Torchwood @ Comic-Con: Talk of Dark Twists, Ianto's Death and... In-N-Out Burger?

Torchwood: Miracle Day star John Barrowman is a fanboy, having spent three hours — and several thousand dollars — on the San Diego Comic-Con convention hall floor Thursday evening, picking up T-shirts and action figures. “I’m like all of you,” he said to the crown on hand for the Starz series’ panel discussion. “I’m a fan of science fiction. I’m a nerd at heart, and I’m proud of it!” Not be outdone, Mekhi Phifer shared that “even though I’m from Harlem, I’m a big nerd too.”

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Here is what else the Torchwood team had to share about a dark twist to come, the show’s legacy, and the (tear!) death of Ianto.

* With the 50th anniversary of BBC’s Doctor Who coming up in 2013, one topic of conversation was whether Captain Jack would return to Torchwood‘s “mothership,” as Barrowman put it. “I think there would be a different kind of dynamic there with Jack and the [new] doctor [played by Matt Smith],” Barrowman replied. “I’m totally up for it. I love playing Captain Jack. It’s the best coat I could put on every morning, so I’m up for it.”

* Alexa Havins’ naïve CIA agent may be a Torchwood novice right now, but as the series progresses, she’ll go through a mental and physical evolution. “I think she has the most growth of anyone,” the actress offered. “She falls for the whole team and finds her place.” But don’t look for her to displace the show’s original female rock star, by any means. “I don’t think she can reach Gwen’s badass level,” Havins noted, most accurately.

* The cast and crew are very happy to be on Starz, especially after Children of Earth‘s ominous ending. “When we finished with [that], it was written in a way that we actually thought it wasn’t going to come back,” said Barrowman, who was very vocal about wanting the series to continue. “Thank goodness for Starz, who stepped forward.… We wanted it to be with the right people, the right team, and they said, ‘We don’t want you to change the feel of the show. Just make it bigger and better.’”

* Look for Miracle Day to darken very soon. “If you are feeling hungry for dark chocolate, and you’ve been getting milk chocolate, wait for Episode 5,” executive producer Jane Espenson teased. Barrowman himself was excited for Episode 7, which series creator Russell Davies called “a gift” for longtime fans of the series. It features a new romantic “involvement” for Jack, as well as a lot of character exploration. “You learn a lot about Jack and Gwen in that episode,” said Barrowman. “That’s a major, major [episode]. Quite heavy and shocking.”

* Still hurting over the death of Ianto? That means the show has done it’s job, according to Barrowman. “We as a show love the fact that you are passionate about the characters,” he said. And although it was a tough goodbye, the storyline was necessary. “In a drama, you have to do things that will unfortunately upset [people] and cause change,” he continued. “In order to move the drama on, we had to do something drastic. He is still remembered and mentioned.”

* Where did Captain Jack go at the end of Children of Earth? Your guess is as good as Barrowman’s, and that question won’t be answered in Miracle Day, but maybe down the line. “[The show doesn’t] always have to give the answers to what has happened,” he said. “Make up what you want. I just think Jack had a great time with Alonso.”

* Wales’ cold weather during filming of Episode 1 was tough on Phifer. “Hey, I’m black,” he said with a smile. “I’m a tropical person.” Good thing the show quickly moved to L.A. for production. And should the series continue, Eve Myles would be more than happy to relocate again and enjoy the heat, as well as a particular Tinseltown staple. “In-N-Out Burger rocks my world,” she raved. “Those animal fries? Unbelievable.”

Follow TVLine’s TV-obsessed team on Twitter — @MichaelAusiello, @MegMasters, and @VladaGelman — for up-to-the-minute scoop on all your Comic-Con favorites.

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  1. Sarah says:

    While I’m still not all that happy about Ianto being gone, having some major character development on the horizon for Jack and Gwen, I’m quite excited!

  2. Sivat says:

    Alonso is Russell Tovey’s character from Doctor Who: Voyage of the Damned who the Tenth Doctor arranged for Jack to hook up with in The End of Time Part 2.

  3. Sivat says:

    Also, this is Season 4 of Torchwood, not Season 1.

  4. Poppy says:

    So far Torchwood: Miracle Day is pretty good. I am anxious to see what’s in store for Jack and Gwen. Frankly, I’m still horrified about that guy who blew himself up and was just a mass of red gelationous goo and eyeballs…ewwww…great stuff!

  5. Pam says:

    I am loving this season! The great thing about Torchwood is that it is fun sci-fi (smiling baby) but it is also not afraid to go dark, which is what I love! And the mini-series feel to seasons 3 and 4 really works for Torchwood. There were some good episodes in seasons 1 and 2 but also some turkeys.

  6. maggie says:

    I’ve been loving Season 4 of Torchwood. Can’t wait until tonight’s episode.

  7. Mollie says:

    I love Torchwood have watched it from the beginning on BBC America. Very sad that they put it on Starz since I do not get it.but was able to see the 1st episode on Audience channel and really enjoyed it. Thanks for making new ones.

  8. margaret says:

    I’ve always been tentative about spin-off shows, but Torchwood is one that definitely works for me, especially now that they seem more willing to explore darker plot lines. They’ve matured as a cast and as a show. I’m eagerly awaiting tonight’s episode.

  9. Rowan says:

    The first episode of Miracle Day was terrible. It was so expositional it make my ears bleed to hear the dialogue. The second episode was better. This episode I hear was written by Jane Espenson and is a bog leap in quality. I am looking forward to it.

  10. Elizabeth says:

    I will freely admit to wanting to walk away from Torchwood after “Children Of Earth,” but somehow couldn’t not see what RTD had up his sleeve and tuned in to “Miracle Day.” You win again, Mr Davies. I’m back in love with Captain Jack and Gwen (though I’m still smarting from the way Rhys and his daughter were dispatched), and am very interested in what the heck is going to happen next. Truly one of the best shows on my TV this year.

  11. GEA says:

    Apparently this Comic-Con panel was held on the sun…seriously, why are Myles and Barrowman so red in this picture?

  12. Michelle says:

    Long time Barrowman fans already know about his fanboy ways. Not shocker there. I’m LOVING Miracle Day so (and I don’t miss Ianto at all, *ducks*) Major development for Jack and Gwen? Bring. It. On.

  13. sue says:

    I love the new series so far and can’t wait for more. I also don’t think we’ve seen the last of Rhys. Even if he has to get on a plane and chase after Gwen he will do so. Don’t underestimate him!

    I am really liking the new characters but can’t wait for Rex to really get his comeuppance from Jack and Gwen now. I’m so looking forward to that!

  14. Oldtrekkie says:

    Just watched tonight’s episode…HOT….HOT…..HOT! Jack’s love scene is just delicious!

  15. Mars says:

    I’m enjoying Torchwood: MD. I personally think it’s so different from classic TW (and series 2 will probably always, ALWAYS be my favorite), but it is enjoyable on its own as a sci-fi and mystery series. Ep. 3 was definitely a HUGE improvement, with the telephone scene between Gwen and Jack, and the two gals walking down the street. The girls (including Dr. Vera) in MD are great!!! ~~~~~~~~~~ Also, mentions of past series are a major major plus! (Ianto, the body-heat camera contacts, Steven, etc.)

  16. Arlene says:

    Loved seasons one & two & Children of Earth & am trying to love this too but cannot stand the wasted dialogue re British v American, the claustrophobic camera work, the blowhard style of Rex, CIA Agent, who sounds & behaves just like Lie to Me FBI Agent Ben and ER’s Doctor Pratt. Gwen & Jack I will always love but can’t wait for this season to open up and get more Torchwood. That I think the best performance so far is of a child rapist/murderer is so depressing.