Monday, August 03, 2009

Gareth David-Lloyd on whether it really is the end for Ianto

THERE has been an overwhelming reaction from fans to the death of Torchwood character Ianto Jones, played by Gareth David-Lloyd, in the miniseries Children of Earth.

Ianto's tragic demise in the arms of Captain Jack from a deadly airborne virus has had a massive impact, both here in the UK and also in the USA, where the Doctor Who spin-off is incredibly popular.

Here, Gareth talks exclusively to the Coventry Telegraph about his departure from Torchwood and his reaction to the intense outpouring of emotion from fans.

He also addresses the many questions online about whether his character will be back and if there will be a fourth season of Torchwood.

After Ianto's poignant passing, followers of the show were shocked, saddened and even griefstricken. Some were so upset that they lashed out angrily, making threats against the show's writers.

As I reported the other day, there are several campaigns to show the strength of feeling out there and to call for Ianto's return if there is another season of Torchwood.

Gareth, 28, spoke to me to clear up all the gossip and unanswered questions and address the fans who are so passionate about the programme. Here's what he had to say:

Firstly, Gareth, what did you think about the amazing reaction we have seen from fans?

"It's really flattering. It's really nice if the the show affected people emotionally. That's what any drama is aiming to do and what any actor hopes their performance will achieve, and it shows both the support for my character and for the show in general."

How did the death scene come about? Was it your choice? And what did you think about Ianto's demise?

"When I was approached about the third series, my agent said I was needed for only four of the five episodes, so obviously I twigged that it might be the end for Ianto.

"At the back of my mind I had been thinking I do not want to be playing Ianto for the bulk of my career, I don't want to become typecast, even though I was disappointed and I was expecting to do at least another full series. I would definitely have liked to have done more episodes.

"But I was really happy with what happened, how it was done. It was an exit I can proud of."

But is that really the end? Could Ianto come back, do you think they would bring him back and would you consider it?

"I would say anything could happen, especially in sci-fi. But I would not want him (Ianto) to come back too quickly, it would cheapen the scenes and take away the impact.

"But it's not to say I would say no. It's a huge part of my life and I would love any excuse to work with the crew or the other actors again.

"The bottom line is that anything could happen. I am resolved that my character is dead but I am not closed to the idea of working with the producers again."

Will there be a Season Four of Torchwood?

"I really hope there is another series, it really lent itself to the new structure of five episodes over five nights and I really liked that format. I know discussions are being had over another series of the show, it's a big possibility. They are definitely in talks.

"I would like to see the same structure but maybe one set of episodes at the start of the year and one at the end, so it is then as much as a full series."

I know you went to Comic-Con last year and are doing Dragon*Con and other US events this year. Are you hoping for offers of work in the US as a result of Torchwood?

"There has been some interest from networks in America, for sure. Torchwood has a huge following in the USA and it's definitely a springboard to other things, so we'll see what happens."

And your final thoughts to the fans out there?

"I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has made a positive response to Ianto, including donating to charity, which has been brilliant, a great way to express support and show their feelings.

"To the fans who are still absolutely devastated, I would say it is just a TV show and I am still here and still doing things even if Ianto is gone."

And Gareth is definitely not going anywhere, with a full calendar for the rest of the year. He has a whole host of appearances coming up, connected with Torchwood and also with his band, Blue Gillespie.

He and the band have a gig in Newport on August 14, in London on August 21 and at Cardiff Mardi Gras on August 29. He is presenting the Sex, Wales and Anarchy 2 arts event in Cardiff on August 30 and he will be at Dragon*Con in Atlanta from September 4 to 7 and Wales Comic-Con on September 27.

He joins John Barrowman, James Marsters and other Torchwood cast at The Hub 3 convention in Birmingham, UK, from October 23 to 25, then he is at the Hurricane Who event in Orlando from October 30 to November 1 and New England Fan Experience in Boston from November 13 to 15. He ends the year by starring in panto, playing Prince Charming in Cinderella at Preston, UK, from December 18 to January 3.

No comments: