Owen Harper
1982-2009Owen Harper is Torchwood's resident doctor through the end of season two, he is in charge of fixing up the team when things go wrong and carrying out the postmortems on victims of suspected or actual alien activity as well as aliens.Arrogant and cocky, Owen is frequently insulting and unlikeable and occasionally outright cruel. He tau... Show more »
1982-2009Owen Harper is Torchwood's resident doctor through the end of season two, he is in charge of fixing up the team when things go wrong and carrying out the postmortems on victims of suspected or actual alien activity as well as aliens.Arrogant and cocky, Owen is frequently insulting and unlikeable and occasionally outright cruel. He taunts Toshiko Sato badly, either failing to notice she is in love with him or hoping to drive her off. He is generally rude to or utterly disinterested in Ianto Jones. He is often insubordinate and insulting to Jack once going so far in his confrontations that Jack actually fires him. He becomes involved in a brief affair with Gwen Cooper even though she is in a long term relationship with Rhys Williams.Owen seems to suffer from deep seated insecurities and possible self loathing/criticism. He seeks out a career as a physician to help people but over time as his emotional scars mount his personality becomes more acerbic, aggressive, and harsh. He drinks too much and tends to involve himself in casual short-term sex based relationships . He apparently had a rocky relationship with his mother, in Adam he recalls his tenth birthday, his mother spent the whole day screaming at him and says, you're my son so I love you but I don't have to like you when he's sixteen she packs his bags for him and he tells her it's the nicest thing she's done for him for years. Owen says, You save one life, a hundred lives, but it's never enough. Who'll save me? in Fragments Jack asks Owen why he became a doctor Owen replies, I thought if I could save one life, mine would be worthwhile. But you save one, and there's another and another, all clawing at you, demanding to be saved. And even if you do succeed, you can never save enough. Owen was born and raised in London. Whilst attending university he fell in love with a woman named Megan Tegg. When the relationship got too serious, Owen fled London for Cardiff. (in Fragments Jack tells Owen he needs a good doctor in Cardiff, it's possible that after his affair with Megan he took a job at the hospital where he met Katie and then moved to Cardiff, alternately the hospital where he first works and meets Katie could have already been in or near Cardiff and Jack notes the locality as a convenience).In a strange bit of turnabout Owen falls in love with a woman named Diane from another time in Out of Time. Diane, like Owen with Megan, is scared of how much he loves her and how much she loves him and chooses to embark on her plane with her two passengers in an attempt to return to her own time. Owen is heartbroken and distraught, causing him to allow a weevil to maul him in episode 11 Combat in an apparent suicide attempt thwarted by Jack.It is later revealed in the second season episode Fragments that Owen was once deeply in love with a woman named Katie, he planned to marry her, even though she is suffering from what appeared to be early onset Alzheimer's disease. Owen insists on running more tests until an irregularity is discovered and surgery is scheduled.The surgical team and Katie are killed by an alien parasite in Katie's skull. Jack drugs Owen and covers up the deaths. When Owen insists on sticking to his version of events he's placed on three months of mandatory rest and told not to come into work. Jack recruits Owen because he is an excellent doctor and managed to discover the parasite even though he couldn't save Katie. After Katie's death Owen's previously much kinder nature is changed and he becomes far more cynical, self serving, angry, and even cruel at times.In episode one of season one Everything Changes Owen is seen chatting up a woman in a bar who is clearly uninterested in him, however, when he sprays himself with an alien cologne she is instantly attracted to him. When the woman's boyfriend shows up Owen likewise doses him to save bother, he goes home with both of them. It can be argued that Owen deliberately drugged and sexually assaulted them both.Later in Everything Changes Owen's actions are contrasted by the fact that every other member of Torchwood 3 (with the exceptions of Jack and Gwen) have been abusing alien tech for their own purposes. While almost none are as egregious as Owen's use, one character's actions clearly outweighs it, Suzie commits several violent murders.In the episode Ghost Machine Owen witnesses a rape and murder and is badly traumatized by it, so much so that he nearly kills the murderer later in the episode. He is able to feel the fear of the victim and is distraught by how terrified she was. This could be interpreted as a comeuppance for his actions in Everything ChangesIn episode 6 Countrycide he begins his affair with Gwen which runs through to episode10 Out of Time when he falls in love with Diane.In episode 12 Captain Jack Harkness Owen is shot in the shoulder by Ianto when he uses the rift manipulator, ostensibly to save Tosh and Jack who have become trapped in the past, but more blatantly in an attempt to reunite with Diane.In episode 13 End of Time the rift is badly damaged by Owen's attempt to bring Diane back/rescue Tosh and Jack. People are 'falling' through time and appearing all over the world. Owen is badly frightened when a patient with no identification appears in a local hospital and drops dead - from bubonic plague. Owen sees Diane in a club, she asks him to open the rift or thousands will die, before vanishing and leaving Owen devastated anew with tears on his cheeks.Later Owen loses his cool and demands to know who Jack really is after Jack snaps at Owen for screwing with the rift manipulator, Jack then fires Owen. When Gwen defends Owen Jack declares that anyone that doesn't fully trust him needs to leave Torchwood.Owen returns to the Hub to find that Rhys has been murdered and Gwen is hysterical. Owen asks Jack how many other people need to suffer then declares that he will open the rift. Ianto moves to follow Owen and Jack tells Ianto to make sure he stops Owen. Ianto, with tears in his eyes, says no and Tosh declares that they are going to help him.Jack tries to stop them declaring that they've been set up. He pulls a gun and orders the team to move away from the rift manipulator. When they refuse and present a united front Jack cruelly deconstructs their interpersonal problems in an attempt to cripple their resolve and dissolve the alliance, Gwen slugs Jack disarming him and Owen retrieves Jack's weapon and shoots him once in the forehead and twice in the torso.Jack revives as all hell is breaking loose, he is half carried out of the collapsing hub by Ianto and Gwen lead by Tosh and Owen. It is revealed that by opening the rift the team have released Abaddon a powerful life devouring creature/entity imprisoned under the rift.Owen reluctantly declares Jack dead after his battle with Abaddon. Gwen insists on watching over Jack, days elapse and Gwen kisses Jack goodby. Jack immediately awakens, Jack greets each team member before Owen, Owen tries to speak to Jack but chokes up. Jack forgives Owen.Owen is visibly nursing his gun shot left shoulder throughout the episode, it is possible that his injury prevented him from helping Jack out of the Hub.In the sixth episode of series two Reset, Owen flirts with Martha Jones, but doesn't make a move in order to stay on the right side of Jack. He also agrees to go on a date with Tosh, but declares he will still flirt with other women. As the episode wraps up Owen is unexpectedly shot in the chest. Jack kills the shooter but Martha, although a trained physician, is unable to save Owen's life, she pronounces him dead.Jack refuses to accept Owen's death and manages to find a second resurrection gauntlet similar to the one used by Suzie in season one. Jack plans to use the gauntlet to bring Owen back just long enough for Jack to get the combination to the alien morgue and allow the team to say goodbye. Surprisingly after the two minutes runs out Owen's heart stops but he remains animated, albeit dead. He doesn't have a pulse, can't eat or drink, his digestive and urinary tracts fail to function, he can't sleep or have sex and later he goes completely numb, he also doesn't heal injuries.Owen teases Martha about the afterlife and then admits that there was nothing, at least not that he could remember, before he collapses and either hallucinates or actually travels to another place where he feels something hostile waiting for him. Tosh tries to speak to Owen about her declaration of love when the team thought that they only had two minutes to say goodbye. He cuts her off saying he knows she only said it because he was dying and leaves claiming he needs to use the restroom.Minutes later he has another fit only this time he is briefly possessed by something that turns his eyes pitch black and then speaks in a strange language and voice. He takes off to a club. Martha warns Jack and the team that the energy process changing Owen has already rendered him 50% non-human and the portion that is human is dead.Jack finds Owen at the club, Owen gets violent with Jack and Jack allows the local P.D. to take him into custody. Owen finally braces Jack on why, exactly, Jack brought him back, whether it was really for the code to the alien morgue or out of guilt, Jack admits that he wasn't ready to give up on Owen and he's still hoping for a miracle.On the way back to the Hub from the jail the two men are surrounded by Weevils the Weevils kneel and begin swaying as Owen's eyes once again change and the strange voice repeats the phrase. Owen comes out of it and they test the reaction of caged Weevils to his proximity. He reluctantly and ironically declares himself king of the Weevils as even the caged Weevils calm down and refuse to hurt him.The team translates the phrase Owen uttered and discover it is a phrase attributed to Death himself. They do subsequent research and discover that the glove was used in the past and lead to twelve deaths, something about faith prevented a thirteenth death. They decide to embalm Owen to prevent the energy from continuing to change him.Owen is at 95% non-human when they attempt to embalm him. Before they can start the gauntlet attacks Martha and drains life from her aging her into her 80s. Owen manages to destroy the gauntlet. Owen once again changes and expels a massive humanoid black cloud then collapses.The team rush Martha to a hospital. They order an evacuation of the hospital and find that twelve patients have been killed, Ianto informs the team that the being was previously stopped not be a religious article as they'd assumed by the use of the term faith, but rather by the little girl that had been resurrected similarly to Owen whose name was Faith.Owen faces the being after he realizes he's got nothing left to lose as he's already dead, just like Faith, and survives. With the gauntlet destroyed presumably the being has been permanently defeated, a result born out as Martha completely recovers and returns to her normal age. Martha tells Owen that his potential lifespan is unknown. He tells Jack that they owe the people that died as a consequence of Jack bringing him back and asks Jack to put him back to work.Owen feels he requires absolution for his new-found un-death A Day in the Death details his attempts to cope and earn absolution, he has a terrible time adjusting to his new status, he forgets that he can't consume anything, that he doesn't need to shave etc. While everyone else returns to some kind of routine he struggles to hang on to his sanity and cope. The episode opens with him sitting on the ledge of a roof with a woman who is contemplating suicide.She gives him lip when he asks her if she's ready to jump and asks if her man dumped her, so he shows her his wound and tells her he's dead. She freaks out and then begins to believe him and apologizes for her attitude and asks why he's there. So he tells her.Owen tried to go back to work but Jack benched him until they finished testing him. Martha is assigned to take over his position until he's cleared. Jack tells him he can make coffee until he's cleared, Ianto makes horrified faces then attempts to teach Owen how to make coffee. Owen loses his temper with the coffee maker and turns his bad temper on Ianto declaring that Ianto has finally won since he's now out on missions and 'shagging Jack'. Ianto protests that his relationship with Jack isn't like that and chastises Owen for letting his situation get the better of him.Owen runs a treadmill and lifts weights while answering questions for Martha. Martha has assigned him the exercises to prevent atrophy and declares he is now fully human though still an animated corpse. Owen delivers coffees to the team is left behind as the team leaves on a mission while discussing Gwen's upcoming wedding.The scene shifts back to the rooftop where he discusses suicide statistics with the suicidal woman and then shifts back to the autopsy suite where he and Martha are discussing her position and his future role. Martha continually insists that she doesn't want his job. They both realize that as they've been talking he's slashed his palm open without realizing it. Martha carefully patches the injury but it will never heal.Jack suggests Owen should go home and Owen demands to know what he's supposed to do once he is home. He points out that while Jack is going to live forever he will be dying forever. At home he tries to watch TV before giving up on the inanity of it, putting on music and going through his home and throwing out everything he doesn't need anymore. Tosh comes by his home with pizza and talks to him about her day. He tunes her out.The suicidal woman tells Owen she's on the roof because it is her wedding anniversary and her husband died the day of their wedding. Owen immediately realizes he's been an ass and apologizes, she is hostile and shuts him down. He recalls standing in his empty kitchen listening to Tosh chatter about her day while eating pizza and being incredibly hostile and cruel to her, going so far as to tear off the bandage protecting his injured hand and breaking a finger in her face. He flees his apartment and leaps off the end of a pier where he stays underwater nearly forty minutes. When he emerges Jack is waiting for him and asks Owen how long he's going to act this way.Owen returns to the Hub and finds the team discussing their options to infiltrate a secured building with heat sensors and other security measures to retrieve a potentially dangerous item. Owen volunteers to do it and Jack approves. Tosh arrives and Owen, instead of apologizing, says her name and accepts his keys back from her as she flees from his apology or confrontation. The woman on the roof yells at him for the way he treated Tosh and declares she doesn't care about Owen's insights, he then frightens her by pushing her so she can see over the edge of the roof. She asks how he turned away from despair.He relates his infiltration mission which was a challenge due to the necessity of avoiding injury. Owen discovers that the item he was sent to retrieve is literally held by a dying old man. The man believes that the object is keeping him alive even though it's simply generating more energy and not doing him any good at all. If it continues to build energy it could detonate and kill untold numbers of people. Owen and the man talk about death and the fear of it and Owen manages in a sideways way to convince the man to turn over the object. Owen then holds the man's hand as he dies, he tries to save him but can't administer mouth to mouth because he has no breath.Tosh and the team warn Owen that the object's energy readings are spiking off the chart. Owen tells them he is going to attempt to absorb the energy from the item and then says goodbye to the team in case it actually succeeds in killing him. Tosh, again, tells Owen that she loves him. Back on the roof top the woman asks what happened. He tells her the object is an alien response to a NASA satellite sent out from Earth as a greeting to other life forms.At the Hub Tosh insists that in future Owen share the bad things with her. He agrees then tells her that he's scared to close his eyes in case he ends up trapped in darkness. She comforts him and he leaves the Hub for home when the woman throws the photograph of her dead husband and herself to the ground from the roof. He tells her that he came up to the roof help her. He holds the alien object and they join hands, she tells him her name, and he asks if she still wants to jump as they watch a light show being emitted from the object.In episode twelve of the second season Fragments Jack's former lover, Time Agency partner, and all around homicidal lunatic Capt. John Hart returns again and sets up the team. They're trapped in a building that was booby trapped to collapse on them. During the rescue efforts Owen's recruitment story is revealed.In the thirteenth episode Exit Wounds the team immediately sets out to capture Hart as dangerous rift activity is occurring throughout the city. Hart unleashes an elaborate trap designed, like his initial scheme in the opening episode of season two Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, to separate and expose the team members.Owen goes to a hospital to investigate an alien causing trouble, he lures it with cigarettes and tranquilizes it. Jack returns to the Hub where Hart guns him down after professing his love for him. Hart detonates several explosive devices designed and placed to cripple ingress and egress from the city, sow mass panic, and cripple emergency services. Immediately after detonating the explosives Hart and Jack disappear into a rift.Jack comes to in the midst of a green field, Hart explains that Jack's little brother Gray is behind the entire attack. Hart later tells Gwen that he discovered Gray alone on an alien planet surrounded by corpses. Hart rescued him and rehabilitated him on Jack's behalf but didn't realize that Gray had been twisted into madness by a lifetime of torture at the hands of his captors. Gray blames Jack for his capture as Jack let go of his hand when they were fleeing the aliens as children. Gray bonded a bomb to Hart's body with a surveillance circuit built in and designed the elaborate attack on Cardiff to punish Jack. Gray and Hart separately return to present day Cardiff Hart finds Gwen and enlists her help to find Jack.While Hart and the team work to find Jack and contain the disaster in the city, Gray unleashes hostile Weevils on all of Cardiff exacerbating the disaster and further limiting the team's movement. Owen heads for the local nuclear power plant hoping to halt the meltdown since no other team member can get to it in time.Gray ambushes the team in the vault and locks Gwen, Hart, and Ianto in separate cells with semi-conscious Weevils, leaving only Tosh in the Hub to help Owen contain the nuclear meltdown. He heads upstairs and shoots Tosh in the stomach as she's walking Owen through emergency shutdown procedures.As he leaves to investigate Tosh drags herself down to the autopsy bay to retrieve her phone so she can help Owen.Tosh reestablishes contact with Owen but doesn't tell him about her injury instead blaming the pain in her voice on the arm she injured in the building collapse in the previous episode. The plant is past the point where the meltdown could be stopped, instead they'll have to redirect the nuclear fuel into the area where Owen is to contain it. Meanwhile Jack frees Gwen, Ianto, and Hart. Owen follows Tosh's instructions but an unexpected power surge traps Owen in the room.Owen rails at the pointlessness of his impending death and demands that Tosh find a way to get him out, he freaks out until Tosh begs him to stop because, you're breaking my heart . She still hasn't told Owen that she is bleeding to death. Owen demands that she not blame herself and mentions that his second week on the job she covered for him because he was hung over and not picking up calls (this is why she is referred to as Dr. Sato in the Dr. Who episode Aliens of London).Owen apologizes for never getting around to that date with Tosh and the scene ends as the nuclear fuel fills the room killing Owen. Jack, Ianto, Hart, and Gwen arrive to find Tosh dying on the floor of the autopsy bay, they realize that Owen has been killed at the power plant and Tosh dies Jack and Gwen's arms.Hart tells Jack that it wasn't his fault as Jack seals his brother away. When Jack finishes they act as though it's business as usual until Hart kisses Jack on the cheek and offers condolences for his losses. The next scenes shows Jack packing up Owen's things with tears in his eyes, Gwen likewise packing up Tosh's things while crying, and Ianto conducts final log outs and closes Tosh and Owen's files.Death is a way of life in Torchwood in fact in They Keep Killing Suzie when Jack and Ianto are packing up Suzie's things this exchange occurs:Ianto Jones: What do you want me to say on the death certificate?Captain Jack Harkness: Good question.Ianto Jones: She had quite a few deaths in the end.Captain Jack Harkness: I don't know.[pause]Captain Jack Harkness: Death by Torchwood.'In Fragments it is revealed that Jack's team in 1999 was slaughtered by one of their own -Alex- who confesses to killing them then commits suicide after bequeathing Torchwood 3 to Jack and asking him to give it a purpose.Suzie Costello commits suicide after she is revealed as a serial killer. She returns later and uses the original resurrection gauntlet in an attempt to steal Gwen's life to maintain her own but is thwarted and dies permanently.Owen Harper also dies twice, first he is shot in the chest during a mission and then brought back by Jack using a second resurrection gauntlet, his second death occurs when he vents nuclear fuel into a section of a critical plant while trapped inside.Toshiko Sato is killed by a gunshot wound inflicted by Jack's brother Gray.Post Season Two Spoilers: Ianto Jones is killed by the 456.By the opening of the fourth season / second miniseries Miracle Day Torchwood has ceased to exist in any effective capacity and only Gwen and Jack are still alive. When the season opens Gwen is in hiding and Jack is still, as far as the viewer knows, off world.From 2006 to 2010 Torchwood loses four of their five member team, of the losses only Suzie is ever replaced for a total number of five killed. If you include the 1999 team the death toll rises to at least eight. Show less «
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