James Marsters Sets The Tone For Season 2 of TORCHWOOD

The sleeper hit Doctor Who spin-off, Torchwood, promises more laughs and more pathos, as guest stars like Buffy's James Marsters bring sex, humor and darkness.
According to Welsh actor Eve Myles, who stars on BBC America's hit science fiction drama Torchwood, the second season will be sexier, sharper and darker, with a balance of action and romance that will have viewers laughing AND crying.

"There's a handful of new monsters," she revealed. "You've got the supernatural to look forward to. You've got beautiful love stories to look forward to."

Torchwood is the Doctor Who spin-off series about a special ops unit battling hostile aliens and supernatural threats. Based in Cardiff, Wales, the Torchwood team is led by the immortal time-traveling adventurer Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) and includes computer expert Toshiko (Naoko Mori), scientist/weapons expert Owen (Burn Gorman), "receptionist" Ianto (Gareth David-Lloyd) and local constable Gwen (Myles).

The acting is top-notch; Myles, in fact, won the BAFTA Cymru ["Wales"] Best Actress Award for her portrayal of Gwen, a role written especially for her by creator Russell T. Davies. And, unlike the family-friendly Doctor Who, Torchwood tackles subjects like sex and death head-on. That more daring attitude extends behind the scenes, as well.

"To the uninitiated, it can be a bit of a shock," admitted guest star James Marsters (Angel, Smallville). "It's a sexually charged show, so there are a lot of sexual jokes and a lot of double entendres in the air, but none of it is serious."

The January 26th season premiere episode, "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang", in which Marsters portrayed the rebellious Captain John Hart, set the tone for Season Two, which showrunner Davies promised will have "more sense of humor", but without losing the darker elements. "[Humor] expands the palette of the whole thing. When you've got more light, you can do more shade."

Barrowman welcomes more laughs, because, though Captain Jack is "still determined, still focused...he needs to lighten up a little bit." At the same time, he'll have to survive some "head butting" with Gwen, who commanded the Torchwood team while Jack was off gallivanting through time with Doctor Who (between Seasons 1 and 2).

On the whole, however, Myles promised that "there’s not so much squabbling in this [season]" and that fans "can expect to see...the team being tighter than ever."

Barrowman said that "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang" is indicative of "more character-based stories" to come, in which "you're going to learn an awful lot more about" the team members. That includes the enigmatic Captain Jack, who will reveal more of his past this season.

No time is lost beginning those revelations. Within five minutes of the opening, James Marsters struts in through a time portal, showing Captain John Hart to be a witty, randy scoundrel with a Brit accent--not dissimilar to Marsters's most famous persona, cockney vampire Spike on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

"Captain John is...a thief who travels through time stealing the wealth of whole planets," Marsters explained. "His partner used to be Captain Jack, who's now reformed."

Viewers quickly learned that the two captains were "partners" in more ways than one, when they kissed passionately, fist-fought fiercely, then sidled up to the bar together. It's a love affair of epic proportions, between a famously promiscuous bisexual (Jack) and a man who, says Marsters, "is way beyond bisexual. This guy would do anything that moved. I cast a lustful glance at a poodle! Hey, when Captain Kirk went to different planets, he slept with different species. They just all looked like hot pinups from Planet Penthouse. We're a little more realistic."

John Hart will return later this season, and Marsters is up for revisiting next year, as well. "The character is sexy and villainous. Why stop doing that? Plus, Wales is great. If anyone wants a great vacation and they don't mind seagulls, go to Wales."

Barrowman also is open to playing his already-iconic character for years to come. "I absolutely love playing him. When the time comes for us to close the page on Torchwood and Jack Harkness, I'm also then happy to do that...But I think it's got a bit of a life out there."

BBC Video released the first season of Torchwood on DVD last week, and fans can expect Torchwood toys very soon.

Torchwood airs on BBC America Saturdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT. (If you actually get the BBC-UK, the series is about 10 days ahead of the U.S.)

[Original articles by SciFi Wire's IAN SPELLING & CINDY WHITE, iF Magazine's SEAN ELLIOTT, Digital Spy's BEN RAWSON-JONES, Boston Now's JOHN BLACK, TV Guide's ILEANE RUDOLPH, and Torchwood Magazine.]
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Torchwood: BBC America