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Torchwood One was the base of operations of the Torchwood Institute in London. It was significantly larger than its satellite branches, Torchwood Two, Three and Four. It was also the home base of Administrator Yvonne Hartman and thus headquarters of Torchwood administration.
From the beginning of the 21st century, Torchwood One was based in the Torchwood Tower until 2007, where their reckless experiments on a breach in the fabric of reality unleashed Cybermen and Daleks upon the world. In what became known as the Battle of Canary Wharf, Torchwood One was wiped out almost to a man and the London branch ceased to exist, though the Cardiff and Glasgow branches continued to operate.
- 1 History
- 2 Legacy
- 3 Facilities
- 4 Administrators and staff
- 5 Behind the scenes
- 6 Footnotes
Torchwood One evidently existed at least by 1889, when agents Eliza Cooper and Robert Lewis attempted to capture the Tenth Doctor when they realised he had been stranded in London. They came across H. G. Wells, and interrogated him about the Doctor. Wells led them to the TARDIS, which disappeared, apparently leaving the Doctor behind for them to arrest. (COMIC: The Time Machination) The man was found not to be the Doctor when he was dissected. (COMIC: Final Sacrifice)
In 1899, Jack Harkness temporarily worked with Torchwood One, which was then based at the National History Museum. On 17 May, the Life-stealer escaped and proceeded to feed on the youth of Londoners starting with Torchwood London director, Archie, who was left permanently incapacitated as he was rapidly aged, at the same time Torchwood was visited by Queen Victoria for her annual inspection of the Institute, resulting in Jack sharing an adventure with the Queen as she took to pursuing the creature. After Victoria killed the creature by exploiting its weakness against the elderly, both she and Jack declined their offers to each other to take command of Torchwood London, with the Queen retiring from public life while Jack returned to Torchwood Cardiff. (AUDIO: The Victorian Age)
In the 1950s, Norton Folgate was a member of Torchwood One, (AUDIO: Outbreak) which was led by the Vicar. (AUDIO: Goodbye Piccadilly) Norton claimed 1950s Torchwood mainly dealt with unexploded bombs and a black market in alien technology, from spaceships that had been shot down during the war. (AUDIO: Ghost Mission)
In 1953, Torchwood One agent Lizbeth Hayhoe ordered for the Wire's victims to be kept in cages. (AUDIO: Parasite) Whilst working with the Tenth Doctor to investigate the Wire, the Metropolitan Police feared that Torchwood might become involved. (TV: The Idiot's Lantern)
Norton was suspected by the Vicar of selling alien weaponry to gangsters. He was permitted to summon a Torchwood assessor to help clear his name and chose to bring Andy Davidson back in time. Norton arranged events so the gangster Fat Kim would activate an alien tripod using a key implanted in Andy’s mind whilst the Vicar led Torchwood against her. In the ensuing confrontation both Fat Kim and the Vicar died, clearing Norton’s name by eliminating the only two people aware of his criminal dealings and leaving a space at the top of Torchwood to be filled. (AUDIO: Goodbye Piccadilly) Reginald Rigsby became the new director. (AUDIO: Parasite)
Adam Smith used his memory manipulation abilities to take control of Torchwood One, replacing Rigsby as director. He rallied Torchwood One to wage war against an approaching Kernaz fleet, who were pursuing him. Norton and Lizbeth eventually worked out what had happened, despite Adam setting back their investigation by wiping their memories numerous times, and managed to avert war on the day the Kernaz arrived by disabling Torchwood’s weaponry, enabling the Kernaz to send Adam back into the Void. (AUDIO: Madam, I’m)
Move to Canary Wharf
In 1991, (AUDIO: Locker 15) Torchwood Tower, known publicly as Canary Wharf, was built to reach and study a radar black spot and became Torchwood One’s headquarters. Torchwood experimented by tapping into the resonance around the anomaly, believing it could provide massive amounts of what they believed was free energy. In reality they were slowly breaching the barrier between their universe and another one. After a while the experiments also resulted in the appearance of a Void Ship, a large golden sphere of obviously alien design registering no mass, no energy, no physical data whatsoever. (TV: Army of Ghosts)
On 31 December 1999, Yvonne Hartman - who had not been working at Torchwood for very long - received a call from Alex Hopkins, leader of Torchwood Three, and heard him kill his teammates, rambling that Torchwood were not ready for what the 21st century would bring. This experience left Yvonne determined to rise through the ranks to become Director and ensure Torchwood was made ready. (AUDIO: One Rule)
Yvonne Hartman’s leadership
In 2004, Yvonne was contacted by Torchwood Three agent Suzie Costello, who claimed to have found Object 1 in an Ovid factory in Wales, which she’d blown up. Yvonne arranged to have her transported to Torchwood London to bring Object 1, unaware that Jack Harkness had told Suzie to call her in the hopes of her doing exactly this so Torchwood Three could be rid of Object 1. Yvonne had been turning a blind eye to Ovid‘s activities and had a warning sent to them that Torchwood Three was now taking an interest. (AUDIO: The Torchwood Archive)
Suspecting someone in Torchwood One was feeding information and technology to Blind Summit, Yvonne decided investigate by herself, telling Torchwood she was going on holiday. Her only ally was her secretary Matthew, whom she believed was clean after subjecting him to a truth serum. Assisted by Ianto Jones, she and Matthew infiltrated Blind Summit however Matthew revealed himself as the traitor and left her to be tortured. Ianto managed to call a Code Black to Torchwood and Tommy Pierce led their forces to storm Blind Summit. Afterwards Yvonne offered Ianto a place at Torchwood. However, he turned it down asking instead to be retconned. (AUDIO: Blind Summit)
Sometime later, Yvonne travelled to Cardiff to deal with an alien threat unleashed by an archaeological excavation, as Torchwood Three had disappeared. As Ianto was working on the dig, she recruited him to help. (AUDIO: Blind Summit) After this, Ianto sent in his CV to join Torchwood and was hired by Yvonne. (AUDIO: Uprising)
In March 2005, Yvonne went to Cardiff to retrieve a Drahvin scanner from the Torchwood Three Hub to use on the sphere, having the base placed in a time bubble so she could avoid dealing with Jack Harkness who she viewed as “not Torchwood”. Her visit to Cardiff was interrupted by Barry Jackson who manipulated her into becoming involved in his scheme to kill his rival mayoral candidates with alien technology. Yvonne confronted him and learnt he was working for the Committee. She cut a deal with him for him to report to her on Torchwood Three’s activities instead, and left him with a knife wound as a final warning for messing around with her. (AUDIO: One Rule)
Later that year, Rachel Allan took over Torchwood after framing Yvonne. (AUDIO: New Girl) She trained Torchwood to prepare for war with Planet XXX (AUDIO: Through the Ruins) but was ultimately spiked and retconned by Yvonne, who then hired her in admin. (AUDIO: Uprising)
In 2006, Torchwood built the Law Machines, based on WOTAN’s War Machines, which they proposed to the Mayor of London as a solution to policing. In truth, the Machines were equipped with protocols to increase surveillance of London. Torchwood took serious losses after the machines were taken over by WOTAN upon activation and all weapons-trained agents took to the streets to fight them. Yvonne, Tommy Pierce and Ianto managed to make it back to the Tower which Julian Delaware, the hacker who had revived WOTAN, had infiltrated. Yvonne tricked WOTAN into wiping Julian’s mind, enabling her to access his laptop and seemingly delete WOTAN. (AUDIO: The Law Machines)
Later that year, Yvonne and Ianto investigated a number of offices (including HQP and XXX) staffed by Temporary Solutions. They discovered the company was using technology leftover from Blind Summit to make temporary humans and had gained significant leverage over the government through their temps being hired to handle government data. With the help of one temp, they found WOTAN had gained control of the company and destroyed it for good. (AUDIO: 9 to 5)
By late 2006, Torchwood had managed to reverse-engineer the weapons system of the sunglider. They were ordered by Prime Minister Harriet Jones to use it against the Sycorax spaceship that invaded Earth on Christmas Day, despite the fact that the ship was retreating. A third of Torchwood One's staff at this point had A-positive blood, resulting in them falling under the Sycorax's blood control. (TV: The Christmas Invasion)
Fall of Canary Wharf
In 2007, Cybermen from a parallel universe began to partially manifest themselves around Earth when Torchwood experimented on the anomaly in what became called "ghost shifts", with the appearance of millions of ghostly humanoid figures that seemed to glow with an unearthly light. An advance guard of Cybermen passed through the breach entirely and began infiltrating Torchwood One, discreetly converting three Torchwood personnel to act as their undercover agents. The Doctor investigated the ghost shifts and traced them to Torchwood One, arriving in the Tower in the TARDIS to Yvonne’s delight. Inkeeping with Torchwood‘s original command from Queen Victoria, he was captured and Yvonne showed him the ghost shift technology. Though Yvonne initially disregarded his warnings, she eventually cancelled the next ghost shift but by this time it was far too late. The Cybermen used their control to force her converted employees to do it anyway, leading to the Doctor discovering their presence in the Tower. The Cybermen revealed themselves and took over the Tower, opening the breach to full and allowing millions of them to manifest across the globe. At the same time the mysterious sphere finally became active as a result of the breach opening and opened to reveal its contents; a cadre of four Daleks. (TV: Army of Ghosts)
The Daleks and Cybermen began to fight in what became known as Battle of Canary Wharf. Torchwood Tower itself was the main battleground and most of Torchwood One’s employees were either killed or cyber-converted, including Yvonne. (TV: Doomsday) During the fighting Ianto found Kieran partially cyber-converted. Kieran gave him Object 1. (AUDIO: The Torchwood Archive) The fighting did not stop until the Doctor found a way to intervene, reversing Torchwood's power machinery to open the breach again and pull the Daleks and Cybermen into the Void. (TV: Doomsday) With its base of operations in ruins and most of its personnel dead, Torchwood One ceased to exist after the Battle, with Jack claiming the “old regime” had fallen. (TV: The Sound of Drums)
In an alternate timeline in which John Hart took control of the British Empire and the Torchwood Institute, Yvonne Hartman called to inform him of the discovery of the Sphere. Despite the reservations of Rajesh Singh, the King ordered that the Sphere be opened, resulting in Torchwood One and the home counties being massacred. (AUDIO: The Death of Captain Jack)
Though Torchwood One ceased to exist in 2007, other branches of Torchwood continued to operate semi-independently including Torchwood Two and Torchwood Three. (TV: Everything Changes) Torchwood One survivor Ianto Jones transferred to Torchwood Three, despite Jack Harkness’ reluctance to employ someone from the old regime due to his desire to “sever all ties”. (TV: Fragments) Ianto secretly moved fellow survivor Lisa Hallett to the Torchwood Three Hub, in hopes of finding a way to reverse her partial cyber-conversion. (TV: Cyberwoman) Another survivor was Stephen Heinz, who later contacted Toshiko Sato of Torchwood Three to investigate mysterious disappearances. After discovering the cause was an alien computer virus, she advised him to stay away from Torchwood. (AUDIO: torchwood_cascade_CDRIP.tor)
Some of Torchwood One’s technology was scavenged by Torchwood Three. (TV: Fragments, AUDIO: Outbreak) Dogon Sixth Eyes, previously stored at Torchwood, found their way onto eBay and quickly became a valued item by alien artefact collectors. (TV: Random Shoes) A secondary Torchwood One base under the River Thames, home to experiments with Huon particles, was abandoned. It was taken over by the Empress of the Racnoss as the experiments there had exposed the Secret Heart at the core of the Earth. The Empress tried to release the Racnoss trapped in the ship, but the Tenth Doctor and Donna Noble stopped her. (TV: The Runaway Bride, AUDIO: In the Shadows) During the 456 Incident, Torchwood Three took refuge in an old Torchwood One holding facility in London. (TV: Children of Earth: Day Three, Day Four)
Due to Torchwood's acts of unnecessary brutality against aliens under Torchwood One's regime and the consequences that the London branch's inconsiderate greed had wrought, the Doctor and Jack Harkness both looked back at the posthumous Torchwood One with disgust and disdain. The Tenth Doctor was initially disgusted to learn that Jack was part of Torchwood due to "everything Torchwood did," though Jack now insisted he’d changed it after the fall of the old regime, The Doctor would later negatively comment in regards to a suggestion made by Jack to break the Master's neck, "Now that sounds like Torchwood". (TV: The Sound of Drums)
National History Museum
- Main article: National History Museum
- Main article: Room 13
- Main article: Torchwood Tower
After being opened in 1991, (AUDIO: Locker 15) Torchwood Tower served as the headquarters of Torchwood One and the overall hub of the Torchwood Institute. It was known publicly as Canary Wharf. (TV: Army of Ghosts)
The director usually took office on the top floor, which overlooked London. The building also housed its own restaurant, which Yvonne Hartman recommended personally. By 2005, the twenty-sixth floor housed Pippa, the head of Personnel, who used her ability to read people to thoroughly interview a newcomer.
Floor thirty-two was home to Security, led by Kieran Frost. It wasn't unusual for Kieran to run secret tests on newcomers by putting them into a scenario and seeing if they noticed unusual things happening. Other members of staff viewed this is as soft bullying. (AUDIO: New Girl)
Torchwood One operated a base beneath the River Thames, accessible via the office of H.C. Clements. The base was used for experiments recreating Huon particles. After the Battle of Canary Wharf, the base was abandoned and taken over by the Empress of the Racnoss. (TV: The Runaway Bride)
Administrators and staff
This needs to be converted to sourced prose.
In the 1950s, the Vicar was the head of Torchwood One until his death, planned by Norton Folgate to clear his name and create room at the top. (AUDIO: Goodbye Piccadilly) Reginald Rigsby became the new head until his own death caused by Project Hermod. (AUDIO: Parasite)
During the early 2000s, Yvonne Hartman was Torchwood One's administrator. She was replaced for more than a month by Rachel Allan in 2005 whilst she was on the run, (AUDIO: New Girl, Through the Ruins) but was restored after returning to fight the Korvax First Brood. (AUDIO: Uprising) In 2007, during the Battle of Canary Wharf, she was converted into a Cyberman. (TV: Army of Ghosts/Doomsday)
Tommy Pierce was Head of Alien Acquisitions. Rachel Allan was employed as his personal assistant after his last one resigned and replaced Tommy following his dismissal, only restoring him once she became director. (AUDIO: New Girl)
Kieran Frost was head of security and Dean was his personal assistant. (AUDIO: New Girl) Lawrence was part of the Platinum Security Team. (AUDIO: The Law Machines) Sebastian was a soldier in 2007. (TV: Army of Ghosts)
Behind the scenes
The series 1 version of the Torchwood website had a report on the Dogon sixth eye by Owen Harper. It mentioned that "a couple of years ago", a Dogon ship crashed into the Humber, and Torchwood One had dissected the crew to "investigate" them. In an email between Rajesh Singh and Yvonne Hartman, Rajesh noted that while his assistant, Craig, was cleaning one of the crew's eyes, he "was literally collapsed on the floor, crying with laughter". After having the eye removed from him, Craig explained what was had happened — the eye put all of his problems into perspective.
Owen noted that after the destruction of Torchwood One, "a whole bunch of these eyes" appeared on eBay.
Also on the series 1 version of the Torchwood website, a case file outlined the fall of Torchwood One. It said that of 823 people staff, there were 27 survivors. 467 were confirmed dead, while the rest were reported missing. It suggested after a massive loss in life and technology, that it was recommended to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for "the immediate closure of Torchwood One, together with the formation of a steering committee to fully examine future options."