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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.
The main base at Torchwood Tower was destroyed in 2007 in the Battle of Canary Wharf, which effectively meant the end of the London branch, 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, an alien creature 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 1953, the Metropolitan Police feared that Torchwood might become involved while investigating strange occurrences provoked by the activities of an alien entity known as the Wire. (TV: The Idiot's Lantern) At the time, Norton Folgate was a member of Torchwood One. (AUDIO: Ghost Mission, Outbreak)
Some time later, Norton was suspected by the Vicar - the head of Torchwood - of selling alien weaponry to gangsters. He was permitted to summon a Torchwood assessor to help clear his name and selected Andy. His plan resulted in the death of the Vicar and the gangster Fat Kim, clearing his name and leaving a space at the top of Torchwood to be filled. (AUDIO: Goodbye Piccadilly)
On 31 December 1999, Yvonne Hartman - who had not been working at Torchwood for very long - received a call from Alex Hopkins and heard him kill his teammates, saying that Torchwood were not ready for what the 21st century would bring. This led Yvonne to rise through the ranks to become director and remake Torchwood. (AUDIO: One Rule) She continued her predecessor's business with Hank. (AUDIO: Uprising)
In 2005, 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. Torchwood took serious losses after the machines were activated and all weapons-trained agents took to the streets to fight them before Yvonne, Tommy Pierce and Ianto defeated WOTAN. (AUDIO: The Law Machines) Later that year, they investigated a number of offices (including HQP and XXX) staffed by Temporary Solutions. (AUDIO: 9 to 5)
By late 2006, Torchwood had managed to reverse-engineer the weapons system of the sunglider and 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. (TV: The Christmas Invasion)
Torchwood experimented with tapping into the resonance around this 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. Cybermen from that universe partially manifested themselves in their universe in what became called "ghost shifts", with the appearance of millions of ghostly humanoid figures that seemed to glow with an unearthly light. 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)
Ultimately this research led to the downfall of Torchwood One. In July [additional sources needed] 2007, a cadre of Daleks was revealed to be inside the Void Ship, and Cybermen from the parallel universe entered their universe. The Daleks and Cybermen immediately began to fight in what became known as Battle of Canary Wharf. Torchwood Tower itself was the main battleground, and the fighting did not stop until the Doctor found a way to intervene, reversing Torchwood's power machinery and sending the Daleks and Cybermen into the Void. (TV: Doomsday)
Alternate timeline Edit
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 continued to operate semi-independently, and at least one survivor transferred to another branch. 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 base under the River Thames home to experiments with Huon particles was abandoned after the incident. This base also dug to the centre of the Earth with a laser drill and drew in the Empress of the Racnoss as they 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)
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," and 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) After Torchwood One's destruction, Jack had, aside from having the technology scavenged, intended to "sever all ties" with the old regime, and Ianto's original work with Torchwood One had been part of the reason Jack had initially refused to let him have anything to do with the Cardiff branch. (TV: Fragments)
Floors and Departments Edit
Being a skyscraper, Torchwood One was the hub of the Torchwood Institute. 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)
Administrators and staff Edit
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During the early 2000s, Yvonne Hartman was Torchwood One's administrator. She was briefly replaced by Rachel Allan in 2005. In 2007, during the Battle of Canary Wharf, she was converted into a Cyberman and it is unknown what happened to her after the Battle had ended. (TV: Army of Ghosts/Doomsday)
Ianto Jones was Yvonne Hartman's personal assistant (AUDIO: New Girl) as well as a junior researcher for Torchwood One. (TV: Cyberwoman) After Torchwood One was destroyed, he joined Torchwood Three. (TV: Fragments)
In 2005, Kieran Frost was head of security and Tommy Pierce was Head of Alien Acquisitions. Rachel Allan began her Torchwood career as personal assistant to Tommy and Dean was personal assistant to Kieran, his future-boyfriend. (AUDIO: New Girl) Moira worked in Alien Acquisitions. (AUDIO: New Girl) 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) Kareem had technological know-how. (AUDIO: The Law Machines)
Kenny and Sameer were field agents. Colin worked in Human Resources. Patrick worked on the floor above Alien Acquisitions. (AUDIO: New Girl) David Underwood was a member who had medical knowledge. (AUDIO: Through the Ruins) Lawrence was part of the Platinum Security Team. Diane was in charge of Torchwood Tower during the attack of the Law Machines. Zara and Kareem were weapons-trained agents who took to the streets during the Law Machines crisis. (AUDIO: The Law Machines)
Stephen Heinz worked for Torchwood One prior to its destruction. (AUDIO: torchwood_cascade_CDRIP.tor) Sebastian was a soldier who served just prior to the Battle of Canary Wharf in 2007. (TV: Army of Ghosts) Lisa Hallett also worked at Torchwood One. She was partially cyberconverted during the Battle of Canary Wharf. (TV: Cyberwoman)
Behind the scenes Edit
Torchwood website Edit
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."