Geographic location Edit
The Rift stretched about five mile miles from Cardiff Bay. (WEB: torchwood.org.uk) When the Rift fractured, it temporarily spread out from Cardiff to cover parts of the entire Earth, including London and Tokyo. (TV: End of Days)
According to Vox, the Rift had many openings, particularly in the Sanctified's area of Mutter's Spiral; these various openings were presumably switched between randomly. (COMIC: Rift War!) This is supported by the fact that objects from all across time and space came through the Rift, ranging from pterodactyls and humans from various time periods in the past to alien objects and beings from distant planets.
Prison of Abaddon Edit
The Rift, in some way, acted as a prison for Abaddon. (TV: End of Days) In 92 AD, a Roman stationed near the future site of Cardiff heard of legends of "a demonic giant trapped beneath the earth." (WEB: torchwood.org.uk)
- The Disciples of the Light may possibly have created the prison, and likewise the rift itself. We do not know how long it has existed.
The Gelth's use of the Rift Edit
Following the Last Great Time War, the Gelth attempted to flee through the Rift to 1869 Cardiff, but initially, only a few of the Gelth were successful in travelling through to Cardiff. Using a psychic named Gwyneth as a bridge through the Rift, the Gelth successfully began to come through into Cardiff and tried to invade Earth and kill off the entire human race. During the Gelth's attempted invasion, Gwyneth was able to destroy the Gelth already on Earth and close the Rift. (TV: The Unquiet Dead)
Torchwood Institute's interest in the Rift Edit
Around the turn of the 20th century, the Torchwood Institute became aware of the Cardiff Rift. In 1883, Queen Victoria herself spoke to the Institute on this subject, stressing the danger the Rift posed. (WEB: torchwood.org.uk) Agnes Havisham believed it was a threat and helped set up Torchwood Three to study it. (PROSE: Risk Assessment) Some time before 1913, they began work on the Rift Manipulator. (WEB: torchwood.org.uk)
Located in an underground base called the Hub and under the command of Captain Jack Harkness, Torchwood Three had the tasks of monitoring the Rift and phenomena associated with it and with securing for Torchwood any artefacts that came through. (TV: Everything Changes et al) The Hub also possessed a Rift Manipulator which allowed them to control the Rift to a limited extent. (TV: Captain Jack Harkness, TV: End of Days, COMIC: Rift War!)
The Widening of the Rift Edit
The Rift was used in September 2006 by both the Ninth Doctor to power up the TARDIS, and by Blon Fel-Fotch. Blon Fel-Fotch, then mayor of Cardiff, built a nuclear power plant on the site of the Rift and plotted to cause a core meltdown. The meltdown would have destroyed the Earth, generating a shock wave that she could ride to escape off into space using a tribophysical waveform macro-kinetic extrapolator. The extrapolator, connected to the Doctor's TARDIS, accidentally widened the Rift and caused a powerful earthquake. (TV: Boom Town) Subsequent to that event, the width and activity of the Rift increased. (WEB: torchwood.org.uk)
The fracturing of the Rift Edit
Warning signs Edit
As early as spring 1913, the Torchwood Institute had noted ground tremors and Rift activity. They theorised that a future event had sent a ripple effect back through time. The event, they predicted, would occur in the early 21st century. (WEB: torchwood.org.uk) In late 2007, increased numbers of Weevils coming through the Rift caused Jack Harkness to feel some concern over increased Rift activity. (TV: Everything Changes)
The event Edit
In early 2008, Bilis Manger contrived to trick Torchwood Three's Owen Harper into using the Rift Manipulator to widen the Rift on purpose. This caused the Rift to fracture, resulting in time slips worldwide. Many believed the end of the world had come. (TV: Captain Jack Harkness, End of Days)
In Cardiff, more Weevils came through the Rift, as well as a Roman soldier and sufferers of Bubonic Plague. Finally, as Manger had planned, the Rift opened wide enough for Abaddon to escape. Jack stated that the area would become more active after the opening of the Rift and the death of Abaddon. (TV: End of Days)
Later uses and discoveries Edit
Time shift Edit
The Rift caused an overlap in time between 1918 and 2008, creating the illusion of "ghost sightings" in both times. The time shift was initially confined to a Cardiff hospital, but as it worsened it quickly spread out throughout the city. Torchwood Three sent a cryogenically frozen soldier from 1918, Tommy Brockless, back from 2008 through a time hole with a "Rift key", and he was able to close the hole. (TV: To the Last Man)
The same year, Gwen Cooper discovered an unknown property of the Rift, that it abducted people from Cardiff as well as depositing creatures and objects from the other sides. She found out that a number of missing people could be connected to the activity of the Rift. (TV: Adrift)
The Rift war Edit
The Sanctified used the Rift's energy to power their empire. In 2008, when the Sanctified were led to believe that Torchwood Three would use their Rift Manipulator to destroy their empire, the Sanctified declared war on Torchwood and used the Rift to send their Harrowkind troopers to Cardiff to attack Torchwood.
Vox hid from the Sanctified in the gaps and non-places inside the Rift, until Toshiko Sato unintentionally led the Harrowkind to Vox when she and the Torchwood Hub became one moment out of sync with time as a result of a Rift Storm. Vox subsequently returned with Tosh and the Hub to Cardiff.
Vox subsequently used the Rift Manipulator and alien technology to absorb the power of the Rift, which caused the Rift to produce antibodies and send them to Cardiff to try and eliminate Vox. When Torchwood Three restored a natural focal point for the Rift's energy which Vox had previously destroyed, the focal point became a new outlet other than Vox for the Rift's energy, and thus Vox lost the Rift's power. (COMIC: Rift War!)
Gray's revenge Edit
Contacting the Doctor Edit
Using the Rift positively in the year 2009, Gwen Cooper and Ianto Jones of Torchwood Three used the Rift Manipulator in conjunction with Sarah Jane Smith's supercomputer, Mr Smith, to power a message to the Doctor via Martha Jones' superphone. (TV: The Stolen Earth) They later used the combination of the Rift and Mr Smith again to help the Doctor return the Earth back to its regular orbit. (TV: Journey's End)
Travel through the Rift Edit
Beings and objects could be transported through the Rift from one end to another when it became active. Rift Storms were also capable of transporting objects and beings caught up inside of them through the Rift. (TV: Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, COMIC: Rift War!)
The Rift could also cause time shifts, which could cause two different points in time to overlap and could transport beings from one of the two overlapping times to the other. (TV: Captain Jack Harkness, To the Last Man)
Some extraterrestrials were also known to be able to manipulate travel through the Rift, as the Weevils could use the Rift to cross into Cardiff, and the Sanctified were able to transport their Harrowkind troops through the Rift and could create and manipulate Rift Storms to transport wanted objects through the Rift to them. (COMIC: Rift War!)
Use by other extraterrestrials Edit
The Weevils used the Rift to cross over into Cardiff for reasons of their own, more so as the Rift de-stabilised. (TV: Everything Changes, Combat, End of Days) The Sanctified Empire were also known to harvest energy from the Rift, and used it to send their Harrowkind troopers to their intended destinations. (COMIC: Rift War!)
Other aliens used the Rift, including Mary and her guard in 1812 and the "Sex Gas" in 2007. Perhaps coincidentally, they came to Earth close to the Rift, though apparently neither used it as their means of transport onto the planet. (TV: Day One, Greeks Bearing Gifts) A Dogon eye was also found near the Rift, though whether it came through the Rift is unknown. (TV: Random Shoes)
Indirect influence upon Cardiff Edit
Behind the scenes Edit
- There are two different sources on how the Rift closed. According to AUDIO: The House of the Dead, the Rift finally closed when the House of the Dead was destroyed. However, this is contradicted by Russell T Davies, who stated that the Rift closed with the Cracks in Time when the Eleventh Doctor rebooted the universe.