While Torchwood’s Ianto Jones has long since left the fantasy franchise, Gareth David-Lloyd’s character is immortalised forever more at Supanova.
“The sci-fi fantasy is the biggest and best way to visibly escape our real lives,” explains Gareth. “When you have great, three-dimensional human characters set in that fantastic fantasy background it makes it so much easier for people to put themselves in and once a fantasy genre becomes popular it finds ways of reinventing itself over and over again. And, because of conventions like Supanova science fiction fantasy will always pay off and they will keep revisiting novels or keep getting people being re-written back to life.”
The Welsh-born thespian who is currently performing Tennessee William’s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof in a regional theatre production has long made the science-fiction genre home having come through the halls of fantasy film through Doctor Who’s spin-off Torchwood playing the factotum-cum-administrator, Ianto Jones in its first three series giving him a great following among the Doctor Who and Torchwood faithful – those who took it hard when Gareth’s character was killed off. At cosplay events, like Supanova, Gareth finds himself having to recite the same response to the much-asked question of a comeback.
“Yeah, and for a good few years nobody knew what was going on so a lot of people, sort of, connected with my character were slightly outraged by him being killed off and wanted to know when or if I would be back,” he said.
Thanks entirely to the revival process of many sci-fi shows Gareth is able to leave fans rested warm with the notion of Ianto Jones comeback via the franchise on mediums such as comics, audiobooks and radio.
“Recently, the audio drama production company who do a lot of work for Doctor Who had just commissioned new stories themed on Torchwood released on audio which involves all the characters in flashback episodes. It was very cleverly done where Ianto was brought back so a lot of the fans were very happy about that.”
Supanova brings together the talents involved in the world of sci-fi fantasy and it’s worldwide following of fans, coming to the Gold Coast Convention Centre this April. Having previously brought his band Blue Gillespie over for shows at Supanova, when asked if he enjoys the working trip to Australia’s event, Gareth was excited.
“Absolutely. My answer will always be yes, I will always find time to come to Australia. [Supanova is] a company that looks after me so well. They brought my band over before and they’re bringing my family over this time. They always make a working trip feel like a holiday. So I am very much looking forward to it.”
Being a fan of sci-fi fantasy himself, Gareth admitted to being quite starstruck himself, empathising with many of those who attend cosplay events to seek the elusive autograph from those who illuminate the escape on screen.
“I still get nervous and very starstruck, especially as a teenager I was very much into Star Trek: The Next Generation which has always been a big escape of mine, he says. I didn’t have the best school-life and I was very much like a lot of the fans who go to the conventions. So, because of that escape to this day I still get hugely starstruck by Brent Spiner, Patrick Stewart and Jonathan Frakes or any of the cast members for Next Generation. To the point where I haven’t even approached them for an autograph because I am too nervous.”
Words by Kirk W Wallace
Images supplied by Supanova