Captain Jack and friends top BBC2 ratings
Feb 1 2008 by David James, South Wales Echo
IT’S not just the aliens fleeing in terror.
Cardiff-set sci-fi series Torchwood has blasted its way straight to the top of BBC2’s ratings.
Despite some criticism of its fruitier storylines, newly-released official figures show the second series’ first episode recorded 1m more viewers than anything else on BBC 2 that week.
In its first week on the terrestrial channel, 4.2m people watched John Barrowman’s team of alien investigators see off a threat from Buffy star James Masters’ rogue time agent.
That figure does not include the 1.1m people who watched the child-friendly pre-watershed version and the 250,000 who saw the BBC3 repeat.
Insiders at BBC Wales’ Llandaff headquarters, where the show is produced, are pleased with the figures and are already turning their minds to consider a third series.
A source said: “The average for the slot on BBC2 is 2.8 million. Heroes averaged 2.3m so it’s doing incredibly well.”
The show has won positive reviews, with one national newspaper describing it as “significantly sharper than its prime-time BBC1 cousin, Doctor Who”.
The reviewer said: “That’s the brilliant thing about Torchwood: everyday Cardiff hums alongside psychotic blowfish and time loops. In between the dizzying action, there are gorgeous shots of its orange street-lit arteries.”
Overnight figures for episodes two and three show the adult-themed sci-fi drama is holding on to its 14 per cent audience share pulling in 3.4m and 3.2m viewers before the number of people who record it to watch later are added.
In the USA, where Torchwood was BBC America’s biggest show, reviewers have praised the show with one saying:
“It’s sci-fi for grown ups, a rare treat.”