Joined: 6 May 2007
Since Jack disappeared at the end of Series 1, Gwen and her boyfriend Rhys are engaged.
Rhys (Kai Owen) will finally get to find out about what Gwen’s been up to in her job.
Gwen (Eve Myles) and Rhys have a wedding near the end of the series (I nearly said “get
married”, but then I noticed that none of the cast or crew used those words). The
wedding episode — which is a lighter episode between two very dark ones — involves
vampires, and Ianto (Gareth David-Lloyd) saves the day.
Ianto and Jack’s relationship is set to develop, with Jack asking Ianto out for a proper
date. For those interested (or intrigued), Ianto still keeps his stopwatch handy.
Tom Price, who plays PC Andy, is back in episode 1 — and will have a substantial role to
play further down the line.
Series 1’s Weevils are to make at least one return appearance.
Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman) makes an appearance in three episodes after Jack calls her
in as someone he trusts completely. Initially that causes tension between her and Gwen.
Alan Dale (Neighbours, The OC, Ugly Betty) appears in one episode, appearing to be very
interested in Martha’s history as someone who has travelled in space and time.
At the press launch in the rather swanky Rex Cinema in London’s Soho, BBC2 Controller
Roly Keating announced that, while the series will continue to be made for a
post-watershed audience, each episode will be trimmed down for a pre-watershed repeat, so
that older children who want to follow the character of Captain Jack Harkness over from
Doctor Who will be able to do so.
One thing that won’t be cut out, though, are the same-sex relationships (“[They’re]
just a part of everyday life,” noted John Barrowman before series creator Russell T.
Davies joked that he should get off his soapbox). Most of what gets cut out will be
elements of violence. Which does beg the question that if the dramatic element can survive
in a pre-watershed slot, why it doesn’t get made that way originally.
More from the launch after the jump - but beware: some spoilers lie ahead…
The aforementioned ‘blowfish’ is, of course, an alien who has come through the rift in
space and time that runs through Cardiff, and which Torchwood are hunting down. His
initial encounter with the Torchwood crew (who are apparently now well-known to the
city’s residents; “Bloody Torchwood” tuts a pensioner as they bomb past in their
not-at-all-subtle Range Rover) serves not only to reintroduce the characters — or
indeed, to introduce them to a new BBC2 audience. It also gives the series a chance to
show that it’s aware quite how ridiculous it can be, and that it’s not afraid to send
itself up when the occasion demands.
In fact, although Chris Chibnall’s name gets the writer’s credit here, there feels
like there’s a lot more of the humour and subtlety around that was there in Russell T
Davies’ Series 1 opener, but which seemed to disappear in the frantic rush to get the
rest of the series out the door. All the team were adamant today that there are lighter
episodes — although Davies says that his personal favourite episode is possibly the
darkest piece of drama that he’s ever been associated with in his career. Another
Chibnall script, episode 11 is, he told The Stage, “the script of [Chris’s] life”.
The core team are all back, and in the first episode they’re joined by guest star James
Marsters (best known as Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel) who plays a
mysterious character from Jack’s past. The two men are very much different sides of the
same coin, something that’s not hard to escape: Marsters’ character even goes by the
name of Captain John Hart, just to ram the point home. Fans of Doctor Who who’ve
followed Captain Jack since his appearance in Stephen Moffat’s The Empty Child will note
references to Jack’s past as a Time Agent and conman — put in, says Russell, to draw a
close to that part of Jack’s backstory:
I deliberately asked for that speech to be put in about the Time Agency being shut down.
Otherwise we had this offstage agency that we never knew anything about. They never
featured, and we never did anything with it. And besides, I like that the Doctor is the
only one who can travel through time. So with a few script lines, we sort the whole
Looking ahead, there isn’t a big story arc linking every episode — although there’s
a line right at the end that hints at a personal quest for Jack which will lead, we’re
told, directly to the season climax. There are several character arcs, though, and some of
the tidbits we had dangled in front of our faces