Page last updated at 08:55 GMT, Tuesday, 30 June 2009 09:55 UK

Torchwood cut 'like punishment'

John Barrowman
Torchwood follows secret agents battling human and alien enemies

Cutting the new series of Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood to five shows from 13 felt like "we were being punished", its star John Barrowman has said.

The third series of the sci-fi show - which began on BBC Three before moving to BBC Two - will now be shown on consecutive days on BBC One.

Barrowman said other shows moved to BBC One "and they don't get cut".

The BBC said it wanted to create "a powerful sense of event" with Children of Earth, which will start on Monday.

It felt like every time we moved we had to prove ourselves
John Barrowman

Barrowman told the Radio Times: "I'm going to get a little political and I'll probably get into trouble for it."

He said Torchwood's first series had been "the most successful show on BBC3 - ever" and, as a result, had been moved to BBC Two where "we were beating shows that had been on BBC Two for a long time".

"The decision was made to go to BBC One and then we were cut - from 13 episodes down to five."

'Very special'

Barrowman said the new episodes were "incredible, I have no doubt about that".

"But personally, I felt like we were being punished.

"Other shows move from BBC Three and Two to One and they don't get cut.

"So why are we? It felt like every time we moved we had to prove ourselves."

Russell T Davies
I don't think audiences are remotely lost by a change in format
Creator Russell T Davies

But the show's writer and creator Russell T Davies told the magazine: "Part of us thought, 'we could do another 13 episodes, we've learnt how to do that, and the second series was better than the first'.

"But why not change it?"

He said if the show was made in the US, "they'd try to keep it going for seven years, doing the same thing every week".

He added: "It's the British audience we make these for.

"And I don't think audiences are remotely lost by a change in format."

A BBC spokesman said: "We wanted to create a powerful sense of event when the show came to BBC One and so talked with the show makers about a story that could run over five consecutive days."

This was something "very special" that had only been done before with 2008's five-part thriller Criminal Justice and Iraq-based drama Occupation, shown earlier this month.

Torchwood: Children Of Earth follows the alien-chasing team as they battle for the future of the human race against the fiercest force they have encountered.



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