June 28, 2011 4:06pm PT by Philiana Ng
'Torchwood: Miracle Day': U.K. Fans Not Happy About Delayed Premiere; Will it Affect Ratings?
After some speculation, the BBC finally confirmed on Monday that the upcoming series Torchwood: Miracle Day would be premiering in the U.K. on Thursday, July 14, six days after the U.S. premiere.
“#Torchwood airs in UK Thurs 14 July 9pm bb1. UK gets it 6 days after the US?!! ppfftt!! grrrr now i kinda hope the yanks have ruined it,” an unhappy fan named David Colderley (@thatdavid) tweeted on Monday.
Brian Morrison (@enchanrenan) wrote, “Wait, the new #Torchwood airs in the UK a full week later than most of the rest of the world? Brilliant.”
But George Peterson (@dirtygreek) expressed enthusiasm over receiving the beloved Doctor Who spinoff in the U.S. for once, writing, “Americans go first at last!”
Mark Wright (@markrwright) found amusement with the unhappy U.K. fans, writing: “I am loving all the shouting about #torchwood being on in the UK after it screens in America. Perspective, much?”
Also of note, different versions of Torchwood: Miracle Day episodes will air. According to Doctor Who Magazine editor Tom Spilsbury, it is due to “the episode timings in the US and what’s suitable/unsuitable to be shown on the BBC in the UK.”
The previous Torchwood iteration, the Children of Earth miniseries, first launched in the U.K. on July 6, 2009. Territories like Canada and the U.S. didn’t air the show until July 20, 2009. (Children of Earth aired on BBC America in the U.S. before Starz and BBC Worldwide Productions/BBC Cymru signed a deal to co-produce what would become known as Miracle Day.)
Weeks before the official announcement, fans took it upon themselves to conjure up possibilities of when Miracle Day would make its debut. Some ideas being bandied about included a vacant Saturday, July 9 at 9 p.m. slot on BBC1, a launch date after July 15 (because it wasn’t on the network’s weekly schedule for July 9-15) ... you get the gist.
U.K. paper The Guardian questioned why U.K. fans were forced to wait six days for the new Torchwood series: “This new series has had a lot of money spent on it — you can virtually smell it .... But the lion’s share of that money comes from Starz, so not surprisingly, they have the rights to broadcast it first. But six days? Why do British fans have to wait so long?”
Though a six-day wait is not the worst that can happen, it remains to be seen whether it will affect ratings (even slightly) and online spoilers in the U.K. After all, the Torchwood franchise has improved in the ratings after the third series (aka Children of Earth).
“Our main hope ... is that the ratings for the UK hold up in the light of the delay, and encourage the BBC to pump more money into the show well into the future,” writes Simon Brew of cult TV/film Den of Geek.
Check out the 11-second U.K. teaser of Torchwood: Miracle Day: