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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 Torchwood Tower until 2007, when 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.


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)

20th century[]

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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)

Norton arranged for Lynne Sharman and Freddie Talbot to launch on a rocket, the Viola to investigate the "Black Knight" object that Lynne speculated was causing the destruction of British rockets, accompanying them via hard light projection. They found her theories were correct, discovering a dead alien aboard an automated craft with Freddie dying trying to steal technology from. Reluctantly following his orders from Torchwood, Norton subsequently sabotaged the Viola so Lynne would die of radiation poisoning, ensuring the object remained secret. (AUDIO: The Black Knight)

Move to Canary Wharf[]

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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)

In 1996, a Jathaa sunglider was shot down by Torchwood over the North Sea and transported to Torchwood One for further study. (TV: Army of Ghosts)

21st century[]

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)

In 2000 the "Royalists from Canary Wharf" were interested in obtaining Cyberon from PKD. (PROSE: The Last Dose)

The Director of Torchwood One in the early 2000s had dealings with arms dealer Hank. (AUDIO: Uprising)

In the early 2000s, Yvonne was involved in containment at the Tower. At one point she abandoned her post briefly, resulting in an escape attempt by two shapeshifters. She was unaware that one had inadvertently caused the death of Dave Cooke whilst taking his form and subsequently hidden his body in Locker 15 in the basement. Torchwood's routine administering of Retcon to support staff however caused the alien imposter to actually believe itself to be Dave. (AUDIO: Locker 15)

Yvonne Hartman’s leadership[]

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Yvonne Hartman, Director of Torchwood One. (TV: Army of Ghosts)

Yvonne became Director sometime after 2003. (AUDIO: Locker 15) She rebuilt the Institute from the ground up. (AUDIO: Poker Face) She continued her predecessor's business with Hank. (AUDIO: Uprising) Shortly after she took over, the alien Dave Cooke retired. (AUDIO: Locker 15)

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)

Ianto Jones and Yvonne. (AUDIO: Before the Fall)

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 Jathaa sunglider. (TV: Army of Ghosts)

Torchwood's response to the Sycorax invasion of Earth on Christmas Day was delayed due to a third of their staff having A-positive blood resulting in them falling under the Sycorax's blood control, much to Prime Minister Harriet Jones' frustration. When Torchwood were finally ready, she ordered them to fire on the Sycorax spaceship, despite the Tenth Doctor having arranged their retreat. (TV: The Christmas Invasion) Using the sunglider's weapons, (TV: Army of Ghosts) Torchwood successfully destroyed the spaceship, infuriating the Doctor who subsequently caused Harriet's political downfall. (TV: The Christmas Invasion)

Tommy tried to devise a retirement for himself by secretly using alien technology to make a virtual world for him to upload his mind to. The program went wrong, turning on him and Ianto until Tommy tricked it into giving him admin acess again. Yvonne and numerous other personnel watched their escapade with some amusement. (AUDIO: Retirement Plan)

After the alien security device left guarding Locker 15 began wiping minds, Yvonne and Ianto brought Dave Booke back as he was the last person to use the locker. They discovered he was an the alien imposter and Yvonne forced it to deactivate the security device, causing even greater damage to its memory in the process. (AUDIO: Locker 15)

Fall of Canary Wharf[]

In 2007, (TV: Army of Ghosts) Dr Singh made a breakthrough with the sphere. (AUDIO: The Rockery) Torchwood discovered firing particle guns at the anomaly produced energy, which they believed could be the key to making Britain energy independent. A sideeffect of the experiments was the appearance of ghostly humanoid figures around the world, in what became called "ghost shifts' which were actually Cybermen from a parallel universe beginning to partially manifest themselves around Earth. (TV: Army of Ghosts) During this time Yvonne gifted a Haunt plant to her mother Anne Hartman to give her something to motivate herself, believing it was safe. During a low moment however her mother tried to kill with weedkiller, turning the plant violent. After this came to her attention through reports on high animal deaths in Shropshire, Yvonne worked with her mother to kill the plant. (AUDIO: The Rockery)

After weeks of ghosts shifts, an advance guard of Cybermen had passed through the breach entirely and infiltrated Torchwood One, discreetly converting three Torchwood personnel to act as their undercover agents. At this time 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 battle at the heart of Torchwood One. (TV: Doomsday)

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)

Alternate timeline[]

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)

Following its destruction, Torchwood London was taboo among members of Torchwood Three. Gwen Cooper found it was a sensitive subject which they didn't like to talk about. (PROSE: Slow Decay)


National History Museum[]

Main article: National History Museum

In 1899, Torchwood One was headquartered in the National History Museum in London. The facility included a laboratory, where Archie examined the dormant life-stealer. (AUDIO: The Victorian Age)

The Antebellum[]

Torchwood One operated a storage facility in Croydon known as the Antebellum. For over a century, Torchwood One stored alien artefacts there ranging from weaponry to plants, as well as art depicting humanity's encounters with aliens. In addition, in a room marked "the heart of Torchwood", recepits and invoices were archived there.

By the 21st century the facility was guarded and maintained by contractors who did not even know what they were guarding. The facility's automated security system allowed entry for authorised personnel but once satisfied they had completed the task they'd come there for it would unleash poisonous gas to sterilise the Antebellum.

Following the fall of Torchwood One, the facility was infiltrated by an agent of UNIT Black Ops, Edward Strong, to coincide with a raid by the Dow Cohort who used Toshiko Sato as a hostage to gain entry. She saw to the failure of both factions and left the facility still the under the guard of the contractors. (AUDIO: War Chest)

Room 13[]

Main article: Room 13

In the 1950s, a small division of Torchwood One was based in Room 13 located in Soho. (AUDIO: Parasite, Madam, I’m)

Torchwood Tower[]

Main article: Torchwood Tower

Torchwood Tower, publicly known as Canary Wharf. (TV: Army of Ghosts)

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 who liked to run secret tests on newcomers by putting them into a scenario and seeing if they noticed unusual things happening, which other members of staff viewed as soft bullying. (AUDIO: New Girl)

By 2007, a chamber in one of the Tower's lower levels was used to contain the Sphere that had come through the anomaly. On the floor where the anomaly itself was located, two particle guns were installed to fire at the anomaly in experiments to produce energy. This floor was infiltrated by the advance guard of Cybermen after using the anomaly to travel from their universe, with them setting up Cyber-conversion technology in an area closed off for renovations. (TV: Army of Ghosts)

The Tower became a battleground between Cybermen and the Cult of Skaro in the Battle of Canary Wharf, with Torchwood One personnel caught in the crossfire. (TV: Doomsday)

Other bases[]

Until 1995, Torchwood One operated a holding facility in Battersea. (TV: Children of Earth: Day Four)

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[]

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In 1899, Archie was the director of Torchwood One. On 17 May that year, he was rapidly aged by the Life-stealer. (AUDIO: The Victorian Age)

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)

The director prior to Yvonne had dealings with arms dealer Hank. (AUDIO: Uprising)

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)

Alien Acquisitions[]

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)

Moira, (AUDIO: New Girl) Kara and Tony (AUDIO: Locker 15) worked in Alien Acquisitions.

Lisa Hallett worked in Acquisitions. She was partially cyber-converted during the Battle of Canary Wharf. (TV: Cyberwoman)

Field agents[]

Kenny and Sameer were field agents. (AUDIO: New Girl)

Human Resources[]

Pippa was the Head of Human Resources. Colin (AUDIO: New Girl) and "Jerky" John (AUDIO: Retirement Plan) also worked in the department.

Personal assistants[]

Matthew was Yvonne's secretary. (AUDIO: Blind Summit) Ianto Jones became her personal assistant whilst remaining a junior researcher. (TV: Cyberwoman) Anne Hartman claimed Yvonne had numerous such assistants. (AUDIO: The Rockery)

Rachel Allan was Tommy Pierce's PA and Dean was Kieran Frost's. (AUDIO: New Girl)

Room 13[]

Professor Lizbeth Hayhoe was put in charge of Room 13 by Professor Rigsby. She was later joined by Norton following the Vicar's death. (AUDIO: Parasite)


Dr Rajesh Singh was a scientist with Torchwood. He was assisted by Samuel, who was actually Mickey Smith. (TV: Army of Ghosts)

Carlie Roberts was a biologist. (AUDIO: Submission)

Rupert Howarth was the head of Torchwood's Bio-Medical Research Division. (COMIC: The Legacy of Torchwood One!)


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)


Adeola Oshodi, Matt Crane and Gareth Evans all worked as technicians before the Tenth Doctor destroyed the Cyber device controlling them. (TV: Army of Ghosts)

Simon worked in IT. (AUDIO: New Girl)

Support staff[]

Torchwood One employed a number of support staff, including cleaners such as Dave Cooke. These staff were routinely administered a minimum dose of Retcon every six weeks in case they caught a glimpse of what Torchwood was really doing. (AUDIO: Locker 15)


Josephine was a physician at Torchwood One in 1899. (AUDIO: The Victorian Age)

Bev Stanley was head of Information Retrieval. (PROSE: Trace Memory)

Dinah worked in Accounting. (AUDIO: Uprising)

Guleraana Arbid was a receptionist. She was to give access only to those who knew the password "Mr Sands". (AUDIO: New Girl)


Norton Folgate was an agent in 1953. (AUDIO: Ghost Mission)

Stephen Heinz worked for Torchwood One prior to its destruction. (AUDIO: torchwood_cascade_CDRIP.tor)

Zara and Kareem were weapons-trained agents who took to the streets during the Law Machines crisis. (AUDIO: The Law Machines)

Patrick worked on the floor above Alien Acquisitions. (AUDIO: New Girl) David Underwood was a member who had medical knowledge. (AUDIO: Through the Ruins)

Kareem had technological know-how. (AUDIO: The Law Machines)

Jeffrey, Hillary, Alex and Grant also worked at Torchwood in 2005. (AUDIO: Uprising)

Diane was in charge of Torchwood Tower during the attack of the Law Machines. (AUDIO: The Law Machines)

Behind the scenes[]

Torchwood website[]

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.[1]

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."[2]


  1. Harper, O. Dogon Sixth Eye: Report by Owen Harper. Torchwood website. Archived from the original on 26 September 2007. Retrieved on 25 July 2013.
  2. Report: Closure of Torchwood One. Torchwood website. Archived from the original on 26 August 2007. Retrieved on 25 July 2013.