This time around, we speak to Alexa Havins, who plays wide-eyed new Torchwood recruit Esther Drummond. At this year's Comic-Con in San Diego, Havins chatted with us and a few other journos about her character's upcoming action scenes, John Barrowman's song-and-dance routines and whether Esther will go the same way as Ianto.
Were you nervous coming into a show with an established fanbase?
"There's a little bit of pressure that you put on yourself. John and Eve [Myles] have been on this adventure and they know these characters. They've lived and breathed this for so many years, and here we are jumping on. You're in a position where you can't take a moment over [it] or over-think it, you [just] jump on because it's such a fast-paced show. What helps so much is that they were really welcoming. They genuinely were happy that all of the new characters had joined, and we got great calls from the producers. They were really reaching out. And I fought for the job. I auditioned and worked hard, and I knew who Esther could be, so it's an honour. There's a little pressure, but it's been really nice and the fans have been kind."
"I did watch the past seasons. My husband is fan of Torchwood so I was privy to the world, and the fabulousness of what Torchwood is. When the opportunity came round, he pretty much gave me no option - not that I would ever have passed it up! So I knew the world and I knew what it could be, and I found it really appealing to be able to play Esther, who kind of has that parallel to Gwen in season one. You see her digging in, introducing the new audience to what Torchwood is. It was nice being the person that introduces [it to] anyone Stateside who hasn't seen the show before, cos we're late to join the party! I'm a little embarrassed to say it!"
Did you get to travel to Wales during shooting?
"I didn't. I was so disappointed, because I'm [part] Welsh myself. The second I said to my dad, 'It's a show that films in Wales', he was ecstatic. But my character is in DC a lot, because she's a CIA agent. I was ready to go, passport in hand, but they didn't need me on the beach to save the day! Maybe at some point."
Will we see Esther tackle any action scenes later in the season?
"Yes, I do. You'll see in the upcoming episodes that I get some fight scenes. It's a dangerous world with Torchwood, so there's a lot of fighting. You see a side of sweet, delicate Esther come out and she's scrappy, she can kick some ass. She's learning from the best, so [she's got] no choice in that! The scene is raw and brutal, because she's not trained like [the others] where they can take someone out with one shot. It's scrappy and it's almost like a bar-brawl meets a chick-fight - there's hair-pulling and screaming! She's thrown into it quite quickly, so she's not always safe behind her computer."
"Going into it, you know that's a possibility. But that's how it is - it's shocking and it's what makes shows interesting. If it's safe and very formulaic, you know what's going to happen. Coming into it, you know that [being killed off] is an option for anyone, because it's dangerous, and there's guns and fighting to the death. But I've had so much fun, and you just don't over-think anything like that. But everyone's saying 'Oh no, you don't want to be the next Ianto'! Or maybe you do, because everyone's still rooting for Ianto!"
Is Esther going to get a love interest at any point?
"She has a love interest, she's got her eye on Rex, Mekhi Phifer's character. You see her [being] starry-eyed - she wants him! But he's so blind to her feelings. He has this harshness and he's got this wall built up around him that it's hard to break through. Starz is sexy and Torchwood is sexy, but most of the loving is Captain Jack style!"
And will we see any more of Esther's sister Sarah (Candace Brown)?
"We touch base, in and out, through a few different episodes. When you meet her in episode four, it humanises the whole situation. Russell [T Davies] takes these big ideas and he roots them in reality. By introducing the family members, you can really connect and understand why people react a certain way. One of my favourite relationships as a viewer is Gwen's [relationship] with her husband and daughter. It makes the world we live in even more dangerous. When we see her in harm's way, [we know] she has more to live for, so she fights harder."
"No! My whole thing is that my character is always correcting. I was like 'OK, how do I get this across without looking like a know-it-all?' Because you don't want to be like that, 'Oh sorry, you're wrong, again'. But the way it was written, it was very endearing. Esther's such a genius, so she knows everything, but there were a few things that I didn't know!"
How did you find working with the original cast members?
"We genuinely have fun. You've got your comic relief with John, doing something silly and then breaking into song and dance! He keeps us all on our toes and having fun. I worked so closely with the core team members that we became close really quickly and I could not love them more. I count the days until we get picked up so we can all come back. I miss Eve and John - they're lifelong friends [now]. They're just classy, kind and generous people. They're lovely and if that's what it's like in the UK, I'm moving! Sign me up!"
Torchwood: Miracle Day continues on Fridays at 9/8c on Starz in the US and on Thursdays at 9pm on BBC One in the UK.