Torchwood creator Russell T. Davies revealed the new title and plot of the upcoming American Torchwood series at the Television Critics Association winter press tour Friday. Turns out the working title Torchwood: The New World was a fake. It's really Torchwood: Miracle Day.
"The premise is a miracle that happens to the world," Davies said. "It's as simple as this: that one day on Earth no one dies. Not a single person on Earth dies. The next day no one dies. The next day no one dies, and on and on and on."
No one dies? Sounds like a happy story. Well, that also means people who are supposed to die don't. Bill Pullman plays one of those characters, Oswald. "I am a convicted murderer and a pedophile," Pullman revealed. "I'm put through lethal injections to be executed, and I live. That's the beginning."
There are bigger problems than Oswald, though. Just because people don't die doesn't mean that sick people are healed. "Now, the sixth day, the old stay old and keep getting older," Davies said. "The dying keep dying, but no one quite dies."
Then there are big-picture problems. We keep having births, but we stop getting rid of people. "The possibility of death ceases to exist," Davies said. "Great news for some people, but globally it's an instant overnight population boom. The Earth relies on people dying. That's how the whole system works. The food, the room, the temperature. Suddenly you've got a crisis affecting everyone on the planet, and that's where the Torchwood team and our brand-new characters come in."
That's where Captain Jack (John Barrowman) comes in. "It's an absolutely full, great, big lead role, because of course Captain Jack is an immortal," Davies said. "What we are talking about is the world turns immortal. So there's an awful lot of story packed into that."
All of this comes to a head in one single season. Davies left the "monster of the week" format behind long ago and continues to follow the Children of Earth miniseries model.
"This new series is 10 episodes long, but you won't still be finding out the resolution to the story in five years' time," Davies said. "By episode 10, there is a massive, shattering climax to the whole thing. You'll find out who lives, who dies, what all happens, whether they can stop it or not. That's the end."
Torchwood: Miracle Day goes into production this month and airs in July 2011 on Starz.