Exclusive Interview: TORCHWOOD MIRACLE DAY’s Arlene Tur Talks About Her Character, Jack Harkness and Her Future

Torchwood: Miracle Day Arlene Tur

Torchwood fans, rejoice as your favorite show is about to return tomorrow for a new season for the first time ever on Starz. If you are eager to find out what you may expect, you are in luck as Daemon’s TV had the immense pleasure to talk to the wickedly cool Arlene Tur who will play Doctor Vera Cruz on the upcoming new season of Torchwood titled “Torchwood: Miracle Day“. Arlene was kind enough to dish about some of the crazy storylines we will get, the morality of the new season and much much more. Check out the interview below and don’t forget to tune to watch the premiere of Torchwood: Miracle Day tomorrow Friday July 8th at 10 pm ET/PT

You were the first cast in ‘Torchwood: Miracle Day’. That must’ve been exciting.

Arlene Tur: It was, and I had to audition four times and they were waiting to cast other people and were like, ‘Just tell her she has it.’ I said, ‘Oh, good.’

Had you seen ‘Torchwood’ or heard about it before being cast?

Arlene Tur: I had not seen it, but when I got the audition I started researching, and yeah, I really enjoyed it and started watching all the episodes. Then I heard that I got it, and so it was really fantastic.

Did you watch the entire series?

Arlene Tur: I watched the first season and the second and I didn’t get to ‘Children of Earth’ which I heard is unbelievable. But I started working. I was more focused on ‘Miracle Day’.

Can you talk about your character?

Arlene Tur: I play Vera Juarez and she’s a cardiothoracic surgeon. Very determined. Very professional. Very about the patient and their best interest. When Miracle Day occurs she’s in the middle of an operation with Rex Matheson who’s Mekhi Phifer, and because of Miracle Day she’s able to save him. It gives her enough time in the operation to finish what she had to do. If not, he would’ve died. They start a relationship where he needs pain medication. Miracle Day happens and she gets deeper into why and how she can help. She gets tied into the CIA which is something that she didn’t expect, but she starts going to panels with a bunch of the top surgeons and starts trying to figure out what exactly is the right course to take in order to deal with the over population in the ER’s. There’s no pain medication. They’re really trying to determine what’s the best process or how to go about [dealing] with all the repercussions of Miracle Day.

Was it an interesting concept to read about because we rarely see that on TV?

Arlene Tur: I really loved it when I read it, and my first reaction was one of celebration because I said, ‘Well, that’s wonderful. Everybody stops dying. My parents are going to live forever. We’re all going to live forever,’ and that’s initially the reaction of the people who aren’t sick. They show that as well, but you never think about the problems that come along with it. People are still being born. People aren’t dying. They’re staying in pain. There’s not enough pain medication. There’s not enough space. There’s not enough staff. There’s not enough resources for Miracle Day.

It’s a trademark of ‘Torchwood’ to have those morally gray storylines that make people think.

Arlene Tur: Exactly. They did an excellent job because they challenge everyone to think about their own mortality, to think about what’s right or wrong. The Bill Pullman character, he just says does he deserve life or not. It makes it really challenge you.

Did you have an opportunity to work with everyone in the cast?

Arlene Tur: I pretty much worked with everyone. Bill Pullman and I were in the same scene, but didn’t have direct dialogue with each other. But I believe everyone else. Vera gets very involved in Torchwood.

So, you did get to work with John Barrowman who plays Jack Harkness. Are there any Vera/Jack moments that you can tease?

Arlene Tur: Yes. The first time that Vera meets Jack is quite hilarious. It’s become very official in the hospital and all the government officials are coming down and we’re going to experiment with something in the morgue where there’s someone that’s been completely blown apart and he’s in pieces, but the person remains alive. So, we’re trying to figure out how this is possible. The government officials have come down where Jack joins and pretends to be a part of the FBI as he would. He’s behind me and we’re looking at this mess of a person, unfortunately, and the person is still living. The first moment of interaction that I get with Captain Jack is that he says, ‘What happens if we cut the head off? Will stay alive.’ Vera, who’s very about her patient’s best interest, is like, ‘What are you talking about? There’s absolutely no way. This is our patient.’ So that’s their first interaction and you can imagine where it goes from there.

Torchwood’ has had a few seasons in the UK. Have you had a chance to interact with any of the fans of them?

Arlene Tur: Not yet. We’re looking forward to doing that with the press in the UK, but I have had friends of mine that are English and have told me, ‘Mate, I heard you’re going to be in a “Torchwood”.’ Their comment is like, ‘You’re name is going to be like saying bangers and mash over here.’ ‘Really? Okay.’

The ‘Torchwood’ creative team has a reputation for being realistic about their characters. So if a loved character has to die they will die. Is there still some of that in this series?

Arlene Tur: Absolutely. They have no problem of just showing truth which is so important for a successful series. They don’t try to sugarcoat things. They don’t try to keep everything perfect. They really just challenge the viewer in every way.

This is not your first series with Starz. You were in ‘Crash’. How has it been working in the Starz family? Is it different than working on another network?

Arlene Tur: I feel very lucky to be working with them again. They’re wonderful people, the network. I just get along with all of them and I’ve already established great relationships with many of them at Starz. So, I feel very excited to be working for them again. It’s very different when you work for a cable show because you get so much freedom. I believe that they trusted Russell [Davies] and Julie [???], really trusted their judgment and let them run with it. The product speaks for itself. It’s magnificent. I’m excited for the world to see it.

What differences are there between the two series, this one and the UK one?

Arlene Tur: I feel that every series that they’ve done, every season is a season that can completely stand alone. I feel like this one can stand alone as well. The differences maybe, I feel like it could be a completely new show, but the people that are already fans will be aware of certain other things and details that the viewers won’t, but they quickly will be introduced to everything. So they won’t feel like they missed anything. Ultimately, I think there is extra terrestrial activity, but it’s not so in your face. We’re first off dealing with the phenomenon of Miracle Day and what that’s done to society.

Do you have any other upcoming projects?

Arlene Tur: Not right now. I’m producing a couple of projects that are starting up, but I’m not at liberty to speak of them right now, but I am developing a couple of new things. I’m waiting to hear on a couple of movies that I’ve auditioned for. Keep your fingers crossed and hopefully we’ll have another story.

With ‘Crash’ and this show you’re going to be getting a lot of press attention. Has there been a question that you’re dying to answer, but no one’s asked?

Arlene Tur: I’ve not thought about that. I’d love to give you one. Let me think about this for a second.

About your career, a character, anything.

Arlene Tur: I would say about the future, the future of what I want to be doing. I’ve been asked, but I haven’t really given the answer of how much I’ve enjoyed the action in ‘Torchwood’. It was my first sci-fi show and so I’m looking forward to doing more of those. I also enjoyed that they really know how to thread in comedy. It’s an action show. It is sci-fi. It also feels like a government show, a medical show, a law show and they’ve thread comedy into it beautifully. I really enjoy doing the comedy aspect and I’d love to see more comedy in my career as well.

If you could guest star on any show you wanted which one would it be?

Arlene Tur: It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia’.

I love that show.

Arlene Tur: Do you love it? I love that show. They’re just so silly. Crazy is the word for it. Can you imagine just the set. The energy on the set must be outrageous.