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Torchwood is a British television science fiction and crime drama created by Russell T. Davies. It is about the dealings and activities of the Torchwood Institute. Torchwood approaches crime in a very different way to other science fiction TV Shows. It is darker than X-Files TV show. It is one Britain’s best science fiction shows in decades.

Torchwood Picture

The title ‘Torchwood’ is an anagram of ‘Doctor Who’. The name was used as the codename for the new series of Doctor Who while filming its first few episodes and on the tapes to ensure they were not intercepted. Torchwood name was also used in the Doctor Who TV series and the character Jack has appeared on it numerous times.


Genre: Drama
Running Time: 45 minutes
Creator: Russell T. Davies
John Barrowman, Eve Myles, Burn Gorman, Naoko Mori, Gareth David-Lloyd
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Original Run: October 22, 2006
Seasons: Season 1 shown on TV (Number of Episodes: 13). Season 2 will be shown in 2008 on BBC.


John Barrowman plays Captain Jack Harkness (Leader, Torchwood Three)
Eve Myles plays Gwen Cooper (worked for the police)
Burn Gorman as Dr Owen Harper 9 Medic)
Naoko Mori as Toshiko Sato (Computer Specialist)
Gareth David-Lloyd as Ianto Jones (General Support)

Torchwood is set in Cardiff, presumably a short time after the Doctor Who TV series 2 finale episode ‘Doomsday’, making it sometime in 2007. It follows the Cardiff (Wales) branch of a covert agency called Torchwood which investigates extraterrestrial incidents on Earth and also scavenges alien technology for human use. The public simply knows them as 'special ops' and nothing more.

The Torchwood tv series is based around Torchwood Three, the Cardiff branch (Wales) of the Torchwood Institute, tasked to keep an eye on the spacetime Rift that runs through the city and whatever washes through it.

Torchwood Three is a team of five operatives, led by Jack Harkness (John Barrowman), with Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles) as the "new girl" who joins in the first episode of Season 1 and acts as a point of view character for the viewer. Aside from the team, a recurring character is Rhys Williams, Gwen's live-in boyfriend, who is unaware of the nature of Gwen's new job.


The programme began filming for series 1 on May 1, 2006. An initial 13-part series was commissioned by the BBC as a spin-off from the long-running science fiction series Doctor Who.

The first two episodes of Torchwood premiered on October 22, 2006 at 9pm on BBC Three in the UK with all subsequent episodes scheduled to be shown at 10pm every Sunday evening. Each episode was repeated on BBC Two every Wednesday at 9pm.

On 12 December 2006, the BBC announced that it was commissioning a second series. Season 2 will be shown in 2008 on BBC.

Torchwood Season 3 Revealed

It was announced on 15th August 2008 that the third series set for broadcast on BBC One in Spring 2009 will be titled 'Torchwood: Children Of Earth'. Consisting of one five-part story 'Children of Earth' will be the first venture into the world of Torchwood for Euros Lyn, who previously directed Doctor Who episodes including 'The Runaway Bride' and Steven Moffat's two-parter 'Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead'.

Filming Torchwood:

Torchwood is filmed and set in Cardiff. The team's headquarters, referred to in Doctor Who Confidential as the "Hub", is beneath Roald Dahl Plass in Cardiff Bay — formerly known as the Oval Basin. This was where the TARDIS landed in the Doctor Who episode Boom Town, and the location of the spacetime rift established in The ‘Unquiet Dead’.

Episode Guide:

Series 1

1 Everything Changes
2 Day One
3 Ghost Machine
4 Cyberwoman
5 Small Worlds
6 Countrycide
7 Greeks Bearing Gifts
8 They Keep Killing Suzie
9 Random Shoes
10 Out of Time
11 Combat
12 Captain Jack Harkness
13 End of Days

Series 2

The second series of Torchwood will also comprise 13 episodes. Filming started on April 30, 2007. The second season will feature Torchwood's encounter with a rogue Time Agent, a tragic time-slip from World War One and a memory-thief who uncovers long-forgotten secrets among the entire team. Freema Agyeman is set to star in three episodes as Martha Jones, a character from Doctor Who. The second series will be shown on BBC in January 2008.

Series 3 - Torchwood: Children of Earth

In one epic story told over five nights the new series,

Torchwood: Children of Earth re-joins Captain Jack (John Barrowman), Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles) and Ianto Jones (Gareth David-Lloyd) who are still coming to terms with the death of two of their closest friends. Despite their pain, they have a job to do.

This time they are faced with their fiercest threat to date - one which throws the future of Torchwood and the entire human race spiralling into danger. They battle against the odds but do they stand a chance of saving mankind?

to be broadcast for the first time on BBC One later this year, promises to be Torchwood's greatest adrenalin-fuelled, high octane adventure yet.

The third series will be shown on BBC in later 2009. Torchwood will be back on BBC One at 9pm later this year.

Doctor Who and Torchwood

References to Torchwood and the Torchwood Institute have appeared in various  Doctor Who episodes broadcast in Season 1 (2005), Season 2 (2006) and Season 3 (2007). Some of which set up the premise for the Torchwood series.

Season 1

Boom Town - The "invisible lift" that serves as the back door to "The Hub" exists in a blind spot that makes it unnoticed by passers-by. Jack says that it could have been formed by a "dimensionally transcendental Chameleon Circuit" that "welded its perception properties to a spatio-temporal rift" in that area. This particular location was the landing site for the TARDIS at the beginning of this episode.

The Parting of the Ways - Jack survives getting shot in the head in the Everything Changes (Season 1, Episode 1). Jack recounts, very vaguely, the story of him once dying and then coming back to life, a reference to the events of The Parting of the Ways, in which Jack is exterminated by the Daleks resurrected by Rose, using the power of the Time Vortex. As a result of this, Jack now cannot be killed. He also hints that he needs to see a 'Doctor', “the right kind of Doctor" — about his immortality.

The Christmas Invasion - When talking to Gwen Cooper in Everything Changes, Jack Harkness mentions the "great big spaceship hovering over London on Christmas Day." The weapon that destroys the Sycorax ship at the end of the episode is a product of Torchwood.

Season 2

Tooth and Claw:  The Doctor Who episode ‘Tooth and Claw’ establishes that the Torchwood Institute was founded in 1879 by Queen Victoria  after her encounter with the Doctor in order to protect the British Empire from extraterrestrial threats.

Army of Ghosts and Doomsday:  Torchwood made its first full appearance in these two episodes. The episode ‘Army of Ghosts’ introduces the modern-day Torchwood Institute in Canary Wharf, London.

The Torchwood pilot episode ‘Everything Changes’ Jack reveals that the Torchwood Tower seen in this two-parter was Torchwood One and refers to "the battle of Canary Wharf", in which the Daleks and the Cybermen fought and Torchwood One was destroyed, the second Torchwood  is a small office in Glasgow staffed by a "very strange man", the Hub in Cardiff  (Wales) is Torchwood Three and Torchwood Four is inexplicably lost.

Season 3

Utopia (Part 1):  Jack hears the sound of the TARDIS and runs to Roald Dahl Plass where he jumps aboard a dematerialising TARDIS. The TARDIS then tries to shake him off, going all the way to the year one hundred trillion. This is the start of a three episode adventure.

Jack reunites with the Doctor and meets his new companion Martha. After some flirting with Martha, an inquiry about Rose's death and some discussion about Jack's immortality, all three find themselves stranded at the end of the universe while the Master escapes with the Doctor's TARDIS. At the end of the episode the a stranded in the future.

Sound of Drums (Part 2) and Last of the Time Lords (Part 3): The Doctor fixes Jack's Vortex Manipulator to return them to 2008, where the Master has become Prime Minister of Britain, Mr Harold "Harry" Saxon. They use the Vortex Manipulator to teleport to an airborne aircraft carrier, the Valiant, but the Master manages to capture Jack and the Doctor for a whole year until the Doctor and Martha's plan finally results in time being rolled back to when the Master first captured them. After the Master is defeated, Jack is offered full-time companionship with the Doctor but declines, instead deciding that his team in Cardiff needs him far more. The Doctor subsequently deactivates his time travel device, just to be safe.

Near the end of the 'Last of the Time Lords' episode, Jack reveals his youthful nickname, 'the Face of Boe' (the Boeshane Peninsula being his early home), implies that Jack may eventually become the Face of Boe — a disembodied, giant head in a jar in the Dr Who tv series.

Books / Novels:

Border Princes by Dan Abnett,
Another Life by Peter Anghelides
Slow Decay by Andrew Lane.

Did you know?

Torchwood is not the first Doctor Who spin-off. The first to make it to air was K-9 and Company TV Show (1981) featuring the characters K9 and Sarah Jane Smith. There are plans for another spin off from Doctor Who called Sarah Jane Adventures.

* The Canadian network CBC is co-producer of the series, with exclusive rights to broadcast the North American premiere of the show.

* Torchwood centres around a team, whereas Doctor Who centres on a single character and companion.

* The theme music was created by Murray Gold.

Torchwood Links

BBC - Torchwood - The Official Site homepageTorchwood follows the adventures of a team of investigators as they use alien technology to solve crime: both alien and human. Also source of picture of this page.

Torchwood Made in Wales: by BBC Wales

Torchwood Organisation:

Torchwood TV : Torchwood news, commentary & secrets:

Torchwood Picture:

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Updated: Tuesday 1st, April, 2014

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