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Torchwood Case Study

Rob Miller | Monday August 20, 2012

Categories: GCSE, Eduqas (WJEC) GCSE, WJEC GCSE Media Studies, Hot Entries, New Media, Convergence, Digital Media, Internet, New Technologies, Television, Television Drama

Torchwood is a Science Fiction TV Drama created by Dr Who Executive Producer Russell T Davies. It is a sub genre of TV Drama as a result but to avoid confusion, Science Fiction is categorised as a genre in its own right with its own set of codes and conventions – to say Torchwood is a sub genre of TV Drama simply means it fundamentally follows the conventions of many TV Dramas but has tweaked the representations a little to give it a Science Fiction feel.

Russell T Davies wanted to develop an Americanised drama in the mould of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel but with clear linking to Doctor Who through the character of Captain Jack Harkness who appeared several times in Doctor Who as a 21st century time traveller. ‘Torchwood’ is also an anagram of the iconic series. Davies in the past had been responsible for developing challenging and critically acclaimed TV Dramas such as Queer as Folk (2000-2005) but with Torchwood and Doctor Who it was the first time he had worked with significant production values – CGI special effects, elaborate built sets and on location shooting, multiple camera technology, ensemble cast and high production value sound design.

The ensemble cast team in Torchwood are alien-hunters who are based at the Cardiff branch of the Torchwood Institute where the first three series were filmed, in house by BBC Wales both within the studio and on location in and around the Cardiff area. Welsh accents are detectable as some of the actors are drawn from South Wales and an audience familiar with the area would recognise iconic Cardiff locations used during filming like Tiger Bay. Initially broadcast on BBC3 the programme moved to BBC2 and BBC1 because of the critical and commercial success it received which evidences pre meditated scheduling techniques by the BBC who often use BBC3 to trial programmes because of its less mainstream target audience and lower audience figures. The fourth series of Torchwood...

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