Yes, my last Torchwood post was a little bit snarky, but I've calmed my rabid inner fangirl and given some thought to the unique entity that is Torchwood.
Contrary to my usual habits in TV series consumption, I didn't wallow in Tumblr gifs and youtube fanmade videos and then move on to get addicted to a new series. Oh, don't get me wrong. I totally went down a dark fangirl hole of janto gifs and fanvids that hurt me in the feels, but the moving on part failed to happen.
Big Finish audio productions. They made a really great mini series that fell between the end of season two and Children of Earth/season 3 called Outbreak, and also season 5 that follows on from Miracle Day called Aliens Among Us. But probably the thing that I've been enjoying the most is the fact they've been able to duck and weave back into the timeline of the show and slot in new "episodes" that feature Owen, Tosh and of course Ianto.
The Torchwood fandom is still alive, maybe not as strong as it once was when it was on TV, but new audiences are discovering the TV series all the time thanks to Netflix (among other things), creating new fans as the old ones slip away. It very much seems to be a shifting sands of fandoms that I've never seen with anything else. And a lot of these new fans seem happy enough to embrace the alternate media in which this series had continued to exist. Unfortunately, as the years go by, the fandom is shrinking little by little, and these days things like online petitions or sending packets of coffee beans to the BBC (in honour of Ianto being the coffeeboy) don't do anything to sway anyone.
Even with the considerable influence of John Barrowman wanting to get Torchwood back on TV, the chances of that happening seem minuscule at best.
But in all the fandom to-and-fro, the one thing that keeps coming up again and again, is the death of Ianto Jones. As new fans are come along, it creates a whole new group of people outraged over the character's death. This is fascinating to me from several different perspectives.
I think the fan backlash is exactly what tells the writers they did the right thing. The fact is that Jack and Ianto's relationship became that much more polarizing because of Ianto's untimely and sudden death. The tragedy of it makes the fans more invested, the wasted potential frustrates and upsets them, so in many ways, killing of Ianto worked fantastically for the series. Unfortunately, for the continuation of the series, not so much. There was a huge Ianto-sized hole in Miracle Day, and while some of the behind-the-scenes stuff I've seen and read about Torchwood, the creators/writers talk about Gwen being the heart and soul of the show (and in some ways was true) I think they completely missed the fact that Ianto was just as much this, if not more so. He was the warmth and comfort of the show, and without him, things just seemed kind of hollow.
I've seen a few ideas floating around the internet about how Ianto could be saved or brought back. Probably my two favorite are one; having the 13th Doctor save or revive him somehow. Or two, after the BBC audio drama House of the Dead, (spoilers! Just skip ahead if you haven't got to this audio drama yet and don't want to know what happens) there were fan theories floating around that Ianto had actually been fully resurrected and wasn't just a ghost.
If they were going to bring Ianto back, I actually quite like this option, because I think it would give his character an extra dimension that would be amazing. He would still need to be the same Ianto, but his characters always did have those tiny hints of darkness, so you could only imagine that if Ianto did get spat out of the rift in a different time and was somewhat, if not completely immortal like Jack, he might have spent years or decades trying to get back, so his character could be a little edgier, a little darker. Plus imagine all the backstory of where he'd been and what he'd been doing for all that time that the writers could play with.