Torchwood character guide

It's nearly here! It's nearly here! In case you've been locked in a cupboard for the last year, Torchwood is a new spin-off series from Doctor Who, in which Captain Jack (John Barrowman) heads up a team of investigators who look into crimes both human and alien. We're so excited about it we have to change our pants three times a day.

The series starts airing on Sunday 22 October. Both episodes one and two will air on BBC Three that night, starting at 9.00pm. Both episodes will then be repeated BBC Two on 25 October. From then on there'll be a new episode every Sunday on BBC Three, repeated on BBC Two on the Wednesday.

To get you geared up for the launch, here's an exclusive: a guide to all the characters, in the words of Torchwood producer Richard Stokes. You all know Captain Jack, but here's the rest of the team, from left to right...

Gwen Cooper
(Eve Myles)
"Russell wrote the part for her. He saw her in [BBC Wales drama] Belonging first of all and was knocked out by her acting ability. He and Julie were really pleased when they got her a part in series one of Doctor Who [Eve played Gwyneth in "The Unquiet Dead"]. Having seen that, he realised this is someone who could carry a series. She's kind of the heart of the show and the human side of Torchwood and the first episode follows her journey into Torchwood, thereby taking the audience into Torchwood. She has a bit more human empathy than the rest of the team, who have all been stuck hunting aliens for a bit too long..."

Suzie Costello
(Indira Varma)
"She's second in command to Jack and she's played by the extraordinary Indira Varma, who we were very lucky to get. She's the workaholic of the group and the one who takes everything the most seriously. That may have an effect on her character in the series. But I'll leave that hanging…"

Ianto Jones
(Gareth David-Lloyd)
"He's kind of a butler. I've always described him as Alfred, Batman's butler, but 50 years younger. He basically looks after everyone. He makes the coffee, he makes the tea, he drives the truck around, but he's probably more like Radar from M*A*S*H. Just as Captain Jack is saying, 'You know what we need right now?' he's out getting it. He's got one or two really big episodes during the series and I must say he's a real find. He plays fear and upset in his eyes like no other actor I know."

Dr Owen Harper
(Burn Gorman)
"He's very acerbic, very sarcastic, very, very intelligent. He's brilliant at what he does and doesn't really give a shit about anybody else. He's also very sexy. He's one of those people that appears incredibly aloof but actually you just get turned on by how good they are at what they do. Writers love writing for him.

We were very lucky to get Burn Gorman. There were a lot of names flying on email between me, Julie, Russell and [main writer] Chris Chibnall when we first talking about casting this character. We were talking about someone Welsh to start with, and we were talking about other names and then Andy Pryor, our casting director, mentioned Burn and all of us had completely fallen in love with him during Bleak House."

Toshiko Sato
(Naoko Mori)
"Russell and Julie had cast her in Doctor Who ["Aliens of London"] and really loved her. All the cast are stunningly beautiful, but Naoko also has a real vulnerability that you completely believe. An easy way to describe her is she's the computer geek, she's the techy nerd, but emotionally she's a much deeper character. But she plays that repressed, 'I know what I feel about you, but I don't know how to express it' thing. She's almost emotionally the opposite to Owen, but there are some episodes where we get to explore what that repression is..."

Check out the official Torchwood site HERE