British Institutions, Fandoms, and Sci-fi, Oh my!
Torchwood star Gareth David-Lloyd talks to Rachel Barnes about why he enjoys the science fiction genre, his success with Torchwood, and how he relates to being a part of a sci-fi fandom.
Having acted since he was just a kid, Gareth David-Lloyd is no stranger to the power of a good story. Whether he is on stage performing to a crowd, or waiting for the television ratings of his latest endeavour, David-Lloyd doesn’t prefer one medium over the other. “It’s all storytelling. It all has its rewards,” he says.
Despite his long background in theatre, it wasn’t until 2006 that David-Lloyd landed his first regular role in a television series — Torchwood. He could not have been happier. “I was huge into sci-fi, especially Star Trek The Next Generation when I was younger. Obsessively so to some extent,” he laughs.
Although too young to follow all of Doctor Who’s changes, David-Lloyd was well aware of the franchise. “I knew it was a great British institution. It was a great honour to be a part of it,” he says. “Originally my role was called Idris Hopper,” he laughs. “When I got the role they gave me the name of another character I had played in a different show, so it was almost like they were giving me my character back.”
David-Lloyd knew the show was going to be successful before he had even auditioned, but had never imagined it would succeed as it did. “With it being a sort of dark and adult show set in the universe of Doctor Who, it sounded really exciting,” he says. “The amount of success is quite overwhelming.”
His resume filled to bursting with sci-fi related projects, David-Lloyd admits that the genre has quirks like no other. “There’s always a little bit of extra fun with science fiction because you let your imagination suspend a little bit more.”
The quirks don’t stop there; fans of the genre can become deeply engaged with particular niches within the community. “I think the reason sci-fi fans become so invested in the characters and stories is because of the great escapism, which envelopes people. It’s the same reason I really got into Star Trek. The worlds are so far removed from reality that it’s not merely escapism. It’s escapism that walked right into another universe.”
David-Lloyd joins the guest list of Supanova for the third time and couldn’t be more excited to meet more of his Australian fans. “I’d say all Torchwood fans are the greatest fans. Some actors give horror stories about their fans leaping over tables and exposing themselves and doing things like that but all the Torchwood fans I have met have been great. There’s never any fears.”
You can catch Gareth David-Lloyd at Supanova in the RNA showgrounds from Friday Nov 9 through to Sunday Nov 11. For more information check out http://www.supanova.com
Rachel Barnes is a freelance journalist and aspiring author. When she’s not writing she spends her time playing Roller Derby or American Football.