Thursday, March 1, 2007

THE GAME OF THE NAME: OWEN HARPER

At the 'Torchwood' facility in Cardiff, one of the team members is a doctor named Owen Harper. But he's not the first in Toobworld to bear that name: there was also an Owen Harper in America, who worked as an assistant prosecutor on 'A.U.S.A.'.

But that doesn't mean there has to be a connection between them. You know how many Thomas O'Briens I've met in my life, including my Dad (and then there's my Grand-dad, but he died before my parents even met)? That's why I go by my initials to create "Toby". And even then I've stumbled across at least a few others by that name!

Besides, I'm still not convinced that Dr. Owen Harper of 'Torchwood' is even human.

This suspicion was initially raised by the unique bone structure to the actor Burn Gorman's face. I was kind of hoping he'd turn out to be.... well, not alien, but perhaps an evolutionary side-step for humanity from some parallel dimension.

And then that strange sneer he gave to the Weevil in the episode "Combat" convinced me that there was something... "other" about him.

Even so, if he does turn out to be human, he's Welsh and the one from the sitcom played by Eddie McLintock is American. I wouldn't be surprised if you had to go back many generations to find a common ancestor, and what would be the point?

Had there been a genetic similarity due to casting, now that would have been a different story!

However, he still could be related to an Owen Harper who was played by Christopher Llewellyn in an episode of 'The Bill' ("474") this year......

BCnU!
Tele-Toby

8 comments:

Dawn said...

I give you that the name Owen Harper is Welsh, however, I was under the impression that the Torchwood one came from London. His accent certainly suggests it and I too suspected some kind of link with the weevils.

Toby said...

Hi Dawn! Thanks for checking in....

It's been thirty years since I had to study accents, so I'll bow to your knowledge on that.

But couldn't it be that he studied in London, "absorbed" the accent (like Connecticut boy Bush did with the Texan accent), and then returned to Cardiff?

I looked around for bio info on Owen Harper (not too much - I don't want to lose my reputation as a notorious sciolist!) and Wikipedia had this:

"In the spin-off novel 'Another Life', it is stated that Owen was in a serious relationship with a fellow medical student, Megan Tegg, when he used to live in London six years ago."

The novel might go into more detail, but that also sounds as though he studied in London and then came back.

Then again, whichever way he's described in the book, I'd not be relying too much on it. I try to keep Toobworld as free as possible from the outside "contaminants" like books, comic books, etc. (Occasionally I do have to accept a movie into the mix.)

I'm glad you found us here at Toobworld Central and hope you'll be back again!

Dawn said...

Toby thanks for the welcome, I am always pleased to discuss one of my favorite programmes.

I can vouch for Owen being a Londoner from a personal POV as he talks just like the rest of my family, pure estuary lol. It could be that one of his parents is Welsh, however, Owen is a popular name outside Wales and there are lots of Harpers everywhere. I distinctly recall reading/hearing somewhere (and I can't remember where dammit) that Owen grew up in the East End and it was due to some problem with his father that he went into medicine

Toby said...

Thanks for the info, Dawn.

I guess I would just have to edit out that one assertion that he's Welsh and the rest could stand as is when I add it to my files.

And if the character is from London, then doesn't that buttress the possibility he's related to the Owen Harper of 'The Bill'? Doesn't that take place in England?

I'm so lazy! I'll bet a two minute search and I'll find the answer to that!

Come back again anytime!

Toby said...

Look at that! Less than two minutes!

"The Bill" is in the East End of London! Okay! Something new for this Stateside tv nut to learn today!

Dawn said...

Two Owen Harpers related could end up being a bit awkward lol. However, the one in The Bill was actually Welsh, complete with accent (and very lovely it was to hear)

Toby said...

I've got two first cousins named Peter and that was a cause for tension in the beginning - and they didn't even have the same last name. So yeah, I can see it being awkward!

If it did turn out Torchwood's Owen Harper is alien in some way, he could have nicked the name for his use. And like Captain Jack, he might have stolen the name from someone he met - like the Owen Harper of 'The Bill'!

That's what I love about TV theories like this - until it's set in stone by the show's writers, fans can come up with as many splainins as they like.

Dawn said...

"That's what I love about TV theories like this - until it's set in stone by the show's writers, fans can come up with as many splainins as they like."

You're so right and I remember in the Weevil fight club episode, it was suggested that they might be what the human race evolves into. Given Owen's obvious mental link with them and his looks, I reckon he's well on the way (mid evolution? lol) so your theory is sound in principle.

I also had an idea about Ianto's reply to Owen's jibe that he's 'just the teaboy', that he was much more than that. WAS he just retaliating and implying that he and Jack are a hot (VERY hot...sorry) item, or could it be that his move from Torchwood London was engineered by some high rank for the purpose of keeping an eye on the Cardiff branch/Jack in particular? I've always had the impression that there's a lot more to Ianto than we've seen so far.

My final observation that I want followed up is Toshiko's comment in 'Countrycide' that there's never been a cell she couldn't get out of. What did she mean by this and just exactly how many has she been in, why and what happened.