Actor carries torch for sci-fi spin-off

Kai Owen has fond memories of his long-running stint in the successful series Torchwood.
Kai Owen has fond memories of his long-running stint in the successful series Torchwood.

Owen starred in Torchwood as Rhys Williams, the boyfriend of female lead Gwen Cooper, played by Eve Myles, for all of its four seasons from 2006 to 2011.

He started out as a supporting actor before joining the main cast.

Later this month, Owen will visit Australia for the first time, appearing at the Supanova Pop Culture Expo in Perth and Sydney.

‘I love meeting the fans; they’re wonderfully crazy and passionate and I throw myself into the conventions wholeheartedly ,’ Owen said.

For the down-to-earth actor, the sci-fi fandom is all part of the Doctor Who franchise, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

Having grown up watching the fourth and fifth incarnations of the Doctor, Tom Baker and Peter Davison, Owen said it was an exciting time to be an actor in Wales when Doctor Who was revived in 2005 and rumours of a Welsh-based spin-off began to circulate.

‘At the time, Doctor Who was making such an explosive comeback with David Tennant and Billie Piper and Christopher Eccleston,’ he said.

‘I heard rumours they were making this series Torchwood and then it was mentioned by Queen Victoria (in Doctor Who).

‘I heard more and more about a crime-fighting alien show based in Wales with Captain Jack crossing over from Doctor Who, but they would have their own stories and their own beasts.’

After he was chosen for the sought-after role of Rhys, Owen said it was great to see his character grow throughout the series, which took the cast to Hollywood for filming in season four.

‘I knew I was going to be part of something special and I knew it was going to be a great experience, but I didn’t know how long it would last for,’ he said.

Owen said although his time in Australia would be short, he was looking forward to watching a rugby match and catching up with the Torchwood cast as well as meeting the other guests at the convention.