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You may be looking for Rhys Ap Williams.

Rhys Alun Williams was Gwen Cooper's husband. Although originally he did not believe in the existence of aliens nor know his partner worked for Torchwood, he came to accept both facts and became himself an associate of Torchwood Three. However, he was reluctant to let Gwen continue in the work, more so after their daughter was born.


Early life[]

Rhys was born to Barry and Brenda Williams (TV: Something Borrowed) in Wales. (TV: Children of Earth: Day Three) He had a sister, (PROSE: Slow Decay) as well as an uncle named Mike (AUDIO: Forgotten Lives) and an aunt named Carol. (AUDIO: Visiting Hours) He was often told stories by his great-uncle Bryn, although to his regret he never paid much attention. (AUDIO: The Devil and Miss Carew)

As a child, Rhys joined the Boy Scouts, (TV: Children of Earth: Day Three) which allowed Barry and Brenda to resume their sex life. (AUDIO: Visiting Hours) He was attracted to a girl called Cerys Morgan when he was twelve. (TV: Something Borrowed) After leaving secondary school, he went to college where he met Gwen Cooper. (TV: Adam)

Relationship with Gwen[]

Rhys fancied Gwen as soon as he saw her because of her personality and looks. Their first kiss took place in a supermarket, after Rhys had become irritated with the customer service agent. (TV: Adam) For their first date, Rhys took Gwen on a picnic on the beach, not knowing it was a nudist beach. (AUDIO: The Sin Eaters) After Gwen and Rhys had moved in together and Gwen had qualified as a police officer, Rhys helped her celebrate with champagne, declaring himself "so proud" of her. On another occasion, Rhys attended the sixtieth birthday party of Mary Cooper. His zip malfunctioned, resulting in Gwen chasing him around the flat to staple his trousers shut. (TV: Ghost Machine)

Rhys was aware of stories about alien invasions, such as the Sycorax invasion of Earth on Christmas Day 2006 and the Battle of Canary Wharf. He did not believe them, speculating that they were mass hallucinations caused by terrorists putting psychotropic drugs in the water supply. (TV: Everything Changes) When Gwen began working for Torchwood, she let him believe she worked for nothing more exciting than generic "special ops". As Gwen became more involved with Torchwood, Rhys grew irritated with her evasions and long hours. Gwen broke off a date to go bowling with him to investigate a meteorite fall with the team. (TV: Day One) Rhys would stay up and listen to the local radio stations every night when Gwen was called out, sometimes until two in the morning, in case there was a report on a bank robbery or a raid on a crack den. Every night she was out there was a nutter on the radio talking about UFOs. It occurred to Rhys that the same nutter was probably on the radio every night she wasn't out as well. (PROSE: Slow Decay)

After he and Gwen had another argument when she missed dinner because of her work, she used the Ghost Machine to relive memories of an earlier, happier relationship. (TV: Ghost Machine) Rhys and Gwen organised to go on a date to the Indian Summer as an apology for the amount of time she was spending away; there he bumped into his co-worker Lucy Sobel while waiting for Gwen. Gwen was convinced he had feelings for Lucy and Rhys realised that he and Gwen were falling apart. Rhys tried to change his lifestyle, visiting a weight-loss clinic, in order to maintain their relationship. He unknowingly became the host of an alien parasite. (PROSE: Slow Decay)

Rhys grew angry and afraid for their safety when Fairies vandalised their house. (TV: Small Worlds) Rhys was with Gwen when he learned she had been lying to him about the nature of Emma-Louise Cowell, whom she had taken in as part of her work. He hated Gwen's readiness to lie to him. (TV: Out of Time)

Gwen and Rhys' relationship was strained further when she had to run off to work again to hunt a Weevil. He attended Daf's staying single stag night. (TV: Combat)

Rhys forgets Gwen's confession of an affair. (TV: Combat)

Unknown to him, Gwen had a brief, sexually charged encounter with the alien which had possessed Carys Fletcher (TV: Day One) and had an affair with Owen Harper to help deal with her lives at home and at work. (TV: Countrycide) She admitted the affair to him but also slipped Rhys retcon so he would not remember her confession. (TV: Combat)

To manipulate the Torchwood team into opening the Rift, Bilis Manger gave Gwen a vision of Rhys stabbed to death on the floor of their apartment. Gwen used a stun gun on Rhys and moved him unconscious to a holding cell in the Hub. Manger freed him and stabbed Rhys to death himself. When Torchwood opened the Rift, Rhys vanished from the autopsy room and re-appeared alive at his apartment, unaware anything had happened. (TV: End of Days)

After Jack Harkness left Torchwood and Earth, Gwen and Rhys become engaged. Rhys was going to get down on one knee to propose but this didn't quite work out due to an inconvenient back twinge. Shortly after Jack returned to Earth, Rhys became manager of Harwood's Haulage. (TV: Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang)

Becoming aware of Torchwood[]

Some time later, one of Harwood's lorries crashed. Torchwood investigated, finding alien meat in the lorry. Gwen grew suspicious and Rhys became suspicious of Gwen. He followed Torchwood to a factory where the meat was processed and found Gwen had been lying to him about her work with Torchwood. He suspected her of having an affair with Jack Harkness. They argued but she finally came clean about her job, which Rhys eventually accepted.

Rhys became involved in a mission to uncover and destroy an alien meat-trading racket and ended up taking a bullet to protect Gwen's life. Jack insisted that Gwen retcon Rhys after this event. Because Gwen enjoyed finally being able to be honest with Rhys, she couldn't bring herself to drug him again and demanded that Jack allow Rhys keep his memories of Torchwood. (TV: Meat)

When Gwen's memories were corrupted by Adam Smith, she forgot about Rhys. Returning to her flat, she believed him a stalker. Rhys enlightened her about their relationship and she came to accept his version of events. Gwen's full memories of her relationship were presumably restored once Adam Smith was defeated. (TV: Adam)

Wedding and aftermath[]

A few weeks later, Rhys and Gwen were married. On the morning of his wedding day, Gwen phoned to say she had been impregnated by a Nostrovite. Rhys wanted to postpone the wedding, but Gwen insisted that it go ahead, only for the mother Nostrovite to arrive, taking the form of a guest. Jack accused Rhys' mother of being the Nostrovite. Rhys punched him in the face. Rhys removed the Nostrovite foetus from Gwen with the singularity scalpel and tried to kill the mother with a chainsaw, but Jack killed her instead. Gwen and Rhys were wed at the altar, although the memories of all the wedding guests were erased. (TV: Something Borrowed) Gwen and Rhys honeymooned in Paris. (TV: From Out of the Rain) After their honeymoon, Rhys suggested they start a family, but Gwen said it wouldn't be possible with her job. Rhys was angry that her work with Torchwood had removed her from real life. Gwen realised that she had to share more of her job with Rhys, and he comforted her after she recounted to him the story of Jonah Bevan. (TV: Adrift)

He was unwittingly working for The Committee when he transported refrigerators. (AUDIO: The Torchwood Archive)

When the Torchwood team were trapped in a warehouse explosion set by Captain John Hart, Rhys helped Gwen rescue them. (TV: Fragments) He worked with her former colleague Andy Davidson to keep a crowd of angry Weevils contained. (TV: Exit Wounds) Although never given official status with Torchwood Three, Gwen identified her husband as a member of Torchwood. (AUDIO: The Dead Line) On another occasion, Rhys rescued Gwen from the malevolent Miss Joanna Carew after she investigated events around the death of his great uncle Bryn Williams at the Ivyday Nursing Home. After rescuing Gwen, Rhys asked if this made him an official member of Torchwood. Gwen said that he wouldn't want to be. (AUDIO: The Devil and Miss Carew)

During the 21st century Dalek invasion, Gwen phoned Rhys from the Torchwood hub, and asked him to stay indoors. She said to call Gwen's mother and tell her to take her pills and go back to sleep. (TV: The Stolen Earth)

Rhys awoke on the All-Night Zombie Horror Show to find Gwen looking out of the bathroom window. Notified that she had heard a scream from outside, Rhys went with Gwen to check and found a tramp eating their neighbour's cat. When he looked up, Rhys and Gwen realised he was in fact a walking corpse and retreated inside to call Jack. The pair attempted to drive to the Hub, but Rhys crashed the Saab when he swerved to avoid a zombie. He took a golf club from the boot and followed Gwen on foot, now aiming to reach Cardiff's Police HQ where they could organise a police operation. Later, after attempting to "borrow" a car, the pair found themselves trapped in a house on Lloyd George Avenue with the car's owner - Keith Samuels - and his family. Rhys called his friend, Nobby, who saved them from the roof with a Coastguard helicopter. Rhys and Gwen met with Jack and Ianto at St Helen's Hospital, where they found that Leet - a Dellacoi - had created the zombies to search for his life-shell and control over the creatures had passed to Oscar Phillips, a coma patient. He watched as Oscar jumped from the window, killing himself and relinquishing his control over the zombies. The zombies dissolved into stardust and, as he left the hospital, Rhys notified Nina Rogers and Rianne Kilkenny that it was safe to come out of hiding. (PROSE: Bay of the Dead)

When Cardiff was quarantined due to the Good Thinking virus, Rhys forced his way through the barricade in a lorry. He found Gwen, who shot him in the shoulder due to the virus before taking him to Cardiff Castle to be seen to by a medic. (AUDIO: Outbreak)

The 456[]

Rhys was a member of the renegade Torchwood team after the destruction of the Hub. Assisting in Gwen's escape to London, he acted as helmsman for the team, cooking for them and helping Ianto set up the base. During their escape in a lorry, Rhys learned Gwen was pregnant. Rhys, disguised as an undertaker, went with Gwen to free Jack, who had resurrected after the Hub's destruction. (TV: Children of Earth: Day Two)

The renegade team came across the abandoned Torchwood One facility, where Jack had hidden a few years before. Rhys helped gather more supplies. (TV: Children of Earth: Day Three) He was entrusted with the footage of the government's deal in their plan to hold the government to ransom. Rhys stored the images on a laptop in a secret location outside the Houses of Parliament and waited for Gwen to give him the order to release the files to the public. After Jack and Ianto confronted the 456, refusing to surrender a single child to them, Ianto and Clement McDonald died. Gwen told Rhys that their plan was over. (TV: Children of Earth: Day Four)

With Jack in custody, Frobisher arranged for Gwen and Rhys to be flown back to Cardiff on a helicopter. They were greeted by Andy on arriving. Gwen considered aborting her pregnancy. They went to Ianto's sister's house to save his niece and nephew. Rhys led the children from there to an abandoned warehouse to hide before the army arrived to secure the last of the children for the 456. After the 456 were defeated by Jack, Rhys and Gwen emerged unharmed, with Ianto's niece and nephew saved. (TV: Children of Earth: Day Five)

Post-Torchwood and the Miracle[]

Rhys and Gwen were declared dead as a result of the 456 Regulation. (TV: The New World)

Six months later, Rhys was at Gwen's side, expecting their child. He comforted her when Jack ran away from Earth. (TV: Children of Earth: Day Five) After the fall of Torchwood, and with Gwen a mother to their new baby, John Hart was forced to team with Rhys on a time travel mission involving Ianto. (COMIC: Shrouded)

After Anwen Williams was born, Rhys and Gwen lived in an isolated part of Wales. Rhys tried to have a normal life, to stop Gwen from thinking of her work with Torchwood. When they visited Gwen's father Geraint at the hospital and learned of Miracle Day, he did not want her to investigate it. Rhys was swept up when Rex Matheson found them and they were attacked by unknown agents. (TV: The New World) Rhys' lack of official standing in Torchwood meant that Rex had no interest in him and he was left behind with Anwen. (TV: Rendition) Later, when Geraint was returned to the overflow camp, Rhys went there with Andy's help and was at his bedside when he regained consciousness and died as the Miracle ended. (TV: The Blood Line)

Gwen and Rhys spent a brief period following the Miracle based in Washington DC, (AUDIO: Army of One, Fallout)

Rebuilding Torchwood[]

By 2015 had returned to Wales with their daughter Anwen. He travelled with Gwen to Bryn Offa Residential Home after a phone call from Elunedd. Griffith told him that he had Jack in his mind. He later helped to locate a Torchwood base near Wrexham. After Anwen's mind was placed in Elunedd he demanded from Jack to know what had happened. He was later possessed by the Evolved. (AUDIO: Forgotten Lives) By 2017, Rhys was looking after Anwen while Gwen was forced to return to service as part of Torchwood with the emergence of new disturbances in space time in Cardiff following the apparent closure of the the Rift. (AUDIO: More Than This)

After escaping a cataclysm, they travelled back home before the babysitter clocked off. He argued with Gwen about how much she enjoyed working with Torchwood. He then thought she was in a mood with her. He got lost driving to Llanelli and got angry. They swapped driving duties. He thought it was getting darker and he couldn't see anything but he managed to get his eyesight back. He couldn't remember what he and Gwen had fought earlier that night. He then asked her how many people she had killed. When Gwen started acting weirdly he realised what they had fought earlier was in the back seat. (AUDIO: We Always Get Out Alive)

He was looking after Anwen when Gwen went to Talmouth. When he couldn't get hold of Gwen he came to Talmouth to look after her. (AUDIO: Made You Look)

Gwen and Rhys planned a weekend away in Newport, staying in a caravan. On the beach Gwen was reunited with Hollis Jefferson Albert, who had travelled from the Ice Maiden to bring her to Jack. Gwen kissed Rhys goodbye and asked him to look after Anwen. (COMIC: World Without End)

He went to visit his mother after she had hip surgery. He came on his own without Gwen and Anwen as his mother-in-law had been babysitting Anwen when they had been away. He thought something weird was going on when he saw a patient being taken to a closed off part of the hospital and watched an odd surgery. He worked out that the people he saw were from the past. He then desperately tried to escape Nichols and Tate. He told her that they were taking organs from living people. When the Cleaners came to get rid of the evidence he hid himself and his mother in the morgue. (AUDIO: Visiting Hours)

The Sorvix occupation[]

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Rhys was unaware that Gwen had been taken over by Ng. (AUDIO: Orr, etc.) He went for a night out with Banana Boat on the night that Ng observed Madrigal's hen do (AUDIO: Aliens & Sex & Chips & Gravy) and went with her to Mary's funeral. He became concerned about "Gwen", thinking that she was not acting like herself, and encouraged her to take some time off of work. (AUDIO: Orr)

Rhys went to Ritz Tower to meet Colin Colchester-Price, feeling that they had something in common as prospective widowers of Torchwood agents. During the visit, he crossed paths with Bilis Manger, who he recognised. (AUDIO: A Kill to a View) After Andy was accused of killing an unarmed refugee, Rhys went to his house to keep him company. (AUDIO: The Empty Hand)

When Yvonne Hartman sent "Gwen" (actually possessed by Ng) and Colchester to investigate an escape room from which people did not leave, Rhys and Colin joined them. For a time, "Gwen" and Colin believed that Rhys had died from a fall. They managed to escape and learnt from the Sorvix Escape that God was coming. By this point, Rhys and "Gwen"'s marriage was falling apart. (AUDIO: Escape Room)

Rhys left Cardiff with Gwen after it was revealed that she had been possessed by Ng and the two were split. Having killed her mother, she wanted a new life with Rhys and Anwen. (AUDIO: Herald of the Dawn) Before leaving Cardiff, they attended Colchester's funeral. (AUDIO: Future Pain)

A new life[]

Some time after leaving Cardiff, Rhys was travelling back to Wales on a cargo ship. Upon seeing a set of rubber ducks attack a life boat he thought that they were facing something alien. Rhys fought the Nestene Consciousness aboard a ship. He realised that they were creating an invasion fleet from the ships and aimed to keep Kaitlin Russell when the Nestene wanted information from her. (AUDIO: Sargasso)

Alternate timeline[]

In an alternate timeline in which John Hart took control of the Torchwood Institute and became King of the British Empire, Rhys was married to Gwen and came to Torchwood Cardiff to demand answers when she disappeared. There, he learnt from the king that she had been killed, and was offered a million pounds. Insulted by John's disregard for human life, Rhys threatened to go to the press only to be shot dead by the king, who ordered that his body be disposed of in an incinerator. (AUDIO: The Death of Captain Jack)


In common with most of Earth's population, Rhys initially believed that alien interference with Earth in the 2000s was mass hallucinations induced by terrorists putting psychotropic drugs in the water supply. When Gwen put this theory to Jack he called Rhys stupid. (TV: Everything Changes)

Rhys was easy going, amiable and straightforward. He had a cheeky sense of humour and little modesty, such as when he was seen naked by a complete stranger. (TV: Out of Time) He knew how to charm Gwen out of her moods. He would joke with Gwen about her "Secret Squirrel" job. However, his relationship with Gwen began to fall apart and a note of anger and suspicion began to emerge. (TV: Combat) He appeared to come to terms with things, and later was quite capable of mixing talk about buying a house and Torchwood business with ease. (TV: Children of Earth: Day One)

Rhys liked root beer. (AUDIO: Fallout) He did not consider himself to be religious. (AUDIO: Army of One)

He had poor knowledge of the Welsh language. (AUDIO: Forgotten Lives)

Aliases and nicknames[]

Name When used/given Story Etymology
Daddy Day Care Given by Andy Davidson, referring to Rhys as a father to Anwen. The New World
Mr Sloane Used by Rhys, pretending to be a chauffeur when meeting Gwen at Cardiff Airport. The Categories of Life

Behind the scenes[]

  • The production team had originally intended Rhys to die at the end of series one but this was overruled by Russell T Davies, who felt that without Rhys, the show's main link to the real world would be lost.
  • Although Rhys plays a recurring role in the first two series, actor Kai Owen was not given star billing until the third series.
  • In The Sarah Jane Adventures television story, The Day of the Clown, a paper with the name Rhys Williams written on it is seen the notice board in Luke, Clyde and Rani's classroom.