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Owen Harper: *Doctor* Owen Harper, thank you...

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Owen says it best himself...

Jack: And before we go any further, who the hell goes around ordering pizza under the name of Torchwood?

Owen: Uh, yeah. That would be me. Sorry, I'm a twat.

Discuss...

(Here's an article of interest: Revisiting Torchwood: Owen Harper.)

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From the article:

Technically there is consent, but it’s forced consent.

 

 

Ugh. "Forced consent" - the hell is that?  What Owen does with the alien spray is the moral equivalent of slipping someone a roofie.  

 

Owen's the toughest character to peg, because it always seemed the the writers liked him even though they were making him really despicable. And I often like villainous characters, but they weren't making him a villain.  They were just making him a creep, and trying to make his creepiness cute.  It didn't work for me.

 

I did, however, love his final death scene.  

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Owen's the toughest character to peg, because it always seemed the the writers liked him even though they were making him really despicable. And I often like villainous characters, but they weren't making him a villain.  They were just making him a creep, and trying to make his creepiness cute.  It didn't work for me.

He got a lot of screen time and focus so I have to imagine the writers loved the character. Or at least thought the audience would. It did seem like we were supposed to find his creepiness and nastiness as charming the characters on the show apparently did because he was more of a ladies man than supposed intergalactic love god Jack, but I can't say I did. It's also why I could never get past him and the rape spray because it never felt like we were supposed to see it as anything more than a cheeky joke.  

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It just blows my mind that the writers didn't realize how despicable Owen could come off.  The weird thing is he almost worked.  I don't mind him being acerbic but crossing certain ethically lines is hard for me to understand.

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I think part of the problem wasn't so much that he might be the kind of character who would use a spray like that with a woman who had made it clear she wasn't interested in him. It's not as if he had to be likable or even ethical to be an interesting character and it would have fit the theme that Torchwood as an unethical organisation that basically played by its own rules and Owen could be the extreme result of that. But they didn't seem to be going for that. Like was said above it was like we were supposed to find his creepiness charming or later when they create his backstory in s2 as an inevitable product of his grief over his fiancee. And his character transformation in s2 does seem to be a direct result of realizing he wasn't all that well liked in s1.

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That's the thing.  Owen doesn't have to be a likable person.  I have no problem with the idea that Owen was a creep who would violate someone, as long as that's the writers' intent.  Show Owen owning the fact that he's a potential rapist.  Let him know it and like it for all I care.  Or if he's that lacking in understanding of what it is to take someone's consent away, then let someone else be the voice that knows that Owen's behavior was reprehensible.  My problem is that it was only ever made to look like it was just Owen being a bit of a dog and that his supposed wrongdoing was just using alien tech without permission.  There was nothing to indicate that the writers even understood that they had created a character who was a rapist, and they just thought he was the modern equivalent of the "charming rascal" stereotype.

Edited by ElleryAnne
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Alright, I feel like I am all over the place right now on the forum (hopping from thread to thread) but talking about Jack's immortality and Ianto's knowledge (or lack thereof) also brings me to Owen and my head shaking at the fact that the show expects me to believe that even as TW3's medical officer, Owen was completely in the dark about Jack. 

 

I honestly can give a reason why each original team member would have had some questions about Jack.  For Suzie and Tosh, it's nothing more than being out in the field with Jack time and time again.  There had to have been times that Jack got injured and they noticed the same thing Ianto noticed in Fragments.  But Owen?  I can't imagine Owen not ever noticing how quickly Jack healed and not wanting to look him over.  I can imagine Jack trying to throw him off or keep him at arms length but seriously, I think it's asking a lot of me to believe that he was so success that Owen was just completely clueless for years.

 

And really, as often and Jack seemed to die, the show expects me to believe that not once in the years he lead that team did he die in the field?  That there wasn't one time in which he got injured badly enough that Owen would find it necessary to treat him?

 

Luckylyn, mentioned over at Tosh's thread that Adrift needed some of the characters to be stupid in order to play out the way it did and I think the same can be said about this.  Especially when it comes to Owen - he needed to be stupid and a negligent doctor.

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Owen shooting Jack in EOD is more forgivable for me if Owen already suspected Jack was immortal.   You're right as the team doctor he would have noticed Jack's fast healing.

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Maybe Owen needed a montage, all of his best medical related work seems to have a montage LOL

 

But he knows Jack should be dead in Cyberwoman, not once but twice Owen notices and comments on how is Jack still alive but it stops at that ep. I don't recall any questions after that until he kills Jack.

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Maybe Owen needed a montage, all of his best medical related work seems to have a montage LOL

Maybe! LOL

Yeah, Owen didn't really come off as the best doctor at times, and sometimes not very curious. You'd think he'd see and hear enough weird things going on with Jack to pique his curiosity. But, eh.

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I think, as a doctor, Owen was supposed to be a good one (or Jack wouldn't have sought him out) but jaded by Katie's illness and death.  Jack also came to him because he saw the alien in her head but Jack didn't have to do that.

 

Now, add Katie's death to Owen's horrid childhood and you've got a seriously dark doctor.  Kind of a cool idea they just didn't quite follow through on.  

 

BG totally could have sold it.

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I completely agree with you, Captanne.  The idea of Owen (once you add up all his parts) was very cool and Burn would have totally done the character justice and brought life to him.  I definitely add the handling of his character to the list of things I mourn due to wasted potential.

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Owen didn't really come off as the best doctor at times, and sometimes not very curious. You'd think he'd see and hear enough weird things going on with Jack to pique his curiosity. But, eh.

 

I would assume they wanted us to believe that Owen was an exceptional Doctor since he was apparently a qualified Doctor by the age of 23 and had possibly finished his specialty training by then or not long after that. Even in the UK that's a bit of a stretch. He dies at the age of 27, but had been working at Torchwood for four years by that point. But then they'd make him such a moron about the most basic, common sense aspects of the job so who knows what they were going for. Of course it could just be that in the Whoverse doctors don't have to bother with all their years of postgrad training since Martha also goes from student to qualified doctor in a matter of weeks.

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A question about Owen, would any of you actually employ Owen ?

 

LOL I was thinking about this last night Ianto yes, Tosh yes, surprisingly Gwen yes but i wouldn't put up with her attitude and i certainly wouldn't encourage it, Jack yes But Owen no. I don't care how smart , how brave, how good of a Doctor he is. With all of them despite what they have done i would still trust the others, i wouldn't trust Owen, he seems like more trouble than he is worth.

 

Maybe i'm just not as nice or as forgiving as Jack and very probably LOL. But i don't think Owen is worth my effort.

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I think Jack saw Owen as a victim of a tragedy that Torchwood should or could have prevented.  In a way he felt Torchwood owed Owen.  In a way.  At least that's how I read it.  Also, Owen was an excellent doctor and chose to be a doctor so he could help the ill get better.  But for the alien in Katie's head that went untreated (or destroyed by Torchwood just doing their jobs), he would have continued on (presumably) helping the less fortunate with his talents as a doctor.

 

So, Jack took him in because he needed a good doctor but also because he saw it as his responsibility.  At least that's part of how I justified it.

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But would you put up with Owen ?

 

I'm am nowhere near as nice or as forgiving as Jack LOL. And while i get it and how Jack sees Owen. And Owen is the troubled son etc etc. With the others i could forgive them but having the same problem with Owen all the time, forgiveness isn't working.

 

The thought popped into by head last night after listening to Another Life novel/audio book. I've tried to give the older ones another go recently and basically Owen really F up big time. It's all about his overblown ego and being "the man" and i just thought Owen is too much of a pain to bother LOL

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I get your point although I probably should rewatch at least the rest of the first season episodes before commenting so maybe I'll revise this comment later, but oh well. I think part of my problem with him is that while he has his moments he doesn't come off as all that conscientious as a Doctor far too often for my liking. And depending on the episode's or even the scene's requirements he's either 'brilliant Doctor' or painted as so dumb about the rudimentary aspects of his job you wonder how he made it through medical school. S1 Owen, I agree, is way more trouble than he's worth and while they're all done things they should have been fired for, if not put in jail for, him killing Jack in EOD the way he does really crosses the line for me. S2 Owen I'd probably by and large keep though.

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Adding on to what Captanne said (because I think there is lots of truth in what she said) I also wonder if Jack sees a bit of himself in Owen and thinks about what the Doctor did for him and so in turn, wants to do that for Owen.  We don't actually get to see what Jack was like when he was a Time Agent or partnering up with John Hart but we get told enough to know that Jack knows he wasn't a good guy.  I'm not sure how much like John Hart he was but I wouldn't be surprised if the answer was, "a lot!"  So, after the Doctor and his desire to impress/pleas/honor the Doctor in his leadership at Torchwood, I think him forgiving someone like Owen over and over again is just Jack's way of paying it forward. 

 

I also agree with Swansong that S2 Owen would be easier to deal with than S1 Owen.  I didn't have as negative of a reaction to his character as you guys did but that's because I sort of felt like I was suppose to not like him.  For me, it wasn't like Gwen where they had her doing bad things but playing it off as if they were ultimately good.  And maybe that's why I viewed the way Owen was written differently.  Gwen was so in your face and everyone seemed to reward her for doing bad while Owen didn't get the same treatment from everyone.  Anyway, despite the fact that I saw S1 Owen differently than the rest of you, I still didn't like him and welcomed the backstory they were trying to create for him S2.  I think it was needed and it gave him a bit more layers which would have made him someone that I would consider keeping around.

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It's not so much that i would have to like Owen , that i came up with a no for him. I'm fine having characters that i don't personally like. It's more what he brings to the table, is it worth it ? His troubles are always the same, it's about being the "alpha male". So he doesn't really add to the "team" aspect that you would need. And yes i'm referring more to Season One Owen, since that is when the novel is set which got me on this line of thought. Season Two Owen maybe but you have to go through Season One to get to the Season Two one LOL

 

Comparing say Owen and Gwen like you did Dizzy Gwen's attitude would have to change but half of her problem is Jack. Jack is not only okay with it but he encourages it and I wouldn't. I would tell her to pull her head in or bugger off, that this is a Team not the Gwen show LOL And for the most part she is in fact a Team player but i wouldn't hang out with her , cause i don't like her. And I don't like Owen either but the difference is I don't really believe Owen is a team player, Owen is about proving that Owen is the best and that seems to come first before everything else.

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