In light of recent events, this office is making available previously classified information on the institute known only as ‘Torchwood’, established in 1879 by Queen Victoria. Its prime purpose is to defend the earth against extraterrestrial threats.
The Torchwood Institute has begun to use their findings to restore the British Empire to its former glory. To those ends, the organisation started to acquire and reverse engineer alien technology. The activities of the Torchwood Institute during the 20th century have, for the most part, yet to be revealed. In 2006, the existence of Torchwood was apparently a secret known only to the British military and police. Knowledge of Torchwood was supposedly kept even from Prime Minister and the UN. Torchwood Tower had been built to reach a spatial breach 660 feet above sea level. Unbeknownst to Torchwood, the breach had been caused by the entrance into the universe of a “void ship”, a vessel designed to travel through the void between parallel universes. Sometime prior to the ‘456’ incident, Torchwood Two had closed down. Torchwood Three was the only force on Earth posed to combat the threat of the ‘456’ invasion. However, the Permanent Secretary ordered the assassination of remaining Torchwood agents Harkness, Cooper and Jones to cover up the UK’s history with the aliens. On receiving communication from the ‘456’, the government orders the assassination of all Torchwood Three staff to stop them from interfering with the operation. While they evade assassination, Jones dies in the line of duty and Harkness abandons the planet after having to sacrifice his grandson in order to save the remaining children on earth selected to be handed over. The following case files covers previous and current members of the Torchwood Institute.
Jack Harkness begins as a time traveler and former con man from the 51st century. Jack is a man of action, more willing to apply a hands-on solution to a problem. As a consequence of his death and resurrection in the 2005 series finale of ‘Doctor Who’, the character becomes immortal. On Earth, Jack becomes a member of ‘Torchwood’ becoming its leader over a century later. The character is described as both “lethally charming …good looking and utterly captivating”, as well as “flirtatious, cunning, clever and a bit of an action man”. Jack’s personality is relatively light-hearted, although this changes in ‘Torchwood’s first series, where he becomes a darker character.
The series’ lead female character, Gwen, has featured in every episode of the sci-fi series to date in addition to two crossover episodes of Torchwood’s parent show, ‘Doctor Who.’ Gwen is introduced as an audience surrogate, much like the typical “companion” character in ‘Doctor Who’. Within the series narrative, Gwen is a Wales Police officer who discovers the mysterious Torchwood Institute, into which she is recruited by Captain Jack. Gwen operates as a field agent on Torchwood missions. Through her police procedural training, Gwen brings a more humane and rounded approach to her team’s investigations of extraterrestrial cases; she is herself empathetic, grounded, and relatable.
The character of Dr. Owen Harper last appeared onscreen in the Series 2 finale, ‘Exit Wounds.’ Owen is the medical officer and a field agent for Torchwood Three. The first episode sees him recreationally use alien technology to get a woman and her boyfriend to sleep with him. The show’s second series would see Owen experience death, only to be resurrected and forced to adjust to the uncertainty of his un-dead existence, before being disintegrated in his final appearance. On a mission assisted by Dr. Martha Jones of UNIT, Owen is shot dead. Not willing to let Owen die, Jack tracks down and uses the mysterious Resurrection Gauntlet to restore Owen to life. Owen is left in a permanent state of living death. The series finale sees Owen die a second time, when he is caught in a nuclear meltdown caused by Jack’s brother Gray.
Sato is the Cardiff branch’s “technical expert”, described as “quiet but highly intelligent”, and a “computer genius”. Captain Jack rescued her from a UNIT detention center where she was held after she was forced to build a sonic modulator for an unnamed terrorist organisation. In the show’s second season finale, ‘Exit Wounds,’ Toshiko is shot and killed by Gray, Jack Harkness’s unstable younger brother. She dies within minutes of Owen, having been unable to save him from his own death. On account of the decision to kill off her character, Naoko Mori has commented that it “made sense because Tosh has been through so much. She’s come a full circle and had her journey.”
A series regular, Ianto appears in every episode of the program’s first three series. Within the series’ narrative, Ianto serves as general support officer for Torchwood. Initially the regular character with the least screen time, Ianto’s role expanded in response to growing cult appeal. Reserved and efficient, Ianto was often used by writers to add humorous asides to the episodes’ scripts. The character is notable for being the main romantic interest of the series’ lead male, Captain Jack. Established to have had heterosexual relationships prior to the series, Ianto’s story forms a part of the show’s ongoing exploration of human sexuality. The character’s creator Russel T. Davies chose to kill off Ianto in the third series. Professional critics gave the story extremely positive reviews. A number of fans, however, were upset by the death of the character, particularly with regards to the romantic storyline’s abrupt ending.
Updated known affiliate composites:
Rex Matheson is a (CIA) agent who begins to investigate Torchwood after being personally affected by a global supernatural event. Rex’s role as a second male hero in the series leads him to clash with returning male lead, Captain Jack Harkness. Rex’s thinking is morally black-and-white, in contrast to the moral ambiguities and ambivalences of Captain Jack’s worldview.
Rex first appears in ‘Miracle Day’s’ premiere episode, “The New World”. Rex finds himself impaled, but survives and discovers no one in the whole world can die anymore. He and CIA coworker, Esther Drummond, begin investigating the defunct British Torchwood Institute, which leads him to discover its last-surviving agents: former time traveler, Captain Jack Harkness and a Welsh young mother, Gwen Cooper.
Esther is introduced by series producer, Russel T. Davies, alongside Rex Matheson, as a means of introducing new American audiences to the established world of ‘Torchwood.’ Within the series narrative, Esther is a CIA watch analyst who becomes aware of the defunct British ‘Torchwood Institute’ on “Miracle Day”. Her initial standing as a desk-bound computer and technology expert puts her in contrast with the tougher and more action-orientated characters in the series. Esther’s experiences with Torchwood challenge her, and over the series she evolves into a more adept and confident individual who can fight physically as well as intellectually.
Esther first appears informing Rex Matheson about a mysterious message containing the single word “Torchwood”. When Rex is fatally injured, Esther blames herself for his accident, although finds out from surgeon, Vera Juarez, that no-one is able to die.
This agency and its constituents are currently compiling a list of known recent affiliates of the ‘Torchwood’ institute. These findings will become available as soon as the intel has been gathered.