, 11:54 am
  32. I am not interested in the book because I am a Torchwood fan of season one and two. JB fans will laugh and say, why are you here? Why should you have an opinion? Because that’s what it is to be a fan. I am still hopeful that TPTB will see that fans of the older series still exsist and yes, we’d like our campy, fun, disfunctional but much loved team back, please.

    Posted by Beverly Pom | September 25, 2012, 9:27 pm
  33. I rather like Gwen. I may be a minority, but I’ll be a vocal one. I don’t get others’ problems with her as stated repeatedly here. Gwen is very real, very human, very believable. She provided the the POV character for the original series and the entryway into the weird world of TORCHWOOD. I enjoy her very much.

    Posted by Rick Smith | September 25, 2012, 9:45 pm
  34. It saddens me that so many articles are over-run by what seems to be a small group of complainers. I see the same names/pen names time and time again under negative comments on various sites. The comments on this article do not seem to reflect the audience as a whole; whenever an article related to Torchwood – the first show that really spoke to me and holds a speical place in my heart – is posted I see it retweeted and reblogged on campaign groups, and “anti” communities. I have no idea what people are trying to achieve; it seems that by trying to shout the loudest they think their views can be more considered that those of people who appreicate quietly.

    Recently I have found this group very disrespectful towards professional writers and actors. I find it the height of rudeness to *entirely* dismiss someones artistic contributions (on paper or on television) either due to preconceived prejudices or an unhappiness about storyline direction. What happened to “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all?” What happened to treating others with respect, regardless of a conflict of view on something so trivial as television? It dismays me that people like John and Carole, Russell T Davies and Jane Espenson (all individuals I admire tremendously for their writing, attitude and willingness to explore issues other people won’t) are given so much hassle over merely trying to write something that will examining certain themes and storylines. Might be because I am shy and rarely outspoken, but I don’t understand the point in saying “I am not going to read this book at all” or telling someone that their opinion on a character is wrong. It’s very ugly. The worst I’ve seen is people making aspersions about Russell T Davies relationship with his partner of 14 years, whilst he was undergoing chemotherapy in Manchester, because they didn’t like the way he wrote Torchwood.

    I mostly avoid fandom because it can be a very ugly place and makes me feel small and disregarded because of the way I see things. Sometimes I get the impression my opinion is worth nothing because it happens to be different.

    Back to the novel, I liked it because it captured the swashbuckling spirit of its omnisexual lead character. I found it astonishingly well researched in regards to medicine and geography; the characters were written true to the past six years of development; It offered critique of society and had a very, very strong Welsh feel. It delivered on everything I ask for in a novel, everything I ask from the science-fiction genre in general and I have doubt that it could succeed if adapted for the screen.

    Posted by Colin Terry | September 27, 2012, 4:56 pm
    • Or maybe the problem is that there is only a small group of unhappy yet still somehow interested people left, because this is a free page here, not a closed group, not a facebook run by somebody how is a die hard Barrowman, or Davies, or even Ianto fan, so I can’t help but wonder why are there are not more fans posting positive responses. They are just as free to speak up here then the ones who don’t like certain things.

      “If you can’t say anything nice say nothing at all”, well sadly that’s not democratic. Why shouldn’t people be allowed to voice criticism? Just because somebody else might not like it? Criticism, if understood in the right way, is the best way to learn. I seriously doubt that Torchwood will return to it’s roots, even return in general, but if I would be involved in the production, I would at least inform myself what the fans think. If I can support their idea is another thing. If John Barrowman reads the comments here he can either think: “Well I did it my way and can’t mollycoodle those fans” ,or he can think: “****, I lost out quite a few possible readers and sold books.” That’s up to him, nobody can tell him what to do.

      And I don’t think people have insulted the actor etc here, the person running this page made it very clear early on that this would not be tolerated.

      Now RTDs partner, I wish the best to him and I hope we’ll hear that he’s on his way back to full health soon. The only thing that makes me scratch my head a bit is that within a week or two, Mr.Davies first stepped back from Torchwood because his partner’s illness and then it was announced that he will produce a new show for the BBC (due to air sometime now). I can understand that this confused people and made them wonder if it was him trying not to say that Torchwood is dead. Personally, being a mod on a forum myself which has, among others, also many unhappy fans I can tell you that we had quite a discussion about this, but nobody stepped over the line and wished Mr.Davies and/or his partner something bad. They would have been out.

      As for the option on the character (I guess you’re talking about Gwen), well it was John who made her “everybody”, and with that me as well. And it’s not, and I take my right to defend myself against that.

      John Barrowman has hinted more then once that old characters could play a role in this novel, which makes it only fair that people who might have thought about buying it, now say thanks but not thanks, don’t you think?

      Posted by Aimèetheclassictorchwoodfan | September 27, 2012, 9:47 pm
    • You are so right here Colin “What happened to treating others with respect, regardless of a conflict of view on something so trivial as television?” indeed.

      I’m part of the fandom that didn’t like CoE and even less MD. I have always esposed my critics in a polite and civil way, not only saying that Iliked or dind’t liked TW, but also explaining the reasons lying behind my liking and disliking.

      I know and understand that noone is happy when their job is criticised, especially when it is criticised in a negative way; I know that I’m not happy when that happens, but… it happens. When CoE was airend, more then 3 years ago, part of the fandom (and not just the Ianto’s fans, believe me on this because I know people that couldn’t stand Ianto and none the less they thought CoE was awful) criticised it in a very negative way, not only saying they didn’t like it, but explaining exactly why, for what reasons, they didn’t. The writers especially Mr. Davies and Mr. Moran, and the producers attacked and insulted, some time even in a personal way, the ones who dared to criticise their job. They said they received death threats, which was not true and some of them have retracted this lie later on; they called those persons “bunch of ming mong”, “hysterical women”, “people wtihout a real life”, Mr. Davies said that if people couldn’t understand “real, seroius, drama” they should go and watch Supernatural and reading poetry.

      Now I’m asking you “”What happened to treating others with respect, regardless of a conflict of view on something so trivial as television” or in this case a book?

      So you think that it is perfectly normal for professional writers, producers, actors to insult people who dares to espress their opinions in a civil and respectful way, but the audience, the fans can’t criticise their jobs. With what he said Mr. Davies rubbished other people jobs. In a couple of interviews John Barrowman said that his book is the first real TW novel, that was not very nice towards all the others who wrote the previous novles. Do you really think that it was ok for them to do so?

      I have always thought that constructive criticism can help us to improve our job so we can avoid to make the same mistakes in the future.

      It is not even the case of “if you don’t like it don’t watch/read it” because if I choose to watch a show and then I don’t like it, I have the right to espress a negative opinion/critics, even more if I am a fan of that show.
      I watched CoE and I was really disappointed by the story, it was stupid, badly written, full of plotholes and the characters were so “out of character”. As I still loved TW I gave MD a chance for a couple of episodes then I stopped watching because the story was even more stupid and badly written the CoE, with the use of serious and delicate topics such as paedophilia, holocaust, illness, religions, etc. in a very disrespectful and offensive way just to create scandal, so the writers could say “look at us we are so edgy, so avant-gardish, noone has the courage to use those topics”.

      Mrs Espenson was on twitter when MD aired with the need to explain what was happening in the story, and when she was asked if she had watched TW before and knew about the characters background because there were so many mistakes in MD, she said that no she didn’t know TW and its characters and that we should ask to Mr. Davies. That basically summon what poor job had been done for MD. Whys do you think that the audience shouldn’t call and criticise the writers on their job?

      I have a real life, I have family and friends and my job is quite hectic, so I have a really small amount of “me time”, that means I need to choose carefully what I watch and what I read, so I usually listen to reviews and to what people say and I look for synopsis and even spoilers in the context of my liking and disliking.

      In regard of Exodus Code the things I heard and read suggest me to not buy the book. I don’t like Gwen and I don’t want to read another story where she is the centre of the story and Jack will run all around the universe to save her. As I already said this sadden me because I love Carole wrting style and I love Jack Harkness.

      I have never offended the people who like Gwen or other characters, not here not elsewhere; while more then once I have been offended for liking Tosh, Owen and Ianto and the “old” TW.

      As for the fact that you see always the same names on different forums, blogs, well me too I recognise them, both the admirers and the detractors of the currrent TW; they are all people who still love the show, even if a lot of fans left for different reasons, but I think that it is a good thing if people still talk about TW.

      As for Mr. Davies private life, while I hope and wish that his partner can totally and completely recover very soon, and go back to his life, I think that private life must stay exactly that… private. It none of our business what happens in writers, actors, producers private life.

      Posted by bri | September 28, 2012, 9:33 am
  35. I have never felt that critiquing writers or actors perfomances should be considered rude as long as long as the writer articulates the reasons for her opinions.It happens across many forums and on the best of these the discussions take place in a mature and open enviorment- for me it is what makes forums etc fun to be apart of.I tend to avoid forums where there is to much bias as any real discussion becomes difficult.To often it leads to personal criticisms directed at those who hold differing opinions.I can understand that some people will love JB’s novel but I take a more judicious approach.I currently reading three books including the wonderful Cloud Atlas and have a stash of books waiting for my attention and forum’s like this one help me decide if it is worth adding to the pile.Its the same with films and to some degree TV shows.I listen to what people say about the previewed content in the context of my own likes and dislikes as well as reading the reviews of those who have read it taking in to account their bias as well.
    As to whether thesame people post on forums well I recognise people from other forums here from both the admirers and the detractors of the currrent TW-they are all peoplewho enjoy the internet and forums and have/had a passion for Torchwood so not surprising they pop up all over the place.Fandoms are very diverse so it not surprising you get contrasting opinions.

    Posted by nan00se | September 28, 2012, 12:40 am
    • Critiques with reason are always acceptable – that’s a principle I’ve operated on as editor for the last 20 years. Saying something – or worse, someone – is **** is not going to fly.

      Posted by PS | September 28, 2012, 6:57 am
      • One of the reasons I follow this site is because i do think sci fi is for the most part impartial,supports open discussion and keeps me up to date.So none of my comments about bias were directed a this sight.I think this was a good interview which provoked an interesting discussion.I have actually stopped following John Barrowman interviews etc because alot of it has become very repetitive and for me inconsequential but the interview above raised some interesting points which people have addressed.To often celebreties make statements such as the one about TW novels, that someone has mentioned above, and no one questions the exact context of what has been said. Artists and writers should not be held above criticism or analysis.They have an access to the media ,in which they can promote their views ,books ,tv shows etc which most of us do not have, To accept what they say without dissection for me is symtomatic of the lazy thinking that leads to the type of reactions that Russel T Davies endeavoured to reference in the flawed Miracle Day and has been explored more succinctly and with more charactor engagment in many of Chekov’s plays and other TV/films.I do agree about the ****** but equally for someone to argue that we should not allow critical feedback because some people admire the artist feels equally as questionable.Russel for instance has a very variable body of work some of which deserves the praise it has recieved but in many instances his work is recieved with a kind of blind adulation which negates any true analysis.Equally I understand that to see criticism of someone you admire can make you feel uncomfortable or even defensive but that is not for me personally a reason to refrain from reading it or responding.The internet provides us with the opportunity to respond and as long as we used reasoned argumemts, avoid unecessary derogatory language and personalisation this is fine by me.

        Posted by nan00se | September 28, 2012, 10:14 am
        • Thank you for the comments about the site. Reviews will always display the author’s personal feelings (the two Doctor Who reviewers this season, for example, disagree violently about both the Dalek story and the Gunslinger one; as it happened by chance, the person who liked it was the one assigned the review before we saw the episodes) but news, and interviews, shouldn’t. I was pleasantly surprised by the depth of answers that John and Carole gave to the questions. My personal views about Miracle Day can be seen in the reviews I wrote at the time, on here

          Posted by PS | September 28, 2012, 10:33 am
      • You know, my problem is that with the comment about fans going from side to side complaining above also links them to people who acted rude and inhuman when RTDs partner fell ill or insulted actors directly. I, personally, feel insulted by that. The only time I might have gotten rude in all the years between CoE and now is when the news of the character Oswald leaked and RTD called the idea of a likable paedophile delicious. My best friend was sexually abused by the guy who adopted her all through her childhood and teenage years, so forgive me if that triggers a few moods.

        So what if fans do complain everywhere, isn’t it a free world I think as long as people stay polite in what they say, they should have the right to do so.

        I’ve run a hospital ward for almost 10 years now, believe it or not, I’m not a young thing with way too much time and an Internet connection. I’ve seen people die from cancer, I’ve seen “real” drama, I’ve dealt with different options in one team of nurses, doctors and therapists, I’ve dealt with criticism, both justified and not justified. Torchwood, among other shows, used to be my get-away from all of that, fun time. So yeah, forgive me, but I am disappointed and I take and use the right to voice it when and where ever I want. Just like everybody else has the right to voice that they liked something.

        Posted by aimeetheclassictorchwoodfan | September 28, 2012, 3:03 pm
  36. I agree entirely that in order to comment on the book it is necessary to read it. As I have no intention of reading or viewing anything other than Classic Torchwood, I shall never be able to give a forthright opinion of Exodus Code.

    I will, however, say that I find JB’s comment likening Gwen to all women is insulting. I do not cheat on my partner; neither do I drug him. I do not covet my friend’s and colleague’s significant others. I do not assume that I always know best and that I am ‘special’.

    No, I am not like Gwen at all and I thank Heaven for it.

    Posted by Jo | October 3, 2012, 5:29 pm
    • It seems you have misunderstood John’s comments. He has not likened Gwen to all women in this interview. What he HAS said is that Gwen is the viewers’ way in to Torchwood. Her character serves the same dramatic purpose as the Doctor’s Companions, that of the outsider who asks the questions the viewers would ask: who are you? What is Torchwood? Gwen is the viewers’ entry into the fantasy world of Torchwood. I would have thought that anyone who’d watched Torchwood from the first episode would have realised that.

      Posted by Beverley | October 5, 2012, 6:00 pm
  37. Oh John…I used to like you so much……..what the heck has happened to you? Torchwood is gone because everything that the fans loved was destroyed… either literally or figuritvely. The hub, the SUV, and most importantly the cast we adored are gone…Jack has morphed into a completely different…and a pretty much unlikable one at that. As for Gwen…well, she startered off mildly annoying, but had moments that I liked her… gradually she has become one of the most irrating and wholly unlikable characters I have ever had to put up with in a fandom.
    Either use the Dr Who “time can be re-written” scenario and bring back what we love or just let Torchwood rest in peace. It deserves better.

    Posted by Carla Pennington | October 5, 2012, 2:30 pm
  38. “She’s us–the audience. I think Gwen is a critical point of view for every story to help the audience make sense of the TW world.” He is making as assumption that that is how viewers saw her partly because Russel believed that is how he wanted vierwers to see her.But she was not my audience point of view–and never has been.Over the course of the four series i have found the charactor increasingly overwritten and her interpretation of events far to simplistic.He rants and monologues are in each series became more of an irritant to the viweing process.I really think Torchwood needs to find a new plot device.The radio plays and the two torchwood novels i have read seem to have managed with out it.

    Posted by nan00se | October 5, 2012, 6:24 pm
    • Gwen is Torchwood’s leading female character, and she was created to be the audience’s “point of entry” into the Hub and the Torchwood team. She’s there if you want her to be. If not, fine. But clearly JB feels she’s non-negotiable, which is why he said what he did. It’s his opinion, as leading man, and he is entitled to express it.

      Posted by Beverley | October 5, 2012, 9:03 pm
  39. She was created as a point of entry which was fine in the first few episodes but as for providing the audience perspective that is really only a decision that an individual viewer can make and not the writer.Equally helping us make sense of it feels a little bit demeaning it either assumes the audience is unble to which could in fact be related to a lack of clarity within the writing or a need by th eauthor to insure we see his point of view.This has always for me been a weakness in Russel’s writing.He ssems to feel the need to spell things out for the audience to the point where we ar told what we should be thinking and feeling.I much prefer scripts which leave the viewers to think these things out for themselves through the quality of the storyline and to some degree the subtext in the acting of which there was very little in Miracle Day.So John may feel its non negotiable but ultimately it is up to either the reader or perspective buyer to make that decision.And from my perspective it is unlikely that i will either read the book or watch Torchwood again if it continues in the vein of the last series.There is far to much good drama out there to continue something i feel is poorly concieved and bordering on tedious.I have now read several reviews and listen to/read several interviews and nothing so far has realy altered my opinion that this is anything but a Miracle Day followup in both its storyline and its overall tone

    Posted by nan00se | October 5, 2012, 10:24 pm
    • As I said, Nan00se, Gwen is the point of entry character into Torchwood, much as the Doctor’s Companion fulfils the Role in Doctor Who. And that “perspective” existed long before Russell T Davies began writing for either show, and continues today with Steven Moffat. What you feel is a weakness, many millions feel is a strength. It seems Torchwood isn’t for you. What a shame you’ve pre-judged “Exodus Code” without actually reading it. But that’s your opinion and you’re entitled to it. It just happens NOT to be mine, and so I am more than happy to say that I have read the book, enjoyed it very much, and look forward to the return of Torchwood, Jack and Gwen, in whatever medium, in the future. Great job, John and Carole – more please!

      Posted by Beverley | October 6, 2012, 7:43 am
      • Beverly I understand that the doctors companons are often seen as an entry point into the show but they have always seemed to me to have a wider breadth within thier roles and have been used with much more subtlelty than Gwen.To often as in Children of Earth and Miracle Day RTD uses Gwen along with other plot devices to overstate his view which in itself becomes tedious.Millions of people love Shades of Gray but I am not one.Beverly prejudgements are part of life.We use them to make the preferred purchases as in books,to choose which play we might see if we are in London and deciding what television shows we watch at night so I have no reservations in making that decision.But as you say each to their own opinions.I am glad you have enjoyed the book I know others who have read it and have not been as enthusiastic.

        Posted by nan00se | October 6, 2012, 9:29 am
        • Yes, Nan00se, each to their own, and we’ll just have to agree to disagree. Unlike most of the people here, I have read “Exodus Code”, so I do feel qualified to comment on it in an informed manner. If JB, who is Torchwood’s leading man, feels that the story needs to include Gwen, the leading female character, then that’s absolutely fine by me. The storyline was approved by Russell T Davies and the decision-makers at BBCWorldwide, so it’s undoubtedly “official” policy for both Jack and Gwen to be part of Torchwood’s future.

          Posted by Beverley | October 6, 2012, 10:48 am
  40. Why is everyone being so negative? I mean really?! Imagine if Eve saw this! This would break her heart guys, keep those idiotic thoughts in your pea sized brains yeah. You may not realize that saying that stuff about the character, to an actor, makes them think that they’ve done a **** job and Eve is one of the best actress’ I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting.

    Posted by Yuki | December 29, 2012, 10:28 pm

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