I’m a big fan of Captain Jack Harkness. I think it has lots to do with that coat he always wears. Coats are cool, just like fezzes and bow ties and Stetsons. The only difference is that Captain Jack doesn’t ever tell you his coat is cool. It just is. When I finished watching the last Torchwood series I was very sad that I would be seeing no more of my favorite overly-sexed, wise-cracking, too handsome for his own good, hero. There was talk about the series returning and about who exactly would come back, but it all seemed to be in that ethereal Never Never Land that holds things like the possibility of new episodes of Firefly. Yet with the unveiling of the new trailer for Torchwood: Miracle Day, it finally feels like this one is going to happen, but will it be any good?
Captain Jack looks good. He’s got his snappy coat and a fabulous little moment in the trailer that is so typically him it made me want to scream for joy. After an explosion sends him and a woman flying out of a window and into a water fountain he smiles, holds out his hand, and introduces himself. Yeah, that’s the Captain Jack I know and love. Even Gwen has a great scene in which she proudly declares herself Welsh and kicks the snot out of a snarky American. This brings up exactly what makes me nervous about what otherwise promises to be the triumphant return of one of my favorite shows. It’s what I like to call “The American Effect.”
The thing is, British programs just aren’t the same as their American counterparts. There are more than a few shows that were hugely successful in their original British incarnations, but that completely fell to pieces and failed to connect once they were remade for an American audience. The one that always comes to mind for me is Coupling which is one of my all-time favorites shows, but whose American version was rightly canceled in just a few episodes. There’s something that gets lost in the translation. Maybe its stuck in that Never Never Land I mentioned earlier. This is what has me nervous about the new Torchwood.
Although this isn’t a remake, but a continuation of the original series. It’s no longer set in Wales. They’ve moved to Los Angeles, which sort of feels like the anti-Wales with all the sun, and there are new American characters. We still have Captain Jack and Gwen, but the rest of the team is new. I’m really hoping they’ve kept the flavor of the original setting and not lost it’s grittiness in the move across the ocean. The previews do look great though, and are more than enough to keep me counting down the days until the series premiere on July 8th. As nervous as I am about the changes, as long as Captain Jack and his cool coat are there, I’ll be watching.
What do you think? Will the changes improve the show or are they a bit worrisome?