This article is incredibly television-centric, with barely any coverage of the many prose, audio and comic stories that she's appeared in.
These omissions are so great that the article's factual accuracy has been compromised. Check out the discussion page and revision history for further clues about what needs to be updated in this article.
Gwen Elizabeth Cooper was a Cardiff police constable who was recruited by Torchwood Three. She eventually rose to second-in-command and, for a short while, commander of the unit. By 2009, Gwen was the only surviving member beyond the immortal Jack Harkness after Torchwood Three was declared an enemy of the British government.
In 2011, she had severed her ties with Torchwood and begun a relatively peaceful life with her husband, Rhys Williams, and their newborn daughter, Anwen Williams. She remained prepared to fight for survival if the government came after her and resumed operations with Jack during the events of the Miracle. Afterwards, she rebuilt Torchwood, but ultimately left to start again with Rhys and Anwen.
Gwen's family was established in Cardiff by the 19th century. The Tenth Doctor believed that this, coupled with the influence of the space-time rift in Cardiff, might explain her physical resemblance to a funeral home employee named Gwyneth, who died on 24 December 1869 in one of the earliest known effects involving the rift. (TV: Journey's End, The Unquiet Dead)
When Gwen was a girl, her father came home one day and she eavesdropped on a conversation Geraint and her mother had. She discovered that someone at Geraint's workplace had been stealing money and Geraint had been falsely accused of the thefts. She ran up the stairs and came back to Geraint with about £2.50, to which her father replied, "It's not about the money. It's just that I can't stand anyone thinking I'm dishonest." As Gwen and Geraint played that night, Gwen thought that he was the most honest man she'd ever meet. She later told this story to Jack and Oswald Danes. (TV: The Blood Line)
Before dating Rhys Williams, whom she had met in college, Gwen fought off the romantic attention of police partner Andy Davidson (TV: Adrift) and had a boyfriend named Bruce. Rhys fancied her as soon as he saw her because of her nice personality and her good looks. Rhys often made jokes during the stupidest times. Gwen referred to this as "Rhysing around". (TV: Adam)
Rhys and Gwen came to live together, and while Gwen's work in Torchwood occasionally brought alien phenomena to Rhys's attention, Rhys did not initially believe in aliens, instead concluding terrorists had caused hallucinations by putting psychotropics in the water supply. (TV: Everything Changes)
As a police officer
In 2007, Gwen was a uniformed police constable called in on John Tucker's murder scene, only to encounter a mysterious team of people referred to as "Torchwood". At a distance, she saw the team, who had called away the police from the crime scene, resurrecting the victim to test their resurrection gauntlet.
After recovering from an attack inside a pub at a hospital, she saw Torchwood capture a Weevil that killed a hospital porter. Gwen tracked down Torchwood. Captain Jack Harkness took her on a tour of the Torchwood Hub, then dosed her with retcon, a drug that induced selective amnesia. Gwen partially remembered by connecting a reconstruction of the murder weapon to a knife seen in the Hub and returned to Roald Dahl Plass. She encountered Suzie Costello, who had secretly murdered several people so that the resurrection gauntlet could be tested. Failing to escape capture, Suzie shot Jack and then committed suicide. Gwen's memories fully returned. Seeing him come back to life after being shot, Gwen became the only person for a time to know of Jack's immortality. With a spot at Torchwood vacant, she joined Torchwood at Jack's invitation, who valued her empathetic nature and ability to see beyond the facts. (TV: Everything Changes)
Life in Torchwood
On her first day on the job, Gwen accidentally released a sex gas creature from an alien meteor, which entered Carys Fletcher to feed on the human male orgasm. Gwen tried empathising with Carys and looked into her history to help her fight the creature, as she felt the rest of Torchwood had lost what it meant to be human. When Carys escaped imprisonment in the Torchwood Hub, Gwen willingly offered herself to it, as she thought she could fight it better than Carys. Jack tricked it into entering the portable prison cell, and the creature was poisoned by Earth's atmosphere. (TV: Day One)
Gwen retrieved a quantum transducer from Bernie Harris, which made her see echoes of Cardiff's past. (TV: Ghost Machine) Gwen was taught to use guns by Jack, as she was a "beat cop" rather than a firearms officer. (TV: Day One, Ghost Machine) There appeared to be some sexual tension between the two. Any developing feelings were apparently ended when she returned home and the transducer showed her memories of her relationship with Rhys. When Bernie later handed over the second half, she saw her future self's hands covered in blood saying the name "Owen". Later, she stopped her teammate Owen Harper from killing Ed Morgan, but Ed impaled himself on the knife she confiscated. (TV: Ghost Machine)
Ianto Jones had helped awaken the partially cyber-converted Lisa Hallett from beneath the Hub. Gwen and Owen kissed passionately whilst hiding from Lisa as she tried to take over the Hub. The team escaped, but Ianto ran back to her. After Lisa had put her mind in the body of Annie, Ianto saw Gwen and the others shoot her. (TV: Cyberwoman)
Gwen felt unsafe when fairies attacked her home. As the fairies attacked the anniversary of Lynn Pierce and Roy, Gwen tried and failed to stop Jack from handing Lynn's daughter Jasmine to the fairies as their "Chosen One". (TV: Small Worlds)
The Torchwood team travelled to the Welsh countryside to investigate a series of gruesome murders. The Torchwood SUV was stolen by a group of cannibals that harvested travellers once every ten years. The team followed the cannibals to their village. Right as his team were captured, Jack stepped in and incapacitated the cannibals. Gwen asked one of the cannibals why he did this. He responded that he felt happy. The cannibals were arrested by the police. (TV: Countrycide)
Following this, Owen seduced Gwen and embarked upon an affair with her, largely because she couldn't share her supernatural and extraterrestrial experiences with her boyfriend, Rhys. (TV: Countrycide, Greeks Bearing Gifts)
Gwen, connecting Suzie with a series of murders committed by a member of Pilgrim, brought Suzie back to life with the resurrection gauntlet. Instead of keeping her alive for a minute for a brief interrogation, the link was maintained. After Max Tresilian was captured, Gwen and Suzie later went on a road trip. On this trip, Gwen started to slowly lose her life energy, growing the gunshot wounds Suzie had. Suzie was killed when fellow team member Toshiko Sato destroyed the resurrection gauntlet, breaking the link and saving Gwen's life. (TV: They Keep Killing Suzie)
Gwen was the only one to hear the ghost of Eugene Jones, although she didn't know that it was him at the time. With his help, she found out why he died. After Eugene's funeral, she had the Dogon sixth eye removed from his body. Eugene's final act was saving Gwen by pushing her out of the way of an oncoming car. (TV: Random Shoes)
Gwen saw John Ellis, Emma-Louise Cowell and Diane Holmes come through the Rift from 1953 Earth. Gwen had to explain to her the differences in sexual norms in the 21st century and briefly had Emma live at her house in the guise of her cousin. When Emma found a new job in London, Gwen was forced to say her goodbyes. (TV: Out of Time)
Gwen called off her affair to Owen. She confessed it to Rhys, but gave him retcon so he wouldn't remember. Inside the Hub, she found the mobile phone of the deceased Dan Hodges received a message containing the location of the Weevil Fight Club Dan had been killed at. Gwen helped shut down the club and free the captive Weevil. (TV: Combat)
Jack and Tosh went missing inside the Ritz. Gwen discovered Tosh's half of the equation to the Rift hidden inside once they had been trapped in 1941. She relayed this information to Owen and Ianto, and they opened the Rift up, sending Jack and Tosh back. (TV: Captain Jack Harkness)
Jack and Gwen investigated A Stitch in Time, a shop owned by Bilis Manger, the Ritz' caretaker. Gwen received a precognitive vision from Bilis of Rhys' death by stabbing. She rendered Rhys unconscious with a stun gun and locked him up in the confinement area beneath the Hub. This was to no avail, as Bilis simply teleported in and stabbed him to death there. She took part in a coup with Owen to overthrow Jack and open the Rift, believing it would resurrect Rhys. The damage caused by the Rift reversed and she was ecstatic when Rhys returned to life, the previous event having apparently "un-happened". When Jack battled with Abaddon, whom the Rift had also released, and remained dead for days, Gwen stayed by his side, unwavering in her belief in him, kissing his dead lips before he was finally resurrected. (TV: End of Days) Soon after his recovery, Jack vanished. He left the team behind to chase after the Doctor's TARDIS. (TV: End of Days, Utopia)
Jack's disappearanceAfter Jack's disappearance, Gwen, along with the rest of the team (Ianto, Tosh and Owen), was dispatched on a "wild goose chase" mission to the Himalayas by Harold Saxon. (TV: The Sound of Drums)
With Jack still missing, and despite being the junior employee, Gwen nonetheless took over as Torchwood Three team leader. Rhys proposed marriage to her and Gwen accepted. Gwen continued to operate Torchwood Three as Jack had done. (TV: Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang)
While chasing a Blowfish alien through Cardiff, Jack saved a family's life and quickly took over Torchwood again. Torchwood met an old lover of Jack's, Captain John Hart, who had came through the Rift searching for some canisters that had also come through. He told Torchwood that they contained radioactive bombs. John poisoned Gwen with his paralysing lip gloss but was saved. Gwen caught up with John, but the contents of the canisters were actually components of a bomb that latched onto the DNA of the owner of the canisters' murderer. After John handcuffed her, Gwen attempted to sacrifice them to stop the bomb hitting Cardiff. She was saved at the last second when Jack and Owen found a way to confuse the bomb and safely dispose of it. John forcibly left 21st century Cardiff. (TV: Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang)
Gwen questioned a burglar about who had pushed him out of Beth Halloran and Mike Lyndon. In his dying breath, he said it was Beth. Torchwood then took Beth in for questioning. A mind probe revealed her as the sleeper agent Keryehla Janees of Cell 114. When Tosh removed her connection to the cell, three advance guard agents awoke. Two of them died in their attacks, and Jack and Gwen stopped a third, David before he could set off warheads stored in an abandoned coal mine. Before David committed suicide, he told Jack the rest of Cell 114 had already arrived on Earth and factored Torchwood into their plans. Rather than let her sleeper agent form take over, Beth pretended to threaten Gwen and Torchwood killed her. (TV: Sleeper)
Gwen saw Tommy Brockless awakened each year for a day, to check if he would be ready to fix the time shifts occurring between 1918 and some undefined point in the future. When Gwen saw ghosts appear in St Teilo's, the military hospital Tommy came from, she realised Tommy had to return to 1918 and close the time shifts. With Tosh's help, he did so. (TV: To the Last Man)
Torchwood confiscated alien meat from Leighton Reynolds, who worked for Harwood's Haulage, Rhys' transport firm. After Rhys spotted Gwen, she came clean about the true nature of her work for Torchwood. Rhys helped Torchwood infiltrate an abattoir run by Harries & Harries. Owen was forced to mercy kill an alien creature the company was mutilating to sell its meat. The workers were retconned and Jack offered Gwen to do the same to Rhys. She refused. (TV: Meat)
When Adam Smith arrived at Torchwood, he inserted himself into Gwen's memory and she forgot about Rhys. When she came home, he was in the flat and she called Jack thinking he was a mad man who had broken into her flat. She began to remember him after he refreshed her memory of how they had met and fully gained her memories back after removing the previous 48 hours of her memory, killing Adam. (TV: Adam)
Martha Jones arrived at Torchwood to help them investigate a series of clinical killings akin to assassinations. Gwen and Ianto captured Billy Davis, the hitman hired by the Pharm that assassinated people taking their dangerous drug Reset. She infiltrated the Pharm and saw aliens being mistreated for experimental purposes. Toshiko shut down the Pharm, but the Pharm's head Professor Aaron Copley killed Owen. (TV: Reset)
Jack found a second resurrection gauntlet to revive Owen, making him undead. Instead of drawing energy, he started bringing through the entity Duroc. Gwen discovered a similar incident involving the glove and the Grim Reaper happening in 15th century Cardiff. Duroc manifested inside a hospital and Gwen saw Owen fight it off. (TV: Dead Man Walking)
Torchwood found the half-alive bodies of the Night Travellers' victims near Hope Street. They learnt the Travellers had escaped from a reel of film and put the[statement unclear]. Jack captured the Travellers on film and destroyed them, but only one of the victims could be saved. (TV: From Out of the Rain)
As Gwen was preparing for her marriage to Rhys, she was bitten by a Nostrovite, which transferred the egg of its young into her body, causing her to wake up pregnant on her wedding day. Rhys eventually saved her by using the singularity scalpel to remove the egg from her, while Jack destroyed the mother Nostrovite. She and Rhys were married, though the guests' memories were retconned to forget the alien involvement. (TV: Something Borrowed) Though she and Rhys were now married, she chose to keep her maiden name. (PROSE: SkyPoint, TV: Journey's End, TV: The Gathering)
Gwen was upset when Andy Davidson, her former police partner, told her she had become distant since she joined Torchwood. Angry at this, she investigated why so many people had been disappearing from Cardiff. Against Jack's wishes, Gwen cross-referenced the disappearances with negative rift spikes. Ianto gave Gwen a satnav leading to Flat Holm, where Jonah Bevan was committed to once the Rift had taken him away and returned him to the Cardiff area. Gwen showed his mother Nikki her ill son and the two heard Jonah's primal scream as a result of Jonah looking into a dark star. Nikki asked Gwen not to subject any other family to this. (TV: Adrift)
When signs of an unidentified life-signs were detected from a warehouse, the rest of the team went to investigate, while Gwen got delayed and avoided an explosion that trapped the others. Together with Rhys, who had given her a lift, she managed to rescue the others and discovered that Captain John Hart was responsible. (TV: Fragments)
With Rift activity being detected in three locations in Cardiff, Gwen went to police headquarters, where she discovered that the Weevils had killed four of the senior police officers. Later, Gwen witnessed the detonation of fifteen bombs, planted by John and Gray, Jack's brother, at strategic locations around Cardiff, causing mayhem. She took command of the confused police officers and helps to subdue the Weevils before making her way to the Hub. She was trapped in the Weevil cage by Gray but rescued by Jack and returned to the control room, though too late to help Tosh, who was shot and killed by Gray. (TV: Exit Wounds)
After the loss
The deaths of Toshiko and Owen had a profound impact on Gwen, to the point where she questioned whether it was worth Torchwood continuing. (TV: Exit Wounds) She was still emotionally unsteady regarding the loss several months later. (AUDIO: Lost Souls) Perhaps, to help her cope, she took to placing a photograph of Owen and Tosh next to her workstation in the Hub. (TV: Children of Earth: Day One)
The Medusa Cascade incident
Gwen was present at the Hub when Earth was moved to the Medusa Cascade and invaded by the Daleks and helped out with contacting the Tenth Doctor. Upon first seeing the Doctor, she said, "Ooh, he's a bit nice. I thought he'd be older." After Jack left to help the Doctor, Ianto and Gwen tried to hold off a Dalek invading the Hub with conventional weaponry, even though she knew they wouldn't work, telling Ianto, "I'm going down fighting, like Owen, like Tosh. How about you?" (TV: The Stolen Earth) They survived thanks to Tosh's time lock defence system, which froze the Dalek in time before it could get beyond the threshold of the Hub's entrance, although this also trapped Ianto and Gwen inside. She was able to help the Doctor use the Rift to return the Earth to its original position; she and Ianto opened up the Rift Manipulator to allow the Doctor to use it as a "towrope" to move Earth back to its proper place.
The 456 incident
In September 2009, Gwen discovered a man called Clement McDonald in an East Grinstead Psychiatric Hospital who displayed the same signs as the children that were possessed by the 456. When she met him, he said he could smell that she was pregnant, which was confirmed by the Hub's medical scanner. Jack ran in and after seeing this placed his hand on her, which was still on the Hub's medical scanner. The picture then switched to reveal the bomb hidden inside Jack's body, forcing Ianto and Gwen to abandon the Hub as it was destroyed. (TV: Children of Earth: Day One)
After escaping the explosion, Gwen was attacked by two government agents masquerading as paramedics but managed to fight them off with a fire extinguisher, steal their weapons and then flee the scene. She returned home to collect Rhys, realising that if someone was trying to kill her then her husband was next on the list. They were able to escape when Gwen delayed the government hit squad by shooting their tyres out.
The two fled to London where they made contact with Lois Habiba, who informed them of the government's plans and eventually became a spy for them. Lois told them the location of the captured Jack and told them they needed to disguise themselves as funeral workers in order to gain access. Gwen and Rhys sneaked into the base but were cornered by Johnson outside Jack's cell. They were saved by Ianto, who created a path using a forklift and the group, Jack included, escaped. (TV: Children of Earth: Day Two)
The team relocated to an old Torchwood One storage facility and witnessed the return of the 456. Gwen went to visit Lois again and convinced her to take a pair of Eye-5 contact lenses that would allow Torchwood to monitor the situation inside Thames House. Later on, Gwen convinced Andy Davidson to allow Clem to be released from prison and took him back to the storage base for his safety.
She later witnessed the 456 demand one-tenth of the Earth's children and convinced Lois to stand up to the government, who were planning to give them the children, and blackmail them to allow Jack and Ianto access to talk to the 456. (TV: Children of Earth: Day Three, Children of Earth: Day Four)
With Rhys in a hidden location with the recordings that could destroy the government, Gwen purposefully led Johnson and her team to the base and revealed to them what the government were doing, gaining their support. While talking with Johnson, the 456 became angry while dealing with Jack and killed Clem, along with many MI5 staff when it flooded the building with a virus, leading to Ianto's death. Gwen rushed to the building once it was safe and wept by the body of her friend while Jack was reborn again. (TV: Children of Earth: Day Four)
Having failed to stop the government from activating the plan to take the bottom ten percent of school children, Gwen, along with Rhys and Andy, went to fulfil a promise to Jack — protect Ianto's niece and nephew. En route, Gwen, upset over Ianto's death, strongly implied to Rhys that she was considering aborting the pregnancy, due to the dangerous world they now lived in. She later recanted her statement and told Rhys she never seriously considered the option. Arriving just as the army did to take the children, the group gathered as many children as they could and ran, along with Ianto's sister and her husband, to a nearby disused building, but were soon discovered. Running from the army proved fruitless and soon only Gwen and a single child were left uncaptured and running, but she was saved when Jack destroyed the 456 and she happily embraced the children. (TV: Children of Earth: Day Five)
In March 2010, Gwen and Rhys went to meet Jack on a hill, seeing him for the first time since he left to travel the world in the wake of the death of his grandson. Now heavily pregnant, Gwen tried to convince Jack not to leave her and Torchwood, but he left, teleporting into space. Gwen was left sobbing in Rhys's arms. With Jack gone, the other members dead and Gwen heavily pregnant, the future of Torchwood Three was left in limbo. (TV: Children of Earth: Day Five) She later gave birth to a healthy baby, Anwen Williams. (COMIC: Shrouded) Gwen, Rhys, and Anwen then went into hiding for the next year. (TV: The New World)
On Miracle Day, Gwen's father Geraint was brought to the hospital, so Gwen and her family were forced to return to Cardiff. Upon arriving there, Andy informed Gwen of the Miracle, and the two of them began investigating online. Shortly after they returned home, Rex Matheson arrived at their secret home, which was shortly attacked by helicopter. With Jack's help they escaped to Roald Dahl Plass, where Matheson extradited them all to America. (TV: The New World)
While her husband and child were sent back home, Gwen was still forced to board the America-bound plane. Onboard, Gwen was handcuffed to her seat next to Jack. She spent her time making fun of one of the workers and Rex repeatedly ignored her. Rex was focused on being professional about his job, prompting Gwen to give a harsh remark about his attitude. During this time, Gwen learnt that Jack lost his ability to keep coming back to life. Jack was poisoned by the other CIA agent onboard, Lyn Peterfield and Gwen freed herself to keep Lyn at bay while Rex put together an antidote for Jack using tips from Dr Vera Juarez over the phone. Upon having her ancestry insulted by Lyn, Gwen knocked her out and handcuffs her before being returned to her seat by Rex with a recovered Jack. Upon landing in America, Gwen was freed by Rex as the CIA turned on him. Gwen boarded Rex's fellow ex-CIA colleague Esther Drummond's car and fled. (TV: Rendition)
Along with Jack, Gwen took charge of the ex-CIA agents to form a new Torchwood team while stealing supplies (yet again) to make a suitable base of operations. The team soon acquired the phone of the CIA's director Brian Friedkin, who had given out orders to kill her and Jack to keep Torchwood disbanded. Later, Gwen accompanied the rest of the team to a warehouse owned by a pharmaceutical company known as PhiCorp, which stockpiled a large amount of painkillers. This led them to believe that PhiCorp may have had a hand in "Miracle Day" occurring. (TV: Dead of Night)
Gwen, along with the rest of the new Torchwood team, went to Los Angeles to infiltrate a PhiCorp installation there. Unknown to her, they were followed by an assassin. While in LA, Gwen called Rhys and asked him to take her father out of the hospital. Gwen tricked Nicolas Frumkin into giving her his voice print, palm print, and retinal print, which she needed to access PhiCorp. Jack and Gwen both broke into the PhiCorp building, and were followed by the assassin. The assassin tied up both Jack and Gwen, putting a knife to Gwen's throat. He threatened to cut Gwen's throat if Jack refused to answer his questions. Gwen persuaded the assassin to tell her who he was working for, but before the assassin had a chance to speak, Rex arrived and shot him in the throat. The three stole the information they needed from PhiCorp and escaped the building. Gwen then received a phone call from Rhys, and was informed that her father had been taken to one of PhiCorp's overflow camps. (TV: Escape to LA)
Using the alias Yvonne Pallister, Gwen returned to Wales. She was reunited with her husband, daughter, and mother, and began planning to take her father out of the Cowbridge Overflow Camp. She went to the camp with Rhys and Andy Davidson, and tried to persuade the employees at the camp to let her see her father. Unfortunately, no visitors were allowed, and even Andy's position as a police officer did not persuade them to change their minds. Gwen and Rhys decided to break into the camp to free Geraint. Gwen went undercover as a nurse, and Rhys brought Gwen into the camp in his truck. Gwen found Geraint, and she and Rhys tried to bring him to the truck. Geraint had another heart attack and became unconscious. He was then reclassified as category one. After Rhys informed Gwen that the modules were for "burn victims", Gwen realised that the true purpose of the modules were to cremate category one individuals. (TV: The Categories of Life)
Gwen then attempted to persuade a doctor at the camp that her father was actually in category 2. However, the doctor refused to reexamine Geraint, as that would mean she would be obligated to reexamine all category 1s. Gwen and Rhys decided to try to break Geraint out of the camp again, and succeeded. Rhys took Geraint out of the camp in his truck, while Gwen used the Eye-5 contact lenses to contact Captain Jack. Jack then recorded Gwen blowing up the modules. Gwen returned to America, and received a phone call at the airport, saying simply "lenses." Gwen went to the bathroom and put the contact lenses on, where she received text messages saying, "We have your mother," "We have your husband," and "We have your child." Gwen asked them what they wanted, and the text responded, "Bring us Jack." (TV: The Middle Men)
Gwen then returned to Torchwood's base in LA, stunning Jack and tying him up in the car. She told Jack that her family had been kidnapped and that she had to trade Jack for them. Gwen ignored Jack's attempts to trick her into letting him go, and brought him where her contact lenses told them to. She even admitted to Jack that in a sickening way she was glad the other members of the old team were dead because now that so few knew the truth it made her feel more important. During their journey, she and Jack learned more about each other. After Gwen stated that she could see Jack killed in front of her to save her daughter, Jack responded by saying that he would rip the skin from her skull before he let Gwen take his life. Despite their hostilities, Gwen began to feel guilty for driving her best friend to his death, and asked him to tell her about his life. When they arrived Olivia Colasanto and her men were there waiting for them. Rex and Esther followed them and threatened to shoot Colasanto's people. Andy simultaneously managed to free Gwen's family. (TV: Immortal Sins)
Torchwood then agreed to go with Olivia to see her grandfather Angelo Colasanto who knew what had caused the Miracle. Upon arriving at the Colasanto residence, Olivia explained that Angelo had been kept alive on life support, and that the Three Families were responsible for the Miracle. Before long, Friedkin arrived, and captured Torchwood, Olivia, and her employees. Friedkin then took Rex to another room in order to take revenge on him, but Rex recorded him admitting that he worked for the families with the Torchwood contact lenses. Allen Shapiro soon arrived and arrested Friedkin and Olivia. After Angelo became the first person to die since Miracle Day, Gwen spoke with Rhys on the phone while Jack was sulking. Esther then found a null field generator under the floor, Gwen was deported back to Wales when Jack refused to explain to Shapiro what it was. (TV: End of the Road)
Gwen spent the next two months at home with her family, robbing pharmacies in order to obtain medicine for her father. Geraint was forced to live in the basement, as he would be sent back to an overflow camp to be burned if he was found. Gwen's house had been searched, but the police did not find Geraint. Meanwhile, Gwen's house was being watched by a man who was likely working for the Families. His goal seemed to be to find Jack Harkness, and he seemed to be hoping that Jack would try to come meet with Gwen. Gwen's family had their groceries delivered to them, and one day the delivery man happened to be convicted paedophile Oswald Danes. Upon entering Gwen's house, Oswald picked up Anwen, which Gwen was not happy about. Gwen and Rhys proceeded to beat up Oswald, until he explained that he had information about the Miracle and wanted to speak to Jack. Gwen asked Jack to returnn to Wales, and Jack arrived at Gwen's house, after he retconned the man who was watching Gwen's house. Using the leads that Oswald had given them, Torchwood realised that the Blessing was at antipodes in Shanghai and Buenos Aires. The police soon returned to Gwen's house, and used a new app to find Gwen's father. Gwen begged them not to take Geraint, pointing out that he was still warm. The man who was taking him comforted Gwen by pointing out that he was about to get a lot warmer where he was going. Gwen then went to Shanghai with Jack and Oswald in an attempt to find the Blessing, while Rex and Esther went to Buenos Aires. Upon arriving in Shanghai, Jack's gunshot wound began to hurt him again, so Gwen helped him with this bandage. However, drops of Jack's blood then began to move towards the Blessing. (TV: The Gathering)
Based on the direction in which Jack's blood was moving, Gwen was able to locate the Shanghai end of the Blessing. Upon finding it, Gwen called Jack and Oswald and asked them to come, and then spoke to Rhys who was planning to visit her father in the overflow camp with Andy. Gwen told Rhys that she wasn't sure if she wanted to end the Miracle since it would mean her father's death, but Rhys told her that she should just let him die if necessary. When Jack and Oswald arrived, the three broke into the facility that housed the Blessing. They found some explosives inside which they strapped to Oswald. Oswald threatened to blow himself and the facility up if the families tried to stop them. A family member revealed that in order to end the Miracle, mortal blood would have to be put into both sides of the Blessing. Rex had transfused Jack's blood into himself, and he was at the Buenos Aires end. Gwen decided that she would shoot Jack as she didn't want him to have to kill himself. One of the family members in Buenos Aires then shot Esther, so that ending the Miracle would mean allowing Esther to die. Jack and Rex were unsure of what to do, but Gwen, having already accepted that ending the Miracle would mean killing her father, decided that it would be better to end the Miracle and let Esther die. Gwen shot Jack while Rex removed his bandage, and both of their blood was sucked into the Blessing, ending the Miracle. Gwen attempted to escape in a lift with Jilly Kitzinger while Oswald blew up the facility and a family member, but Jack soon came back to life as his immortality was restored when the Miracle ended. Gwen attempted to bring Jack into the lift with them, but Jilly was not willing to wait to escape, so the two of them got into a physical fight. Upon beating Jilly up, Gwen helped Jack into the lift and the three escaped.
Jack, Gwen and Rex returned to America where they attended Esther's funeral. After the funeral, Gwen watched as Rex was shot by Charlotte Wills, and was shocked when he, having somehow gained Jack's immortality, came back to life. (TV: The Blood Line)
By 2012 they had returned to Wales with their daughter Anwen. Gwen began to miss her life with Torchwood and, unbeknownst to her, the Helix Intelligence within the Earth was amplifying these feelings, causing her to develop a psychosis. Jack returned to deal with the crisis, and took Gwen aboard the Ice Maiden. Gwen refused to be left out of the mission, and accompanied Jack to a mountain in Peru where he planned to sacrifice himself to heal the Helix Intelligence. Gwen took his place, and was pulled into the mountain. Gwen was on board the Ice Maiden two weeks later where she was reunited with Jack. (PROSE: Exodus Code)
By 2017, Gwen returned to service as part of Torchwood in order to deal with temporary holes in space-time which brought through new alien phenomena in Cardiff despite the apparent closing of the Rift years prior, which they weren't sure was a sign of the Rift reopening or simply the position in Cardiff being vulnerable, with assistance from PC Andy while Rhys looked after Anwen. Gwen approached Roger Pugh, Planning Officer for Cardiff City Council, in order to establish a new Torchwood Cardiff facility which would replace the long-gone Hub. After Gwen showed Roger a day of her work first hand, he gave her his support. (AUDIO: More Than This)
Gwen became the acting head of Torchwood Cardiff. She and Rhys planned a weekend away in Newport, staying in a caravan. On the beach Gwen was reunited with Hollis, who had travelled from the Ice Maiden to bring her to Jack. On the boat taking them to the Ice Maiden, Gwen and Hollis came under attack from ninjas on jet-skis. (COMIC: World Without End)
Jack was dumped by the Ice Maiden and St John Colchester joined Torchwood. (AUDIO: Changes Everything) At some point, Gwen was possessed. When Mary noticed that something was off with her, the possessor shot her. (AUDIO: Aliens & Sex & Chips & Gravy) Rhys was concerned by Gwen’s lack of mourning. (AUDIO: Orr)
As a Torchwood operative she provided an essential foil to Captain Jack, although her personal agenda sometimes interfered with her duties. Her actions and decisions were sometimes guided by her desire to protect her live-in boyfriend, and later husband, Rhys. She had a brief, disruptive affair with another operative, Owen Harper, and according to him was capable of sexual techniques which at first caused him extreme pleasure, but later bored him. (TV: Countrycide, Combat) She also shared sexual tension with Jack, but in the end remained true to Rhys. (TV: Something Borrowed)
Gwen had a strong will- she suffered an awful lot during the events of Miracle Day, the most obvious being her father falling into a vegetative state and kept alive only by the Miracle, but despite this she remained determined to bring death back to the world. Her will was especially shown when, after Esther was shot, she remained unflinching and still ended the Miracle, having already accepted that her father would die. However, she was clearly saddened by Esther's death, judging by the fact that she attended her funeral. (TV: The Categories of Life, The Blood Line) She was also fiercely proud of her Welsh heritage; when a CIA agent insulted her for being English, she retorted that she was Welsh and punched her out cold. (TV: Rendition)
She was always friendly and related well to people, a trait that she had picked up as a police officer, and the one that caused Jack Harkness to recruit her to Torchwood. (TV: Everything Changes) Gwen was fond of lasagne (AUDIO: Everyone Says Hello) but hated the taste of peaches (PROSE: Exodus Code).
Behind the scenes
- Eve Myles initially appeared on Doctor Who as Gwyneth in the 2005 episode The Unquiet Dead. When she was later cast as Gwen Cooper, Russell T Davies denied that the two characters were related, just that they had similar names and the same actress — in fact, he didn't consider the names Gwen and Gwyneth similar. In the fourth season finale, Journey's End, the Tenth Doctor and Rose Tyler notice the resemblance between Gwen and Gwyneth. Gwen states her family roots in Cardiff date back to the 19th century. Russell T Davies explains, "It's not familial as we understand it. There's no blood tie. Spatial genetic multiplicity means an echo and repetition of physical traits across a Time Rift." This means that although Gwen may be a physical "copy" of Gwyneth, she isn't the same person.
- Gwen did not take her husband's name and continues to be identified as Gwen Cooper on both Torchwood and Doctor Who, reportedly at the request of Myles.
- The Pete's World counterpart of Gwen Cooper was planned to appear in the scrapped Rose Tyler: Earth Defence spin-off.
- Gwen was dubbed in German by voice actor Britta Steffenhagen in both Doctor Who and Torchwood.