Torchwood Institute


Torchwood Institute

:"This article is about the organisation within Doctor Who; for the spinoff programme, see Torchwood."Infobox fictional secret organisation
organisation_name = Torchwood
organisation_



image_caption = Torchwood logo, composed of hexagonal shapes arranged in the shape of the letter T. Other coloured versions occur - for example, a red version appears in the intertitle for "Torchwood", and a blue version appears on the show's microsite.
organisation_type =
universe = Whoniverse
foundation = Scotland, 1879 by Queen Victoria
location = United Kingdom
* Torchwood One: London, England
* Torchwood Two: Glasgow, Scotland
* Torchwood Three: Cardiff, Wales
* Torchwood Four: "Missing"
key_people = Queen Victoria
Yvonne Hartman
Jack Harkness
purpose =
Extraterrestrial research
Protecting Britain
Developing new technologies
Arming humanity for the future
| technologies = Dimensional transporter
Particle gun
Large energy weapon
Weight negation clamps
Huon particles
"And more..."
powers = Torchwood is a vastly powerful organisation, as such it possesses:
*Wealth to build skyscraper and underground complex as headquarters
*Influence beyond Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and United Nations
*Staff given "psychic training", described as "basic mental training, level 1" which includes "psi shielding" as a defense fromcite web |url=http://www.torchwood.org.uk/html/glove/images/safe1.jpg|title= Safe handling of alien objects|accessdate=2006-12-24 |format= JPG |work= Torchwood Institute External Hub Interface] as well as utilisation ofcite web |url=http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/torchwood/7pamela.pdf |title=Pamela's Brain (pamphlet)|accessdate=2006-12-24 |format= PNG |work= Torchwood Institute External Hub Interface] cite web |url=http://www.torchwood.org.uk/html/telepathy/im.shtml |title=Instant messenger transcript|accessdate=2006-12-24 |format= |work= Torchwood Institute External Hub Interface] telepathy
*Vast array of alien technology and weaponry
homepage = http://www.torchwood.org.uk/index.htm
http://www.visittorchwood.co.uk/

The Torchwood Institute (usually referred to simply as Torchwood) is a fictional secret organisation from the British science fiction television series "Doctor Who" and its spin-off series "Torchwood". It was founded by Queen Victoria to research and combat alien threats to the British Empire, and use their findings to restore the Empire's former glory. To those ends, it acquires and reverse engineers alien technology by any means deemed necessary. According to one of its base's directors, Yvonne Hartman, its nationalist attitude extends to refusing to use metric units.cite episode
title = Army of Ghosts
episodelink =
series = Doctor Who
serieslink =
credits = Russell T Davies, Graeme Harper
network = BBC
station =
city =
airdate = 2006-08-07
]

While described as "beyond the United Nations",cite episode
title = Everything Changes
episodelink = Everything Changes (Torchwood)
series = Torchwood
serieslink =
credits = Russell T Davies, Brian Kelly
network = BBC Three
station =
city =
airdate = 2006-08-22
] the Torchwood Institute is known to cooperate with UNIT (the Unified Intelligence Taskforce) to some extent.cite episode
title = Greeks Bearing Gifts
episodelink = Greeks Bearing Gifts (Torchwood)
series = Torchwood
serieslink =
credits = Russell T Davies, Toby Whithouse, Colin Teague
network = BBC Three
station =
city =
airdate = 2006-11-26
] There appears at present to be some sort of rapport with the Prime Minister although historically this may not always have been the case. To those that have come in contact with Torchwood, they are primarily believed to be a special forces team.cite episode
title = Day One
episodelink = Day One (Torchwood)
series = Torchwood
serieslink =
credits = Russell T Davies, Brian Kelly
network = BBC Three
station =
city =
airdate = 2006-08-22
] They appear to maintain this illusion by using false witnesses, [cite web
title = FALSE WITNESS LIST
work = Torchwood External Hub Interface
publisher = BBC
url = http://www.torchwood.org.uk/html/gwen/witnesses.shtml
] or by sectioning any journalists who threaten to expose the truth, [cite video
title = TARDISODE 12 - Army of Ghosts
medium = Real Media
publisher = BBC
url = http://www.bbc.co.uk/broadband/mediawrapper/consoles/drwhonew/bb_rm_console.shtml?pack2-tardisode12_16x9
] and via the use of memory altering drugs. Following a major incident involving the Institute,cite episode
title = Doomsday
episodelink = Doomsday (Doctor Who)
series = Doctor Who
serieslink =
credits = Russell T Davies, Graeme Harper
network = BBC
station =
city =
airdate = 2006-07-08
] the stance of the organisation becomes much less confrontational and more secretive.cite episode
title = The Sound of Drums
episodelink =
series = Doctor Who
serieslink =
credits = Russell T Davies, Colin Teague
network = BBC
station =
city =
airdate = 2007-07-23
]

Conception

The phrase "Torchwood", an anagram of "Doctor Who", was used as the codename for the new series of "Doctor Who" while filming its first few episodes and on the 'rushes' tapes to ensure that they would not be intercepted. [cite news|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/4349120.stm|title = Doctor Who spin-off made in Wales|publisher=BBC News|date=17 October 2005] . At the end of the first series, Russell T Davies confirmed that the arc word for Series 2 would be an anagram which had been used before (the "Old Earth Torchwood Institute" had been mentioned in "Bad Wolf").cite web|url=http://www.gallifreyone.com/news-archives.php?id=8-2005#newsitemEEkuEZVEVVpYJBwfAc|title=Casting Plus Other News and Rumors|author=Shaun Lyon|publisher=Outpost Gallifrey|date=2005-08-15|accessdate=2007-05-28]

The Torchwood arc ran the length of the second series, either mentioned just in passing ("Rise of the Cybermen", "The Idiot's Lantern", "Fear Her"), or providing backstory about the Institute: its inception in 1879 ("Tooth and Claw"), its access to alien technology ("The Christmas Invasion"), and an expedition to a planet orbiting a black hole ("The Impossible Planet"/"The Satan Pit"), until the first contemporary appearance in "Army of Ghosts"/"Doomsday". Following the conclusion of the Torchwood arc, ancillary media and the "Torchwood" spin-off itself would contribute towards defining and expanding upon the Institute's fictional history.

Fictional history

1879–2006

The Institute was founded by Queen Victoria in 1879, following the events of the "Doctor Who" episode "Tooth and Claw".cite episode
title = Tooth and Claw
episodelink = Tooth and Claw (Doctor Who)
series = Doctor Who
serieslink =
credits = Russell T Davies, Euros Lyn
network = BBC
station =
city =
airdate = 2006-04-22
] While staying at Torchwood House, the Scottish estate of Sir Robert MacLeish, the Queen was attacked by a werewolf, in reality an alien intelligence that planned to infect her with its consciousness by biting her. The werewolf was ultimately dispatched, thanks to the efforts of the Tenth Doctor and the sacrifice of Sir Robert.

Having discovered that "Great Britain had enemies beyond imagination," Victoria decided to establish the Torchwood Institute in memory of Sir Robert. She also decided that the Doctor was dangerous, and declared that if he ever returned, Torchwood would be waiting. The Doctor's name was written into the Torchwood Foundation's charter as an enemy of the Crown. In 1882, Victoria expanded Torchwood's role to include the acquisition of alien technology, creating the policy that "if it's alien, it's ours".cite web |url= http://www.torchwood.org.uk/html/gadgets/victoria.shtml |title=Queen Victoria's speech, July 1882|accessdate=2007-01-23 |format= |work= Torchwood Institute External Hub Interface] In 1888, Victoria reiterated the secrecy policy of the Torchwood Institute, protecting her subjects from the "evils that [Torchwood] fight [s] ". cite web |url= http://www.torchwood.org.uk/html/rhys/victoria.shtml |title=Queen Victoria on secrecy, December 1888|accessdate=2007-01-23 |format= |work= Torchwood Institute External Hub Interface]

Not long after the foundation of the Institute, a spacetime rift was identified in Cardiff and as a result, a smaller branch of the Institute (Torchwood Three) was formed there to monitor and exploit the Rift. cite web |url= http://www.torchwood.org.uk/html/welcome/rift.shtml |title=The Rift|accessdate=2006-12-24 |format= |work= Torchwood Institute External Hub Interface] As shown in the episode "Fragments", Jack Harkness came to the attention of Torchwood Three in 1899, due to visiting the rift and talking about the Doctor. He was forced into working for the organisation. Captured by two female Torchwood agents (Alice Guppy and Emily Holroyd), Jack was subjected to torture and interrogation regarding the Doctor before being put to work for the Institute as a freelance agent for over a century. A few years later (1901), whilst this Harkness was in Torchwood's employ, Guppy and Charles Gaskell found and disinterred another Harkness on a different timeline, who instructs them to immediately cryofreeze and store him for 107 years to avoid him meeting his other self - they comply with his request.

The activities of the Torchwood Institute during the 20th century have, for the most part, yet to be revealed. It is known that the organisation "flourished down the decades, becoming stronger" and grew "more arrogant."cite web |url=http://www.torchwood.org.uk/html/welcome/introduction.shtml |title=Welcome to Torchwood|accessdate=2006-12-24 |format= |work= Torchwood Institute External Hub Interface] Some insights into the World War One-era organisation (such as their progressive policies regarding women's civil rights) were offered in "Torchwood" episode "To the Last Man". Torchwood Three's progressive stance is also shown in the episode "Exit Wounds", where a black Torchwood member (possibly leader) called Charles Gaskell is shown in 1901, an era of widespread racial prejudice.

In 1983, Torchwood became the sole proprietor of H.C. Clements, a security firm, while in 1996 a "Jathar Sunglider" flew into British airspace and was shot down by Torchwood. From its remains, an energy weapon was installed in London.

On New Year's Eve 1999, the then-leader of Torchwood Three (named "Alex Hopkins" by the Torchwood website) [ [http://www.bbc.co.uk/torchwood/sites/arg/pages/episodes.shtml?folder=tw_case_ep12 BBC - Torchwood - Episodes ] ] killed all the staff apart from Jack, ending with himself. He claimed that he was "saving" them, as the twenty-first century was when it all changed and humanity was not ready. Left in charge of Torchwood Three, Jack began severing the links with Torchwood One and their more aggressive policy on extraterrestrial life. Over the next few years, Jack recruited his own team; Suzie Costello, Toshiko Sato and Dr Owen Harper.

By 2006, the existence of Torchwood was apparently a secret known only to the British military and police. Torchwood's activities during the time the Third Doctor was exiled to earth (during either the 1970s or 1980s depending upon one's point of view) have yet to be revealed. Knowledge of Torchwood was supposedly kept even from Prime Minister Harriet Jones and the United Nations. However, Jones did know about its existence anyway, and ordered Major Richard Blake of UNIT to prepare Torchwood for the impending arrival of the Sycorax on Christmas Day.cite episode
title = The Christmas Invasion
episodelink =
series = Doctor Who
serieslink =
credits = Russell T Davies, James Hawes
network = BBC
station =
city =
airdate = 2005-12-25
]

On the command of Prime Minister Harriet Jones, Torchwood used the Jathar Sunglider weapon to destroy a Sycorax ship on Christmas Day 2006.

2007–2009

The Doctor discovered the existence of Torchwood in the 2006 series' two-part finale, "Army of Ghosts" and "Doomsday" set in 2007. At this time, Torchwood operated software which blocked access to Internet searches about UFO activity ("School Reunion"). The TARDISODE for "Army of Ghosts" showed Torchwood agents abducting a journalist who was investigating the Institute and arranging to admit him to a psychiatric institution.

While investigating the manifestation of "ghosts" on Earth, the Doctor traced their origin back to Torchwood Tower, known publicly as One Canada Square, where Hartman placed the Doctor in custody and confiscated the TARDIS. To Torchwood, the Doctor was a source of vast information and familiarity with alien technology which they could exploit to further the organisation's aims.Torchwood Tower had been built to reach a spatial breach 660 feet above sea level. Unbeknownst to Torchwood, the breach had been caused by the entrance into the universe of a "void ship", a vessel designed to travel through the void between parallel universes. Torchwood had been conducting experiments on the breach, in an attempt to harness its energy and reduce Britain's reliance on Middle Eastern oil, but these experiments had caused the breach to widen. The "ghosts" turned out to be Cybermen from an alternate universe, which were using the widening breach to travel between universes.

A small advance force of Cybermen infiltrated Torchwood, upgrading or subverting Torchwood personnel, before eventually seizing control and opening the breach wide enough for ghost like creatures around the world to manifest fully as millions of Cybermen.

However, the void ship was nothing to do with the Cybermen, and had in fact been created by the Daleks, four of whom had used it to escape the Time War. Caught between warring Daleks and Cybermen, many Torchwood workers were either killed, or "upgraded" by the Cybermen (including Hartman herself - although she retained some semblance of her identity). It is known that in the wake of these events, referred to as the "Battle of Canary Wharf", the Institute feels it must "learn by heart" a lesson about its own arrogance. It was later revealed that the London branch of Torchwood, referred to as Torchwood One, lost 796 members of staff and was ultimately ordered to close by Queen Elizabeth II.cite web |archiveurl=http://web.archive.org/web/20070826192746/www.torchwood.org.uk/html/fall/report.shtml| archivedate=2007-08-24|url=http://www.torchwood.org.uk/html/fall/report.shtml |title=Report: Closure of Torchwood One|accessdate=2006-12-24 |format= |work= Torchwood Institute External Hub Interface ]

In "The Runaway Bride", it is revealed that the London-based security firm "H. C. Clements" (which employed secretary Donna Noble, who inexplicably materialised in the TARDIS just as she was about to get married) was a front company for the Torchwood Institute.cite episode
title = The Runaway Bride
episodelink = The Runaway Bride (Doctor Who)
series = Doctor Who
serieslink =
credits = Russell T Davies, Euros Lyn
network = BBC
station =
city =
airdate = 2006-12-25
] On a restricted basement level of the company situated beneath the Thames Barrier was a secret laboratory which the Institute used to recreate ancient "Huon particles". Over a period of months, H. C. Clements' Human Resources Manager, Lance Bennett, had courted and poisoned Donna with Huon particles, intending to sacrifice her to the Empress of the Racnoss. It would appear that Lance was not acting on behalf of the Institute, and the lab was in disuse since the Battle of Canary Wharf and the Queen's official closure of Torchwood One.

In 2007, following Torchwood One's closure, Torchwood Three leader Captain Jack Harkness allows former Torchwood One researcher Ianto Jones to his team, and is no longer working under the authority of the headquarters in London; he is the "de facto" leader of the entire organisation. This team would work together until later the same year, when the hiring of policewoman Gwen Cooper coincided with the suicide of second-in-command Suzie Costello.

In "The Sound of Drums", Jack indicates to the Doctor that with Torchwood One gone, less than ten staff remain (between Wales and Scotland). He mentions that he rebuilt the Institute "in the Doctor's honour", with a new regime and a less aggressive stance. Outside the Institute's small workforce, journalists such as Vivien Rook of "The Sunday Mirror" investigate controversial figures such as Mr Saxon on behalf of the Institute. Saxon sent Torchwood Three on a 'wild goose chase' to the Himalayas to prevent them from helping Jack or the Doctor.

Torchwood Three later fought against the Daleks in their second invasion of Earth. Torchwood used the rift to make contact with the Doctor. Torchwood made a contribution to putting the Earth in it's original place with the help of K-9 and Mr Smith by putting a lasso of temporal energy around the Earth allowing it to be towed by the TARDIS.

The future

In 2012, Torchwood is public enough to be mentioned in a television broadcast during the London 2012 Olympics.cite episode
title = Fear Her
episodelink =
series = Doctor Who
serieslink =
credits = Russell T Davies, Matthew Graham, Euros Lyn
network = BBC
station =
city =
airdate = 2006-06-24
]

In the novel "The Twilight Streets", a potential future Torchwood Institute is shown to Torchwood Three by Bilis Manger. In this future, Torchwood is no longer a private organisation and has branches all across the New British Empire (a dream once held by Torchwood). At the centre of the organisation's new image is the Cardiff branch, a new building in the centre of the city. The Rift Manipulator has been moved to the new building and has been plugged into a permanently comatose Jack Harkness, whose immortality allows the Rift to be held open safely, thus allowing two-way travel.

In the 42nd century, the Torchwood Archives sent a group of explorers to investigate a mysterious power source that kept a planet in stable orbit around a black hole.cite episode
title = The Impossible Planet
episodelink =
series = Doctor Who
serieslink =
credits = Russell T Davies, Matt Jones, James Strong
network = BBC
station =
city =
airdate = 2006-06-03
] cite episode
title = The Satan Pit
episodelink =
series = Doctor Who
serieslink =
credits = Russell T Davies, Matt Jones, James Strong
network = BBC
station =
city =
airdate = 2006-06-10
]

By the 2002nd century, the Great Cobalt Pyramid has been built on the ruins of the Torchwood Institute.cite episode
title = Bad Wolf
episodelink =
series = Doctor Who
serieslink =
credits = Russell T Davies, Joe Ahearne
network = BBC
station =
city =
airdate = 2005-06-18
]

Parallel universe

In "Rise of the Cybermen", a parallel Earth Torchwood Institute is referred to.cite episode
title = Rise of the Cybermen
episodelink =
series = Doctor Who
serieslink =
credits = Russell T Davies, Tom MacRae, Graeme Harper
network = BBC
station =
city =
airdate = 2006-05-13
] It is public enough for a survey carried out by it to be reported in a news item, and for someone to be publicly asked about their work there. Prior to "Army of Ghosts", a group led by Pete Tyler (and including Jake Simmonds and Mickey Smith), which worked for the alternate world's People's Republic, took over the parallel Earth Torchwood. The people of this alternate universe discovered what was going on at Torchwood and it became a re-developed organisation run in full view of the public. In "Doomsday", it is revealed that the parallel Earth Torchwood had also been conducting experiments on the spatial breach, which led (between "The Age of Steel" and "Army of Ghosts") to it being infiltrated by the Cybermen, who used the breach to travel to Rose's universe. Following the events of "Doomsday", Rose Tyler, confined to the alternate world, goes on to work for the reformed organisation.

Divisions of Torchwood

Torchwood One, London

Torchwood One was Torchwood's head officecite web |url=http://www.torchwood.org.uk/html/ianto/im_3.shtml |title=Transcript - online counselling session|accessdate=2006-12-24 |format= |work= Torchwood Institute External Hub Interface] and operated out of Torchwood Tower, located within One Canada Square, the tallest of the three Canary Wharf skyscrapers, although it carried out operations across London, including beneath the Thames Barrier and through front organizations such as "H. C. Clements". The beam which destroyed the Sycorax ship was fired from several locations around London, suggesting a number of properties are owned by Torchwood One in the area. The tower installations were destroyed during the events of "Doomsday". According to the "Torchwood" website, there were 823 members of staff, of which only 27 were known to have survived. In the wake of the "Battle of Canary Wharf", Her Majesty ordered the immediate closure of Torchwood One. Some of the notable employees included:
* Yvonne Hartman (director)
* Dr. Rajesh Singh (scientist)
* "Samuel" (Mickey Smith) (scientist)*
* Lisa Hallett cite episode | title = Cyberwoman | episodelink = Cyberwoman | series = Torchwood | serieslink = Torchwood | credits = Writer Chris Chibnall, Director James Strong, Producer Richard Strokes and Chris Chibnall | network = BBC | city = Cardiff | airdate = 5 November 2006]
* Adeola Oshodi (scientist)
* Ianto Jones (junior researcher)cite episode | title = Fragments | episodelink = Fragments (Torchwood) | series = Torchwood | serieslink = Torchwood | credits = Writer Chris Chibnall, Director Jonathan Fox Bassett, Executive producers Julie Gardner and Russell T Davies | network = BBC | city = Cardiff | airdate = 21 March 2008]

Torchwood Two, Glasgow

All that is known about the Glasgow division of the Torchwood Institute is that what is described as a "very strange man" works there and that it is presumably active.

In the novel "The Twilight Streets", Jack contacts the "very strange man" whose name is revealed as Archie. As with all spin-off media, the canonicity of this remains unclear.

Torchwood Three, Cardiff

Torchwood Three, whose base is also known as the Hub, primarily serves as a monitoring station for the Cardiff spacetime Rift. Whereas the London branch staffed hundreds of individuals, the Cardiff branch is considerably smaller and only staffs a small team of experts, hired by Captain Jackcite press release| title = Torchwood pushes all the right buttons for Naoko | publisher = BBC Press Office | date = 2006-11-03| url= http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/proginfo/tv/wk48/feature_torchwood.shtml| accessdate = 2006-11-04 ] and described as a "renegade outpost". It is located beneath Roald Dahl Plass, and may be entered via an "invisible lift" in the Plass, or through a run-down Tourist Information Centre nearby. Torchwood Three is the setting of the eponymous "Torchwood" series.

Some notable employees include:
* Captain Jack Harkness (leader)∞*
* Gwen Cooper (police liaison)
* Dr. Owen Harper (medical officer) [cite web |url=http://www.torchwood.org.uk/html/gwen/psych.shtml |title=Psych evaluation|accessdate=2006-12-24 |format= |work= Torchwood Institute External Hub Interface] A set of episodes, starting with "Reset", and continuing with "Dead Man Walking" and "A Day in the Death", focused specifically on an undead Owen trying to accommodate as such.]
* Toshiko Sato (computer specialist)*
* Ianto Jones (administrator/general support) *
* Suzie Costello (weapons specialist)
* Dr. Martha Jones (UNIT liaison/medic)*cite web|url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2007/08_august/15/torchwood.shtml|title=A new face for Torchwood and a new look for Martha|publisher=bbc.co.uk|date=2007-08-15|accessdate=2007-08-15]

† denotes personnel confirmed as deceased.
* denotes personnel who have previously appeared in "Doctor Who" before being revealed as or joining as Torchwood personnel, or who have appeared since.

Torchwood Four, location unknown

Torchwood Four is described as "missing". It is not specified how this happened or where it may previously have been located before its disappearance. Captain Jack stated it will return when needed. In the novel "The Twilight Streets" Jack says in 1941 that Torchwood Four was still missing.

Cultural impact

Due to the popularity of "Doctor Who" and "Torchwood", Torchwood has had an influence on popular culture. On the heels of being featured in "Torchwood", Cardiff has been noted as one of the most popular tourist destinations in the UK, in particular, the Millennium Centre, with a resident commenting that people jump on the paving slab that was used as the "magic elevator" in the series. [cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/6450679.stm|title=Time lord tourism boost for city|date=2007-03-15] In January 2008, such was the popularity of "Torchwood" that being near the "Torchwood Tower" was used in advertising for local property. [cite news|url=http://icwales.icnetwork.co.uk/news/feature-news/2008/01/12/buyers-snap-up-quayside-apartments-91466-20341191/|title=Buyers snap up Quayside apartments|publisher=Western Mail|date=2008-01-12|accessdate=2008-01-12]

References

External links


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