Fans of Doctor Who aren't going to enjoy 2009 at all. There's the already-announced lack of a regular season for the Time Lord's own series next year (the show will instead be represented by four special episodes before Steven Moffat takes over with the 2010-slated fifth season). But worse, now it's been confirmed that Torchwood, Who's awkward "mature" spin-off series, is also going to have a much shorter run for its third season. And that's not all that's changed about the BBC's Welsh "time rift" thriller.

Talking to TV Guide, Torchwood executive producer Julie Gardner has confirmed rumors that the show's third season will only run for five episodes instead of its usual thirteen. Weirdly, those five episodes are scheduled to run daily over the course of a week. Another change is the show's channel. Having debuted on BBC Three before moving to BBC Two for its second season, this mini-third season will be premiered on flagship BBC One, meaning that any prospective fourth season will necessitate the creation of a new BBC Zero channel before it can be shown in the UK.

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While the question of just who will make up the crew of Torchwood this time around, following the death and disappearance of two cast members at the end of last season, is still unresolved, Gardner also confirmed that John Barrowman's Jack Harkness will return for the new season despite rumors to the contrary. Of course, now that the show's on family-friendly BBC One and rumored to be adding both Martha Jones and Rose's-Useless-Boyfriend-Turned-Cosmic-Commando Mickey to the cast next time around, expect a downturn in the amount of sex he'll be having with Ianto from now on.

It's Confirmed: 'Torchwood' Only 5 Hours in 2009 [SyFy Portal]