Spoilers are precisely defined here. Rules vary by the story's medium. Info from television stories can't be added here until after the top or bottom of the hour, British time, closest to the end credits roll on BBC One. Therefore, fans in the Americas who are sensitive to spoilers should avoid Tardis on Sundays until they've seen the episode.


This story was never produced.

Therefore, its known narrative elements are not a part of the Doctor Who universe as we, on this Wiki, choose to define it. It may have been the basis for a similar story in another medium, however — and that story may indeed be valid.


You may be looking for the Doom Coalition audio story.

Absent Friends was the planned fiftieth story in the Torchwood audio series from Big Finish Productions. It was written by James Goss and had already been fully recorded, but was pulled before release following allegations about John Barrowman's sexual misconduct on the set of Doctor Who.[1][2] Along with the unbroadcast radio plays Journey into Time and City of the Saved, this is one of only three performed DWU-related stories known to have been fully recorded, but cancelled before being officially broadcast or released in any form.

This release would have brought the Tenth Doctor into the Torchwood series directly, playing off the Torchwood Institute's original aim, to capture and contain the Doctor, as established in series 2 of Doctor Who.

The cancelled story was originally slated for release in May 2021.[3] In January 2022, it was announced that another audio would be numbered 50X in the range, with Big Finish reiterating they have no plans to release Absent Friends at this time.[4]

The summary of the story, released by Big Finish, read: "On a dark and stormy night in Cardiff, the city is in danger, and the Doctor’s put himself in charge of Torchwood in order to save it. In a sealed recording studio, the voices of the dead have been playing for 17 years. Was it the project of a madman, or is this the site of something terrible? Torchwood has been hunting for the Doctor since 1879. And now they’ve found him. They may regret it.", and was supposed to see the Doctor messing up, with Jack sort of taking the lead over him, rather than vice versa.[5]