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Jane Espenson is possibly the busiest sci-fi writer in Hollywood. She’s written for Torchwood, Battlestar Galactica, Game of Thrones and more. In fact her new webseries, Husbands, just launched.

Jane sat down with Den of Geek to talk about all the hats she’s worn over the past year. It’s a wonder she hasn’t fallen over from sheer exhaustion!

Immortal Sins was bold, brave and the highlight of the series for me. How tight was the brief you had on that one? How involved was John Barrowman, given that this was the episode that put his character absolutely front and centre?

How tight was the brief? I don’t know what that means – do you mean, how detailed was the break?


It was very detailed – Russell makes sure you’re prepared when you start writing, but you’re also given a lot of room to make changes and to improvise. In this way, Russell is very much like Ron Moore, the showrunner at Battlestar – they both welcome innovations and surprises from their writers, which is an unusual preference.

John was not involved in determining the story, but of course we are influenced by the fact that he’s so good. You feel confident giving subtle acting tasks to all the members of a cast as great as this one is.

You’ve been engaging heavily with fans on both sides of the channel with Miracle Day. Is there any difference in the response you get from US and UK audiences? Are UK audiences more protective of ‘old’ Torchwood, do you find?

Yes – that is precisely the difference. There seems to be a small but very passionate group of UK fans who particularly embrace the tone of the first two seasons of Torchwood. I was thrilled when they seemed to really enjoy my episode 7, Immortal Sins. They liked some of the feel of the earlier seasons that found its way into that episode in particular.

See the entire interview on Den of Geek

Was Immortal Sins one of your favorite episodes this year? I personally saw it as the turning point in the series where the characters, pacing, and solid story telling were all there.

  • Anonymous

    I didnt think so at the time but Immortal Sins was really the best episode of this series and that in and of itself is sort of a problem really given that it was an extended flashback episode love story and not something that really progressed the forward narrative much. In any case though I think Jane did a terrific job on it and episode 5 and co writing the finale. I do think 7 was the episode that felt most classic Torchwood and in a very good way. I hope she comes back for the next series and hopefully is given a much better paced story outline to work with, Miracle Day was story structure, plot, and pacing nightmare.

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