Torchwood is a Doctor Who spin-off. The show was created by Russell T. Davies, and aired between 2006 and 2011 (four seasons). The first three series were produced by the BBC, but the last one is a co-production between the British studios and the American Starz network. Starz Media is the producer of Spartacus, and they own Anchor Bay Entertainment, distributor of Hercules, Xena, Army of Darkness, The Evil Dead etc.
In contrast to Doctor Who, whose target audience includes both adults and children, Torchwood is aimed at a more mature audience. Over its run, Torchwood explored a number of themes, such as existentialism, bisexual relationships, and explorations of human corruptibility.
Russell T. Davies has revealed that the idea for Torchwood came to him before Doctor Who was relaunched, while he was watching Joss Whedon‘s TV shows:
” I first had the idea for the series while I was working on Casanova three or four years ago, before Doctor Who was even mentioned. I’d been watching shows like Buffy and Angel, and I’d said to Julie Gardner : Why don’t we make a series like that? “
Torchwood is set in Cardiff and follows the Welsh branch of a covert agency, some kind of special ops, called the Torchwood Institute which investigates extraterrestrial incidents on Earth and scavenges alien technology for its own use, its origins outlined in the Doctor Who episode Tooth and Claw. The events of the first series take place some time after the Doctor Who series 2 finale (Doomsday), in which Torchwood’s London headquarters was destroyed. The original team is made up of five operatives led by Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman), an ex-Time Agent. Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles), the female lead, joins the team in the first episode. Owen Harper (Burn Gorman) is the medical officer, Toshiko Sato (Naoko Mori) is the computer specialist, and Ianto Jones (Gareth David-Lloyd) is a support officer.
Torchwood cast promo photos on DVDBASH (326 pictures, 330Mb) series 1,2,3,4, starring John Barrowman, Eve Myles, Kai Owen, Gareth David-Lloyd, Burn Gorman, Naoko Mori, Tom Price, Paul Kasey, Mekhi Phifer, Alexa Havins, Bill Pullman, Lauren Ambrose, Peter Capaldi, Freema Agyeman, James Marsters and many more: