Avulsion was the episode of Torchwood Declassified attached to Exit Wounds, airing on 4 April 2008, the day of its original broadcast. It went into detail about the challenges faced in killing off two main characters at once which were dealt with by both the Torchwood production crew and the cast members alike.
Aspects of production covered Edit
- The return of Captain John Hart and in what aspects does his character differ from his last appearance in Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang.
- Filming Jack Harkness's reunion with his brother Gray, then the subsequent betrayal.
- Building and filming the sets of the Turnmill Nuclear Power Station, leading up to Owen Harper's final death and how much of an impact it has on the audience.
- The effect of both Owen Harper and Toshiko Sato being killed off at the same time on the production crew and cast members.
- Burn Gorman filming Owen Harper's death and how Owen's final fate is left unseen.
- The filming of Tosh being fatally shot by Gray and her subsequent dying moments, concluding with her death scene.
- Burn Gorman and Naoko Mori leaving the series, as well as John Barrowman and Eve Myles's reactions to such.
Additional topics covered Edit
- James Marsters mentions how it is very good to play John Hart again, who he considers to be "the nastiest character I've ever played in my life". His character isn't going over the same ground as his last appearance but is a little different this time, being on a journey.
- John Barrowman talks about how John appears to be trying to destroy Torchwood but in reality is being manipulated by someone else. Chris Chibnall explains how this creates an atmosphere of "can you trust him or can't you" and Richard Stokes shows how it contrasts with John's earlier portrayal of an anarchic figure because John's love for Captain Jack is enough to make him try and do the noble thing.
- Stokes thinks Marsters liked playing the human side of his character and how it is nice to give characters like his a shred of humanity to work with.
- Ashley Way discusses how the scene where Jack meets his lost brother again appears to be a warm and emotional scene with homecoming, but it turns into a murder and opens up the episode into a huge theme of vengeance.
- Stokes explains that the one act of Jack letting go of Gray's hand has the most enormous effect on Jack's life, on Torchwood, Cardiff and most of all on Gray. Lachlan Nieboer's measuring of his character personality is that Gray's circustances are saddening because he's been "really, really tortured and has been surrounded by corpses for many, many years", which has made him very bitter and hate his brother "a very great deal".
- John observes Nieboer's performance as Gray and thinks he "plays the character like he is spitting venom".
- John says, "In Torchwood, one of the mottos is 'you die young'", and Richard Stokes brings up how they'd established a point from the beginning of Series 1 that no one in Torchwood lasts past the age of about 30 to 35, because "basically, you're on borrowed time", and the crew wanted to do a story where the viewer really felt the pain of somebody genuinely dying. He reveals, "It was a huge decision. Absolutely massive."
- The sliding doors which lock Owen in the nuclear power station are shown from the perspective of the set crews who operate them to close.
- Chris notes, "Killing off a character is the most horrendous responsibility. It's a really heartbreaking thing to do."
- Ashley explains Owen is not used to the idea of being dead, so he knows what he's losing and because he's been hopelessly sealed up in the nuclear power station, is raging against the fact that now Torchwood cannot ultimately save him.
- A stagehand has to read Toshiko's lines to Gorman so he can follow along, as Mori's voice is dubbed in later during post-production.
- John and the crew knew a character death had to happen at some point, but they didn't think they'd be losing two of them, and admits, "Literally, I was shocked. I stood there, didn't know what to say, and Eve just burst into tears."
- Eve Myles was unable to read the scenes up until the point the crew was doing them and could only scan them because "they upset me so much."
- Stokes recounts how it took a long decision over several weeks with lots of emails between everyone involved about how and why it could work.
- Burn Gorman had a few conversations with Chris Chibnall about the ending because he indicates, "what you don't want is a syrupy, 12-minute dying scene. What you need is somebody to be in peril, and then die, and that's the end of it."
- Stokes brings up that Toshiko saying to Owen, "Because you're breaking my heart" was the last scene the crew shot of the entire second series, and Naoko did the whole thing in one take with a real mid-shot of her face, and says "it was absolutely perfect."
- Way points out that although Tosh is bleeding to death, after telling him he was breaking her heart that she's kind of in control and controlling Owen at that point emotionally, and her death is all about bringing them together in the end as opposed to them parting.
- Gorman distinguishes, "We don't know what happens to Owen. We don't know what happens- whether the radiation slowly decomposes him". He then jokingly adds, "or whether, in fact, he finds his way into the sewers and becomes King of the Weevils."
- Naoko Mori discusses she had been playing Tosh for two seasons and voices, "you become accustomed to her. You care about her." On the matter of her character's death, she says with some solemness, "it was really difficult. I was so nervous for the whole weekend before we shot it. I just wanted to do it right. I wanted to, sort of, make sure she got a really good and truthful death scene." Stokes thinks Naoko performed that in the most extraordinary way, taking a while to get ready for it, which he completely understands, "for an actor having to bring that amount of emotion straight onto screen is a huge thing to ask."
- Mori also adds, "It's very difficult, because when you're in that moment, obviously, you're playing Tosh and you're just her- you're dying."
- A stagehand also reads Owen's lines to Mori, as her scenes were shot separately from his.
- Naoko reflects that Toshiko's death comes very sudden, and says she prefers the surprise element, because in television you can get a sense when someone is on their way out, but with this there's hopefully been an element of surprise. She notes that Tosh has certainly been surprised, and what her demise reinforces is that at Torchwood, they have a very dangerous job.
- When asked if it is heartwrenching to have two characters die, Barrowman replies, "It is heartwrenching, but we are losing two members of our family we love very much and we're very close with and we have great fun with, but... there's nothing we can do about it. That's... it's like any real life situation. You lose people."
- Eve admits, "Those are real tears you see in that scene. Real tears. It's heartbreaking."
People interviewed Edit
- James Marsters
- John Barrowman
- Chris Chibnall
- Richard Stokes
- Ashley Way
- Lachlan Nieboer
- Eve Myles
- Burn Gorman
- Naoko Mori
- Runners - Stuart Laws, Robert Wootton
- Edit Assistant - Rhian Arwel
- Researchers - Nathan Landeg, Jamie Lynch
- Assistant Producers - Cat Chappell, Donovan Keogh
- Production Team Assistant - Amanda Buckley
- Production Accountant - Elaine Stephenson
- Production Co-ordinator - Claire Rutteman
- Production Manager - Kirsty Reid
- Production Executive - Paul Williams
- Graphics - Louise Hillam, Aled Jones
- Editor - Marius Grose
- Dubbing mixer - Mark Ferda
- Executive Producers for Torchwood - Russell T Davies, Julie Gardner
- Executive Producer - Mark Cossey
- Senior Producer - Mark Procter
- Series Producer - Gillane Seaborne
- Gareth David-Lloyd, who plays Ianto Jones, is absent for interview during this episode of Declassified, even though he plays one of the main cast members and would stand to be affected by the fact that two other members of the main cast he worked with are leaving and their characters are being killed off.
- The title of this episode, "Avulsion", can mean a tearing away. Such is the case with Burn Gorman and Naoko Mori being written out of Torchwood, leaving behind only three of the principal cast members.
to be added
Home video releases Edit