Exclusive

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 are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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190 Comments
  1. LD says:

    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.

  2. Heidi says:

    Following with the “vanished” idea..
    What would happen if the entire human race simply vanished?

  3. Bethany says:

    its what would happen if Rhy ______ hard? jack ________ ________

  4. Heather says:

    What would happen if the entire human race never existed?

  5. JEK says:

    What would happen if the entire race became timelords?

  6. Sebastian says:

    Darn, looks like I may actually have got it right! The last word clue is **m*****.

  7. Carey says:

    What would happen if the entire human race became immortal?

  8. Carey says:

    What would happen if the entire human race became timelord?

  9. Danni says:

    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?”

    • Danni says:

      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)

  10. Liam says:

    What if Ianto was alive? NO, I guess not. LOL Darn.

  11. Rakey says:

    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.

    • Danni says:

      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

  12. Rakey says:

    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?

  13. Celeste says:

    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.

  14. daniel says:

    What would happen if the entire human race vanished tomorrow?

  15. Magz says:

    So teasing!!!!

  16. Shelly says:

    Is there any way John Barrowman can be nude for the whole show? :)

  17. Ryan D says:

    What if the whole human race became zombified?

  18. Vassily says:

    What if the whole human race became comatose?

  19. Hans says:

    The solution is: What would happen if the human race became immortal.

    • David says:

      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.

  20. Amy says:

    Oh goody! I really have a craving for watching something ‘darker’ than a child bleeding out of his facial orifices. Not.

  21. Anna says:

    YESSSSSSSSS! I was RIGHT!

  22. Kassie says:

    Seriously? Everyone is going to be immortal? Wow, how boring! Who the hell needs rescuing when nobody can die??

  23. Kassie says:

    Immortal, how boring. How is it a great storyline? Nobody needs to be rescued if they can’t die.

  24. Vanessa says:

    Why couldn’t they have all become immortal BEFORE Ianto, Tosh and Owen died?

    • Michael says:

      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.

      • LD says:

        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.

  25. Sebastian says:

    Hot damn I got it right!!!!!!!!!!! :-)

  26. Emily says:

    The Torchwood twist everyone saw coming.. :)

  27. Tucker says:

    So I wonder if in reversing immortality for the entire human race Jack will have to give up his?

    • Emily says:

      But how will that work, when we already know that Jack will survive to become the Face of Bo?

      • Tucker says:

        Davies still holds out that it isn’t definitive that the Face of Boe is Jack.

      • JL says:

        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.

  28. Sheindie says:

    dumb! really, really dumb!

  29. tracyjj50 says:

    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.

  30. Pat75 says:

    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!

    • Michael says:

      PMSL. I love it – so-o-o funny.

    • Bravura says:

      This, pretty much.

    • Kynan - Janto_x_Naomily says:

      Lol I so totally agree with you :)
      Love you, awesome person!

    • Jen says:

      I agree with you whole heartedly.

    • JL says:

      “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.

      • Pat75 says:

        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?

  31. Sebastian says:

    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 ;-)

  32. allison says:

    I for one am still excited for this! There are a lot of possibilities here. Can’t wait for the new season.

  33. Bethany says:

    well if they do become immortal….. jack isnt so special no more :(

  34. Danni says:

    A twist some of us saw coming…

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

  35. Angie C. says:

    Best idea I’ve read!

  36. AC says:

    Davies will change his mind about that as he sees fit, just like every other bit of “continuity” in TW.

  37. David F says:

    Hardly the groundbreaking plot it was hyped up to be. Not even a big deal at all; The Twilight Zone did this years ago.

  38. jazzy says:

    do you have a link to that doctor who confidential? i would love to see it :)

  39. Dan says:

    How long will season 4 be?

  40. Donna says:

    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.

  41. Gina says:

    JACK HARKNESS DID YOU HAVE SEX WITH EVERYONE AGAIN.

    /”sexually-transmitted immortality” joke

  42. Jen says:

    …. 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.

    • Seb says:

      @Jen: Why bother Reading about it then? Oh yeah, trolls don’t need a reason… Anyway, I’m really looking forward to this! Woot!

  43. Helen says:

    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!

  44. Adam says:

    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.

  45. JennellHartmann Sierakowiak says:

    “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.

    • Bob says:

      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

      • JennellHartmann Sierakowiak says:

        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.

  46. Adam says:

    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

  47. toast says:

    Whoa… that’s crazy. I’m not sure what to think about it.. but I’ll just wait and see like everyone else..heh.

  48. MommyWoman says:

    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’…

    • Bob says:

      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.

  49. MommyWoman says:

    Crap, up there in the sentence about highlander immortals, “…can also live forever but can also DIE if properly killed.”
    Geez.

  50. Rose says:

    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?….

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