The Battle of Canary Wharf, also known as the Fall of Canary Wharf (AUDIO: Broken) and the Battle of Torchwood, (TV: Fear Her) was a major conflict in Earth's history. It involved four distinct primary forces — Daleks led by Dalek Sec, Cybermen from Pete's World, Torchwood One under the leadership of Yvonne Hartman, and the small band of individuals loyal to the Tenth Doctor and Pete Tyler. Each contingent had different goals, and none were actually complete allies.
It was finally ended when the Doctor sealed all of the Cybermen and Daleks in the void at the cost of being permanently separated from Rose Tyler, who became trapped on Pete's World. It also ended the war against the Cybermen on Pete's world as well. (TV: Doomsday)
The objectives of the battle were different for its various combatants:
- For Torchwood One, it was essentially a war for fuel. Mistaking a mysterious source of energy in the air above Canary Wharf as something they could harness, Torchwood One was trying to find a renewable source of energy to fuel a new "British Empire". What they didn't understand was that their greed enabled the arrival of the Daleks and the Cybermen, and created the situation by which the walls between the dimensions of reality could eventually break down. Like all of the groups in the conflict, they had no allies in the conflict. The Daleks were just as willing to kill Torchwood members as the Cybermen were to convert them. Torchwood One were also bound by their charter to oppose the Doctor, on principle alone.
- For the group of Daleks that had escaped the Time War by fleeing into the Void with a Genesis Ark of Time Lord construction, it was mostly an attempt to return to the normal universe and restore the Dalek race, however, this was hindered by the Daleks having to battle the Cybermen for the planet, as well as the presence of their old enemy, the Doctor.
- For the Cybermen, who had mostly been contained on the parallel Earth the Doctor called "Pete's World", it was mostly an attempt at survival. The Preachers had begun systematically hunting down the remnants and Cyber-converted victims of John Lumic's initial Cybermen forces that plagued the parallel world. By situating themselves on a new Earth, they hoped they could again prosper. Their attempts at forming an alliance with the Daleks immediately failed and they found themselves unexpectedly fighting against the Daleks, Torchwood, and the Doctor.
- For the Doctor and Pete, the battle was primarily about closing the breaches between the dimensions, so as to protect the fundamental integrity of reality. This goal was directly in opposition to the goals of the other groups.
The Battle of Canary Wharf had its roots in the escape of the Cult of Skaro and the Genesis Ark into the Void from the Last Great Time War. This caused a crack in the universe which permitted travel between dimensions more easily than should have been the case after the demise of the Time Lords. (TV: The Age of Steel, Doomsday)
The Parallel Earth Cybermen were able to travel from their dimension through the crack in the universe into the Earth of the Doctor's dimension. They infiltrated the planet in the guise of being ghosts of deceased humans. This led to one of the more bizarre episodes in human history, as these "ghosts" came to become integrated into human society, to the point of even being featured in pop culture venues such as TV chat shows and soap operas (TV: Army of Ghosts).
After two months (three years in Parallel Earth time), the Cybermen suddenly appeared in their true form, occupying every landmass on the planet, breaking into houses and promising to upgrade all humans, commanded by the new Cyber-Leader. (TV: Army of Ghosts/Doomsday, TV: Everything Changes) In response, the humans began a resistance campaign. While hampered by Cybermen armour being "bulletproof", heavier weapons, such as rocket launchers, were effective against them. (TV: Doomsday)
Simultaneously, the Cult of Skaro had exited the Void Ship with the Genesis Ark. The Cult, led by Dalek Sec, extracted information from Torchwood One's Rajesh Singh and proceeded to communicate with the Cybermen via Dalek Thay. After a short round of commands and insults from both ends, Daleks and Cybermen identified their adversaries (the Cybermen through a faux pas on the Dalek Thay's part and the Daleks through records of their universe's Cybermen), prompting more insults. The Cybermen proposed an alliance between the two races, as their technologies were compatible and together the two could "upgrade the universe". Thay rejected the proposal. This led to the Daleks to declare war (or in Dalek Sec's words, "pest control") on the Cybermen. (TV: Doomsday)
Following contact with the Daleks, the Cybermen began to convert Torchwood personnel, including Yvonne Hartman and Lisa Hallett. (TV: Doomsday, Cyberwoman) These were, at least in some cases, not full conversions with the brain removed and put in a Cyber-shell, but partial conversions in which the Cybermen were built over the human body beneath. (TV: Cyberwoman) These incomplete conversions were likely done in an effort to create an army to quickly fight the other belligerents in the battle that had already begun.
Torchwood was invaded by the Preachers from Pete's World, who rescued the Doctor, destroying the initial Cyber-Leader One in the process with a Cyber Unit being immediately upgraded into a replacement Cyber-Leader. After learning more about the invasion from Pete Tyler, the Doctor "surrendered" to the Cybermen.
The Cybermen established a reluctant alliance with the human forces and some armed themselves with newly modified energy rifles. The Tenth Doctor entered the sphere chamber to learn about the Daleks' intentions and distract them. Using his sonic screwdriver, he triggered the doors to blast open.
The Cybermen-human alliance rushed into the Sphere Chamber and the humans 'rescued' the Doctor and his companions. The Daleks began to panic as the Cybermen were overcoming them. However, shortly thereafter the Cult of Skaro developed an immunity to the parallel Earth energy weapons and their firepower was restored. All the humans survived this skirmish, but this was mainly because the Daleks identified the Cybermen as the greater threat and concentrated their fire on them. It was during this skirmish that the Genesis Ark was accidentally primed by Mickey Smith. The Daleks declared victory and began moving the Ark.
The Cult travelled to the main room in Torchwood Tower, barging through a door and shouting "exterminate!". Most of the Cybermen were waiting for them, along with armed Torchwood personnel and at least two Preachers. A huge, though one-sided, battle ensued, with the Cybermen opting to use their long-range weaponry instead of their traditional electrified gauntlets. With heavy Cyberman casualties following the clash, the Cyber Leader called for all troops in the greater London area to report to Torchwood Tower.
Dalek Sec elevated above the roof and opened the Genesis Ark, releasing millions of Daleks. These flew over the city in droves and were spotted by the Cyberman forces summoned by the Cyber Leader, who opened fire on them from below. Dalek Sec retaliated by ordering the extermination of all life-forms below, regardless of whether they were humans or Cybermen. In the streets, terrified humans ran for cover as the battle raged above and around them, though many were exterminated by stray Dalek blasts.
The Tenth Doctor, his companions and the Preachers opened the Void while the Cybermen and the Daleks rushed to stop them. A converted Yvonne Hartman halted the Cybermen attack. The device sucked all the Daleks and Cybermen who had been in the Void back into it, nearly sucking Rose herself in, but Pete Tyler teleported through the Void, grabbed her and teleported back to his parallel Earth. It was here that Rose's family, Jackie Tyler, that universe's version of her father, Pete and Mickey Smith had decided to stay, though Rose wasn't fully willing. The way the Doctor opened the breach between worlds resulted in the breach permanently sealing itself after the Daleks and Cybermen were sucked in.
The battle had lasted less than a day, but the Doctor commented on the aftermath that "so many" people died that day and that the effects on Earth were devastating. Rose was listed among the dead. (TV: Doomsday)
Members of Torchwood Three, including Jack Harkness, salvaged all the alien technology from the ruins of Canary Wharf. (TV: Fragments) Torchwood Three became the main base of all Torchwood operations.
Known Torchwood survivors included Lisa Hallett and Ianto Jones, although Hallett's survival, partially converted into a Cyberman, was not immediately known to anyone save Jones. (TV: Cyberwoman) Jones (presumably hiding Hallett) subsequently travelled to Cardiff where he eventually ingratiated himself into Jack Harkness' Torchwood 3. (TV: Fragments) Jones hid Hallett in a secret area of the Torchwood 3 Hub for months, hoping to reverse her conversion, but was unsuccessful. She was finally terminated, making her the last known victim of the battle. (TV: Cyberwoman)
The governments of the Earth denied the battle had ever happened and blamed the reports on mass hallucination caused by terrorists polluting the water supply with psychotropic drugs. (TV: Everything Changes) It appeared life on Earth returned to normal. London would endure several more major high-profile incidents involving aliens in the coming months and years (TV: The Runaway Bride, Voyage of the Damned, Partners in Crime, The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky, The Stolen Earth/Journey's End, Children of Earth); by the end of the first decade of the 21st century, the existence of alien life had become common knowledge to a large percentage of the populace, although there were many who refused to accept this reality. (TV: The Last Sontaran, Children of Earth: Day One)
A group of eight Cybermen who were converted humans from Earth were not pulled into the Void as a result of them having never been there and worked to reopen the Void and release their army, something the Doctor stated was impossible even for him. Even using teleportation equipment stolen from Torchwood and electronics equipment stolen from a store and government labs, the Cybermen were unable to reopen the Void so they worked to capture the Doctor who had been drawn to their activities while visiting Earth with new companion Martha Jones. The Cybermen kidnapped Martha to force the Doctor to help and attacked a military base in an attempt to capture him, but the military destroyed five of the six attacking Cybermen, forcing the last to retreat after telling the Doctor to help them or lose Martha. The Doctor tricked the Cybermen into believing he was opening the Void, but really opened a portal to the Jurassic period where a Tyrannosaurus Rex came through the portal and destroyed two of the surviving Cybermen before returning to its time. The Doctor then used a power cable to destroy the Cyber-Leader and left the deactivated equipment to the arriving military. (PROSE: Made of Steel)
Remembrance of the Battle of Canary Wharf was implied when a new army of Cybermen appeared on Earth several years later; a news report noted that the newly-arrived metal men were known as a Cybermen but now had the ability to fly "unlike the accounts [they had] on file". (TV: Death in Heaven)
As a result of the Reality Bomb some Cybermen who had been sent into the Void escaped into Victorian London where the Doctor battled them with the help of Jackson Lake who was deluded into believing he was the Doctor himself. The Doctor destroyed the Cybermen, sending their remains along with their Cyber-King into the Time Vortex to harmlessly disintergrate. (TV: The Next Doctor) However, others apparently escaped the Void at the same time. (TV: The Pandorica Opens) though any that remained in the Void along with the surviving Daleks were destroyed as a result of the reality bomb. (TV: Journey's End)
Behind the scenes
- The online video game, Daleks v Cybermen, allows gamers to attempt an alternate version of the Battle of Canary Wharf. In this game, the player controls the Cybermen, who are locked in combat against Torchwood, the Preachers and Daleks. The player wins by killing Dalek Sec.
- "Battle reports" — for lack of a better term — were given in Battles in Time. This wiki treats these descriptions with some suspicion, since Battles in Time is, save for its comic strip, a non-narrative source. Nevertheless, the following summarises the things claimed about the actual battle by the editorial staff of DWBIT:
- Battlefronts included Tower Bridge and the Tower of London, along with the town of Southwark. Although the Daleks only had a presence for several minutes, they reached as far as Aberdeen, where a group of Cybermen decided to change their tactics and ambush the Daleks. A single Cyberman was used as bait; when a group of Daleks arrived, the Cybermen attacked. However this advantage was short-lived as more Daleks turned the tables. While they were vastly superior to the Cybermen, the Daleks did suffer some casualties, mostly due to Cyberman ambushes. There were some sightings of Daleks friendly fire. One Dalek was caught in an explosion caused when another Dalek blaster blew up a car. (DWBIT 17, Daleks vs Cybermen Special, Dalek Wars)
- Battles in Time also claimed that, after the battle concluded, a single Cyberman ended up deep in the oceans of Philjax III, in the year 9000 during the Daleks' battle with the Squeeth. (DWBIT 9)