EXEC: We need a new show and we need it fast! [into intercom] Who's next on my list, Bunny?
SECRETARY: Russell T Davies, sir.
EXEC: Nope. Nothing.
SECRETARY: He's the executive producer of Doctor Who, sir.
EXEC: Oh, right. Big Gay Al. Send him in.
RTD: Morning! Thanks for seeing me so soon.
EXEC: No trouble at all, ReTarD.
RTD: Um, it's pronounced "Arrteadee".
EXEC: Yeah, R2D2, whatever. So... Doctor Who? Big hit. This new guy in the bowtie? Brilliant. The hot babe in the miniskirt? West Hollywood could be converted. What can I say, R2, you have saved that show from complete arc fatigue failure! This stuff about the cracks? Way better than knocking wolves and stuff...
RTD: Um. No.
RTD: That's Steve Moffat who's in charge now. I was the guy before him.
EXEC: Oh. ...OK. Yeah. The other redhead wasn't bad either. OK, R2, what can you do for me?
RTD: Well, I was thinking of a USA version of Torchwood?
EXEC: Torch Wood.
RTD: The very same.
EXEC: Look, R2, hate to say this, but you got the wrong guy. The timber industry's on the other side of town, but thanks for looking me up...
RTD: No, no, it's actually a TV show.
EXEC: Oh. A TV show called Torch Wood?
EXEC: Hmm. So, it's about the Olympics? Some kind of carbon footprint global warming thing?
RTD: No, no, no. Torchwood. It's just a name.
EXEC: So, who is this Torchwood guy? Is it a guy? Could be a girl.
RTD: No, no. We're getting confused.
EXEC: Sorry. Please explain.
RTD: Right. Torchwood is the name of the Torchwood Institute, a secret organization that captures alien technology and reverse-engineers it to help the British Empire rise again.
EXEC: Yeah... OK. See where you're coming from. But our demographic isn't going to be over the moon about a show where Limeys try to take over the world using stolen alien ray guns. It's a bit lacking...
RTD: Well, that's the basic premise. It could be Americans.
EXEC: Americans wanting to help the British Empire rise again?
RTD: No... just, you know. A secret organization of Americans capturing alien technology and reverse engineering it for... I dunno. Anti-terrorism.
EXEC: You saying us Americans can't make our own doomsday tech without mugging passing aliens?
RTD: Not at all.
EXEC: It's very... Men in Black, isn't it? Only without the tolerance to others and the knowing humor.
RTD: Well, yes, but the thing is that the organization's collapsed. It's run by complete amateurs with huge emotional and mental problems that cause more problems than they solve.
EXEC: Yeah... it's a good pitch, 3PO, but we already have Fringe for that sort of thing.
RTD: But the characters are the selling point!
EXEC: Glad something is. OK, who are the cast.
RTD: Well, the main character's called Captain Jack...
EXEC: What? From Pirates of the Carribbean?!
RTD: No. He's a different Captain Jack. In fact, that's not even his real name.
EXEC: ...it isn't? Then why do you call him Captain Jack?
RTD: Um. Billy Joel?
EXEC: His real name's Billy Joel?
RTD: No. He's named after a song... Look, he's this chaotic sort of ruthless character with lots of wisecracks who struts around in a long coat and...
EXEC: Is he played by Johnny Depp?
EXEC: Big mistake there, Jar-Jar, we could sell anything with Johnny in it. So, come on, we've got this rip-off character. Give me something to work with here.
RTD: He's omnisexual.
RTD: He'll shag anything with a hole!
EXEC: So his only real gimmick is he is a complete slut? Maybe for a sitcom, but an action drama series? Is every episode going to be about one of his exes...
RTD: He's also immortal!
EXEC: Hmm. So we have an immortal in a long coat running a company full of idiots causing more harm than good.
EXEC: Look, I try to keep up client confidentiality, but morally I feel I should inform Joss Whedon's lawyers.
RTD: This isn't a rip-off of Angel!
EXEC: I didn't mention Angel.
RTD: ...shit, you didn't.
EXEC: All right, Gi Quon, who else?
RTD: Well, there's this psycho cop and her useless boyfriend, but they've just had a baby...
EXEC: A baby? So, basically, they have to stay at home and look after the baby? This sounds more and more like a sitcom to me. Captain Jack, Babysitter. Could work as an Absolutely Fabulous sort of thing...
RTD: It's serious science fiction.
EXEC: Really? Gimme some plots you've used.
RTD: Well... the first one was about this metal glove that brings people back to life for thirty seconds.
EXEC: And this is useful, how?
RTD: Well, you can ask murder victims who killed them! And that's who they did!
EXEC: Did they find the killer that way?
RTD: Yes! Well. No. None of the victims saw the killer.
EXEC: So the metal glove's pretty useless. Anything else.
RTD: Well, there was an alien monster that took over women's bodies and make them kill people by screwing them to death and feeding off orgasmic energy. And there were some redneck cannibals. And, um, this giant stone demon under the town. Then there was this giant whale people were turning into hamburgers...
EXEC: You're not grabbing me here, Padwan. So we've got these three characters. Anything else...
RTD: Well, we had them in a secret underground base full of cool alien technology and a funky SUV vehicle.
RTD: But I blew them up.
RTD: Steven wanted some more studio space.
EXEC: Did they get replacement bases and vehicles?
RTD: No. Actually, I left them penniless beggars who stole stuff from people on the street.
RTD: Well, they were really arrogant pricks.
EXEC: So how exactly did the last series end?
RTD: Like I said, the base and all the alien technology were blown up, the cop and her boyfriend went off to have a baby and everyone else died. But Captain Jack came back to life and then hitched a lift on an alien space craft, never to return.
EXEC: ...I'm sensing you don't really like this show. What made you call it "Torchwood" anyway?
RTD: It's an anagram.
EXEC: What of?
RTD: Doctor Who.
EXEC: So... this show whose title is just jumbled up letters of a show you actually like... with a cast of "complete pricks" you either killed or otherwise got rid of... and a set and merchandise options you deliberately blew up... working for a fallen empire scavenging alien crap that's never used...
RTD: Very nihlistic, isn't it?
EXEC: Yeah. So, basically, I'd have to sell this remake as "Angel working for Fringe only with absolutely no cool technology or likable characters in plots you wouldn't even find on Mad TV".
RTD: If you like.
EXEC: See, Greedo, I'm not sure this is going to work.
RTD: How about a straight continuation. Torchwood in America!
EXEC: Where were they before?
RTD: Cardiff. In Wales.
EXEC: Why there?
RTD: There's a space time rift that causes all the aliens to go there.
EXEC: Oh. Which is why they're based in Cardiff and not LA. Because there's no aliens there.
EXEC: So, you want us to continue a British series that has no cast, no sets, no plots, no monsters and doesn't even have a proper title?
RTD: [quiet] If you'd be so kind.
EXEC: I like you, Palpatine, I really do. But basically all you've done here is ask me to come up with a completely new show with a title you admit will be completely irrelevent.
EXEC: Can you see my problem here?
EXEC: Close the door on your way out.
[RTD rises and leaves.]
EXEC: What a headcase. But we need to make something. [into intercom] Bunny, is there anyone else on the list?
SECRETARY: Just Chris Lilly sir.
[Exec leaps to his feet and runs out the door.]
EXEC: RUSTY! WAIT! I'VE CHANGED MY MIND!
The incredible true story of how Torchwood got a fourth series.