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5 July 2011, 12:00 pm 4 Comments

Television: Will Starz Unleash Torchwood’s Hot Gay Potential?

This post was submitted by Topher Burns

I’m assuming very few of us (myself included) were avid followers of the BBC show Torchwood during its three-year run in the UK that ended in 2009.  This is a shame, I now realize, because that shit was HOT:

The dashing, devil-my-care main character is Jack Harkness, an immortal bisexual con-man from the future who was spun off from the Dr. Who series. Yes, that’s right, I just used the words “immortal,” “bisexual,” “con-man,” and “from the future” to describe the main character of a wildly popular television show. Perhaps Armageddon is much closer than anyone thought.

When Starz announced that it would be broadcasting an American spin-off called Torchwood: Miracle Day, my little ears perked up when I heard they were keeping Jack Harkness and that he’d be played by the same very handsome John Barrowman.  Barrowman himself is gay, has been with his partner since 1993, and is an outspoken proponent for LGBT civil rights.

John Barrowman (left) giving the fans what they want. Courtesy flickr.com/photos/donabelandewen

All this begs the question: will Starz be delivering the gay goods with Miracle Day?  From the previews they seem to be focusing a lot more on the action instead of the romance, which may be the right way to market sexual subversion to American audiences (sure, he may kiss a dude in this episode but did you see how many helicopters he hit with a bazooka?).  Then again, if they do in fact plan to maintain Jack Harkness’s free-wheeling pansexualism in the Starz version, NOT making a big deal out of it might backfire.  Either situation begs the question – is America ready for a non-hetero action hero?

We just got streaming Netflix at my apartment recently, so it’s been hard for me to justify watching anything that doesn’t feature Tina Fey and/or aggressive queer-baiting, but if your tastes are slightly more developed than mine, Torchwood: Miracle Day seems like it’s worth at least a few episodes’ chance.  The premise is that people stop dying on earth, and at first that seems awesome but then it proves to be terrible. And if you have as lascivious tastes as I do, the show might still be worth a peek.  According to the scant sources currently keeping an eye on the crucial question of American Torchwood gayness, we shall not be disappointed.

If Starz’s track record with homoeroticism is anything to judge this on, I think we’ll all be in for a treat.

Torchwood: Miracle Day premiers on Starz this Friday, July 8th at 10pm et/pt.

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  • queer blogger said:

    This is very exciting. I love Jack Harkness and am psyched to see this spin-off come out. Thanks for the tip, since I didn’t know this was going on.


  • MichaelD1026 said:

    Love Captain Jack and Torchwood and John Barrowman has indicated the bisexual character is now totally gay. Hooray! Barrowman is terrific in the role. Cannot wait for Miracle Day!

  • Joe said:

    According to the infallible source that is Wikipedia, Dillon Casey has already been cast as some sort of love interest for Jack.

  • Gella Solomon said:

    I don’t think the question is whether or not American audiences are ready for a gay action hero… I cite Michael’s comment and suggest that a bisexual action hero is the real *big scary.*

    Celebrating that he’s no longer bi? Really? Why can’t we have one hero? Just one?