Russell T Davies has suggested that more Tv channels follow his lead and make shorter drama series’.
The Torchwood creator was talking about why he makes such short runs of the Doctor Who spin off show – which recently returned to TV screens with it’s latest ‘Miracle Day’ season – when he admitted that though it first started due to budget restrictions, he believes shorter series capture viewer’s attention more fully.
Davies told the Los Angeles Times:
“I come from Britain, where the industry is smaller and we tend to have less money, but it survives because we’re making much shorter series. I like it.”
“I’ve lived in America now for two years, and you get these blocks of programming that run for 23 weeks of the year. And when they all stop before the summer, it’s like TV land is empty.”
The former Doctor Who showrunner added: “I think stations should be more nimble and have ten-parters, six-parters. Audiences are getting smaller and more niche now; it just seems like the smart thing to do. That’s what happened with Starz. We came in with a 13-part series for Torchwood, and they were like ‘cut it down, cut it down’ to ten episodes… We really made it fly.”
Davies also insisted that the best moments and storylines on the hit sci-fi series are not those involving big stunts or imaginative aliens, but rather captivating character moments and interactions between his leads such as Captain Jack Harkness and Gwen.
“I like the fact that I can afford a helicopter chase now and again. But the real drama is the character moments. That’s what I really write well. It’s the same for Torchwood,” he expained. “When you reach Episode 9, there’s such a punch coming where we reveal the secrets of the show in a very clever way.
“But it doesn’t always have to be drama on a scale. Intimate moments are just as effective. It’s just such a great cast. If you want to give me a scene with Bill Pullman (Oswald Danes) locked in a room with Eve Myles, then I would happily write you the best drama in the world. It all comes down to good actors in the end.”
Torchwood: Miracle Day premièred on July 8 on Starz in the US and will air for the first time in the UK, on July 14 on BBC One.
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