Casting the new season of Torchwood on Starz
In 2011, cable network Starz plan to take you to the end of civilization with former Doctor Who producer Russell T. Davies. Don’t worry – we will hold your hand.
Late last year, I reviewed Starz original series ‘Spartacus: Blood and Sand‘ - a show I thought had incredible potential to suck an audience into a new world where backstabbing is applauded. Following the highly successful launch of Spartacus, Starz have put many new shows into production – which we will be reviewing soon – and none stands out with more dramatic potential to build a word-of-mouth audience than Torchwood, a co-production with the BBC.
Anybody who has viewed the mini-series Torchwood: Children of Earth will know it served as a fast paced 24-a-like – without Jack Bauer annoying every bone in our bodies, and with an added alien invasion. We’ve heard that Torchwood will attempt to raise the stakes in each of the ten upcoming episodes – which, like Spartacus, could lead to ratings momentum as the season progresses.
We’ve had a kick around the office about casting suggestions for the new season, and here are our top choices.
Official description: Late 20s, CIA agent, a fast-tracked high-flyer. And he knows it! Rex is fast, sharp, smart, clever, and when the situation demands it, ruthless. He’s got a lethal sense of humour – he doesn’t care if he makes enemies, he’s too busy enjoying himself.
Our take: You could pick somebody from a cancelled show like Heroes (we’re looking at you, Milo Ventimiglia) in an attempt to bring in a cult US audience – but chances are the type of fans who watch Heroes already know about this show. Bring in somebody from movies – think named actor – and try to bring in the mainstream. You want somebody smart and sexy, who’s going to able to carry off emotionally manipulating and deeply charming at the same time.
Our choices: Ryan Reynolds could be great, but he’s probably too old. Ryan Phillippe could walk a part like this – but I imagine hardcore Torchwood fans may freak out at the choice. Which, publicity wise, could actually play in the shows favor – nothing like a bit of controversy around a series to bring in an audience.
Official description: She’s early 20s, a Watch Analyst at the CIA – it’s one of the less glamorous jobs, filtering information to pass along the chain. But Esther’s determined to better herself! She’s still young, so the job hasn’t made her cynical yet – she’s still an optimist, ever hopeful, and her faith in mankind is sustained by her own Christianity.
Our take: This role changes considerably over the course of ten episodes, so needs somebody who can play a range – but who can always maintain the sympathy and belief of the audience. It’s a very tough sell to find somebody who is gentle, but could hold the screen enough to knock out other characters – and the audience – by simply being in a scene.
Our choice: There’s only one – formerly from Joss Whedon’s now departed Dollhouse, Dichen Lachman. She can play undercover, she can play confused love, she can play hope, she can play despair – and she can shoot guns in your face. The stand out actress from Dollhouse by a wide margin and fan favourite, Dichen, would drop straight into this role as she is capable of carrying emerging emotion bubbling under the surface in her sleep. Jace Lacob of Televisionary told us “She’s made to be a star and she proved that she is versatile, memorable, and compelling, no matter what role she’s playing.”
Who is your ideal casting choice? Sound off below in the comments.