'Torchwood': Mekhi Phifer joins the team

mekhi-phifer-gi-320.jpg "Torchwood" has cast the CIA agent to join Captain Jack in its upcoming season on Starz -- and it's not someone who was rumored to be up for the role a couple months back.

Former "ER" star Mekhi Phifer, late of FOX's "Lie to Me," has been cast in a lead role opposite John Barrowman and Eve Myles, Deadline reports. He's playing a CIA agent named Rex Matheson, who "become[s] embroiled in the Torchwood legend and investigate[s] what Torchwood is or was," as creator Russell T. Davies put it last summer. Rex is described as a character who's rising in the agency's ranks and has a very sharp sense of humor.

In casting Phifer, Starz and the BBC (which are co-producing the new season) have gone in a different direction than what was reported earlier in the fall, when "Dollhouse's" Enver Gjokaj and former "One Tree Hill" star Chad Michael Murray were rumored to be in contention for the role. In addition to bringing a little diversity to the cast, Phifer is also a little older than either Gjokaj or Murray and -- to our minds, at least -- projects more of a no-nonsense attitude on screen.

Phifer left "Lie to Me" earlier this year after the show decided to have The Lightman Group cut its ties with the FBI. His credits also include "8 Mile," "Soul Food" and a few episodes of "Curb Your Enthusiasm." He also stars in a Lifetime movie called "Close Quarters" that's set to air next year.

"Torchwood" debuts on Starz in the summer. Thoughts on the casting?
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