History of Torchwood Fandom

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Fandom: Torchwood
Dates: 2006 - present
See also: Doctor Who

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Contents

Because it is a spinoff based on a recurring character from Doctor Who, Torchwood fandom began forming even before the BBC announced the show would be created. The lead character, Captain Jack Harkness, attracted some of his earliest fans a year and a half before the premiere of Torchwood's first episode.

Pre-Series One (Before 10/22/2006)

Early Torchwood fan fiction was based on what could be gleaned about Jack and the fictional Torchwood Institution from the first two seasons of the revived Doctor Who, as well as the BBC press releases which eventually revealed the names, appearances, and basic roles of the other main characters.[1] [2]

Fansites Established Before Series One

Fanfic challenges, cons, and other events

  • [list events here]

During and After Season One

Torchwood was considered a small fandom for Yuletide in 2006.[3] The assignments went out November 3rd, when only three episodes had been aired. On the following week, the episode Cyberwoman debuted; for the first time, Ianto had more than a few lines of dialogue, and fans learned that he had been in the Battle of Canary Wharf.

On December 3rd, Suzie was canonically resurrected in the episode They Keep Killing Suzie, which concluded with the scene in which the Jack/Ianto UST emerged from subtext to canon. This left the Yuletide writers (who ultimately submitted genfic, Jack/Ianto, and Jack/Suzie) with scarcely more than two weeks to revise in light of the pivotal events.

Fansites Established Before Series Two (before 1/16/2008)

Fanfic challenges, cons, and other events

  • vintagemilitary - a fanfic challenge community for crossovers with Captain Jack and other fandoms. Created January 2007

During and After Season Two

[Reaction of fandom to changes in canon - tone, quality, etc.]

Fansites Established Before Series Three (before 7/6/2009)

  • Sodomy_Central - A fanfic community for Jack Harkness/historical figure pairings. Despite the name, it's not slash-only. Created October 2007.
  • trchwdfun - created 12/24/2007.
  • ask_captainjack - A roleplay journal in which Jack writes an Agony Aunt advice column. Created 2008-04-12, it gradually spawned the Askverse.
  • iantos_desktop - A collection of ephemera from the official Torchwood BBC site - created 8/23/2008.

Fanfic challenges, cons, and other events

  • The Rift, "the world’s first all-Torchwood convention;" Saturday 26 April 2008 in London.
  • (DragonCon 2008 - date? guests? was TW part of the Doctor Who track?) in Atlanta, GA.
  • The Hub convention; Friday 17th - Sunday 19th of October 2008 in Northampton.
  • The Hub 2 convention; March 13th-15th, 2009, in Northampton.
  • [tardis big bang challenge - an all-whoniverse-inclusive event]
  • [skiffy awards]
  • [list events here]

During And After Season Three

The third series is a five-part mini-series titled "Children of Earth" which aired over one week in July 2009 on BBC1. The series received good ratings,[4] but also received criticism from fans due to changes and for killing off a major beloved character. Some fans have said that Children of Earth was "not Torchwood" or that it removed things they loved about the series. Some have accused it of being "homophobic" in part for its treatment of the major canon relationship Jack/Ianto.

Fix-it fanfic became very popular following series three. A fan campaign to bring back the killed character began almost immediately.

Fanfic challenges, cons, and other events

  • omnijaxual - A fanfic community pairing Jack with anyone/anything. Created August 2009.

Pre-Series Four

As announced in June 2010, a 10-episode fourth series is being worked on in collaboration with Starz and is set to air in summer 2011. Fan reaction has been mixed;[5] while many fans are enthusiastic about the continuation of the series, many others are apathetic or distrustful following the events of Children of Earth, or are wary about the changes being made to the show.

Fansites Established Before Series Four (before 7/8/2011)

  • tw_gleeclub - A community dedicated to cheerful/hopeful anticipation of more canon. "No bashing characters/creators/actors/other fans." [6] Created July 2010.

References

  1. Linked in dune-drd's LJ
  2. sweetestdrain. FIC: Nobody's a Long Time (Doctor Who, Ten/Jack), 31 July 2006. (Accessed 06 January 2011).
  3. Yuletide quicksearch for Torchwood stories
  4. Article on Broadcastnow, accessed 27 October 2009.
  5. LJ posts on the news that Torchwood has been picked up for a fourth series here, here, and here.
  6. tw_gleeclub community profile
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