Torchwood, Ianto and fandom’s big heart

Spoiler warning: Don’t read further if you have not yet seen episode 4 of Torchwood: Children of Earth. Of course, if you want to watch it, chances are you already have, but still…

Fans of any persuasion can be an odd bunch. I know, I am that person. There are so many huge benefits to be had from bonding with other people over your love of something, whether it’s football (a passion I must admit I don’t share) or **Doctor Who** (which I do).

I get it. And I’ve come into contact with the best of fandom in recent years. From reviewing the BBC’s **Any Dream Will Do** every week, I came into contact with many subgroups: fans of Daniel Boys (his ‘[kittens](http://www.danielskittens.co.uk/)’), who took my good-natured comments [about them being “quite mad”](http://blogs.thestage.co.uk/tvtoday/2007/06/any-dream-will-do-week-11-the-final/) in the spirit it was intended. And of course there are the Loppies — fans of that series’ eventual winner, Lee Mead, who started talking to each other in the comments section of our blog and have stayed with us ever since.

There are negative associations, of course. If you incur the wrath of the hardcore supporter, then you know about it sharpish. On [TV Today](http://blogs.thestage.co.uk/tvtoday/) we’ve been on the receiving end from fans of Rupert Grint and Jonas Armstrong. In neither case were the attacks particularly justified, but there comes a point where, to the hardcore fans, that hardly matters.

Something similar happened over the last few weeks, following **Torchwood: Children of Earth**’s fourth episode, in which regular character Ianto Jones (Gareth David-Lloyd) came to a sticky end. A lot of anger was directed at Torchwood writer James Moran, on [his blog](http://jamesmoran.blogspot.com) and on Twitter, not because he wrote the episode (he didn’t) but because he had an open door policy with his web communications.

Thankfully, that particular method of attacking individuals died down pretty quickly, although it has led to James [taking a step back from his blog](http://jamesmoran.blogspot.com/2009/07/stepping-back.html) — and please read that link, it expresses his feelings and reasons far better than I could.

But the hardcore Ianto fans are not giving up. They have set up a website, [SaveIantoJones.com](http://www.SaveIantoJones.com), in order to coordinate various forms of peaceful, polite protest.

And one way they’ve decided to show their support for their favourite character is unusual — by raising money for the BBC’s resident charity, [Children in Need](http://www.saveiantojones.com/children-in-need.php). As I write, the total they have raised to date is just under £3,000. And that’s an impressive amount of money whatever the reason for its collection.

Again, it shows that within fandom, there is the potential for much goodness. Although I do believe that the organisers are mistaken when they say:

> While the BBC have remained polite and well-mannered, in response to a very peaceful campaign, Mr. Davies has made it clear in recent interviews that he views his fans with contempt, and as disposable, which saddens us.

I don’t think anybody could be more wrong; I truly believe Russell gets it. Watch [Love & Monsters](http://matthewman.net/2006/06/18/love-monsters-mister-blue-sky-thinking/), part of Series 2 of **Doctor Who** written by Russell T Davies, and you’ll see a group called L.I.N.D.A., a group of people who start meeting for one reason and gradually become people who meet up because they are friends. It’s one of the most perfect representations of fandom you’re ever likely to see. And anybody who writes like that really, truly, does not consider fans to be worthy of contempt. That doesn’t mean that fans are bigger than the subject of their support, though.

The SaveIantoJones fans are doing some great work and their fundraising efforts will do enormous good — even though their ultimate aim, of bringing a dead fictional character back to life, is doomed to fail. If their work brings them together as friends too, then that will be a further upside.

Author: Scott Matthewman

Formerly Online Editor and Digital Project Manager for The Stage, creator of the award-winning The Gay Vote politics blog, now a full-time software developer specialising in Ruby, Objective-C and Swift, as well as a part-time critic for Musical Theatre Review, The Reviews Hub and others.

32 thoughts on “Torchwood, Ianto and fandom’s big heart”

  1. The sharp end of fan criticism seems to be because of this interview with EW:

    http://ausiellofiles.ew.com/2009/07/backlash-shma

    The disconnect seems to being happening because there's a certain section of the fan audience who are used to being listened to by show runners. The writers of Lost and Heroes and whatnot have admitted to checking discussion boards look to see what the fan reaction is and tweaking storylines.

    If RTD followed that methodology the climax of Torchwood 3 would not have turned out the same – it would have presumably ended with Jack and Ianto giggling in Hub mk3 before dashing off to chase Weevils again, stopwatch in hand.

    Quite rightly, Russell ignored fans expectations, and just did what he thought was right and created one of the best pieces of drama on television this year and a show which I wasn't a fan of into something I eagerly await seeing more of.

  2. RTD seems to have it in his head that to create good television he needs to kill off all his characters. It's lazy writing. He killed off Owen and Tosh at the end of S2, now Ianto's gone and we're left with Jack and Gwen, presumably ready to take on a new group of suicidal alien-hunters. (Unless it's going to become the Williams show – Mr & Mrs and Jnr?). Whether it'll still be Torchwood remains to be seen. I find it slightly disturbing that RTD seems to have gleefully killed off half of his ground-breaking gay "couple", and I'm surprised that he is surprised that fans aren't happy.

    I've read some very insulting posts on other forums about the campaign and campaigners. The threats against James Moran and RTD are absolutely unacceptable, these were sent by a very small minority of 'fans'. The campaigners have raised over three grand for charity and are hurting no one in their show of passion for the show and the characters they care about. And as Stargate SG1 fans proved with Daniel Jackson, it can be succeessful.

    I'm also fascinated by RTD referring to Torchwood as a 'drama', which is fine but I was under the impression I was watching sci-fi/fantasy….

  3. Fan campaigns can work.

    Star Trek the original series got renewed twice, solely because of the fans who cared enough to get involved.

    Will this one work? I don't know. I do know that we are showing our support not only for a character that was written out before his time, but also for the actor who made the character so real to us.

  4. Torchwood fans complain for two reasons.

    First, a flood of unnecessary comments about the future of Torchwood that included explicit comments about how much the Jack & Ianto relationship would develop over the next several series (or seasons in the USA) and that fans of those two characters would love what was happening. Turns out, most don't love having one of those characters die and where are the plural series of development time? The discussions of future Torchwood by actors, writers and producers was not necessary. It is perfectly acceptable for members of a show to say "You'll have to tune in and see" or "We can't really discuss that". That doesn't mislead fans at all.

    So some fans are angry because they feel lied to and manipulated into watching.

    The second reason some fans are angry is because the format and tone of "Torchwood" changed a lot for this 5-parter. Until now the show has always been the TW team out to save us but in this mini-series there was very little hope of that. In the end, they didn't save anyone as TW only as Jack being captured and asked to help former government black ops once they figure out they've been lied to. Indeed TW as a structure is systematically destroyed in this mini-series with only Gwen left at the end and no mention of any new HUD or location being rebuilt only wreckage sorted through.

    Many fans tuned in each week wanting to see how "the 21st century changes everything and Torchwood is ready" to paraphrase the show itself. They didn't seem particularly ready, did they? Given that Jack walks at the end, almost devoid of emotion, what is left for TW to rebuild with?

    Yes, TW as an agency was around before Jack but is that the reason viewers watched series one and two? Or did they tune in thinking "Hey, that's Jack, what's he up to now?" and then stay for the message of hope against the darkness and some great interactions between what grew to be complex characters.

    I'd watch the character of Jack on more "Doctor Who". I'd watch the "Further Adventures of Jack" or whatever. But I think any return of Jack to "Torchwood" will feel very contrived and no one in my household wants to watch that.

    As a writer I have to reject claims that Ianto had to die to achieve a particular goal with other characters. Good writers should be able to achieve story goals through a variety of means, choosing their path not just for the immediate rush but for the long-term goals of the project. In television with a series this shouldn't be limited to one episode or one series but for the entire project. Part of your project should be both expanding your audience and keeping your audience.

    My guess is that CoE was written the way it was with the hope of expanding the audience. Again, one way to have avoided this out cry by the previous audience was to not have given interviews and written articles about what was going to develop in the first place. Once that was done, they needed to follow through or risk losing original viewers. yes, you may gain more new viewers but what if you don't? Then where are you and where is your job?

    My final thought on this particular blog post is that by it's very closing comments about how the campaign won't work it betrays itself. If a campaign is so small and pointless, it will be ignored. But campaigns and movements which are belittled get belittled because they are making an impact of some sort. All of these mentions of the "Save Ianto" fans and actions are only giving it more publicity and thus increasing it's power.

    True the fans may not get what they want. The show may not get what it wants either when those thousands if not millions of fans stop watching and buying their product.

    Ultimately decisions were made by the producers and writers of "Torchwood" that attracted some folks and alienated others. Instead of complaining about how fans are reacting they could have taken the time to control their earlier publicity and limited any possible negative reaction. To be surprised by the range of reactions seems quite unexplainable to me.

    Personally if "Torchwood" ends with CoE then I'm fine with it because I feel that TW has been destroyed by the mini-series. If the show continues I won't watch because I'll still feel the same way because the basic premise of the show, Torchwood being ready for the changes of the 21st century have been shown to be a lie.

    Thank you for working your way through my long reply. I hope it gave some of you something new to consider.

  5. This is generally a very good article (thank you for choosing to blog about this, really!), but there are a couple of points which I simply cannot agree on:

    Firstly, there is the issue with James Moran's blog. This was not undertaken by any significant proportion of the campaign, and certainly did not reflect the views of the majority. In fact, most of us were absolutely disgusted by it, and as a community, we took pains to distance ourselves from any association. When you assert that, 'but the hardcore Ianto fans are not giving up', you both link us all into one category, which to my mind is completely unfair, and you overlook the fct that the 'savecoffeeboy' LJ, which is largely the heart of the campaign, was set up long before anybody contacted James Moran; its aims have always been to convey its message in a peaceful, constructive and respectful manner. I think that this: http://community.livejournal.com/savecoffeeboy/29… is far more representative of the stance of the majority of fans behind the campaign, and would strongly advise anybody to read the post before forming a judgement.

    Secondly, and as others have pointed out, the quote you've taken from the 'SaveIantoJones' website (I think that was from the website? May have been an LJ-post, though) was written in direct response to the following article:

    http://ausiellofiles.ew.com/2009/07/backlash-shma

    We, as a campaign, appreciate that Russell T Davies was telling a story. Most of us, myself included, would go so far as to argue that he was telling a very, very good story; dark, gritty, pacy and at times, utterly gripping. We certainly respect his decision to take the dangerous route, rather than consistently play it safe*. We do not, however, appreciate the tone which so many of his interviews seem to have taken as of late, the above being the most obvious example. It is downright condescending, insulting to our intelligence, as fans, displaying a complete lack of understanding as to why we want Ianto back (Davies implies that, if we miss our pairing, we could turn to 'Supernatural' because it, too has 'beautiful' boys – thus undermining Jack and Ianto's relationship, as one of the most important, honest and wonderfully realistic representations of homosexuality on mainstream UK television, to label it 'eyecandy'). He sees fit to retort, seemingly to anybody who didn't like his decision, that it is because they are unable to 'handle drama', not because they have a list of entirely valid reasons as to why they are contesting it. This, to a group of people which almost certainly includes some 'in the business', or students, of film, television or theatre. Davies' instruction to 'go look at poetry. Poetry’s wonderful' can only be viewed in a negative light. And in telling those same peacefully-protesting fans to 'find something else' rather than criticise his choices, Davies really does appear to be treating us as an expendable commodity. We take great pains to show courtesy, to listen and to show respect; is it not reasonable that we request the same in kind?

    Again, thank you from the bottom of my heart for showing enough interest in this to blog about this – and to do so in a reasonably open-minded and thoughtful manner (these qualities are often surprisingly absent on the internet!). I really hope that you have managed to work your way through this reply (I am sorry about the length of it), that I have managed to explain and clarify aspects of the campaign reasonably well and that, as said by the poster above, it sheds another angle on our actions and position as a fandom protest.

    *Our – or my, at least – issue with 'Children of Earth' is its place within the 'Torchwood' canon. As a finale, with no hope of ever resurrecting the show, it works well, but when a fourth series seems a certainty, where does it go from this point? None of us have a wish to watch a show with only Gwen – as much as we love her, she alone is not enough, as Jack, or Ianto alone would not be. We are unwilling for too many new characters to be introduced at any one time, either – it simply wouldn't be 'Torchwood' if we had to watch it start from scratch all over again, with little or nothing of the original, much-loved series to hold us. Therefore, we are appealing for 'contextual damage control' – we recognise the brilliance and success of 'Children of Earth', but not necessarily its place within the 'Torchwood' canon at this point in time (i.e. when it isn't intended as providing closure).

    Ianto's return would, for us, fulfil this need; with a core team of three, each of whom offer something different and together create a sense of balance, the prospct of future series once more becomes viable to our minds. Gwen provides, if not the 'heart', then the conscience and empathy of Torchwood; the social responsibility, but also the vulnerability – she reinforces the startling sense that the awful events which the team must live through are taking place against a backdrop of everyday life. Jack is the enigmatic leader: a character of tough, sometimes ruthless decisions who guides the team and protects them as well as he can. He also propels the show as a device, given his incredible knowledge of those areas with which 'Torchwood' concerns itself. Together, he and Gwen provide the tension, the 'spark', through their constant personality-clashes, quick tempers and strong stubborn streaks.

    Ianto, meanwhile, balances. He holds the team – and the Hub – together, he provides stability and exerts a grounding, centring influence on the explosive Gwen-Jack dynamic, preventing tensions from running too high for too long. He is a brilliant foil to Barrowman's Jack, brotherly towards Gwen; in his own right he is a deeply interesting and multi-faceted character who simply hadn't been fully-explored before Day Four occurred. He provides perhaps the only truly-plausible reason for Jack's return to Earth, and to 'Torchwood', for any future seasons, given Jack's state of mind post-Day Five. Thus, while Iato's death worked for 'Children of Earth', in the wider context of 'Torchwood', we argue that he is essential as a character. Add to this the fact that Gareth David-Lloyd would 'absolutely' love to come back:

    http://www.afterelton.com/people/2009/7/garethdav

    and that, to date, the Jack-Ianto relationship is unparalleled as same-sex relationship-portrayal of its calibre and mass mainstream audience appeal and exposure – it really is too valuable simply to cast aside in order to make the point that ''Torchwood' is dangerous' which has already been underlined by the loss of Owen and Toshiko just five episodes previously, and the mass-murdering of extras each season – and there lie our arguments as to why we feel motivated to do what we are doing!

    1. I apologise for the copious spelling errors in the above post. I am deeply ashamed, although in my defence, I haven't slept since yesterday. Could you perhaps delete the post, please? I'd really like to replace it with a more coherent version.

      Thank you.

      1. Hi Freya,

        I wouldn't worry about occasional spelling errors: there's certainly nothing that detracts from what you're trying to say.

        You do make a lot of points, though — possibly too many for me to respond to all, although I agree with some and disagree with others. However, I'm happy to make clear that I wasn't intending to group you or your campaign among the small number of people who attacked James, and I'm sorry if what I wrote implied otherwise.

  6. Why the campaign won't bring Ianto back, in simple terms:

    1. Russell T Davies has delivered a hit show on BBC1 with big audiences for July and spectacular Appreciation Index (AI) scores from the audience;

    2. Russell T Davies doesn't want to bring Ianto back.

    That's all there is to it. It doesn't matter how many self-proclaimed fans send coffee or whatever. The BBC have a hit show, they're going to let the showrunner make the creative decisions.

    If a fourth series tanks in the ratings and the "Save Ianto" campaign hasn't fizzled out by then there might be an argument to be made that it was all down to Ianto not being part of the series. However, that hasn't happened yet and there is nothing to suggest that it will.

    A mathematical analysis of the combination of the ratings and the AI scores suggests that there can't be more than a few thousand people who hated it enough to not watch the next series. Day Five got an AI score of 90 (Day Four got 91), that's an average score of 9/10. That means for someone to mark it 8/10, someone else has to mark it 10/10. For scores lower than 8/10, more and more people have to have given it 10/10 to compensate. From this we have to conclude that only a tiny minority of the audience hated it.

    That might be enough to make for a campaign by a few hundred or even a few thousand people, but there's nothing to suggest that they represent anybody other than themselves. The BBC would be crazy to listen to such a small part of its audience. All the reliable evidence they have suggests that the show is a huge hit. They're not going to ask the man who gave them two hit programmes (and arguably a third with The Sarah Jane Adventures) to change anything.

    The fans who are complaining have an absolute right to stop watching and not spend money on the show, but the effect of this will be minimal. Everything I've seen suggests that they are a minority even within fandom (which is why it's a bit of a nonsense to talk about RTD betraying "the fans") – and fandom itself only matters in so far as it is part of a wider audience. You don't get extra influence for emotional investment and it wasn't just you who made the show a success – it was the whole audience, and you're just a small part of it. If you walk away, the show will carry on without you.

    Now there are plenty of other things to be gained by campaigning – a sense of community, something positive to do with your emotions, showing appreication for the actor, raising money for charity. But if you're only in it to get Ianto back, then you're going to be disappointed.

    Oh and I don't think Scott was trying to belittle the campaign because, in some way, he fears it. He was simply making an observation – it isn't going to work. The reality of the situation is pretty obvious to anybody who isn't emotionally invested in it. Over the coming months, the campaigners will come to terms with that reality.

    Finally, as to complaining about being misled – everything I've seen about the advance publicity suggests that people who feel this way heard what they wanted to hear, not what was actually said. This seems to be turning into Chinese whispers, with very little by the way of properly sourced and contextualised verbatim quotes from those involved. And even if there is a case that they were misleading, that's not a reason for the return of Ianto. It's only a reason for people to be more careful in future. Although, honestly, its their job to keep plot developments secret, so you shouldn't ask them what's going to happen and expect a comprehensively honest answer.

  7. As for Russell T Davies' comments, I don't think they are intended as rude or disrespectful, they're just honest and off the cuff. It seems to me like a lot of people are wilfully misreading what he said because they want to feel offended.

    Regardless, he has a right to his opinions and your being "a fan" doesn't oblige him to moderate what he says for the sake of avoiding potential offence. And what he says certainly doesn't justify the things he has been called in response, including by members of this "polite" campaign. I'm glad to see though, that the save Ianto website has taken down the statement about his viewing the fans "with contempt" – a spiteful and insulting misreading if ever there was one. It looks like a cooler mood has prevailed, which is a good thing.

  8. You are correct, Matthew, that feeling misled is not a reason to return the character to any show. If you were referring to my earlier post here then I didn't make myself very clear.

    Feeling misled is the reason for much of the anger and the actions taken. Whether or not those actors, writers and producers meant to misled is another matter but it does not change the feelings of thousands that they were misled.

    I'm sorry if you cannot understand these feelings because you didn't see, hear, or read the interviews in question. The fact that thousand feel that way suggests they are not simply imagining things but are aware of information that you and I are not. I can not claim to be aware of all publicity, can you? I cannot claim to have attended each convention, read every articles or watched every interview, can you?

    The things I personally saw, read, and heard told me in explicit terms that the two characters in question would have series (plural) for development. Better to have said nothing at all if there wasn't such a plan. No, I don't have a responsibility to share links with you any more than RTD and BBC have a responsibility to cater to fans as you say. That many people feel the same way is enough evidence that my feelings are valid.

    My concern for people in the Ianto campaigns is that they may be investing too much personal energy and time on this particular issue. Everyone has a right to their opinions on the show. If you or I or anyone else doesn't like a show or loves a show we can say nothing and do nothing or we can choose to do something. I say it's a great thing that people choose to do something instead of being mindless couch potatoes. Just don't make this the end all and begin all of your life.

    In the end money talks more than comments on blogs or coffee sent through the mail. If you don't like how things played out, stop spending money on the franchise and spend your money elsewhere. If it makes your feel better to send letters and other such things, more power to you all because you are exercising your mind and power and not merely consuming, consuming, consuming.

  9. Thanks for the reply!

    I don't mind at all. I understand that you're busy; I just wanted to put the other side out there, to balance things a bit – from my point of view, anyway. And I'm very happy to hear that you're not grouping the official campaign with the more 'extreme' minority – I just get a little edgy when that appears to be happening, given the amount of effort which has gone into preventing such a misunderstanding (that and the fact that it's the sort of detail people could end up latching onto, thus tarnishing something which really is meant with the best of intentions)!

  10. While I didn't especially like that Ianto was killed off, I'm utterly staggered that people think it would be a valid creative decision to bring him back somehow. It'd make the whole point of his death meaningless (ie, if Ianto can die, then that means the core cast are never safe). It's what happened in Spooks, in Casualty, in every single ongoing drama series. Sometimes it's because the actor in question doesn't wish to commit to future series, sometimes it's because the writer wants to do something different. But to campaign to reverse a dramatic action that we all saw happen just strikes me as willfully denying the truth. It's 'La la la I can't here you'.

    If you were upset by the death of Ianto – good! It means the writers and Gareth worked well to convince you in the character and make you care. If you're having trouble dealing with the death of that character – again, good! It shows just how well everyone did in creating the character. But if it's still affecting your life more than a day later, that's not something the production team or actors can really help you with. It really isn't.

    We don't yet know what the future holds for Torchwood, but with Eve Myles pregnant and John Barrowman still very much in demand with his other jobs (such as a stint in La Cage Aux Folles at the moment), and with Russell out of the country, it doesn't seem likely it'll be back immediately. Maybe that'll give everyone time to move on and look forward to whatever they throw at us next.

    I think it'd be a terrible shame if a supernatural / sci-fi reason to resurrect Ianto was even considered. They did that last year with Owen. But one idea I've heard suggested is a kind of 'Torchwood Archives' mini-series, which might show stories that involve other incarnations of Torchwood – the gun-toting Victorian women solving a case at the turn of the century, or Yvonne Hartman in Torchwood One before she died in the Battle of Canary Wharf. Maybe even a story about the creepy man in an office in Scotland. It could be a good anthology series that wouldn't have to rely on Jack – and maybe this way we could see something of Ianto. But otherwise, I'd hate to see him given a fake happy ending. The reason this series of Torchwood was so successful is that it was completely unlike anything else on TV. For that reason, I can understand Russell's flippant remarks directing people to watch less taxing, more predictable shows.

    In the meantime, might I recommend the Torchwood Radio dramas for anyone who hasn't heard them? They're available on CD and all very good.

  11. There are many examples of TV shows listening to campaigns done by fans,and having success with them. Whose to say this one won't be successful as well?

    CoE was successful,but that doesn't mean that a new series without Ianto will be. That's one of the points the campaign is trying to bring across.

    I loved the character of Ianto,but even if I didn't I wouldn't say his death was either necessary to the plot or to make the story seem more "real." The assertion by RTD that he had to die in order for Jack to sacrifice his grandson is not borne out by Jack's actions throughout the seasons. He has always done what was necessary if it was to serve the "greater good". Ianto being alive wouldn't have stopped that. Also, we have already seen how working in Torchwood is dangerous. Three of the cast members died in the first two seasons. Eliminating Ianto was overkill,if you will,and done more for shock value than because it was integral to the story.

    I won't even go into how all of the deaths could've been avoided with better management (and more recruiting!)but it seems to me that as someone else commented-what this season showed more than anything else was that Torchwood wasn't ready for the 21st century.

    Jack dealt with these aliens before,so did the government. Yet neither he,nor anyone in the gov't made any kind of effort to prepare for the possibility of their return? Jack goes with Ianto with nothing more than one gun apiece? Two eight year olds were asked if they would go into a room where there was a tank with aliens who could produce a virus that could kill and they said the following:

    Do I have a gas mask or a suit (a hazmat suit-like someone in Thames House had one at one point!)? Are there windows in the room that we can break? Is there oxygen?

    I think if two eight year olds can poke obvious holes in the plot,RTD loses any argument of how this was inevitable. All it did was make Jack,a man who had been a Captain and fought in several wars (many of which were fought with aliens),who had dealt with these aliens before and knew what they were capable of,and who was a conman and apparently very intelligent-look like a fool.

    In my opinion,which of course RTD doesn't have to listen to,bringing Ianto back would be fixing a very poor plot which left no recognizable Torchwood for the fans to come back to.

    I know I won't watch. Not only because of Ianto,but why would I want to get involved with characters who are only going to die within a year or two? Ultimately,it is the relationships that make a show when it's an ensemble one. If you keep rotating the cast you lose the very thing that makes the series. I loved all the characters and their interactions. Take that away,and all you have is a show that is derivative at best.

    Yes,the fans are upset because they've been belittled. RTD's attitude toward the fans has been known for years,but this is the first time I've ever heard such contempt from him. If you can't take criticism as a writer,than you're in the wrong profession.

    The fans WERE told all the comments people made in the previous posts. It was not wishful thinking-it can be seen on YouTube and in any other forum that published convention news.

    I don't think anyone expected them to say "hey,Ianto's going to die," but these were out and out lies. It's hypocritical for RTD to say he doesn't cater to fans when he went to the conventions and told fans what he knew would make them watch. It's easy for him to belittle fans now that the show has aired.

    I would never condone being rude and harassing the writers. I think that's ridiculous,wrong and unfair.

    I do think it's fair that we be allowed to express our opinions in any peaceful way we choose and not be belittled for it by the writers or anyone else.

  12. I also want to add that not only did RTD say these things at conventions.He also said them in the articles that were published prior to the series.

    Many of these were in LGBT publications because the promos for the season made it seem as though the relationship between Jack and Ianto was going to be developed much more during it.

    One of the often repeated comments (both at conventions and in articles) was that the fans would be HAPPY with the way the relationship was portrayed,and with the outcome! Now,how could he possibly think we'd be happy with the death of Ianto (or,for that matter the way the relationship was "developed" between Ianto and Jack. Except for quibbling about the word "quibble" I didn't see any development. They didn't have much time together,and the first you see of Jack showing how much he cares about Ianto is when he's dying. With the exception being the end of Day 1.

    Thank you for taking the time to read these comments-I appreciate it!

  13. As far as I'm aware Russell T Davies hasn't attended any conventions – much less said anything. Chinese whispers, again. The relationship did develop and it was at the heart of the story for the first time in the series. John Barrowman and Gareth David Lloyd said they thought fans would be happy – it's entirely plausible to believe they said this in good faith, being unable to give away the plot. Nobody talked about outcomes at all.

    What you wanted to hear is not what people said.

    Even if what you think happened did happen – that's not a reason to bring Ianto back.

    1. Russell is at a convention in San Diego right now. He has attended them before. The comments referenced are not "Chinese whispers". They are available if you look on YouTube or check out the publicity campaigns that were abundant prior to the show.

      They did discuss the outcome of the series as well.

      We can disagree about whether the relationship developed. I didn't see it. People who watched the series for the first time couldn't understand why Jack was so devastated by Ianto's death,because the interaction between them was so stilted for most of the series.Arguing about whether you are a couple is not developing the relationship.Ianto's discussion of Jack with his sister basically stated he didn't even know what they were.

      We didn't see anything like the development shown in Rhys and Gwen's relationship-which had already been explored in depth in previous seasons.

      No one is disputing that RTD or the actors would say that the show had an unhappy outcome. Of course they wouldn't. There is a difference,however,between that and saying we would be happy with it.

      I already listed reasons why I felt Ianto should be brought back. I didn't say it was because anyone told the fans we would be happy with the outcome of the season.

      1. I've got to admit I'm a bit of a spoilerphobe but I read all the mainstream publicity in the UK before Torchwood s3 was broadcast and thought they tried not to make a big deal out of having a same-sex relationship at the heart of a drama shown in primetime on the BBC's main channel. I was impressed that the RT and Guardian articles didn't make a song'n'dance of it because I thought it meant the general audience had finally grown up a bit.

        Perhaps, rather than expecting people to google up these abundant concrete examples of the Torchwood production team bigging up the Janto, the saveiantojones campaign should have a handy set of links posted to their site/LJ comm? Then if people query the idea, you can present the evidence with a linkback. You get more traffic, doubters can view the evidence you describe. A win/win.

  14. I've always supported the idea of 'story goes first', and never understood the 'undo it' and 'forget it' mentality. But now I'm part of Save Ianto Jones campaign :) It isn't a controvercy for me – I love CoE, and I am a devoted fan of RTD and his works, and I would never in the world want to change the CoE ending.

    On the other hand, I love Ianto, and I think that in this very universe, these is a possibility to get a character back without disrupting anything. It might be an interesting challenge for a writer to do it in the way that does not make his heroic death look cheap. And it creates an interesting possibility to tell yet another brilliant story of his comeback, and see the reaction of all the characters involved (ecspecially Jack).

    Torchwood is made by a lot of people, and decisions are made not only because of artistic reasons – they also are based on money issues, on time issues, on thousands of different things that the creator has to take into consideration. So, I think that maybe, just maybe, RTD (as the main creator of all Torchwood) can take into consideration fan's love for Ianto Jones (as he possibly took into consideration that everyone is scared of the Daleks, or that people love Sarah Jane), and maybe it will inspire him to write a story of Ianto coming back.

  15. As this simmers away, I just wanted to ask that when someone says that RTD has to listen to "the fans" which fans they mean. Because like any amorphous there are hundreds if not thousands of opinions. It's more accurate to say that as far as you're concerned he has to listen to "this portion of the fans" who have this particular opinion. To which the rest of us ask, "Why?"

  16. Thanks for posting the info and link for the charity. Yes, it probaby won't bring Ianto/GDL back to the show, but it'll generate money for a worthy charity: Children in Need and not overly emotional fans who want their favorite "teaboy" back.

  17. Doomed to fail?

    I love all the positive things which you had to say about us, but why should we fail?

    Bothe the Save Daniel Jackson and Save Carson Beckett campaignes worked!

    Here are several more sucessful cmpaignes:
    http://community.livejournal.com/savecoffeeboy/23

    You're intitled to your oppinion, and I am intending no animossoty towards you with this.

    But RTD, that man does not apreciat his fans. He has atually said that he thinks fans aren't important, and that creators should simply do as they please!

    1. In reply to Emily, that's not quite what he meant. Russell means that he doesn't write stuff just to entertain hardcore fans. Not sure if you're also a Doctor Who fan, but we saw in the 1980s how bad TV can get when writers are urged to please the small-but-vocal minority. If he wrote with the obsessive fan in mind, it's be predictable, boring and of no interest to anyone.

      If you want to see what I mean, hunt down the Doctor Who story 'Attack of the Cybermen' and then try to explain what it's about to a friend. It's the worst example of pandering to fans, and as such it's almost unwatchable.

      Something else to bear in mind here is that Torchwood had switched channels to BBC1 and so in effect, Russell was writing for almost entirely new audience. It was much more important to think of the five million new viewers than the one million old viewers – of whom only a tiny fraction have a resistance to the death of a character. I'm sure if Russell had been able to know in advance that the death of Ianto would cause such a stirring in a minority of viewers, he'd have still done it, because dramatically, the new viewers needed to see a casualty on the good side. Jack's invulnerable and so it couldn't be him. Gwen's role was to represent the future, as an expectant mother. Ianto was the only one who was expendable at that point.

      I do hope this campaign is actually fun for the people involved though. I'd hate to think anyone was taking it so seriously that failure to resurrect Ianto would feel like defeat. It's brought you guys together. That's a great outcome, in the long run.

    2. Creators should do as they please – it's what they're paid for, as TV professionals. If their shows get bad ratings, then the people who employ them might ask them to make some changes, or maybe appoint someone else to take the show in a new direction. If a show is successful, the broadcaster will let the production team follow the creative instincts that brought such a success.

      Torchwood: Children of Earth was extraordinarily successful on all fronts: it rated well for a BBC1 drama; got very high ratings for July; got the highest ratings of all the week-long stripped dramas so far; got the highest ratings of a Torchwood series so far; and got extraordinarily high Appreciation Index figures.

      It's simple then: the only way that Ianto will be coming back for the next series is if that was always the plan. This seems highly unlikely. The campaign is obviously doomed. I'm just hoping that people will be able to come to terms with this over time – and that they're just positively acting out some of their upset at the moment. I'd hate to think that anybody has invested any serious emotion in the outcome of this campaign.

      The last thing that creators should be doing is listening to a group of self-proclaimed fans. Such groups are simply not representative of the audience – and are likely to have obsessive demands which are really bad story ideas. Bringing back Ianto is one such demand – it's a terrible idea. Luckily, Russell T Davies never listens to campaigns like this. Also, he's not so hard up for work that he wouldn't walk away rather than be forced into writing something he didn't believe in. So, to succeed, the campaign will effectively have to persuade the BBC to sack Russell T Davies from Torchwood. Can anyone ever see that happening? Or, indeed, any realistic scenario in which Ianto Jones returns?

      The only time when a campaign might have some success would be if Torchwood was doing badly in the ratings and you could make a persuausive argument that bringing Ianto back could reverse this. You aren't going to be in that position for a long time yet.

      1. If you're looking for a realistic scenario in a sci fi programme I think you've got the wrong genre – its called suspension of disbelief

      2. I was talking about a scenario where the BBC goes against the wishes of Russell T Davies and somehow compels him to bring Ianto back for the next series. Or, alternatively, where the BBC sack him from his own show and bring someone new in, who brings Ianto back.

        In other words, hypothetical real life situations which might result in the campaign succeeding – not a possible fictional scenario within the drama. My point being that in the real world of TV drama, there's no plausible way the campaign can succeed.

        And before you start going on about Daniel Jackson (where the actor left and then came back after no finding a lot of other work) or Jericho (where the point was to show a passionate fanbase that might grow an audience for a failing show, which it didn't) try thinking in detail about this particular situation. How do you imagine that the decision will be made? Given that you're now sending coffee to Mark Thompson, what do you expect him to do? Is your expected outcome at all likely?

        I also think it's a terrible idea, within the fiction, not that my opinion matters especially. Although it is the opionion of a fan, for what that's worth.

        I know I'm labouring the point a bit, but it's Scott's comment about the campaign being doomed to fail which seems to have got the most adverse comment – even to the point of suggesting he has an agenda. If you look at it dispassionately, though, it's obviously not going to work. So, whatever your reasons for campaigning (and there a lot of good ones) expecting Ianto to return isn't an especially good one.

  18. I know tht we are going to save the coffe boy we will they have to give him bk to us they cant just iagore us I want to thank Gaerth for portaying such a great chacter sooo wonderfully I wish him the best and hope to see him in torchwood season 4

  19. I am a fan that was involved in the "bring back STAR TREK" campaign that kept a series alive. I was also involved with the fan campaign to bring back Spock when he was killed off in the movies. This was a very successful franchise that went on for years. With Spock. Now if you want to talk about fans being disrespected ask even the people in the Torchwood fandom about Trek fans and they will roll their eyes and call us " Trekies" .

    We, all fans, are very sensitive about being dismissed as obsessive, nerds, overly invested, I could go on and on. I am a very involved Torchwood fan and am in the Saveianto fan scene, and one of the main reasons is RTD's belittling of the fan base. We do have an effect we can keep the franchise alive. Torchwood started and grew as a "cult series" just like Dr Who, guess who that cult consisted of? The fans keep the shows going when the general audience is distracted by the next new thing.

    Going back to the Star Trek example when Paramount decided to bring back Trek they gave us "Star Trek the Movie" It was a success number wise but to the fans it was a great sci-fi story but it is not Trek. So they come back with Wrath of Khan and that was an even better success, good sci-fi and true to the original series.

  20. I was absolutely devastated by Ianto's death, but I could still recognize that Children of Earth was rather brilliant drama. It made me feel nauseous for days afterwards, but it was perfectly executed and the standard of production dwarfed anything the series had done previously. That said, I am actively supporting the various protests and petitions because RTD's attitude towards fandom in his post-ariing interviews and appearances has been completely atrocious. Fandom gets enough slack from the "outside world", when the creators of the very thing you are supporting turn around and virtually negate your presence, it feels like a slap in the face. How are you meant to react, smile and say thank you? There was no humility, no understanding, just plain dismissal and smugness. Death is a part of many television shows, that's fair enough. It's the way it has been handled that continues to fuel the upset. Joss Whedon, Eric Kripke, they manage to kill off characters and maintain fan support because they act like they understand and value the importance of their fans. Then there's RTD who even managed to aggravate people in the Supernatural fandom with his throwaway attitude the past month. So no, I don't think he truly does get "it". Maybe once in the past RTD had a firm grasp on how fandom worked, but perhaps in all the succes he's forgotten how he actually got there. Who knows?