Torchwood star Eve Myles charmed the pants off a Comic Con crowd Saturday.
Not literally, of course, though her character (Gwen Cooper) has had many flirtatious moments with humans and aliens of both genders on the BBC America hit drama, which returns later this year with a five-night, five-episode third season. It hasn’t been scheduled yet, partly because it will coincide with a five-night run in the United Kingdom as well.
Myles - described by the creator of Torchwood and the related, revived Doctor Who, Russell T. Davies, as “one of Wales’s best-kept secrets” - used her wit and Welsh wiles to do something difficult. She pleased a room filled with 500-plus fans of the show while not really revealing anything important about the upcoming season. Now that’s cheeky.
Yet she declared New Yorkers the “cheeky, cheeky monkeys,” after an audience member in New Yorks Jacob Javits Convention Center dropped an F bomb in inviting her and Torchwood director Euros Lyn out for a night of, um, carousing.
Of course she did let a few behind-scenes secrets out, including that co-star John Barrowman (Capt. Jack Harkness) “farts a lot.” That wins a crowd over fast.
A clip of the upcoming season - Torchwood: Children of Earth - shown at the session included a brief shot of Capt. Jack kissing a man. (Update: a commenter says it’s team member Ianto [Gareth David-Lloyd]; I guess my eyes aren’t quick enough to confirm but I stipulate that’s right.] An audience member asked: Is there anyone on Torchwood that Jack doesn’t kiss? Said Myles: “It goes from tables to chairs to curtains,” amid howls of laughter. “There’s an amalgamation this year.”
Moderator Whitney Matheson, of USA Today’s Pop Candy blog, asked whether there’d be any “action” among the cast members in addition to the action (including Myles’s Gwen Cooper flying through the air with a gun in each hand). “Ah, well, it wouldn’t be Torchwood without a little bit of” and snicked her lips.
She also promised: “Everything that you love about Torchwood you’re going to get double times over in this series. You’re going to see why they’re [so] close in this particular series. They really prove themselves to be rightful heroes.”
Amid the entendres and repartee, Myles, garbed in a sleeveless tee and skirt as jet black as her shoulder-length straight hair, imparted serious thanks and plugs for the upcoming season.
“We’re completely overwhelmed by the support that we’ve had in New York,” she said. “It’s been extraordinary, to say the least. You’ve just been so energetic about the show, passionate and loyal, and we can’t thank you enough.”
Lyn - who also directs four Doctor Who specials that will be the last four with David Tennant as The Doctor - said of Children of Earth: “We want to tell a story the way that we haven’t done before … We want to develop characters and their relationships to a deeper, more complex sphere. And we want to build up to something even grander and more epic. I can tell you, by the time you reach the end of the series you’re going to be holding onto the edge of your seats.”
The storyline - which clearly involves all the children of Earth - also clearly is grim. And in the last season, two members of the Torchwood team of alien hunters died. Myles was asked if fans would see anything from the characters that would leaven the mood.
“There’s definitely a lighter side to the characters [this season], because the theme is so dark that somewhere along the line you’ve got to get humor in there. Otherwise the dark stuff doesn’t work.”
One new addition will be “the mysterious Mr. Frobisher,” who’s played by the marvelous British actor Peter Capaldi (of the movie Local Hero and the BBCA series The Thick of It).
“He plays the grayest, middle-ranking civil servant,” Lyn said. “Somebody who’s worked hard all his life, never stuck his head above the parapet, and here he is he winds up in the middle of the biggest terror to face the earth so far. He’s a very brilliant protagonist - antagonist — somewhere in the middle.”
Gwen Cooper’s husband, Rhys (Kai Owen), also plays a bigger role in this season. Myles demurely declared Rhys the best kisser she’s encountered on the show, although she did admit “it was fun” snogging a girl in one of the first episodes in the first season. “She didn’t have stubble — that was nice!”
Finally, Capt. Jack Harkness can’t die - he is “killed” over and over in the series and comes back to life. Lyn was asked if it’s a challenge writing a character like that.
“An interesting thing about a character that can’t die is that death isn’t the worst thing that can happen to him,” Lyn said. “There’s a fate worse than death. And for Jack, there are some terrible sins from his past that we’re going to find out more about this time.”
Myles, who sweetly stepped off stage at one point to accept a gift and offer hugs to the two fans who brought it, responded ever so politely when a female fan called her gorgeous. “I’m so coming back to New York!” she declared.
The welcome mat will be out.