At a panel sponsored by whoLanta, Gareth David-Lloyd (who played Ianto Jones) and Naoko Mori (who portrayed Toshiko Sato) sat down with fans to talk about the much beloved Doctor Who spin-off series Torchwood.
Since appearing in the series, which ended in 2011, David-Lloyd has gone on to appear in multiple titles such as Holby City and Waterloo Road and has turned his talents to voice over work including voicing Solas in the third installment in the Dragon Age franchise, Dragon Age: Inquisition. Mori, meanwhile has kept quite busy starring in Everest and Lennon Naked.
Mori and David-Lloyd both agree that being cast on Torchwood was a turning point in their careers and in fact both actors got the official call while on public transportation, and never reached their intended destinations. David-Lloyd immediately got off his train, found the nearest pub, ordered a pint and ” just let it set in.”
Mori, had never actually seen any Doctor Who at all in her formative years and had to look up the word TARDIS in the dictionary, while David-Lloyd had grown up watching all the incarnations of the eponymous Doctor.
Both actors were informed about their characters deaths in the show but at very different stages. David-Lloyd was originally supposed to die at the very end of “Cyberwoman” barely halfway through the first season. Ianto Jones was originally slated to be the ‘undead’ character in the series, until the director decided he liked the idea of the doctor character (Owen Harper, played by the stellar Burn Gorman) being undead and caring for the living instead.
Mori however, was prepared for her character’s death scene 3 episodes in advance and very much approved of the final arc and role she played in saving the world. Her death scene as Tosh is, to date, the hardest one she’s ever done. The entire scene (which is a conversation with undead doctor Owen Harper as they both near the end of their time on earth) was shot separately, neither actor had anyone to act against, and both takes were shot after the wrap party and with a hungover skeleton crew. Mori states that it took an hour and half to get into the proper headspace to complete her very last scene as Tosh.
David-Lloyd and Mori were asked by audience members what their favorite episode to film was and each replied – almost in unison – was “Countrycide.” The episode was an entirely different entity to film than others, as the crew and cast got to escape to the English countryside, to film and live on location for a week and it felt to them that they were given a week on the set of an action movie and a bit of a vacation as well.
If you haven’t seen Torchwood, I would highly encourage it – especially if you like aliens and anomalies from outer space, attractive people with interesting personalities and backgrounds fighting to save the earth and a cast that genuinely loved working with each other. It’s clear, even 10 years after the first series aired that there is an eternal affection among the cast-members of this truly special show.