It was announced at the "Torchwood" last weekend at New York Comic Con that the popular Doctor Who spin-off would be returning to American airwaves for its third season sometime in 2009, but, to the vocal disappointment of the many fans in attendance, it was not announced exactly when.
Whitney Matheson, author of the blog Pop Culture for USA Today, moderated the panel, which featured actress Eve Myles, who plays the character of Gwen Cooper on the series. Also on stage was Euros Lyn, director of the five-part "Torchwood: Children of Earth" miniseries, which will span the show's entire upcoming third season.
"When I was asked to moderate this panel, I was so thrilled, I was so pumped, but the burning question on my mind is when is Captain Jack coming back?" Matheson said to kick things off. "It's been so long!"
Both Myles and Lyn promised that the third season would be big on action, adventure, and surprises. "We're going to be telling one big, epic story over five episodes," Lyn said.
A trailer for "Torchwood: Children of Earth" was then screened, which featured, among other things, a whole bunch of really, really, really creepy-looking children repeating the words "we are coming."
Lyn said the truncated third season actually allowed the creators room to tell a more elaborate story and better develop the relationships between the series' main characters. "We want to tell a story in a way that we haven't done before. We want to develop characters and their relationships, and we want to be able to build up to something grander and epic. By the end, you'll be holding onto your seats. It's grand."
Myles added that season three would be "absolutely epic," and joked that she got to fly through the air holding "not one, but two guns" during several action sequences.
Both Myles and Lynn said the third season would not pick up immediately where the second left off. "This is a new story, we're moving on, we're telling a brand new tale," Lynn said.
"This story's about something completely new and bold, so it goes at a hundred miles an hour," Myles added.
Myles said she really enjoys working with all her coworkers and the environment onset during filming. "We have a lot of fun on set. I think sometimes that the storylines are so heavy, without fun or humor you wouldn't have that spark on set."
Now that he knows the extent of the Torchwood Institute and Gwen's job there, her husband Rhys - played by the actor Kai Owen - will have a much bigger, more integral role in the show's third season, Myles said, noting that an interesting dramatic relationship develops between Rhys and Captain Jack when Rhys begins accompanying them on adventures.
The panel then took questions from the audience.
A fan wanted to know who is "definitely coming back" for the third season. "Captain Jack, Gwen, and Rhys," both Lynn and Myles confirmed.
What about the Weevil? "Would you like him to return?" Lyn asked.
Myles said she was a big fan of the Weevil, as is most everyone else on the show. "We love the Weevil. He's fantastic. It's very strange sitting and having a cup of tea with the Weevil."
Another fan wanted to know what percentage of the new season would be action and what percentage would be **action** - meaning, presumably, who's going to be hooking up with whom? "It's a cheeky program and it's always going to be sexy," Myles said.
Does Gwen kiss anyone aside from Rhys in the third season? "You'll have to wait and see," Myes blushed. "There's lot's of cheeky scenes."
A fan with a thick New York accent began by welcoming Myles and Lyn to America, then asked a three-part question: "Are you going to be bringing back the Master? Is he going to be an American? And can I play the role?" Apparently, the fan wasn't kidding, and even offered to send Lyn copies of his headshots. "I'm dead serious," he said. "I'll send you my headshots."
He then asked Myles out for a drink, before finally thanking Russell T. Davies for bringing back "Doctor Who" and "having the balls to create something as fucked up as 'Torchwood.'"
At that point, Myles said that she was seriously thinking about dating the guy.
How did Myles land the role on "Doctor Who" that led Davies to cast her as one of the leads for "Torchwood?" "I think it was the phenomenal hairstyle I had that got me the role of Gwen Cooper," she joked.
Is there anyone Captain Jack is not going to kiss in the new season? Probably not, both Lyn and Myles agreed with a laugh.
Does Myles have a favorite alien or creature she has had to contend with on the show thus far? She said the Weevil was up there, but that her favorite had to be the Blowfish. "I love the blowfish. I just thought he was really cute and really good looking."
Myles' favorite American sci-fi series, a fan wanted to know, is Joss Whedon's "Buffy," which drew huge applause from the crowd.
What was Myles' most memorable kiss on the show so far? After a long, long pause, she replied, "Rhys...he's a lovely kisser. He really is."
Will the shorter season mean better production values? "We're making five hours, which sort of lessens the production period," Lyn said. "I'm hoping that you'll see something that's even more excellent than before."
A fan wanted to know, "What are the odds of no one dying" during the third season? "99 to one," Lyn said. "I won't tell you which way."
Another wanted to know how Myles liked kissing a girl in an early episode? "Well, she didn't have stubble, so that was kind of nice," Myles said, adding that as an actor you sort of have to give yourself over to what the role asks of you, and that "she was hot, so I enjoyed it."
A fan asked Lyn, who also directs episodes of "Doctor Who," if the rumors of Neil Gaiman possibly writing an upcoming episode of that show were true. "Is he here? Would he like to do it? That would be wonderful," Lyn said. He added that he knew Gaiman was "definitely" not writing any of the upcoming "Doctor Who" specials, because they'd already been written.
How many times will Captain Jack die in the new season? After counting on her fingers, and appearing to lose track, Myles said, "A couple."
Lyn added, "One of the most interesting things about a character who can't die is death isn't the worst thing that can happen to him," and that in the new season, Captain Jack would definitely find out how bad things can get.
A fan wanted to know if Lyn approached directing an episode of "Doctor Who" any differently than he did an episode of "Torchwood." "Torchwood is definitely something that exists in the real world," he said. "'Torchwood' is something that is very rooted, and for me as a director that's always been something that was very important about the storytelling."