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Torchwood relegated

02/12/2007. Contributed by Jessica Martin

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Torchwood, the Doctor Who spin-off by writer Russell T Davies, is due back on the UK's small screen mid-January 2008, this time relegated to BBC Two.

Captain Jack Harness (John Barrowman), Gwen (Eve Myles), Owen (Burn Gorman), Toshiko (Naoko Mori) and Ianto (Gareth Lloyd-Davies) return as the investigators delving into the alien underworld of modern day Cardiff. And this time, younger fans will also have the chance of watching a watered down pre-watershed repeat.

Russell T Davies told SFcrowsnest.com, "This series pushes the Torchwood team further than ever before. They are joined by some incredible guest stars who are really going to cause waves. It's adventurous, thrilling and packed full of surprises."

Roly Keating, Controller BBC Two, went on to say, "We're delighted that Torchwood is joining BBC Two. We know from the success and popularity of Heroes that there's a growing appetite for smart, high-quality, sci-fi drama on the channel so Torchwood is a perfect fit. I'm also pleased to announce that, due to popular demand from families and younger viewers, we will be showing a special pre-watershed repeat so everyone can enjoy the new series."

Making a guest appearance in the first episode is James Marsters as Captain John. He starred as Spike, the punk-goth vampire in Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel. Captain John and Captain Jack go way back and have history.

When he appears through the Rift under Cardiff looking for Captain Jack not only does he disrupt Captain Jack's homecoming but the whole team, city and world are suddenly placed in danger.

Firmly rooted in urban life of 21st century Cardiff, Torchwood's investigations into alien activity give the team glimpses of the 51st Century and the First World War. They encounter alien sleeper cells; save a stranded creature from human exploitation; meet a tragic soldier from the First World War; and encounter a memory thief who exposes long-forgotten secrets among the entire team.

During the run Alan Dale (Ugly Betty, The O.C, Lost and The West Wing) makes a star appearance. Another familiar face among the special guest stars is Doctor Who's companion Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman) who appears half way through the series.

Richard Briers, Nerys Hughes and Ruth Jones (Gavin And Stacey) also appear in various roles.

BBC Wales Controller Menna Richards gushed, "The first series of Torchwood was a huge hit with audiences. We're extremely proud that it's produced in Wales. And its success is a reflection of the huge wealth of talent and creativity that exists here. We're delighted that it's returning to our screens for another series full of action, humour and excitement."

The 13-part series is written by Chris Chibnall, Phil Ford, Peter J Hammond, Matt Jones, Joseph Lidster, James Moran, Helen Raynor, Catherine Tregenna and JC Wilsher.

Created by Davies, with Chris Chibnall as co-producer and lead writer, the first series which aired on BBC Three last year achieved the channel's highest ratings in 2006, with an audience of 2.5 million for the first episode, and peaking at 2.8 million.

There will be an online reality game and behind the scenes footage over at http://www.bbc.co.uk/torchwood

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