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Doctor Who, Torchwood lead BBC America's lineup

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Doctor Who is celebrating Christmas in June — at 9 tonight, precisely, on BBC America. This peculiar scheduling heralds a big summer for the channel.

Torchwood returns with a five-night miniseries July 20-24. Being Human, a wacky supernatural series, debuts July 25. A second Doctor Who special premieres July 26.

"Summer is increasingly important," said Julie Gardner, executive producer for BBC Worldwide Productions. "Torchwood, which is going to be a weeklong event, felt like a robust treat, a summer blockbuster."

Gardner, an executive producer for Torchwood and Doctor Who, previewed the summer fare.

Doctor Who: The Next Doctor, tonight's special, plops the Doctor (David Tennant) in London on Christmas Eve 1851. The time-traveling alien meets another Doctor (David Morrissey). "It's the story of two men coming together to fight an enormous foe," Gardner said.

Enormous is no overstatement. It's Dickens meets RoboCop.

The second special this summer, Planet of the Dead, drops Tennant's Doctor on another planet with bus passengers, including an aristocratic thief (Michelle Ryan).

"That is very much a disaster movie," Gardner said. "Can the Doctor get them home?"

In Planet of the Dead, Tennant's Doctor gets the first real hint that the end is coming. Tennant will star in three more specials, before giving way to Matt Smith, who is in his 20s, as the new Doctor.

"I think it's a thrilling piece of casting," Gardner said. "With a character who is a 900-year-old time lord, it's very exciting to see a young actor play the part."

Torchwood: Children of Earth: This eerie miniseries is very much from the mind's eye of creator Russell T Davies.

"He came in with the notion it's a story about alien contact," Gardner said. "Children are being used for aliens to communicate with the world. It's very spooky"

In production notes, Davies said, "I wanted to tell a story in which civilization snaps, in which we turn on ourselves, in which nothing is safe."

The world's children frequently fall into trances and chant the same words, frightening adults. The miniseries also explores the family connections of the Torchwood unit's members. Viewers learn that Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman), the dashing hero, is a father and a grandfather.

Will there be more Torchwood? Gardner said she hoped so, but she'll want to look at the reaction to Children of Earth in the United Kingdom and the United States.

Being Human: Gardner commissioned the series, which is sort of a supernatural Odd Couple. "It's just got one of the best formats," she said. "A vampire, a werewolf and a ghost share a house.

"We're all struggling to pay the mortgage and go to work," she added. "These characters have all those experiences, but they have some added problems. If you change into a werewolf once a month, it will create logistical problems."

Caption: Dervla Kirwan (left), David Morrissey and David Tennant star in 'Doctor Who: The Next Doctor"

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  • APA 6th ed.: Boedeker, Hal (2009-06-27). Doctor Who, Torchwood lead BBC America's lineup. Orlando Sentinel p. D4.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Boedeker, Hal. "Doctor Who, Torchwood lead BBC America's lineup." Orlando Sentinel [add city] 2009-06-27, D4. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Boedeker, Hal. "Doctor Who, Torchwood lead BBC America's lineup." Orlando Sentinel, edition, sec., 2009-06-27
  • Turabian: Boedeker, Hal. "Doctor Who, Torchwood lead BBC America's lineup." Orlando Sentinel, 2009-06-27, section, D4 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Doctor Who, Torchwood lead BBC America's lineup | url=,_Torchwood_lead_BBC_America%27s_lineup | work=Orlando Sentinel | pages=D4 | date=2009-06-27 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=2 October 2022 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Doctor Who, Torchwood lead BBC America's lineup | url=,_Torchwood_lead_BBC_America%27s_lineup | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=2 October 2022}}</ref>