Ianto Jones. Although starting off as Torchwood’s coffee boy, he soon became one of the Doctor Who spin-off’s fan favourites, with a shrine dedicated to the character still maintained in Cardiff Bay today.
However, it turns out Ianto could have been in Doctor Who long before joining team Torchwood. Or, to be more specific, Gareth David-Lloyd – the actor who played Jones through three series of the show – could have.
Speaking during a marathon RadioTimes.com live Q&A – alongside cast members John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness), Burn Gorman (Owen Harper) and Naoko Mori (Toshiko Sato) – David-Lloyd revealed he previously almost nabbed a part in Doctor Who before being forced to pull out of the BBC sci-fi series.
“I actually got an audition for Doctor Who many years before for a really small part and I was so gutted that I couldn’t do it because I was already signed to another project. It was always one show that I really wanted to get on,” he explained.
Fortunately, however, David-Lloyd did get to appear on Doctor Who several years later. The actor starred as Ianto Jones in 2008’s two-part story The Stolen Earth/ Journey’s End, in which the members of Team Torchwood joined forces with David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor and time-travellers including Donna Noble (Catherine Tate), Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) and Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen).
For David-Lloyd, it was a dream come true. “[When I did Torchwood], they said ‘the two shows shall never meet’. And I thought ‘Oh, I’m never going to be in Doctor Who now’. So when I found out about it I was really excited,” he said. “It ticked one off the bucket list.”
And even better for David-Lloyd: Whovians around the globe are scheduled to revisit the episode this Sunday as part of a fan watchalong event (starting 7pm on 19th April), with Tennant, Tate, Barrowman and writer Russell T Davies set to provide Twitter commentary through the two-parter.
Unfortunately, not all of the original Torchwood cast appeared in the episode, Gorman and Mori’s characters killed off before the events of The Stolen Earth. However, could either actor appear in a future instalment of Who?
It wouldn’t be impossible. After all, Peter Capaldi actually appeared in Torchwood mini-series Children of Earth as Home Office permanent secretary John Frobisher before accepting the role of The Doctor.
Is there a chance, say, Burn Gorman could make a similar leap? Would he be up for a role?
“I would obviously love to, I’m a huge fan,” he said. “Never say never!”
There you have it: there’s no reason Burn couldn’t make the jump to Who. And, judging by Torchwood’s previous form, maybe even as a future Doctor.
You heard it here first.
All four seasons of Torchwood are available to watch on BBC iPlayer – check out what else is on with our TV Guide