Monday, 7 August 2017

Articles WATNOW?: Everything Changes by DJ Forrest


Where Are They Now:

Everything Changes

Torchwood first appeared on our screens on BBC 3, way back in 2006, a year after Doctor Who relaunched with Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor. We were introduced to Captain Jack Harkness, who as we remember was immortalised thanks to Rose Tyler after being zapped by the Daleks on Satellite Five. It took him some time to find himself back on Earth, in search of the correct time line with which to meet the Doctor again. However, our story with Jack, and his merry band of men and women, kicks off with the very first episode, seen through the eyes, of WPC Gwen Cooper, on the search of the knife that killed John Tucker.

Discovering the team after following them up the stairs of the hospital building where she’d been treated for a head wound, Gwen found herself staring at a creature that to any unsuspecting human, would be a person in fancy dress. But the Weevil as we’ve come to learn, is a familiar face for the alien catchers who work beneath the Roald Dahl Plass. And when it attacks the hospital porter, killing him, Gwen soon learns that Torchwood is also very good at ‘covering things up’.

Through Gwen we uncover the truth behind the knife, and the killer, and Jack discovers that as much as Retcon does work on many, there are some, like Gwen, who do remember when the amnesia wears off.

That’s the story in a nutshell.

WATNOW looks back at the cast. The people behind the characters, and what happened to them after Torchwood.

In the first episode, Gwen played by Eve Myles, is introduced to the entire team, including Myfanwy and Janet, and the Weevil who killed the porter.

It’s quite possible that we may not be able to cover the entire cast list in one sitting, due to the lives of the busy cast. And as much as we’d like to list the merits of the writers, directors and producers, we may, in the order of Jack’s relationships, be here till the sun explodes. So, we’re going to look back at the cast from their humble beginnings from the very first episodes, and add each full time member of the team, over the period of the first series, as some of them have achieved a lot of merits since Torchwood began and it will take some time to list.

So, let’s kick off, with how we first discovered Torchwood, through the eyes of WPC Gwen Cooper.

Eve Myles

‘Gwen Cooper’

‘It's Gwen, not sweetheart. One syllable, I'm sure you can manage it.’

Eve Myles has played Gwen Cooper from 2006 – 2011. Her audio career as Gwen continues with Big Finish, now into their second season of Torchwood stories, written by familiar favourites, and not just narrated by the cast, but full cast dramas. We might not be able to see our favourites on the television, but it’s nice to know that they are still with us – even those, who left the series after the 3rd season.

When the television series ended with Miracle Day, aside from Baker Boys in the same year (2011), it wasn’t until she played District Nurse Maddox in the 6 part series Frankie in 2013 that Eve’s career really kicked off. If it hadn’t have been for the bloody football, we might have seen a second series.

In 2015, after Under Milk Wood, a television film, where she played Lily Smalls, Eve played one of the most interesting characters to grace eight episodes of the popular television series Broadchurch.
Claire Ripley had a secret that came out towards the end of the series, and it was a surprise for all. What was interesting about this character, other than her storyline, was the lack of a Welsh accent. Eve is very good at dropping the Welsh accent for her roles, of late. It takes a bit of getting used to. But like the great actress that she is, when she plays a role, there’s no part of Gwen in any of them. I like that.  

In 2015, she also played Lauren Grey in You, Me & Them for all 12 episodes. It was a situation comedy starring Anthony Head and Nigel Betts. I’ve not seen a single episode as it aired on a channel I don’t own, so can’t tell you a single thing about it.

In the Moving On series, she played Helen, in the episode Passengers, in which she learnt how to drive with Paul Copley as her instructor. Paul played her next-door neighbour, and was living without his wife, and failing to cope as well as he should. I was riveted throughout the entire episode, and this was purely after randomly selecting programmes on iPlayer and happened upon it, quite by chance.

In 2016, Eve played Mrs Jenkins, the Queen’s dresser in the ITV drama about the young Queen Victoria. Mrs Jenkins purchased items for the Queen, as was her role, but would have the royal Page’s sell them for her on the Black Market for a high price. Obviously, her crime was discovered, but not by the Queen, so it’s unclear if she was charged with the offence and lost her job at a later date.

This year (2017) Eve stars in a British vampire film called Eat Locals, written by Danny King and directed by Jason Flemyng. She plays Vanessa, in the star studded film also starring Tony Curran, Freema Agyeman and Nicholas Rowe to name but a few Doctor Who faces.

Eve is currently working on a new television series called Keeping Faith, playing Faith Howells, a small town Welsh lawyer, who has had to cut short her maternity leave when her husband and business partner, Evan goes missing. Keeping Faith also stars her real life husband, Bradley Freegard plus a host of Torchwood and Doctor Who cast. Another to keep in the diary to watch.

We hope that Eve will continue to play the feisty Welsh alien hunter, Gwen Cooper, for as long as possible, as we don’t want her hanging up her boots just yet!

John Barrowman

‘Captain Jack Harkness’

‘We don't just catch aliens. We scavenge the stuff they leave behind, find ways of using it, arming the human race for the future. The 21st century's when it all changes, and you gotta be ready.’

John Barrowman has been very busy since Torchwood ended after Series 4: Miracle Day.
A strong voice for Torchwood fans, he's always wanted to see a return of the 51st century time traveller, so much so, that in 2015/16 we saw Torchwood brought back to life in Big Finish series 1 & 2, beginning with Conspiracy, that involved a new enemy - The Committee. These stories brought back Jack, Ianto, Owen, Toshiko and Gwen, and milled around their lives from the 1st & 2nd series. It also answered some of our questions of when and how Ianto and Jack first got together, plus a few random stories that still leave us confuddled.

With the Torchwood comic book series penned by sister Carole, the pair are taking the comic book world by storm.

And it's not just Torchwood.

Since temporarily hanging up his WW2 great coat, John has seen success in Canada with his new immortal character, Malcolm Merlyn, in the CW series Arrow (2012 - 2017) and Legends of Tomorrow (2016 - 2017). For 5 seasons John's character went from bad to evil to a man you would want fighting on your side, albeit dangerously. And woebetide you pissed him off!

But that all came to an end a few months ago (2017) and Merlyn was killed off, leaving John free to roam the Con circuits, meeting fans from across the globe, in his own formidable style of panels. Tardis costumes spring to mind.

John also launched a new album with the help of his fans in 2014 and You Raise Me Up is still available in HMV if you look hard enough.

In July, 2017, John's health saw him rushed to hospital to have his appendix removed. Despite being dosed up heavily on painkillers, he couldn't refuse his fans another few glimpses of him in his regular vlogs on social media. From the going down to surgery to the recovery, fans were happy to see all was fine and surgery was a success.

Get well soon, Captain Jack Barrowman!

As well as his stints as Jack in Doctor Who during RTD's tenure, fans hoped to see Jack return to Doctor Who during the 12th era, but given that Chibnall has taken up the reins as showrunner, it's quite possible that Jack may put in an appearance as the Torchwood Captain again - hopefully. It would be nice to see Jack back in Who again. Just like old times. I wonder if he would be able to keep his flirting under control with the new Doctor at the helm???

Olwen Medi


‘What's going on, Gwen, you seeing ghosts?’

Olwen’s career as an actress began in the Welsh television series Bowen A’i Bartner in 1985. In all her character roles, she has appeared in since then have been for a Welsh production, from A Mind to Kill as Ruth Morris in 1995, to playing Gethin’s mother in the brilliant film Pride in 2014.

However, we remember her for her role as Yvonne, in Torchwood episode, Everything Changes, who leads our Gwen, into discovering a little bit more about the elusive Captain Jack Harkness. But surely, he can’t be the same man, can he?
 (Photo courtesy of Cinal Gabran)

Tom Price

‘PC/Sgt Andy Davidson’

‘CSI Cardiff, I'd like to see that, they'd be measuring the velocity of a kebab.’

Andy Davidson has had a bit of a crush on Gwen Cooper for ever such a long time now, and there’s a hint of jealousy over her choice in men, and by that, I mean, Rhys Williams. Despite Andy’s feelings for her, he’s the one who calls her up when there’s something of a ‘spooky do’ to deal with, or she calls him, for the odd favour. Deep down, Andy would like to be the Captain of Torchwood – but that seat is already taken!

Tom Price who plays Andy, is a stand-up comedian, and since debuting his stand-up show at the Edinburgh Fringe back in 2011, returned three years later with another show called ‘Not as Nice as He Looks’. In that same year, he supported Stephen Merchant on his European tour.

Tom hosts the BBC Radio Wales comedy news show ‘The Leaks with Tom Price’ that began in September 2014. He’s also a weekend afternoon radio presenter for Magic FM. If anyone has heard of that station they play roughly 7 records over the period of a day and they’re all earworms!!!

Tom has played Andy throughout the 4 seasons of Torchwood, as well as the audio versions, including narrator on some of the BBC audios. Now with Big Finish taking up the reins, Tom has played alongside the team in what can only be described, as the best stories to come out of Torchwood in ever such a long time, I’m thinking, Norton Folgate – although I do still love ‘Asylum’ where he met his ‘first’ alien.

Since Torchwood, Tom has worked steadily with such roles as James Chetwyn-Talbot in World Series of Dating in 2012 on BBC3. A short film Walk or Fly as a Maths Teacher in the same year. He played another Andy in Stella for 5 episodes, completely different character altogether, a bit of a wet character to be honest. In Topsy and Tim in 2014, which sounds like a kids show, but quite probably isn’t, he played Paul for four episodes.

Once again, another Torchwood actor plays a role in the drama, Victoria, this time as the Duke of Sutherland for two episodes. I wonder who else I’ll find in this drama series?

Interestingly enough again, Tom plays Perry Tressel in Midsomer Murders episode Red in Tooth & Claw, which airs this year. It may have already aired and I’ve conveniently missed it!!! Naoko Mori was the last person from Torchwood to play a character in this series.

He also plays Dom in Bucket this year too (2017), for the first episode. So perhaps I need a night in front of the telly.

As Gwen pondered on the knife that rang a bell in her distant dulled memory, she served tea to two police officers in the Serious Crime Division.

Dion M Davis

Police Officer #1

Dion M Davis, not to be mistaken for the other Welsh actor, Dion Davies, played a police officer assigned to the case of the knife that killed John Tucker. It’s the knife that Gwen remembers seeing as the amnesia pill began to wear off, and she remembered where she’d seen it last.

Since his brief appearance in the episode, Dion has been a composer for Darkwood Manor in 2011, a comedy horror film directed by Liam Hooper and starring Steve Coogan as himself oddly enough. It sees students and their tutor disappear one by one, when an evil presence takes control. Seems the standard premise for horror films these days - the comedy element I guess would be Coogan!

This January (2017) he plays Mr Sugarman's Butler in Daydream Hotel, directed by Tony Perri. In the year 2022, rich guests of a certain hotel are turned into fantasy characters.

Cathryn Davis

Woman at Bar (that Owen hits on)

Unfortunately, aside from this one episode, there is no further information on Cathryn Davis, and trust me, I explored every possible avenue, from social media to acting merits. There is a possible Twitter account that has been silent since 2009, but other than that, Cathryn Davis no longer works as an actress. If however, you are a friend of Cathryn’s, know what she may be up to, or you are Cathryn and would like to update us on your career since that scene, then please, do get in touch with us.

Mark Heal

Security Guard

“Oi, you can’t park there.”

Since his role in Everything Changes in 2006, as the jobs worth security guard, determined that WPC Gwen Cooper was going to listen to him as she strode after Torchwood to their invisible lift.  Mark Heal has appeared in Coronation Street as three different character roles from 2005 - 2015, from a drunk, to a journalist, to playing Duncan Morgan. He appeared as a Judge in Stella, in 2016. His latest appearance has been in Doctors, the BBC afternoon drama, playing Gordon Gately in the episode Trespass, however, back in 2005 he played John Taft in the episode Dream Time. There are no up to date photos of Mark Heal available on the internet, that I could find. If however anyone does know of any, do please point us in the right direction.

Gary Sheppeard

Pizza Boy at Jubilee Pizza shop

“Aye, they’re our biggest customers.”

From in front of the camera as the Pizza lad serving Gwen Cooper in Jubilee's Pizza shop, Gary Sheppeard now works behind the camera, literally - with a camera!

From Skellig in 2009 as assistant grip, Pen Talar, for 9 episodes as assistant camera, Merlin for 14 episodes from 2009 - 2010. Gary was also assistant grip for Doctor Who episode Closing Time in 2011. (not my favourite episode). To Hinterland in 2013 for two episodes, and Da Vinci's Demons for The Voyage of the Damned episode in 2014.

This year (2017) he worked as grip for the screenplay That Good Night starring the late John Hurt and Charles Dance. I wouldn't mind seeing that film if it’s available in the UK.

Again, there are no up to date photos of Gary available, but we’re working on that.

Rhys Swinburn

John Tucker

'I'm not dead. I can see you...Why am I dead? I don't want to be dead.'

Rhys Swinburn played John Tucker, the Body, in the rain, in the opening sequences for Torchwood: Everything Changes. I remember interviewing Pedr Symonds who stepped in for Rhys during the body scene, due to being ill for one of the shots.

Rhys is no longer an actor, but a Cardiff based computer techy working with Zonal Retail Data Systems, a business he created with Deri Green back in 2013, who provide ‘integrated hospitality management solutions for over 9,000 leisure firms in the UK. They set up the business to become the world's best hotel software makers.’ (Wales Online news article by Nicholas Fearn, February 9th, 2017)

When I researched his name, this article came up, and looking at facial features, adding a good 10 years, I do believe this is the same Rhys Swinburn from Cardiff who back in 2006 played John Tucker.

Jason May


Since Torchwood, Jason's roles have ranged from a burly security guard, a SWAT team member, a Viking, a Berserker and a Longshoreman. He played Harry Lloyd in an episode of Stella in 2013, not to be mistaken for the real Harry Lloyd who became something of a golden boy in Game of Thrones!!!

In 2013 he played Ronaldo in Da Vinci's Demons for two episodes, and in 2016 played a company man in The Lighthouse.

It's been incredibly difficult to locate much more detail, but we've not given up. When we have more, we'll add it in here.

Guy Lewis

Young Police Officer

Guy Lewis played the young cop standing out in the rain keeping back the onlookers while SOCO dealt with the body of John Tucker, before of course, Torchwood arrived. I’m unsure if he had a speaking role in the episode.

Since then, he's played single episode characters from 2008 - 2014. Guy plays the Templar Captain in the new series of Knightfall directed by Douglas Mackinnon.

Gwyn Vaughan Jones

D.I. Jacobs

D.I. Jacobs addressed the squad in the search for the weapon that had been used on John Tucker. Someone had drawn what they thought was the weapon, which during the discussion, Gwen Cooper began to have sudden flashbacks of the knife, from what she’d seen at the Hub.

Gwyn Vaughan Jones is a professional actor, writer, singer and director, and has been since 1980. Born in Blaenau Ffestiniog, he graduated from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and began work with The Welsh Theatre Company (Cwmni Theatr Cymru), winning a Garmon Award at the National Eisteddfod of Wales as a promising newcomer in 1982. He has appeared in many filmed of which have been nominated for Oscars, and many stage productions, playing Atticus Finch in the stage play of To Kill a Mockingbird in 2002. Although his television appearances have been relatively small, in comparison to his stage shows, he is currently working on the popular Welsh drama series ‘Rownd a Rownd’ for S4C. He has appeared in over 20 productions, as an associate actor at Clwyd Theatr Cymru. He is a patron of Ballet Cymru, where he performed the part of the First Voice in their award-winning production of Under Milk Wood.

Gwilym Havard Davies

Man who snogged Owen outside club

Outside a Cardiff bar as Owen is heading off to hail a taxi, the boyfriend of the woman Owen pulled at the bar, heads out after them. To avoid a punch up, Owen sprays the alien cologne on his face which lures the young man over, and who promptly snogs Owen’s face off. At this point I’m unsure if Owen has called the taxi to get away from the pair who are currently fighting over him, or he fancies a threesome!

We recently contacted Gwilym and asked him about his role in Torchwood, and about his new career behind the camera.

'Filming that scene was quite funny,' he told us. 'It was in the Hayes area of Cardiff - which at the time was being rebuilt, into what's now the St David's Shopping Centre, and the place was crawling with builders. I can't remember how many takes we did, two, maybe three, I think, but each time we did, was greeted with a chorus of whistles from the builders.'

Gwilym admitted being a little anxious about the 'snog' and how involved it would be, given Russell T Davies' previous work in 'Queer as Folk' and how Torchwood was being 'mooted as fairly progressive'. It seems Burn was also equally as anxious, given that it was the first time the pair of them had ever kissed another man.
Gwilym went on to say that although he thought the director had played the scene rather safe, his wife saw it as more of an assault than an actual kiss. It certainly raised a few eyebrows and perhaps helped to set up the tone of the show.

After Torchwood, Gwilym decided to move away from acting, although around that time played another acting role in a play in West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds. He found the life of an actor frustrating and decided to look for more regular work and concentrate his creative efforts on writing, which he’s been doing ever since.


Jâms Thomas

Hospital Porter

‘Oh, there's a face. I tell you what, mate, you should try plastic surgery. Not on the NHS, mind.’

Jâms Thomas played the hospital porter who was attacked by the Weevil in the first episode. He was as fascinated by the ‘mask’ as much as Gwen, but was bolder than Gwen; getting up close and personal to the creature, thinking it was nothing more than a Rag Week student in a frightening get up. It was only after it pointed out the sharp teeth, did the porter feel the power of the canines biting into his neck. Obviously after that, he remembered nothing more.

Jâms has worked a variety of television roles spanning 30 years, not to mention his film role as the union man in Pride in 2014.

Since Torchwood, Jâms has played Greasy Rhys, and a plumber in Stella. Not sure they were one and the same character. Cal Bowen in Hinterland in 2015. Was a Watcher in the series The Bastard Executioner in the same year. In 2016, he played the role of Leslie Davies in the television documentary film Aberfan: The Fight for Justice. In the Welsh television series Gwaith/Cartref he played Colin Isaac for 15 episodes from 2016 – 2017.

When he’s not appearing in television programmes, or on stage Jâms enjoys nothing better than riding his motorbike around the country and blogging his journey on social media. They’re really enjoyable to read and I only wish he would put them into a book, because I would buy a copy!!!
Photo courtesy Catrin Arwel Photography.

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