19 Fantastic British Sci-Fi Series You Can Binge Right Now

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The Season 1 cast of “Torchwood”. (Photo: BBC)


Torchwood is a spinoff of iconic British sci-fi series Doctor Who. It follows the adventures of a small team of alien hunters who investigate extraterrestrial incidents on Earth. The Torchwood Three team is based in Wales and led by Captain Jack Harkness, an immortal alien con-man from the distant future who did a lot of traveling around with the Doctor back when he was Christopher Eccleston. (And a little bit more when he was David Tennant.) The team members all have different reasons for joining up, but they end up battling a steady stream of monsters that come through a “time rift” in Cardiff Bay. It’s kind of like the Hellmouth in Buffy, but Welsh.

Torchwood was meant to be a slightly more adult version of kid-friendly Doctor Who. As such, it frequently features darker stories, scarier aliens, sex, and death. This tendency becomes more pronounced as the series goes on. And many of the later installments of this series (looking at you, Children of Earth) are some of the saddest and most upsetting things I’ve ever seen on television. That’s not to say these episodes are bad – they’re stunning good television, generally – but they’re kind of emotionally devastating.

(I still love you, Ianto Jones!)

John Barrowman stars as the always entertaining Captain Jack, joined by Eve Myles, Gareth David-Lloyd, Burn Gorman and Naoko Mori. The cast shifts around quite a bit over Torchwood’s four seasons, and several recurring guest stars make regular appearances. Most notably Doctor Who companion Freema Agyeman does a multi-episode guest spot in Season 2 and it’s really such a shame they never made her part of the show full-time.

Number of Seasons: 4

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime or Netflix