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Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

BBC Worldwide Press Releases

Torchwood cast joined by Independence Day and ER stars

BBC Cymru Wales, BBC Worldwide and US premium entertainment network, Starz Entertainment, today announced new cast, plot and character details for the new series of hit BBC drama Torchwood. This highly anticipated new series will have the title Torchwood: Miracle Day and will premiere this July.

ER and Lie To Me star Mekhi Phifer will play Rex Matheson, a C.I.A. operative who joins forces with Captain Jack and Gwen Cooper to fight a global conspiracy that reaches from Washington to Wales and the slums of Shanghai whilst Bill Pullman, best known for his big screen roles such as While You Were Sleeping and Independence Day will take on the role of Oswald Danes, a convicted child killer who survives his own execution to become the most infamous man on the planet.

Also making their Torchwood debuts are Alexa Havins as Esther Drummond, a deskbound C.I.A employee who dreams of active duty and who suddenly finds herself running alongside Jack, Gwen and Rex; and Arlene Tur as Dr Vera Juarez, a Washington D.C. surgeon, who ends up on the frontline of medical care on "Miracle Day" advising the government think-tanks on the best course of action for the world's population.

The plot of Miracle Day is the most explosive Torchwood storyline yet. One day, nobody dies. All across the world, nobody dies. And then the next day, and the next, and the next, people keep aging -- they get hurt and sick -- but they never die. The result: a population boom, overnight. With all the extra people, resources are finite. It's said that in four months' time, the human race will cease to be viable. But this can’t be a natural event – someone's got to be behind it. It's a race against time as C.I.A. agent Rex Matheson investigates a global conspiracy. The answers lie within an old, secret British institute. As Rex keeps asking "What is Torchwood?", he's drawn into a world of adventure, and a threat to change what it means to be human, forever.

John Barrowman and Eve Myles will return in their roles as Captain Jack Harkness and Gwen Cooper respectively.

The 10-episode instalment has been written by a team led by Torchwood creator, Russell T Davies, and produced by BBC Worldwide Productions. Davies and BBC Worldwide Productions' SVP Scripted, Julie Gardner, return as executive producers with BBC Worldwide Productions EVP Jane Tranter. The series has been commissioned by Controller BBC Drama, Ben Stephenson, and Starz President and CEO, Chris Albrecht.

BBC Worldwide, having previously distributed Torchwood to territories such as Korea, Japan, Italy, Spain, Israel, Russia and across Latin America will distribute the new series to broadcasters globally.

While previous series were based on location in Cardiff, Wales, this new instalment will feature locations in the US and around the world.

The series was originally commissioned and produced in 2006 by BBC Cymru Wales, with the latest high octane series capturing UK audiences of more than 6million.


NOTES TO EDITORS
About BBC Worldwide

BBC Worldwide Limited is the main commercial arm and a wholly owned subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). The company exists to maximise the value of the BBC’s assets for the benefit of the licence fee payer and invest in public service programming in return for rights. The company has six core businesses: Channels, Content & Production, Sales & Distribution, Magazines, Home Entertainment and Global Brands. In 2008/09, BBC Worldwide generated profits of £102.6 million (before exceptionals) on sales of over £1 billion.

About BBC Worldwide Productions
BBC Worldwide Productions is headquartered in Los Angeles, with offices in New York and works in collaboration with the BBC Worldwide Content & Production team in the UK. Led by Jane Tranter, the company develops new and innovative programs for U.S networks as well as taking acclaimed British formats, both scripted and unscripted, and re-versioning them for U.S. audiences. Unscripted successes include the Emmy®-winning and ratings juggernaut, "Dancing with the Stars," as well as the "What Not to Wear," which recently celebrated its 250th episode.

About Starz Entertainment
Starz Entertainment, LLC, is a premium movie and original programming entertainment service provider operating in the United States. The company offers 16 premium channels including the flagship Starz® and Encore® brands with approximately 17.1 million and 31.1 million subscribers respectively. Starz Entertainment airs in total more than 1,000 movies and original series every month across its pay TV channels and offers advanced services including Starz HD, Encore HD, Starz On Demand, Encore On Demand, MoviePlex On Demand, Starz HD On Demand, Encore HD On Demand, MoviePlex HD On Demand, and Starz Play. Starz Entertainment (www.starz.com) is an operating unit of Starz, LLC, which is a controlled subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation, and is attributed to Liberty Starz (NASDAQ: LSTZA), a tracking stock group of Liberty Media Corporation.


CHARACTER DESCRIPTIONS

REX MATHESON (Mekhi Phifer)
He's the golden boy. The embodiment of the American dream and has been all his life. Harvard education, Rex is destined for success and could make a fortune in Wall Street or Hollywood, but he chose the C.I.A. because he believes in justice and will fight for it. He can talk his way into anything, then charm his way out, fast. This may be just what he needs as he joins forces with Jack and Gwen to fight a global mystery behind "Miracle Day" that has them racing from one crisis to another, dodging assassins, blackmail, corruption and conspiracy, from Washington to Wales and the slums of Shanghai.

CAPTAIN JACK HARKNESS (John Barrowman)
Jack looks like a hero. He's handsome, witty and subversive with a killer smile. But there's a reason for that glint in his eye. His dashing style hides a secret. Truth is Jack Harkness is immortal, the only one of his kind. He once ran the Torchwood Institute, a British organization dedicated to fighting the strange and bizarre. But Torchwood closed down, and Jack disappeared, to start yet another of his many new lives. When a new, epic danger affects the whole planet, Jack finds himself back at the center of events, fighting not just for his own life, but for everyone on Earth.

GWEN COOPER (Eve Myles)
Gwen once lived the ultimate double life - the funny, salty, earthy woman who loves home and family, combined with the tough, ruthless warrior, who loves the thrill of the fight. She was the heart and soul of an organization called Torchwood. She was a defender of the human race. But now she lives in seclusion, with her devoted husband Rhys and baby Anwen, knowing that one day trouble would come calling again. When events surrounding "Miracle Day" push Gwen to the limit, she'll need to call on resources she never knew she had and make the most terrible decisions, on behalf of all mankind.

ESTHER DRUMMOND (Alexa Havins)
Esther is an innocent, in a world of assassins, liars and zealots. She got where she is with the C.I.A through diligence and application. Hard work keeps Esther focused but she still dreams of active duty as a field agent serving her country. The dream is going to happen faster than she thinks and in no time at all, Esther finds herself running alongside Jack, Gwen and Rex, living off the grid, gun in hand, fighting a global conspiracy against enemies ranging from big business to the state. It’s a tough, brutal, hard lifestyle where survival is hard won and life-changing choices have to be made.

OSWALD DANES (Bill Pullman)
Well-educated and a former school teacher, Oswald’s a convicted child killer, both guilty and unrepentant. But when Oswald survives his own execution, he’s given a whole new life. The most infamous man in the world, he becomes the most provocative figure in modern media. He’s a flare, reviled yet mesmerizing, whose very existence embodies how the world changed on "Miracle Day".

DR. VERA JUAREZ (Arlene Tur)
An attending surgeon in Washington D.C., she's smart, fast talking and hard working, Vera is on the frontline of medical care on "Miracle Day". As the world crisis grows, Vera's surgical and ER experience sees her recruited to advise on government think-tanks until she has to make a moral choice of enormous consequence. Sexy, confident and passionate, Vera's life is soon inextricably tangled up with Rex's.


ACTOR BIOGS

JOHN BARROWMAN
(Captain Jack Harkness)
John Barrowman first played Captain Jack Harkness in the award-winning series "Doctor Who." The character was such a hit with the public and critics alike that when Russell T Davies created "Torchwood," John was invited back to recreate the character as the leader of the Torchwood team.

Recently voted number three in Broadcast Magazine's 'Hot 100 Talent,' John is an accomplished actor, musician and writer. In addition to his lead role on "Torchwood," John's television career has included recurring roles on "Desperate Housewives," "Titans" and "Central Park West."

John is also well known in the UK for his work as a presenter and producer of primetime entertainment formats, such as "Tonight's The Night." He has also appeared as a judge on entertainment properties such as "How to Solve A Problem Like Maria." His West End credits include "The Phantom of the Opera," "Anything Goes" and "Miss Saigon," amongst others.

EVE MYLES (Gwen Cooper)
Eve Myles won the Welsh Bafta for Best Actress for her role as Gwen in "Torchwood," season one. She has appeared in numerous television programs including "Merlin," "Doctor Who," "Tales of Pleasure Beach" and "Soundproof." Her most recent work was in the BBC's adaptation of Charles Dickens's "Little Dorrit," as Maggy. Eve was also a winner of an Ian Charleson Award for her work in "The Taming of the Shrew" and "Titus Andronicus" for the Royal Shakespeare Company and performed at The National Theatre playing Doll Tearsheet in "Henry IV: Part I" and Lady Mortimer in "Henry IV: Part II" alongside Michael Gambon and directed by Nicholas Hytner.

MEKHI PHIFER (Rex)
Mekhi Phifer is a critically acclaimed television and film actor best known for his work as Greg Pratt in the Emmy Award-winning series "ER" and his performance as Future, opposite Eminem and Brittany Murphy in 8 Mile.

Phifer was most recently seen on Fox’s compelling drama series "Lie To Me" as FBI Agent Ben Reynolds. His television resume includes an NAACP Image Award-nominated performance as a death row inmate in "A Lesson Before Dying." He showcased his vocal talents as a love struck cop in the modern musical adaptation "Carmen: A Hip-Hopera." He was also given the opportunity to highlight his comedy chops in a four-episode stint on HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm."

In addition to his thriving television career, Phifer has appeared in a number of successful films, including O (Lionsgate) alongside Julia Stiles and Josh Hartnett; I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (Columbia/TriStar) with Jennifer Love Hewitt; and the mystery thriller An Invited Guest, winner of the 1999 Urbanworld Festival Audience Award and the Acapulco Film Festival Grand Prize.

In 2007, Phifer teamed with writer/producer/actor Ronnie Warner to form two new production companies: Facilitator Films and Facilitator Music. The company's first project and Phifer's directorial debut, Puff, Puff, Pass, was acquired by Sony and released in May, 2007. Phifer and Warner have since completed several other film projects, most notably partnering with Clint Culpepper of Sony Screen Gems to executive produce This Christmas, starring Regina King, Nia Long, and Loretta Devine.

He currently resides in Los Angeles and recently completed filming the crime drama Flypaper opposite Ashley Judd and the Sony Pictures Television movie Close Quarters.


RUSSELL T DAVIES – EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/CREATOR/SHOW RUNNER
Russell T Davies is one of the UK's most influential and highly-regarded television writers. In 2008, he was awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire) for his writing services to television, and in 2006 he was honored with the prestigious Dennis Potter Writer's Award from BAFTA.

In 2003, Russell was charged with reinventing "Doctor Who" for a BBC One's primetime audience. Russell's regeneration of the title took the nation to fever pitch and huge ratings success. This critical acclaim characterized his five years as lead writer and showrunner, with audiences reaching peaks of 13 million and over 40% share. The series won countless awards, including a BAFTA for Best Drama Series and National Television Awards for Best Drama and Actor, four years in succession.

The success of "Doctor Who" led to Russell's creation of two new series, "Torchwood" and "The Sarah Jane Adventures." In the UK, "Torchwood" retains its record as the highest-rated drama on the digital channel BBC Three. The title's move to BBC One led to further ratings and critical success.

Russell was also the writer and creator of the critically-acclaimed and vastly popular "Queer as Folk," the adaptation of which ran for five years on Showtime. Other credits include award-winning series "The Second Coming," "Bob & Rose" and "Casanova."

JULIE GARDNER – EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Julie Gardner is Russell T Davies' producing partner and Senior Vice President, Scripted, BBC Worldwide Productions. Prior to joining the team in 2009, Julie was Head of Drama Commissioning and Head of Drama for BBC Wales. In this role, she was responsible for heading up the revival of "Doctor Who," as well as the successful series, "Torchwood" and "The Sarah Jane Adventures." Her leadership also led to the production of an unparalleled string of hit dramas including "Life on Mars," "Ashes to Ashes," "Being Human," "Girl in a Cafe, Stuart: A Life Backward," "Mistresses" and "Casanova," for which she received a multitude of awards.


Philip Fleming

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