The Forge, also known as Department C4, was a black ops organisation formed in the 20th century with the remit of studying and experimenting with extraterrestrial material and technology and using it to defend the interests of the United Kingdom. (AUDIO: Project: Lazarus) It was identifiable by the deliberately out-of-date callsign "For King and Country".
In 1901, the Chief Mate of the Lankester uses the phrase "King and Country" on radio while transporting a mermaid to an unknown buyer. This suggested that the Forge was operational at this time. (AUDIO: Cryptobiosis)
Its first major operations began in 1911. Having gained vampire DNA in South America under unknown circumstances, the Forge infected British soldiers with the DNA to create a super-soldier hybrid race to win the war. This operation, Project Twilight, was under the control of Dr William Abberton but went wrong when the vampires broke loose in October 1915. They slaughtered the guards and escaped into the community.
From 1915, Project Twilight remained open as the Forge tracked down the vampires and exterminated them. Leading this operation was Abberton, having infected himself after being mortally wounded and now calling himself Nimrod. (AUDIO: Project: Twilight)
In 1917, the Forge was running a secret project at Charnage Hospital to brainwash British soldiers into being more aggressive, with a possible side-effect of making several subjects time-sensitive. (AUDIO: No Man's Land)
In the 1950s, Forge agent Dr Stone — her allegiance shown by the "King and Country" phrase — worked on Project Dionysus to create a rift in spacetime. This was almost used by a race known as the Divergence to break through into our reality. (AUDIO: Zagreus)
By 2001, the Forge's Deputy Director was Colonel Charles Crichton, formerly of UNIT. (PROSE: Project: Valhalla) In this year, Nimrod tracked down the Twilight vampire ringleaders, Reggie Mead and Amelia Dooney, at the South-East London casino they used as a front operation. Alongside the Sixth Doctor and Evelyn Smythe, he destroyed the last creatures. In the process, casino worker Cassie Schofield (whom Nimrod had been blackmailing to help him) was turned into a vampire. (AUDIO: Project: Twilight) In 2002, Nimrod captured Cassie, heavily brainwashed her, and made her a Forge agent. (AUDIO: Project: Lazarus)
Between 2002 and 2004, the Forge carried out Project Valhalla, trying to scavenge alien technology from a crashed alien spaceship in Lapland. The mission became a disaster and the area had to be sterilised when the ship turned out to be a prison for a world-killing, blood-formed entity known as Nyathoggoth. Following Vahalla, Nimrod replaced Crichton as Deputy Director of the Forge and had Crichton assassinated. (PROSE: Project: Valhalla) The Forge also retrieved the Spear of Destiny from a private collection in Project Longinus.
The Forge encountered the Sixth Doctor again in November 2004, while aggressively acquiring a Huldran spacecraft, and finally initiated Project Lazarus, an attempt to replicate his regenerations. While the Doctor escaped, they had enough DNA information to create a clone of him; it was unable to regenerate, but had enough of the Doctor's attributes to be hired as a scientific advisor. When the Huldrans began attacking the Forge in retaliation, Nimrod had the clone brainwashed to believe he truly was the Doctor, had been stranded on Earth, and was helping them to prevent the Huldrans destroying Earth. (AUDIO: Project: Lazarus)
As part of a long-term operation, an Australian Forge agent named James Clarke had been backing Katherine Chambers' Cyberman technology experiments since 1984. In September 2006, he had a usable product. (AUDIO: The Gathering, PROSE: Project: Valhalla)
By 2008, the constant Huldran attacks and the arrival of the Seventh Doctor caused several key Forge members to begin questioning their work and the clone to realise the truth of his existence. While the Doctor solved the Huldran situation, the clone of his sixth incarnation activated the Forge base's self destruct program. (AUDIO: Project: Lazarus)
Nimrod had managed to survive vaporisation, in a dessicated, near-dead state and had been connected to the main Forge computer, Oracle and was now the new leader of the Forge. The Doctor left a syringe containing the Twilight cure beside Nimrod, which would cure his vampirism. But the vampire DNA was the only thing that kept Nimrod alive, and taking the Twilight cure would cause his death. Depending upon his decision, the fate of Nimrod and the Forge was unknown. (PROSE: Twilight's End)
The Forge was a top-secret military organisation, unknown by the general public. Its central base was an underground facility in Dartmoor until its destruction in 2008. Its new HQ was the Crichton Building until its destruction in 2026. Most of its work was overseen by the Deputy-Director, who lived in Dartmoor, and they answered to a Director based in Whitehall.
UNIT was a rival viewed with amused contempt for its "philanthropic" role. In contrast, the Forge had close links to the regular army and ICIS.
There was a stigma attached to the Forge. Once you joined, there was no way out except death. This proved true in all cases except Sergeant French.
Forge operatives included:
- Nimrod — Senior Field Agent and former Deputy-Director. (Active)
- Charles Crichton — Former Deputy-Director; assassinated after leaving the job. (Deceased)
- Sergeant Frith — Security Chief; killed saving the seventh incarnation of the Doctor. (Deceased)
- Doctor Edith Crumpton — the Forge's Chief Science Officer, executed by Nimrod after disobeying orders and attempting to communicate with the Huldran. (Deceased)
- Captain Lysandra Aristedes — Sergeant Frith's right-hand woman and later Director. (Active)
- "The Sixth Doctor" — the Forge's scientific advisor, died activating the Dartmoor base's self destruct. (Deceased)
- Cassandra Schofield — Codename Artemis. Field Agent, and Nimrod's intended replacement. Died rebelling against Nimrod to save the Sixth Doctor and Evelyn Smythe. (Deceased)
- Sergeant French — Soldier. Seconded to ICIS. (Arrested) (AUDIO: The Coup)
- Lieutenant-Colonel Brook — agent during World War I, headed the Charnage Hospital project on the Western Front in Northern France in 1917. (Deceased) (AUDIO: No Man's Land)
- James Clarke - Australian deep-cover agent. (Active) (AUDIO: The Gathering, PROSE: Project: Valhalla)
Behind the scenes
The Forge (originally called Bedlam) was originally created by Mark Wright and Cavan Scott for the second draft of the audio story Project: Twilight after Gary Russell wanted to see more of the concept of government-approved vampires. It was renamed the Forge to avoid confusion with the audio story Minuet in Hell.