Exclusive: The Mind-Blowing Torchwood Twist No One Will See Coming

First up, here’s what we know about Torchwood‘s rapturously anticipated fourth season (airing stateside on Starz): It will have an extra- international flavor (including an extended stopover in L.A.), Bill Pullman has been cast as the Big Bad, and joining Captain Jack’s team full-time will be Mekhi Phfifer and Alexa Havins. But here’s what we don’t know: What it’ll be about! Well, put on your thinking caps and hold onto your hats.

The new season of Torchwood asks the provocative (and arguably horrifying) question, “What would happen if the entire human race became immortal?”

Now before you hand me over to the 456 for committing the ultimate injustice (impossible asterisk quizzes) know this: I’ll be filling in letters throughout the day, culminating with an all-out reveal right around 5:30 pm/ET — which, coincidentally, is around the time Torchwood boss Russell T. Davies will be meeting with reporters at the Television Critics Assoc. press tour to talk up (you guessed it) the new season.

So here’s what you do now: Start breaking down the riddle in the comments section, come back later (and later still) as I fill in the blanks, and then plant yourselves here at around 5:30 pm/ET for the full reveal and (hopefully) bonus details live from the Torchwood panel at TCA.

Oh, and one last thing: Said premise is going to make Torchwood: Children of the Earth look like mere child’s play. You thought that conceit was dark? Just wait.

THIS JUST IN FROM PRESS TOUR: “Not a single person on Earth dies” confirms Davies of the premise for the fourth season, which will bear the title Torchwood: Miracle Day. “The old stay old. It’s great news for some people, but globally it’s an instant population boom. Earth relies on people dying. Suddenly you’re affecting everyone on the planet. That’s where the Torchwood team comes in.”



Comments (190)

  • I’m getting the feeling the answer is already in the comments what with the whole blatantly ignoring giving us clues to the last two words.

    Comment by LD – January 7, 2011 12:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • *Sorry, didn’t edit my sentence right. that should read “…blatantly ignoring the last two words.”

      Comment by LD – January 7, 2011 12:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • no matter how you edit it, I think you’re right about the last 2 words being held till the end.

        Comment by Myra – January 7, 2011 02:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Following with the “vanished” idea..
    What would happen if the entire human race simply vanished?

    Comment by Heidi – January 7, 2011 12:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • It would cease to be Torchwood and become a copy of The World Without Us?

      Comment by Jacen – January 7, 2011 01:38 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • its what would happen if Rhy ______ hard? jack ________ ________

    Comment by Bethany – January 7, 2011 12:17 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • What would happen if the entire human race never existed?

    Comment by Heather – January 7, 2011 12:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • What would happen if the entire race became timelords?

    Comment by JEK – January 7, 2011 12:30 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • *entire human race….

      Comment by JEK – January 7, 2011 12:30 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Been done. Don’t you remember when we were all The Master?

      Comment by Soogle – January 7, 2011 01:22 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I remember that! It was AWESOME being The Master.

        Comment by Sarah – January 7, 2011 03:38 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • you just made me LOL.

          and I agree with you. :) it was Hawt. :)

          Comment by Jen – January 7, 2011 05:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Darn, looks like I may actually have got it right! The last word clue is **m*****.

    Comment by Sebastian – January 7, 2011 12:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • yeah immortal still work, but so does vampires.

      Comment by sb – January 7, 2011 12:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I hope it’s not Vampires. Not because I would not be correct, I just think a story line featuring a world full of Vamps would (pun alert) SUCK! lol

        Comment by Sebastian – January 7, 2011 12:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • If that happens without Captain John Hart, it would be a crime against self-aware meta.

          Comment by Foxy – January 7, 2011 01:59 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • What would happen if the entire human race became immortal?

    Comment by Carey – January 7, 2011 12:38 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • What would happen if the entire human race became timelord?

    Comment by Carey – January 7, 2011 12:40 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • one more time for this page…
    What would happen if the entire human race ——(6) -m——(8)

    6: should, became, ceased…
    8: immortal, cybermen, infected, diseased, or ???

    The ONLY word that works so far for the last word is immortal.
    As Sebastian has guessed…
    “What would happen if the entire race became immortal?”

    Comment by Danni – January 7, 2011 12:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Okay, Vampires could, in theory, work for the last word. However, it would make for a sucky storyline. I expect more from Mr Davies. “Immortal” would make for a VERY interesting, compelling, and “provocative” story (and it would be more than a little horrifying)

      Comment by Danni – January 7, 2011 12:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • What if Ianto was alive? NO, I guess not. LOL Darn.

    Comment by Liam – January 7, 2011 12:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • What would happen if the entire human race became homeless?

    That could have multiple meanings — everyone is the common term “homeless” as in having no house or something happens to the Earth.

    Comment by Rakey – January 7, 2011 12:49 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • That could work…
      There were more than a few episodes of Doctor Who in which the human race had to take to the stars (be it short term or permanently) “The Beast Below” is the most recent example, though not written by Davies (duh)
      During the “golden” Davies era…The toclafane via utopia is one example

      Comment by Danni – January 7, 2011 12:55 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • What would happen if the entire human race became nameless?
    What would happen if the entire human race became numbered?
    What would happen if the entire human race became pumpkins?
    What would happen if the entire human race became seminude?

    Comment by Rakey – January 7, 2011 12:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • LOL! Seminude would make Jack a very happy man.

      Comment by Amy – January 7, 2011 01:15 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The whole human race are Vampires thing has already been done before. Didn’t you see or hear of “DAYBREAKERS” or “PRIEST”? It’s gets boring after awhile. But, I like the “immortal” or “vanished” theory.

    Comment by Celeste – January 7, 2011 01:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • What would happen if the entire human race vanished tomorrow?

    Comment by daniel – January 7, 2011 01:15 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Ooooh! Brilliant!

      Comment by Christina – January 7, 2011 01:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • So teasing!!!!

    Comment by Magz – January 7, 2011 01:18 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Is there any way John Barrowman can be nude for the whole show? :)

    Comment by Shelly – January 7, 2011 01:23 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Shelly, I LOVE the way you think! He’d probably be more than willing to oblige us, too. :)

      Comment by Michelle – January 7, 2011 01:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I get the impression that he certainly wouldn’t have a problem with that. :)

      Comment by Michael – January 7, 2011 01:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yes please!

      Comment by Emily – January 7, 2011 01:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • That would be perfect!

      Comment by Briana – January 7, 2011 01:49 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Shelly, you are BRILLIANT. I think John Barrowman is one of the flat out sexiest men, the guy heats things up no matter WHO he’s flirting with.

      Comment by lauri – January 7, 2011 02:54 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • AND it’s on Stars (here in the states)! HE SHOULD TOTALLY DO IT. Actually, in “Bad Wolf,” when Jack is “defabricated,” they were supposed to show his backside…. but the editors said it was a family show and cut that part out. I was watching the Doctor Who Confidential, and he was TOTALLY nude. *sigh*

      Comment by Sarah – January 7, 2011 03:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Oh Shelly, don’t we wish! :)

      Comment by Kate – January 7, 2011 10:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Ugh. God no. I hope he keeps his saggy middle aged butt as covered as possible. Unlike his face he can’t botox that.

      Comment by dolly – January 8, 2011 07:16 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • What if the whole human race became zombified?

    Comment by Ryan D – January 7, 2011 01:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • What if the whole human race became comatose?

    Comment by Vassily – January 7, 2011 02:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The solution is: What would happen if the human race became immortal.

    Comment by Hans – January 7, 2011 02:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • given the thematic relevance of cheating death in RTD’s last work, The End of Time, this does seem the natural fit. So I’m guessing Bill Pullman’s character finds a way of cheating death, thus the technicality for escaping death row (double jeopardy, can’t be put to death for the same crime) and becoming an instant celebrity. He is the first popularized account of a man who cannot die. So then Rex must be interested in this, leading to the Torchwood team up. interesting. I’m guessing the opening act is the Execution of Oswald Jones.

      Comment by David – January 7, 2011 02:18 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Oh goody! I really have a craving for watching something ‘darker’ than a child bleeding out of his facial orifices. Not.

    Comment by Amy – January 7, 2011 02:20 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • good drama though.

      Comment by David – January 7, 2011 02:21 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • But surely you can have drama without taking your character into such dark places? I don’t recall anyone sacrificing their own grandchild on Buffy.

        Comment by Ericadawn16 – January 7, 2011 02:25 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • And yet on Angel, a little baby was taken into Hell. One can banter on what’s worse. Point is, that was the ending they had in mind and it was a good one for the same reason Joel McHale can take a pencil, call it steve, and break it along with a part of our heart: we empathize.

          Comment by David – January 7, 2011 02:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I dunno, the antagonists could capture Gwen and her baby and since they’re both immortal they could torture the baby to persuade Gwen to talk… is that dark enough?

      Comment by Michael – January 7, 2011 02:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • That sounds like a good story line.

        Comment by Leila – January 7, 2011 02:30 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Hello… now I want to write a fic to that….

        Comment by Sarah – January 7, 2011 03:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • YESSSSSSSSS! I was RIGHT!

    Comment by Anna – January 7, 2011 02:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Seriously? Everyone is going to be immortal? Wow, how boring! Who the hell needs rescuing when nobody can die??

    Comment by Kassie – January 7, 2011 02:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Immortal, how boring. How is it a great storyline? Nobody needs to be rescued if they can’t die.

    Comment by Kassie – January 7, 2011 02:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Why couldn’t they have all become immortal BEFORE Ianto, Tosh and Owen died?

    Comment by Vanessa – January 7, 2011 02:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Because that would have been rubbish.

      I really like this idea – I can imagine people walking casually along the street shooting each other for fun.

      And remember, just because you can’t die it doesn’t mean you can’t be put through excruciating pain. Imagine the stuff Jack Bauer could have done to extract information if his victim couldn’t die.

      Comment by Michael – January 7, 2011 02:45 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Sounds like a “be careful what you wish for” scenario they’ll be exploring. I’m excited. Not being able to die sounds cool, but we have learned through Jack what that really means. Seeing RTD anticipate how humanity on a whole will react to such a thing will be interesting to take on as a viewer.

        Comment by LD – January 7, 2011 03:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Hot damn I got it right!!!!!!!!!!! :-)

    Comment by Sebastian – January 7, 2011 02:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The Torchwood twist everyone saw coming.. :)

    Comment by Emily – January 7, 2011 02:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • So I wonder if in reversing immortality for the entire human race Jack will have to give up his?

    Comment by Tucker – January 7, 2011 02:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • But how will that work, when we already know that Jack will survive to become the Face of Bo?

      Comment by Emily – January 7, 2011 02:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Davies still holds out that it isn’t definitive that the Face of Boe is Jack.

        Comment by Tucker – January 7, 2011 02:54 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • The Face of Boe thing was done as a joke and I hope they leave it that way.

        I know John loves it, but there are way too many plotholes with that scenario (not the least of which being Jack was standing right there when Martha & 10 were discussing Boe’s death).

        I hope he manages to escape having to live forever, but I’d like it to come about differently – and in a way that doesn’t reduce everything he’s been and done to the punchline of a joke.

        Comment by JL – January 7, 2011 08:07 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • dumb! really, really dumb!

    Comment by Sheindie – January 7, 2011 02:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Well, obviously it will be a situation that affects one of team personally, which is what made C of E so heartbreaking. Unfortunately, I think it will ne Gwen, because I can’t see Jack losing anyone else….. EXCEPT Gwen.

    Comment by tracyjj50 – January 7, 2011 02:52 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Pffff….First they kill Ianto Jones to clear the field for the US (or officially to allow Jack to kill his grandson…hahaha how entertaining…) and now everyone else get to be immortal except him of course? Pffff….And they want me to give it a chance? No chance, get over it!

    Comment by Pat75 – January 7, 2011 02:55 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • PMSL. I love it – so-o-o funny.

      Comment by Michael – January 7, 2011 02:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • This, pretty much.

      Comment by Bravura – January 7, 2011 04:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Lol I so totally agree with you :)
      Love you, awesome person!

      Comment by Kynan - Janto_x_Naomily – January 7, 2011 04:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I agree with you whole heartedly.

      Comment by Jen – January 7, 2011 05:02 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • “Get over it.” Wise advice there – maybe you should take it?

      Honestly, no one cares if you’re going to watch or not. It’s your choice, but if you’re set on not watching, why are you even here?

      Personally, I think Gwen & Ianto are the most useless characters on the show and was heartbroken when Tosh died while they got to prattle on. Didn’t stop me from watching S3 and it won’t stop me from watching the rest.

      Comment by JL – January 7, 2011 08:20 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Why I am here? Because I wanted to know if they intended to bring back Ianto. Doesn’t look like it in what I read, me not happy, me says so and add “get over it” upfront before some one tells me (obviously didn’t work).
        What’s your problem?

        Comment by Pat75 – January 8, 2011 09:14 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Think about it…You drive carefully because when push comes to shove, you don’t to get hurt (or hurt other people). You eat right and exercise because you want to stay healthy, some people don’t drink or smoke for the same reason, basically people are afraid of dying. What if you removed that fear?…and do away with the moral codes many follow to ensure an afterlife (heaven, etc). Well, what if you’ll never get an afterlife because no matter what you do, no matter how good or bad you are, no matter how much or how little you take care of yourself and others, everybody, EVERYBODY, lives forever?

    I think if this storyline is done right, it’ll be interesting to say the least.

    Immorality – the great equalizer ;-)

    Comment by Sebastian – January 7, 2011 02:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I for one am still excited for this! There are a lot of possibilities here. Can’t wait for the new season.

    Comment by allison – January 7, 2011 03:00 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • well if they do become immortal….. jack isnt so special no more :(

    Comment by Bethany – January 7, 2011 03:14 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • A twist some of us saw coming…

    I like the way you think Sebastian.
    Good guess and EXCELLENT reasoning of implications!

    Comment by Danni – January 7, 2011 03:20 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Best idea I’ve read!

    Comment by Angie C. – January 7, 2011 03:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Davies will change his mind about that as he sees fit, just like every other bit of “continuity” in TW.

    Comment by AC – January 7, 2011 03:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • And of course I don’t think my post went where it was supposed to…typical me-fail.

      Comment by AC – January 7, 2011 03:49 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I still agree with you regardless of if you put it in the right place :)

      Comment by Kynan - Janto_x_Naomily – January 7, 2011 04:15 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Hardly the groundbreaking plot it was hyped up to be. Not even a big deal at all; The Twilight Zone did this years ago.

    Comment by David F – January 7, 2011 04:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • do you have a link to that doctor who confidential? i would love to see it :)

    Comment by jazzy – January 7, 2011 04:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • How long will season 4 be?

    Comment by Dan – January 7, 2011 04:13 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Let’s wait and see, I’m sure characters will drop dead like flies the second they’ll have more fans like Mr.Davies’ beloved “heart of Torchwood”. No wait, scratch “let’s wait and see” because I wouldn’t watch that show if someone would pay me for it. Torchwood died for me after CoE and by then I wished I would have left the show behind after S2 (when it was still good). RIP Torchwood, the show that could have been immortal but was killed by it’s creator.

    Comment by Donna – January 7, 2011 04:24 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • JACK HARKNESS DID YOU HAVE SEX WITH EVERYONE AGAIN.

    /”sexually-transmitted immortality” joke

    Comment by Gina – January 7, 2011 04:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • …. How will this fit into the Doctor Who storyline, I wonder. Or is Davies just going to COMPLETELY ignore that… like he does with every single thing else. *sighs* i won’t bother to watch this. Gwen-wood doesn’t interest me in the least.

    Comment by Jen – January 7, 2011 05:04 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • @Jen: Why bother Reading about it then? Oh yeah, trolls don’t need a reason… Anyway, I’m really looking forward to this! Woot!

      Comment by Seb – January 8, 2011 10:59 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Can someone please wake me up when Crusty says something interesting AND correct.

    1. First it was called The New World. Scratch that – now it’s Miracle Day.
    2. Rex was described in the original casting call as caucasian. Nope. Changed his mind. Let’s go with an actor of colour.
    3. Esther was supposed to be anything but Caucasian. Damn, but we need a cute white blonde girl instead.
    4. Production was supposed to be split between the USA and UK. Bugger that. Two weeks in Wales out of 6 months should suffice.
    5. RTD announced some of the characters would die. Mmmwhahahaha….I’m God so lets have all the characters dying….over and over and over again by making them immortal.

    Does anyone see a pattern here? As for Ianto is dead, dead, dead…well, if the pattern keeps going, I’m pretty confident we’ll him him striding through the door in a cute suit any day now.

    Back to my nap!

    Comment by Helen – January 7, 2011 11:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Am I the only one who doesn’t like the new title? “Miracle Day” sounds like some cheesy Hallmark movie. I thought “The New World” was cool… Guess not. Well as long as the show is as good as it was last season, I won’t really care what the title is.

    On a side note, why does it have to be broadcasted only on Starz? I don’t have Starz. :( I guess I’ll have to go watch it illegally online. Hooray for tiny computer screens.

    Comment by Adam – January 8, 2011 12:54 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Agreed on the name, it does sound cheesy. A New World was so much better.

      Comment by Emily – January 9, 2011 02:34 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • “globally it’s an instant population boom”—-

    Er–what? Whatever anyone thinks of RTD’s writing prowess his grasp of Population Statistics is woefully lacking. In 2009 there were approx 353,015 births per day. This is not an instant population boom.

    Comment by JennellHartmann Sierakowiak – January 9, 2011 06:03 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Well, there are births AND deaths every day. Average number of births worldwide each year is 140 million (383,000 per day. Average number of deaths worldwide per year is 57 million (156,000 per day). Therefore, if no one dies, you’ve just instantly added 227,000 EXTRA people to the population every day. I’d call that an ‘instant population boom’. Wouldn’t you?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_population

      Comment by Bob – January 12, 2011 05:51 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • My figure of births per day does not take into account deaths. Therefore, in 2009 there were 353,015 births per day. This is not an instant population boom. It would be if it happened on one continent but over the whole Earth it just isn’t when you consider the Earth has getting on for 7 billion inhabitants.

        See http://www.wholesomewords.org/missions/greatc.html for more info.

        Comment by JennellHartmann Sierakowiak – January 15, 2011 02:48 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Em, maybe they’ll all become immortal like Owen did, then we’d see the torchwood team running around incinerating everyone, and being considered “heroes”. Now that’s good TV

    Comment by Adam – January 9, 2011 12:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Whoa… that’s crazy. I’m not sure what to think about it.. but I’ll just wait and see like everyone else..heh.

    Comment by toast – January 9, 2011 12:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • One question: Since when does being immoral mean one cannot die? Vampires a are immortal yet they can die if they are killed properly. Highlander immortals live forever but can also for if properly killed. Is seems that beheading its the common link between those two examples, so perhaps that is the only way an immortal can be killed. That could be an interesting storyline – everyone is immortal but can die if separated from their cranium.

    I’m just sayin’…

    Comment by MommyWoman – January 9, 2011 10:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Captain Jack has been blown to pieces countless times in the Torchwood/Dr. Who universe and has come back to life each time. So I wouldn’t count on Mr. Davies coming up with a “normal” way of dying.

      Comment by Bob – January 12, 2011 05:54 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Crap, up there in the sentence about highlander immortals, “…can also live forever but can also DIE if properly killed.”
    Geez.

    Comment by MommyWoman – January 9, 2011 11:00 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • if everyone lives then does Ianto? i wish Tosh and Owen were still alive but that i guess will never happen but if Ianto lives i think everyone (or atleast me) will be pretty happy to keep watching right?….

    Comment by Rose – January 21, 2011 06:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

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