James Marsters was the first Whedonverse alum to make a splash on the racy Doctor Who spin-off, Torchwood. As Captain John Hart, Marsters made an impression as the brash former partner of Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) and titillated viewers by locking lips with the dashing time traveler. Now as the British series enters its fourth season, it further mines the wealth of Whedon talent by adding Dichen Lachman (Dollhouse) to the cast. Lachman has been tapped to appear in the premier of “Miracle Day” playing a CIA worker. Whether her character will stick round longer than the first episode remains to be seen.
Another Whedonverse alum to breech the Cardiff shores is Buffy the Vampire Slayer writer Jane Espenson. Having penned some memorable Buffy episodes, among them “Earshot,” “End of Days,” and “Conversations with Dead People,” Espenson lent her talents to Gilmore Girls, Tru Calling, Battlestar Galactica, Dollhouse and SyFy’s recently cancelled Caprica. Now Espenson joins creator Russell Davies in crafting the new season of Torchwood. Season four will emulate season three, which abandoned the episodic storytelling of the first two seasons for more of a saga-style epic: one story told over a series of nights culminating in a mind-bending finale. If anyone has yet to see Torchwood: Children of Earth, I highly recommend you do.
Torchwood will also acquire a more international feel this season as the show expands beyond its home shores of Cardiff, Wales and shoots in the U.S. and beyond. Characters will be traveling to different countries, though mostly filming will occur in the United States. Filming is already underway, and the series is expected to make its Starz debut in July 2011 rather than airing on BBC America.
Original cast members John Barrowman, Eve Miles (Gwen Cooper) and Kia Owen (Rhys Williams) all return for the fourth season, with Mekhi Phifer, Alexa Havens, Arlene Tur, Dichen Lachman and Bill Pullman joining the cast.