|Also called:||The Hub |
|Notable members:||see crew section|
|First seen in:||Everything Changes|
|Appearances:||See: Torchwood Institute - list of appearances|
Torchwood Three, based in the Hub underneath Cardiff, Wales, was a branch of the Torchwood Institute. It was created to monitor the Cardiff Rift. Following the Battle of Canary Wharf, it was the only major branch of Torchwood. Its membership would starkly decline from 2007 onward, as several painful fatalities transpired within its ranks, until it ultimately ran out of enough people to continue its operations. In 2009, following the encounter with the 456, Torchwood Three effectively ceased to exist, though two surviving members would establish a team to deal with Miracle Day.
For more than a hundred years, Captain Jack Harkness had a close association with Torchwood Three; he became its leader in 2000. Though Torchwood Three was significantly smaller than the London branch, with only a handful of employees, after Torchwood One was destroyed in the Battle of Canary Wharf, it became the largest surviving branch of the organisation. (Torchwood Two was a single operative in Glasgow and Torchwood Four was missing.)
Even before the Battle of Canary Wharf, Torchwood Three had severed ties with the rest of the organisation and had become largely autonomous. Captain Jack, who did not share the organisation's fear of or desire to imprison the Doctor, or its policy of placing priority on obtaining alien technology over helping people and saving lives, had by that time vowed to continue Torchwood as the kind of organisation which would make the Doctor proud. (TV: Fragments)
Mission Profile and Operations Edit
Rift Monitoring and Control Edit
The constant inflow of "flotsam and jetsam" from the rift posed many opportunities for the intrepid team, but also a constant danger. Recognising this, Torchwood had by 1913 started to build a Rift Manipulator to better control rift activity. By the 2000s, it was also capable of monitoring rift activity in detail, so that the Torchwood staff was able to predict when and where the danger might strike next.
Caring for Rift Returnees Edit
While it was obvious that the Rift deposited objects, until 2009 it was unknown to even some of its own employees that the rift also took things in an event known as a negative rift spike. Some humans taken by the rift were eventually returned to earth, but they were ravaged by falling through the rift and incapable of being reintegrated in Earth society.
Until the year 2000 these returnees were just locked away in the vaults or cryogenically frozen, and ultimately forgotten. When Captain Jack assumed command of Torchwood, he found two such returnees in the vaults and decided these people should be looked after. He set up a remote facility on the island of Flat Holm, telling its employees that the people he left in their care were the result of failed experiments. Over the years more returnees were found, and in 2008 the rate at which people returned increased, "as if the rift is trying to correct its mistakes". By the end of the year the number of people cared for at the facility had reached 17. (TV: Adrift)
Weevil Containment Edit
Weevils were a race of humanoid aliens which frequently turned up in Cardiff thanks to the Rift. They were first documented by Torchwood in the 1950s; by the 21st century, a population of hundreds existed in the sewers. Though Weevils usually kept to the sewers, avoiding human contact, occasionally one developed a taste for human flesh or otherwise became a nuisance. Weevil control was one of Torchwood's major day-to-day operations, and at any time several Weevils were in storage cells in the lower level of the Hub. For the purpose of catching Weevils Torchwood Three also developed an Anti-Weevil spray. (TV: Everything Changes)
Reverse-Engineering Technology Edit
True to the Torchwood motto "If it's alien, it's ours", Torchwood Three through the years collected and reverse-engineered an impressive amount of alien technology and studying alien artefacts remained central to their operation after Captain Jack took over. Much of the technology they possessed found use in the day-to-day operations of Torchwood. For example, Torchwood possessed and operated advanced cryogenic technology since at least the 1900s (TV: Exit Wounds), and in first decade of the 21st century was capable of utilising alien computer technology to "scan" all available information sources for information. Around the turn of the 21st century, the team began experimenting with a Resurrection gauntlet, for questioning deceased crime victims, and a Singularity Scalpel, to easily remove inoperable alien organisms from humans. Other key technologies were Portable prison cells and Retcon, a powerful amnesia inducer. (TV: Everything Changes, They Keep Killing Suzie, Reset)
Keeping a Low Profile Edit
Torchwood had to keep not only itself but also the very existence of aliens from the public. Though greatly facilitated by the human tendency to just ignore everything that was too much out of the ordinary, keeping the secret was still no easy job. Torchwood under Jack Harkness' leadership preferred a more diplomatic approach--contacting clueless spaceship pilots and telling them that they were "spooking the locals" (TV: Cyberwoman), for example, instead of simply destroying them--but the perception of Torchwood as a clumsy and overly trigger-happy organisation persisted.
Still, many Cardiff residents, even laymen, seemed to be more or less aware of all the strange things that kept happening, again and again, though often they weren't at all impressed. (TV: Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang) Many police officers were aware of and quite frustrated by what they often saw as a "regular" secret ops unit disturbing their operations or taking them over entirely. Under the command of Jack Harkness the team developed a very relaxed approach to secrecy, ordering pizzas to their top secret underground lair and having a tendency to stamp large Torchwood logos on their field equipment. (TV: Everything Changes)
Human Resources Edit
Under the leadership of Jack Harkness, Torchwood Three personnel were encouraged to treat their work as a job, not an obsession, with Jack often seen encouraging his colleagues to go home and rest. Maintaining personal relationships outside of the Torchwood team was not discouraged (as long as secrecy was maintained) but this proved difficult, with most Torchwood members turning to fellow team members for companionship (i.e. Jack and Ianto, Owen and Tosh). An exception to this is Gwen Cooper, who maintained a relationship with her boyfriend and later fiance Rhys Williams, although ultimately Rhys was made aware of Torchwood's existence when he was recruited for one case that dealt with alien meat. (TV: Meat)
It is not known if this was a blanket rule for Torchwood teams, or only specific to Torchwood Three, but certain protocols were in place when a team member died of any cause. His or her body was to be stored permanently (possibly for future study), and his or her worldly possessions were to be confiscated by Torchwood and held in storage permanently. This is known to be the case with Suzie Costello. (TV: Everything Changes, They Keep Killing Suzie) Jack deliberately broke the rules at least once to allow Toshiko Sato to have a proper burial and funeral that her mother attended. (TV: Children of Earth: Day One)
Other Tasks Edit
Torchwood was also responsible for monitoring other potential sources of otherworldly trouble in the vicinity of Cardiff. They monitored the local trade in alien artefacts (such as Dogon Sixth Eyes (TV: Random Shoes) and locals known to be involved in aliens or alien artefacts, such as collector Henry Parker. (TV: A Day in the Death)
19th century Edit
Torchwood operated in Cardiff from 1885 onwards. (PROSE: Slow Decay) It was founded under the suggestion of Agnes Havisham, who believed that the Cardiff Space-Time Rift posed a threat after its recent activation. (PROSE: Risk Assessment) Following the death of a male operative (WEB: torchwood.org.uk), Emily Holroyd recruited Alice Guppy in 1897. The Torchwood HQ in Cardiff at that time consisted of little more than a few rooms and a holding cell. They had a policy of executing hostile aliens immediately, as they had no way of returning them home. Over a period of more than a year, the pair monitored Jack Harkness, who made mention of 'the Doctor'. As the Torchwood Institute was founded largely to combat the Doctor (TV: Tooth and Claw, Army of Ghosts), the two women captured Jack, discovered his ability to return from the dead and then recruited him as a field agent. Jack continued to sporadically work for the Institute until 2000, while also undertaking other activities such as fighting in the world wars. (TV: Fragments)
20th century Edit
In 1901, an older version of Jack Harkness was discovered buried alive below Cardiff, having been left there in 27 AD. In order to prevent a paradox, this older Jack, at his request, was cryogenically frozen, his body kept in storage (unbeknownst to his younger self or later Torchwood staff) until 2009. (TV: Exit Wounds)
By 1913 work on a Rift Manipulator had started, in the hopes of minimising the constant danger posed by the rift. During 1913, the Institute noticed increased Rift activity, and considered this more justification to commence work on the Manipulator. The increased activity came from "foreshocks" of the use of the Manipulator itself, travelling backwards in time from the widening of the Rift, causing the fracture of the Rift in the early 21st century. Ironically, the Manipulator itself (in the future) had caused the widening of the Rift. (WEB: torchwood.org.uk)
In 1918 Torchwood Three, under the command of Gerald Carter, already had access to sophisticated cryogenic suspension technology. Gerald Carter and another operative, Harriet Derbyshire investigated supposed hauntings (in fact time shifts from the future) at St Teilo's Hospital. Derbyshire shortly afterwards died in action in an unrelated case. (TV: To the Last Man)
21st century Edit
On New Year's Eve 1999, Torchwood operative (and possibly the team leader) Alex Hopkins killed his entire team, bar the immortal Jack Harkness. He claimed that he was killing them to "protect" them from the 21st century. Alex made the grim joke that he had given Jack command and then committed suicide. Jack Harkness was left with the job of recruiting a new team and leading it. (TV: Fragments)
Shortly thereafter, Harkness discovered two humans whom the rift had returned and had been locked away in the Hub's cells, since Torchwood had deemed them unable to reintegrate into society. He founded a facility on the island of Flat Holm to care for them and others who were later returned. Subsequently, he chose not to inform certain members of his staff. (TV: Adrift) In the 2000s he recruited civilians Toshiko Sato and then Owen Harper in an attempt to reform Torchwood into a more humane organisation inspired by his admiration of the Doctor. He also employed Suzie Costello, and with much persuasion at first, took in Ianto Jones, a survivor of the Battle of Canary Wharf who had worked for Torchwood One. (TV: Fragments)
2007 was an eventful year for Torchwood Three. Agent Suzie Costello committed a series of murders with an alien artefact, the Life knife, in order to test out the Resurrection gauntlet. She committed suicide when her activities were discovered. Jack took in Gwen Cooper, a Cardiff Police Constable who had helped him to solve the case. (TV: Everything Changes) As well as internal distrust, at times, of Jack himself, Torchwood Three subsequently braved an attack by Lisa Hallett, a partially converted Cyberman who had survived their defeat at Torchwood One. (TV: Cyberwoman)
In 2008, Tosh had begun to experiment with using the Rift Manipulator. With Tosh and Jack transported to 1941 Cardiff, Owen and Ianto, out of desperation, used the manipulator and Tosh's Rift equations to return them. (TV: Captain Jack Harkness) This would have wide-ranging consequences, as the use of the Manipulator made the Rift splinter and caused temporal shifts to occur all over Cardiff and the Earth. The team revolted against Jack and shot and killed him and the ancient demon Abaddon was released from the Rift, briefly causing havoc in central Cardiff before Jack defeated him. (TV: End of Days)
During his absence the team learned to work more independently, though they were unable to help fight the takeover of the world by the Master, as he had sent them on a wild goose chase to the Himalayas. (TV: The Sound of Drums) Jack returned some months later, finding that Gwen had taken over as team leader. (TV: Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang)
Also around 2008, the Rift started returning more and more humans who had previously been taken away in negative rift spikes. In the words of Jack Harkness, "it is almost as if the rift is trying to correct its mistakes". Victims continued to be transferred to the Flat Holm facility. (TV: Adrift) Another trend in recent years was an increase in Weevil activity. (TV: Everything Changes)
Other notable events in 2008/9 were Torchwood Three stopping a Weevil fighting ring (TV: Combat) uncovering an alien sleeper cell (TV: Sleeper), unilaterally closing down an official research facility (TV: Reset) and stopping a powerful being, a personification of Death. (TV: Dead Man Walking)
In late 2008/ early 2009 UNIT medical officer Dr Martha Jones came in briefly in order to provide support. Very shortly after her arrival, Torchwood doctor Owen Harper died (TV: Reset) and came back to partial life via another Resurrection gauntlet. (TV: Dead Man Walking) This lead to Doctor Jones staying with Torchwood somewhat longer than anticipated. Torchwood Three later lost two members of the team in 2009. Owen Harper was trapped in a nuclear meltdown that decomposed his already dead body and Toshiko Sato died of a shot to the stomach. (TV: Exit Wounds)
In mid 2009, Torchwood Three was called upon by former Prime Minister Harriet Jones via subwave network along with Sarah Jane Smith and Martha Jones in an effort to contact the Tenth Doctor after Earth was transported into the Medusa Cascade by Davros, during the Dalek invasion of 2009. Jack, Gwen and Ianto used the Rift Manipulator in conjunction with Sarah Jane's supercomputer Mr Smith to amplify the signal of Martha's superphone to break the signal barrier and reach the Doctor. Jack left the team behind to assist the Doctor. (TV: The Stolen Earth) Gwen and Ianto were saved from Dalek extermination by the time-lock invented by Tosh before she died along with the Meta-Crisis Tenth Doctor blowing up the Dalek fleet's dalekanium casings on the Crucible. The two were later called upon by the Doctor himself to help assist his TARDIS via Rift Manipulator in its effort to carry the Earth back to the normal orbit regular orbit. (TV: Journey's End)
In September 2009, the entire Torchwood Three Hub was blown up by the government in a ploy to kill the Torchwood team in relation to the 456 crisis. The bomb was inserted into Jack's abdomen. When it detonated, Jack was blown apart. Gwen and Ianto luckily escaped. The explosion was reported on the news and it left a gaping hole where the Hub was. (TV: Children of Earth: Day One)
The surviving members eventually managed to face the 456. Ianto Jones was killed by a virus released in Thames House, and after the 456 were defeated at the cost of his grandson, Jack left Earth. This left Gwen Cooper the last remaining member on Earth. (TV: Children of Earth: Day Four, Children of Earth: Day Five)
The ruins of the Hub and the technology within were choice pickings for various agencies. British billionaire Joshua Naismith (TV: The End of Time), Italian American billionaire Angelo Colasanto (TV: End of the Road), and the British government all successfully pilfered its ruins for alien artefacts. Due to the recession, the British government also sold many at high prices internationally. (PROSE: The Men Who Sold the World)
Later Events Edit
In the interregnum period following the 456 incident, a time in which Torchwood was described as fallen (TV: The End of Time), Time Agent John Hart teamed up with Gwen's husband Rhys to travel back in time roughly a year, in lieu of Harkness and Cooper. (COMIC: Shrouded)
By the 2060s, Torchwood had become more accepting of aliens, attempting to protect them instead of just stop them. They were also able to control the Rift to an extent. In 2069, when Freda's house was destroyed by anti-alien groups, a member of Torchwood was able to save her and sent her back in time to 2009, trying to cause the development of Torchwood's alien policy. (AUDIO: Asylum)
The Hub Edit
The Hub was the main base of affairs for Torchwood Three, analogous to Torchwood One's Torchwood Tower and Torchwood Two's office in Glasgow. The Hub was located directly under Roald Dahl Plass in central Cardiff, also the location of the Cardiff rift. The Hub was connected to the rest of the Torchwood Institute via organic computer.
List of Features Edit
- Invisible lift. This lift leads directly from the hub to Roald Dahl Plass above. Torchwood personnel could enter or leave without arousing suspicion, since the exit benefited from the effects of the perception filter of a TARDIS that once stood above it.
- The main entrance was disguised as a tourist information office by the waterfront.
- Jack Harkness's office.
- Main hall (including workstations and entrances to other Hub features)
- Cryo-chambers. Bodies of deceased Torchwood employees as well as aliens. Anomalous humans (dead or placed in suspended animation) were also stored here.
- Conference room.
- Safe containing various alien artefacts.
- Autopsy room.
- Interrogation room.
- Holding cells. (Mainly used to hold captured Weevils).
- A firing range.
- A kitchen (PROSE: Another Life)
- Deep-sea tank (a large water tank deep in the Hub which allowed deep-sea animals to survive)
- Rest and Recreation room (PROSE: Another Life)
- Jack Harkness' sleeping area, a bed located beneath a manhole cover.
- A secret dock leading into Cardiff Bay which, until 2009, contained a small ship called the Sea Queen. (AUDIO: The Sin Eaters) The Sea Queen was replaced by the Sea Queen II. There was also a submarine, but it had been lost between 1970 and 2009. (PROSE: Risk Assessment)
- A pteranodon habitat for Myfanwy.
- Archives, containing numerous files on alien life forms and artefacts, among other things. Maintained by Ianto Jones.
After being seriously damaged in an explosion (TV: End of Days), the main area of the Hub underwent some remodelling, but remained basically the same. (TV: Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang) It experienced more damage (apparently mostly cosmetic) when the Earth was relocated to the Medusa Cascade. (TV: The Stolen Earth)
The destruction of the Hub during the 456 incident appears to have been substantial. The true extent of the destruction is unclear, although it would appear the core area of the Hub appears was completely destroyed. Gwen Cooper was able to retrieve Harkness' vortex manipulator from the wreckage (TV: Children of Earth: Day One, Day Two, Day Five) and Angelo Colasanto's men was able to salvage a null field generator. (TV: End of the Road)
By 2011, Roald Dahl Plass had been rebuilt - Gwen, Jack, and Rex Matheson visited the site prior to Jack and Gwen's rendition to the US, but all sign of the Torchwood Hub had disappeared. (TV: The New World)
Emily Holroyd's team Edit
- Emily Holroyd (former leader; active circa 1897 - 1901)
- Alice Guppy (active circa 1899-1901)
- Charles Gaskell (active circa 1901)
- Jack Harkness (Freelance agent at this time; active 1899-2008, 2008-2009)
Gerald Carter's team Edit
- Gerald Carter (Leader circa 1918)
- Harriet Derbyshire (Physicist; died circa 1919)
- Douglas Caldwell (active circa 1918)
- Lydia Childs (active circa 1918)
- Charles Quinn (active circa 1918)
- Jack Harkness (Freelance agent at this time; active 1899-2008, 2008-2009)
Tilda Brennan's team Edit
- Tilda Brennan (former leader; active circa 1941)
- Greg Bishop (active circa 1941)
- Llinos King (active circa 1941)
- Rhydian (active circa 1941)
- Jack Harkness (Freelance agent at this time; active 1899-2008, 2008-2009)
Alex Hopkins' team Edit
- Alex Hopkins (former leader; Died New Year's Eve 1999)
- Unamed Agents (Died New Year's Eve 1999)
- Jack Harkness (active 1899-2008, 2008-2009)
Jack Harkness' team Edit
- Jack Harkness (leader; active 1899-2008, 2008-2009)
- Suzie Costello (weapons expert; active unknown-2007; died, twice, 2007)
- Toshiko Sato (technological expert; active 2004-2009; died 2009)
- Owen Harper (medic; active 2006-2009; died 2009)
- Ianto Jones (factotum; active 2007-2009; died 2009)
- Gwen Cooper (police liaison, field agent; active 2007-2009; temporary leader 2008)
Unknown team Edit
- Philip Lyle (active circa 1898)
- Kenneth Valentine (active ????-1967; died 1967)
- Charles Cromwell (active circa 1945-1975; died 2006)
- Lucia Moretti (active 1965-1977; died 2006)