Monday, October 23, 2006

Russell T. Davies interview

As his new Doctor Who spin-off, Torchwood, starts on BBC 3, screenwriter Russell T. Davies talks to Cathy Pryor in The Independent.
The name Torchwood is already familiar to fans. Apart from being an anagram of Doctor Who, it's been referred to on Doctor Who several times in a mysterious manner. In fact, Davies rather likes repeating names and references. He's used the names Harkness and Tyler for characters several times, something he says helps him get a grip on the blank page. He also does that with concepts, and not always his own: for instance, the first episode of Torchwood features two obvious steals - a prison cell straight out of Silence of the Lambs and an "amnesia pill" that will seem familiar to anyone who's seen Men in Black. But Davies defends this as simple storytelling. "It's all there for the taking, I do it gladly. The ending of Doctor Who, where we had to separate the Doctor and Rose, that was unashamedly taken from the Phillip Pullman novels. They're brilliant, and every child reads them. So that creates a resonance, when they've got a story in one part of their minds and they see Doctor Who and think, 'Oh right! You can change stories!' If you want to get pretentious about it, it's exactly what Shakespeare did. As long as you put yourself into it I think it's all there for the grabbing."
Pic: Indira Varma as Suzie in Torchwood, written by Russell T. Davies (Photo Steve Brown/BBC)

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