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Kai Owen of 'Torchwood' ready to kick butt, meet Chicago fans


August 10, 2011|By Curt Wagner | RedEye

In the past two episodes of "Torchwood: Miracle Day," Rhys Williams has gone from stay-at-home dad to an unofficial Torchwood team member. That suits Kai Owen, who has played the worrying husband of alien fighter Gwen Cooper since the series began, just fine.

"Believe you me, Rhys comes back into it in big style," Owen said by phone from London last week. "He's very much involved. He's taking orders from Gwen and helping her save the world, you know?"

Owen says Rhys will never be a full member of Torchwood, the once secret organization currently trying to understand why suddenly no one on Earth can die. He'd rather there not even be a Torchwood, which is led by Capt. Jack Harkness (John Barrowman), but he's happy to help out "because hopefully then the situation will be over as soon as possible and Gwen (Eve Myles) can come back home to him safe and sound," Owen said.

Rhys will be back in the fight at 9 p.m. Aug. 12, when the latest episode, "The Middle Man," debuts on Starz.

Owen, who is in Britain again after filming "Miracle Day" in Los Angeles for five months earlier this year, is looking forward to coming back to the U.S. this weekend as part of Wizard World Chicago Comic Con in Rosemont. He'll sign autographs all weekend, and at 4 p.m. Friday, he'll team up with his former "Torchwood" co-star Gareth David-Lloyd for a fan Q&A (Room A at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 5555 N. River Road).

"Ask me any questions you need to know about 'Torchwood;' I will tell you everything--all the spoilers," he joked. "For a small beer I will tell you what happens in each episode. For a large whiskey and Coke I'll tell you what happens at the end."

I repeat, he was joking! But he did share one non-spoilery tidbit about this season: "From Episode 5 on, my God, it goes into a roller-coaster ride and climaxes in the most incredible way possible."

Read on for more of what the very personable Owen had to say about Chicago and "Torchwood."

Are you excited to come to Chicago?
I am. I'm really looking forward to it. I was there last November at an event called Chicago TARDIS ... and it was gorgeous. I had a great time. The people were fantastic; I had a good few beers with the Chicago folks and I can't wait to get back now ... I just finished doing "Torchwood" there for five months and I had a brilliant time. I'm looking forward to coming back.

What are you doing at the event?
I'm doing a panel with Gareth David-Lloyd. Feel free to come up and chat with me, give me a big hug and kisses and take photographs ... I'm really looking forward to having a great time. James Marsters is going to be there, and Gareth David-Lloyd, who is a very good friend, we're going to have a really great time...

Was it fun for you that Rhys was more involved with the Torchwood team?
Oh definitely. Rhys will never be a fully fledged team member, I guess. He will always be sort of this outside member who is kind of secretly on the books. He knows all the secrets of Torchwood and how they are confronted by the strange and the weird. But whenever Gwen asks if he can give her a hand he'll oblige because hopefully then the situation will be over as soon as possible and Gwen can come back home to him safe and sound. Rhys would rather there be no Torchwood, but he does give them a helping hand, especially this season.

How will he help out this season?
Miracle Day is worldwide; it's a global event. It deals with people who can't die, so that has a lot to do with heartstrings and family. There's a lot of heart and soul for Gwen back home in Wales, so we're going to see a lot of action taking place back in the UK, in Wales, from now on.

We have seen him help with Gwen's father.
Yeah, he'll help save her dad and other people. They've been taken away and he'll help find out where her dad is and what the hell is going on and who is doing all this. There are a lot of exciting twists and turns still to come and Rhys is right at the heart of it, and obviously right at the heart of it in Wales.

Do you continue to be surprised by what Russell T Davies and his writers come up with?
Of course. I thought "Children of Earth" was a work of genius and was a wonderful idea for the third season of "Torchwood." But then we didn't have a clue what could happen next. I didn't know. Then we heard the premise [of "Miracle Day"], basically that nobody dies, and I thought, "Oh God, that is just so Russell T Davies."

What if nobody dies? It's such a taboo subject as well. And to come up with the idea of a world where nobody dies. Can you imagine that? It's just incredible.

It's always surprising. And I'm right with the viewers eager to find out how these things will get resolved. Whenever we would get an episode [script] I'd flip through it straightaway to see how it ends.

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