Early days at Torchwood
On New Year's Eve 1999, Yvonne Hartman was at Torchwood One when she received a phone call from Alex Hopkins, the leader of Torchwood Three, who spoke to her of his epiphany that Torchwood was not ready for the 21st century as he killed his team by shooting them. Soon after, Alex Hopkins committed suicide in front of Jack Harkness, leaving him as the new leader and sole surviving member of Torchwood Three. This incident made Yvonne realise that the Torchwood Institute needed a strong leader to face the 21st century. (AUDIO: One Rule, TV: Fragments)
Hartman had already worked for Torchwood for several years when a Void Ship had appeared. Beginning in 2005, She investigated the ship with Ianto Jones and Rajesh Singh as her personal assistants. (AUDIO: One Rule)
One of her attempts to open the ship led her to Torchwood Three. Shortly after 26 March 2005, Rajesh activated the Torchwood Three time bubble, which enabled her to inveigle her way into its base and procure their Drahvin scanner without the involvement of Jack Harkness and his staff. She hoped it would finally solve the mystery of the sealed ship's content.
Upon exiting the base via the invisible lift, she was spotted by a local councillor and mayoral candidate Barry Jackson, who was fully aware of Torchwood. She learnt from him about the murder of the local mayor and numerous mayoral candidates. Hartman refused to investigate as she deemed it "local politics".
After being rescued from a burning hotel by Jackson, she obliged to investigate. This lead her to finding the other candidates and protecting them from the creature that was hunting them, which she soon learnt was in fact alien. The only remaining survivor, Helen Evans, joined them on their investigations but also met her demise when the alien feasted upon her.
Hartman learned that Barry had been summoning the creature using alien technology that had fallen through the rift. He wished to kill all other candidates and rise to Lord Mayor of Cardiff and do the biddings of the Committee. Barry was surprised to hear that Yvonne was fully aware of them, and made him a deal. She made a cover story, which protected Barry from being arrested for the murders and in return, he would watch over Torchwood and notify as soon as a certain alien would return. He agreed and she left him with a reminder of his atrocities by severely injuring him.
Meeting with the Doctor
Hartman oversaw the projects that included the investigation of the Void Ship, as well as the ghost shift experiments that resulted in the invasion by the Cybermen from an alternate universe. She was not personally hostile to the Doctor, yet she was confident in the righteousness of Torchwood's actions to the point of fault, ignoring his recommendations and warnings. Hartman was fiercely patriotic, and believed that Torchwood's work was vital to the survival of the "British Empire" and was certain that their work would in fact lead to the restoration of the United Kingdom to the status of world power. Only when the end was near did she attempt to stop the experiments, only to find that the Cybermen had already taken control over key members of her staff. The controlled staff proceeded to override her orders and allow the Cybermen to continue their invasion. (TV: Army of Ghosts)
However, Yvonne somehow managed to gain control over her new metallic body and performed one last known service, fending off the Cybermen approaching the top offices long enough for the Tenth Doctor and Rose Tyler to seal the breach between worlds. While fighting against the Cybermen she continued to utter the phrase — "I did my duty for queen and country." while weeping oily tears out her left eye socket. Her actions bought the Doctor and Rose the time they needed to banish the Daleks and Cybermen to the Void. (TV: Doomsday)
Yvonne Hartman was an arrogant woman who was always convinced that everything Torchwood did was for the good of the country, even if others begged to differ. One example of her arrogance was when she stated that anything that was alien belonged to Torchwood. This included the Doctor's TARDIS, despite the Doctor's protests. Yvonne was also reckless, and meddled with the Void, which was something far beyond her understanding. (TV: Army of Ghosts) Jackie Tyler said it was all her fault that the Cybermen and Daleks had invaded Earth, because Hartman was too reckless to try to put a stop to the experiments on the Void until it was too late. (TV: Doomsday) Another example of both qualities was her ordering a Jathaa Sunglider shot down over the Shetland Islands merely because it had "violated their airspace"; this risked igniting a major conflict between Earth and the Jathaa due to the ship's presumably non-hostile intentions However, Yvonne did show uncertainty when the Doctor suddenly changed his demeanour; one moment the Time Lord was warning her not to open the void and the next he was cheerfully encouraging her. Hartman was so confused and uncertain by the Doctor's sudden change from foreboding to cheerful that she finally agreed not to open the void, although by then it was too late. (TV: Army of Ghosts)
Despite her arrogance and foolishness, Yvonne genuinely cared about her country, even managing to overcome the programming of the Cybermen due to her devotion to Britain. In her metal body she appeared to be crying as she stated that she'd done her duty for queen and country. She also showed a willingness to sacrifice herself as she fought the Cybermen by herself to give the Doctor and Rose time to open the void and most likely died in the process. (TV: Doomsday)
Although she admitted that the Doctor was a prisoner, Yvonne did try to make the Time Lord comfortable and treated him like a guest rather than a prisoner. She also liked to call her employees by their first names, saying that she was a "people person". Despite this she did display a more ruthless streak since she stated, rather cheerfully, that she could have Rose Tyler shot if the Doctor didn't know her. (TV: Army of Ghosts)
Hartman was ambitious and driven, believing she was the sort of leadership Torchwood needed and believing she could make the organisation better. She was also capable of being highly manipulative, telling Jackson she had figured out his plans long before he revealed them, and had been a step ahead of him the whole time - playing events to her advantage. Hartman seemed aggravated when men made heavy reference to her gender, telling Jackson not to refer to her as "love" and threatening to break someone's arm who groped her. (AUDIO: One Rule)