Zap2It.com Interview With Euros Lyn - Director of "Children of Earth"
- Fifteen minutes with 'Torchwood: Children of the Earth' Director Euros Lyn
By Tamara Brooks
February 06, 05:33 PM
Euroslyn_torchwood Some of you may know that I'm a huge Torchwood fan
so when I got the opportunity to interview the man behind the lens on
their upcoming five-episode season titled "Children of the Earth," I
was quite excited. Euros and I talked about the new season, the trials
of location shooting, his involvement with the Doctor Who specials,
and new Doctor Matt Smith. I also may have gotten his hopes up about
people wearing costumes at this weekend's New York Comic Con. Fellow
fanboys and fangirls, don't fail me!
How did you get involved with Torchwood: Children of the Earth? Well,
I've worked on quite a few episodes of Doctor Who and worked with
Russell Davies and Julie Gardner who write and [executive produce] the
shows. Julie came to me and she said that this season they wanted to
create a mini-series of just five episodes and have just one story
arcing over the episodes. They wanted just one director to kind of
take charge and it seemed like such a fantastic opportunity to tell
one story and develop these wonderful characters through amazing
adventures over five hours of TV. And the idea that they're going to
be [aired] over one week - as a director it feel like it's one epic,
As you've worked with Russell and Julie before, did the familiarity
help with the preperation since you know what they're expecting in
terms of visuals?
Um....yeah, and not just visuals, tone as well. I mean, [one thing
about] Russell's writing that's wonderful is he combines a very human
domestic world with a very grand, epic, sci-fi, kind of tragic genre.
He makes these contradictorily elements a whole and having an affinity
for that is invaluable for me as a director.
Did you have any input on the story and how it was going to play out?
They were very kind to me and I was invited to come along to all the
early storyline meetings. We've actually got three writers on this
season. There's Russell, who's written two and a half of the episodes
and kind of showrunning it all, and we've got James Moran and John Fay
who've also written some episodes. Kind of being part of that team and
part of the storytelling early on was a brilliant opportunity for me.
Have you seen the trailer yet?
I have. You've seen it?
Oh, of course. A couple times. Because, you know, us nerds have to
pick apart everything and see if we can catch any hints or details in
the quick cuts.
It seems like there was a lot of outside shooting this time around.
Did you run into a lot of problems?
Well, the weather in Wales is law unto itself so I think you can
imagine blizzards and rainstorms and sometimes sunshine. You have to
deal with everything that gets thrown at you. But I think we
definitely wanted to tell a story about what would happen to people in
the real world if a set of extraordinary circumstances were visited
upon us and I think shooting in the streets of Cardiff, in the streets
of London, the realism that that lends a story is really important to
the story we want to tell.
It also seems as if there aren't so much as a lot of explosions but at
least a couple big ones. Was that hard to shoot seeing as you were
outside in the Cardiff and London?
Um...yeah...I mean, shooting in Cardiff we get an extraordinary amount
of support from the authorities and the police and the counsel. They
love the fact that we're shooting the show there and they're so
accommodating in what they allow us to do. And when you're shooting
some complicated, technical sequences like explosions or chases, you
often do an awful amount of preparation for those. Support from the
special effects people and the visual effects people, that's all
there, so often the biggest set pieces are easier to do because you've
got this extraordinary amount of support. It's often times the simpler
things that catch you out. [But] I think they went well.
I'm sure you can't give away anything about the plot, any hints,
though I'm probably going to ask you later...
...but going back to the trailer, is there any key moment that people
might want to look at?
I think the very, very first moment of the story sets the tone for all
five hours in this season. And it's the moment that every single child
on the planet stands still and they start to chant, "We are coming."
And from that moment I think we can expect something terrible and dark
and demonic to come and wreak some havoc on humanity.
As it's kids that are in trouble, with adults at least there's a sense
that they can take care of themselves. With this in mind, did that
affect the way that you shoot scenes?
Um...I mean, it's drama and we always try to ramp up that sense of
drama. For a viewer, the more dramatic and involving a story is the
better. And I think you're absolutely right - kids in peril or kids
behaving in a scary, spooky fashion is more scary than anything
because it's that innocence. When it's corrupted or tainted it really
touches a nerve and [I hope that's what] the series will do.
So what was it like working with our Torchwood Trio? Well, I assume
that it's a trio and they didn't bring anyone else in to join the team.
In five episodes, we meet an awful lot of new characters. And nobody
strictly speaking joins the team but lots of people all help and lots
of characters hinder our [heroes]. [John Barrowman, Eve Myles, and
Gareth David-Lloyd] have been on the show for two season before I
joined so they know their roles inside out and I was relying on them
really to tell me who their characters were. I was there to make sure
that we're telling this story properly. And they're such good fun as
well. They love it, they love working on the show and that makes my
job a thousand times easier.
Were there any set shenanigans? Because I hear there can be some
practical jokes flying around.
They are incorrigible. And my job as a director is to be the
grown-up...well, I have to pretend to be the grown-up. There's always
messing about but our schedules are killer. We're shooting an awful
lot of minutes each day so [we sometimes need the relief].
You worked on a good handful of Doctor Who episodes before and I see
from my research that you're set to work on some next season.
Yeah, well the next season is a strange one because there are five
specials. One we've already done, the Christmas special, and there are
another four to come and that'll take us up to David Tennant's
departure when his Doctor regenerates into Matt Smith's Doctor.
Are you gonna be working on the specials or the season with Matt Smith?
I'm gonna be working on the specials. I'm gonna be directing the final
two-parter which will be David becoming Matt so that'll be an adventure.
Have you met Matt yet?
No [but] I read stuff about him in the papers every day. There's such
excitement about him taking over and I think the press are whipping
themselves in a frenzy at the moment.
Especially because, in terms of familiarity in TV and film, he's
relatively unknown. I'm sure he has a long theater resume but
someone's always trying to dig up a piece of information. You know how
the press can be. [laughs]
[laughs] But interestingly before David took over as the Doctor he'd
done an awful lot of theater, very accomplished theater work, and he'd
been in some series. He definitely wasn't a household name. Playing
the Doctor is the kind of role that thrusts you in the limelight and
brings you to the attention of the whole country.
And I think it'd be difficult to get sombody who's very well known to
play the part because you don't really want to have those preconceived
Yeah, I think that's right. I mean, interestingly in the first season
of the new Doctor Who Christopher Eccleston played the Doctor and
Chris was a very well-known actor before the part. But I guess that
was different because it was the relaunch show so bringing some
familiarity had advantages.
Yeah, it's that balance and knowing when to which way to go in that
respect. So I see our time is about up. Is this your first Comic Con
It is, yeah. What should I expect?
[laughs] Um...you should expect a lot of interesting costumes.
[laughs] I'll look forward to that.
You should also expect very detailed questions that might involve
things you have no recollection about even though it's your own work.
You also might expect a slightly rowdy crowd depending. I don't know
if you've ever been to any of the Who cons but it's a similar crowd.
The interests are a little more varied but they're all pretty
hardcore. It'll be a warm and lovely reception for you, they'll be
very happy to see you.
Oh, that's fantastic. I'm very excited. The loyalty of the fans is
something invaluable to the show's success. For that we're very grateful.
I'm sure they'll welcome you with open arms. And there might be a
couple people dressed up like the Doctor and there might be a couple
Captain Jacks running around out there. Hopefully you'll be able to
see that level of commitment from the fans.
[laughs] That's fantastic, I'm looking forward to it.
So I'll let you go, thank you so much.
It was lovely, thank you.
Torchwood: Children of Earth airs this summer simultaneously on BBC
and BBC America. For those going to New York Comic Con, there'll be a
panel on Saturday, Feb. 7th at 4:15pm featuring Euros and Eve Myles
(Gwen) followed by an autograph session at 6pm. For more sci-fi
related news, check out Misfits of SciFi. You can also follow me on