A word of warning for anyone joining team Torchwood: we hope you have life insurance. Although squad leader Captain Jack Harkness wielded powers of immortality in the Doctor Who spin-off, other central characters were prone to dying before their time.
Case in point: Owen Harper (played by Burn Gorman) and Toshiko Sato (Naoko Mori), both fan favourites who were killed off in series two finale Exit Wounds at the hand of Jack’s unhinged brother Gray.
While these deaths shocked all fans, some – including Captain Jack actor John Barrowman himself – think the duo exited the show early.
“Personally, I thought it happened too soon,” Barrowman said about the deaths on a RadioTimes.com live Q&A with Gorman and Mori. “It would have been great to do another one.”
Gorman added: “[I was] gutted. Totally gutted. It felt like we were just getting started, to be honest.”
However, he continued: “I suppose we always knew. It was pretty common knowledge that people had to die in Torchwood.
“We did this whole thing together and I felt like it was never going to end. But of course, it does. It’s television. It comes to an end and you move on.”
And although Mori said she also felt “gutted” to leave the BBC series, she understands why Tosh had to be killed off.
“It’s good because it catches people by surprise,” she explained. “And it certainly caught us by surprise.”
Gorman agreed: “It’s good writing.”
The cast then recalled how, after learning about their characters’ fates, Mori and Gorman decided to break the news to their fellow actors themselves.
“We were not told by the execs,” remembered Barrowman. “I remember [Mori and Gorman] saying ‘there’s something we have to tell you’. And that was it. We all cried.”
But what would have happened if Tosh and Owen had survived? Would they have finally got together, as fans were hoping throughout their two series on screen? In short: probably not.
“We might have gone on two or three dates, but it would have stayed on the surface,” Gorman said. “They’re not very good communicators, both of them.”
“I don’t know whether it would have ended well,” added Mori. “They’re both a little bit damaged.”
So, there you have it: Tosh and Owen died horribly and unexpectedly, but they would have never been happy together if they lived and would probably face a worse fate in the future.
If nothing else, that’s very Torchwood.