The Torchwood Institute was created in 1879 by order of Queen Victoria. Its mission: to safeguard the British Isles from extraterrestrial incursion, and to acquire alien technology for the benefit of the Empire.

Despite its apparent destruction in modern times, something of Torchwood has survived, and continues to operate in Cardiff on the site of a rift in time and space, the existence of which dates back more than a century.

Its stories are told in Torchwood, a Doctor Who spin-off which debuted in October 2006.

Season One: Little Deaths
First appearances of Gwen, Owen, Ianto, Rhys and Suzie.
Season Two: The Scurf Of Yesterday
First appearances of Captain John Hart, and Geraint and Mary Cooper. Martha briefly joins Torchwood.
Season Three: All Fall Down
A weeklong broadcast event consisting of a single five-part story.
Season Four: Miracle Day
First appearances of Rex and Esther.

Season One: Little Deaths

The Characters

A former companion of the Doctor's, Captain Jack Harkness travelled back to the nineteenth century and was compelled to become a Torchwood agent. He eventually became the leader of its Cardiff branch.

John Barrowman played Jack from Everything Changes in October 2006 to The Blood Line in September 2011.

Jack Harkness

A former Cardiff police officer, Gwen Cooper was recruited to Torchwood after helping expose Suzie Costello as a traitor to the team.

Eve Myles played Gwen from Everything Changes in October 2006 to The Blood Line in September 2011. She also portrayed the character in the Doctor Who adventure The Stolen Earth / Journey's End.

Gwen Cooper

Owen Harper was Torchwood's medical doctor. He was killed in action but subsequently resurrected, and continued working with Torchwood thereafter.

Burn Gorman played Owen from Everything Changes in October 2006 to Exit Wounds in April 2008.

Owen Harper

Toshiko Sato was Torchwood's resident technical expert.

Naoko Mori played Tosh from Everything Changes in October 2006 to Exit Wounds in April 2008. She also portrayed the character in the Doctor Who episode Aliens Of London.

Toshiko Sato

Ianto Jones was originally Torchwood's office assistant, but eventually became a fully-fledged member of the team.

Gareth David-Lloyd played Ianto from Everything Changes in October 2006 to Children Of Earth in July 2009. He also portrayed the character in Doctor Who in The Stolen Earth / Journey's End.

Ianto Jones

Rhys Williams was Gwen's fiance and later husband. Originally kept in the dark about Gwen's new occupation, he eventually learned the truth and played an active role in a number of Torchwood cases.

Kai Owen played Rhys from Everything Changes in October 2006 to The Blood Line in September 2011.

Rhys Williams

The Production Team

The Torchwood producer's chair was originally slated to be filled by Doctor Who director James Hawes, who was forced to leave the project when the start of filming on Torchwood shifted from January to May 2006. He was replaced by Richard Stokes. On some occasions when multiple episodes were being filmed simultaneously, assistant producer Sophie Fante was promoted to full producer as well. The executive producers, as with Doctor Who, were Julie Gardner and Russell T Davies.

The Stories
Everything Changes
Everything Changes by Russell T Davies, directed by Brian Kelly
A serial killer is on the loose in Cardiff. At the scene of one of the stabbings, PC Gwen Cooper is shocked as she witnesses one of the victims being brought briefly back to life by a mysterious group of investigators known only as Torchwood. Becoming obsessed with Torchwood and its leader, Captain Jack Harkness, Gwen finds herself spiralling into a world of terrifying monsters and alien artefacts which may change her life forever.
Day One
Day One by Chris Chibnall, directed by Brian Kelly
When Torchwood investigates a meteor impact, Gwen accidentally looses an alien entity contained within, which feeds on the energies of sexual climax. The creature possesses a young woman named Carys Fletcher, who must now kill men through intercourse or perish herself. With Jack, Tosh and Owen fixated only on the alien being, it is up to Gwen to try to save Carys' life.
Ghost Machine
Ghost Machine by Helen Raynor, directed by Colin Teague
Gwen recovers an errant piece of alien technology which provides glimpses into the past. While experimenting with the device, Owen witnesses an horrific rape and murder which has gone unsolved for more than four decades. As the rest of the Torchwood team investigates the machine's origins, Owen teeters on obsession with bringing the killer to justice.
Cyberwoman by Chris Chibnall, directed by James Strong
Not all of the humans converted into Cybermen during the last invasion were killed. One has survived, and she used to be Ianto's girlfriend, Lisa. Now half-human and half-Cyberman, Lisa has been hidden in the bowels of the Torchwood Hub until Ianto can find a way to restore her to the way she was. But can Lisa really be saved -- or is she lost to him forever?
Small Worlds
Small Worlds by Peter J Hammond, directed by Alice Troughton
In a neighbourhood near an ancient Cardiff wood, strange forces are at work. A paedophile is suffocated by rose petals. School bullies are assailed by strange winds. Ethereal laughter follows a lonely young girl. And Jack must confront the seemingly magical creatures whose very existence seems to be intertwined with his own.
Countrycide by Chris Chibnall, directed by Andy Goddard
People have been disappearing without a trace in rural Wales, and the Torchwood team becomes worried that the Rift has widened, spreading alien activity across the countryside. Investigating, they find a village seemingly deserted -- leaving behind only bodies, stripped of their flesh. But are the murderers really extraterrestrial in origin, or is this a peculiarly human form of horror?
Greeks Bearing Gifts
Greeks Bearing Gifts by Toby Whithouse, directed by Colin Teague
In 1812 Cardiff, a prostitute named Mary fleeing a murderous soldier comes upon an eerie light. Two centuries later, a body and an alien device are uncovered on a building site in the city -- and the same woman is watching the excavation. Soon, Mary has inveigled herself into Tosh's life, giving her a pendant which allows the wearer to hear people's thoughts. But what are Mary's true intentions? And can Toshiko handle the enormous power she now wields?
They Keep Killing Suzie
They Keep Killing Suzie by Paul Tomalin and Daniel McCulloch, directed by James Strong
When a serial killer begins writing the word “Torchwood” in his victims' blood, Jack reluctantly agrees to let Gwen use the resurrection glove which had been the undoing of Suzie Costello. Soon, the words of the dead lead Torchwood to believe that the slayings are connected to Suzie herself. Jack is faced with the grim prospect of allowing the glove to be used one more time -- to revive his former friend and betrayer.
Random Shoes
Random Shoes by Jacquetta May, directed by James Erskine
A twentysomething UFO spotter named Eugene Jones awakens to discover that he's dead -- the apparent victim of a hit-and-run accident -- and invisible to the living. His recent past a mystery to himself, Eugene is desperate to uncover the events which led up to his demise. But he's not the only one: Gwen Cooper has also become absorbed by Eugene's strange case, and stands as the dead man's only hope.
Out Of Time
Out Of Time by Catherine Tregenna, directed by Alice Troughton
An airplane slips through a rift in time, bringing it from 1953 to the present day. With no way to return the craft's three passengers to their proper place in history, the Torchwood team is left with the task of helping them acclimate themselves to living more than half a century in their own future. But not everyone is prepared to make the adjustment.
Combat by Noel Clarke, directed by Andy Goddard
Jack and Gwen learn that Weevils are being abducted by humans, and soon discover the body of a man who seems to have been murdered by Weevils. Owen, still reeling from Diane's departure, is despatched undercover to investigate, and soon traces the kidnappings to real estate mogul Mark Lynch. Through Lynch, Owen descends into a sadistic underground world -- but will he be repulsed by this way of life, or embrace it?
Captain Jack Harkness
Captain Jack Harkness by Catherine Tregenna, directed by Ashley Way
While investigating a derelict music hall, Jack and Tosh find themselves transported back in time to the midst of the Cardiff Blitz in 1941. In this time period, the music hall is playing host to a group of air force pilots enjoying their final day of leave -- and much to Toshiko's astonishment, one of them is named Captain Jack Harkness. Tosh must find a way to return to the present even as Jack's secrets threaten to come to light, and a mysterious figure watches the events in both centuries.
End Of Days
End Of Days by Chris Chibnall, directed by Ashley Way
Owen's manipulation of the Rift has perverted time across the globe, and both past and future are impinging upon the present. Bubonic plague threatens Cardiff, mighty spaceships hang in the sky, and the dead come back to haunt the Torchwood team. Gwen realises that the enigmatic Bilis Manger is the key to these events -- but is he a friend or an enemy? And what sort of being dwells in the darkness beyond the Rift?

Making History

With the revival of Doctor Who proving enormously successful, it was decided that the series would make an ideal launching pad for a spin-off series. Once again under the aegis of Doctor Who producer Russell T Davies, the groundwork for the adult-oriented Torchwood was laid at the end of the parent programme's 2006 season, most notably in the climactic Army Of Ghosts / Doomsday. Bringing back the popular Jack Harkness character from the tail end of the previous season, Torchwood became a bona fide hit in the UK's burgeoning digital cable arena, airing on BBC3.

Season Two: The Scurf Of Yesterday

The Characters

Another former companion of the Doctor's, Martha Jones was a UNIT doctor seconded to Torchwood to investigate the Pharm. She briefly remained with the team when Owen Harper's death deprived them of a medic.

Freema Agyeman played Martha from Reset in February 2008 to A Day In The Death in February 2008.

Dr Martha Jones

The Stories
Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang
Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang by Chris Chibnall, directed by Ashley Way
When Jack abruptly reappears after being missing for weeks, the rest of the Torchwood team reacts with no small degree of suspicion. Matters are compounded when Jack is soon joined by the roguish Captain John Hart, his former Time Agent partner, who claims to be tracking three radiation bombs which have tumbled through the Rift to Cardiff. Accompanied by Hart, Torchwood splits up to recover the bombs... but can John Hart really be trusted?
Sleeper by James Moran, directed by Colin Teague
Torchwood is called in to investigate a burglary in which the robbers have been horribly injured under mysterious circumstances. One of their victims, Beth, turns out to be an alien sleeper agent -- a soldier planted on Earth with false memories in order to gather information for an invasion. With no recollection of her past life, Beth is adamant that she retain her human persona... but the rest of her sleeper cell has already been activated.
To The Last Man
To The Last Man by Helen Raynor, directed by Andy Goddard
Stored amongst Torchwood's cryogenic caskets is a World War I soldier named Tommy Brocklehurst. Revived for just one day every year, Tommy has gradually developed a close relationship with the normally private Toshiko. But Tommy has been preserved within Torchwood because, at some point, he will be the key to preventing past and future from colliding through the Rift. And when ghosts start appearing in the hospital where he was once a patient, it appears that Tommy's time is finally up.
Meat by Catherine Tregenna, directed by Colin Teague
One of the lorry drivers for Rhys' haulage company has a fatal traffic accident. When Rhys arrives on the scene, he's shocked to find Gwen there with the rest of Torchwood, looking into the discovery of an alien form of meat within the truck. Frustrated by his fiancee's secrecy, Rhys conducts an investigation of his own, only to draw Torchwood's suspicion regarding his own complicity in the mystery.
Adam by Catherine Tregenna, directed by Andy Goddard
A creature emerges from the Rift with the power to manipulate memory. Calling itself “Adam Smith”, it infiltrates Torchwood, assuming the role of Jack's confidante and Toshiko's lover. But when Adam's interference causes Gwen to completely forget her relationship with Rhys, and Jack becomes haunted by memories of his distant childhood and his lost brother Gray, Ianto slowly realises that something is very wrong with their erstwhile teammate.
Reset by JC Wilsher, directed by Ashley Way
Torchwood begins investigating a series of deaths in which the victims' blood has been intentionally destroyed. To assist his team, Jack brings in Martha Jones -- now a fully-fledged doctor and working for UNIT. Together, they discover that some of the victims had recovered from normally incurable illnesses after participating in trials of a mysterious drug called Reset. To learn the true nature of Reset, Martha agrees to go undercover as a trial volunteer herself.
Martha remains with Torchwood in the wake of Owen's shooting.
Dead Man Walking
Dead Man Walking by Matt Jones, directed by Andy Goddard
Out of desperation, Jack retrieves the second resurrection glove and uses it to revive Owen. But somehow, Owen stays alive, subsisting on energy drawn from an unknown source -- an energy that's gradually turning him into something other than human. Still aided by Martha Jones, and hunted by Weevils who believe Owen to be their master, the members of Torchwood begin to fear that Owen is being transformed into a conduit for an entity embodying death itself.
A Day In The Death
A Day In The Death by Joseph Lidster, directed by Andy Goddard
Suspended from duty until Martha can determine exactly what has happened to him, Owen's life -- such as it is -- is becoming increasingly unbearable. He's unable to eat, drink, or even heal himself, which means that any injuries he suffers will be permanent. He can't sleep or have sex. His entire existence seems pointless. But when Torchwood detects massive energy readings from the heavily-guarded mansion of an elderly collector of alien artefacts, it may take a dead man to get to the bottom of things.
With Owen once again a functioning member of the team, Martha leaves Torchwood to rejoin UNIT.
Something Borrowed
Something Borrowed by Phil Ford, directed by Ashley Way
The night before her wedding, Gwen suffers a bite from a man-eating, shape-shifting Nostrovite before Jack manages to kill it. The next morning, she wakes up to find herself pregnant -- very pregnant. Despite her unnatural state, Gwen is determined to go ahead with the wedding. But what she doesn't realise is that the Nostrovite has a mate, and it's intent on recovering its spawn from Gwen's belly.
From Out Of The Rain
From Out Of The Rain by Peter J Hammond, directed by Jonathan Fox Bassett
Ianto, Gwen and Owen are in the audience at a classic movie theatre when the film seemingly takes on a life of its own, repeatedly playing clips of an eerie carnival show from the early twentieth century. Before the projector can be switched off, two figures from the reel actually step off the screen and escape into the real world. Jack recognises them as sinister figures he's encountered before: the Night Travellers, who have the power to literally drain the breath from a person's body.
Adrift by Chris Chibnall, directed by Mark Everest
Andy, Gwen's former partner on the police force, asks her to look into the disappearance of a teenaged boy named Jonah some months earlier, whom surveillance footage depicts as abruptly vanishing into thin air. Soon, however, Gwen discovers that Jonah is part of an epidemic of missing persons in the Cardiff area. With Toshiko's help, she determines that the Rift may lie at the centre of the problem -- but Jack is strangely adamant that Gwen abandon her investigation.
Fragments by Chris Chibnall, directed by Jonathan Fox Bassett
The Torchwood team is lured into an explosive trap in a deserted building. As they lay upon the brink of death, their lives -- and especially how the circumstances of their initiation into Torchwood -- flash before their eyes: Jack is hunted by the Victorian-era Torchwood, Tosh is blackmailed into stealing government secrets, Ianto pleads for a job in the wake of Torchwood One's obliteration, and Owen finds himself involved in a tragic medical mystery.
Exit Wounds
Exit Wounds by Chris Chibnall, directed by Ashley Way
Captain John Hart sets off Rift events and massive explosions all across Cardiff, forcing the Torchwood team to split up to handle the crisis. While Gwen deals with a police force in chaos and Owen attempts to avert meltdown at a nuclear reactor, Jack confronts John, only to learn that he is being manipulated by Jack's brother, Gray. Having been tortured for years by a sadistic alien race, Gray blames Jack for his fate -- and now desires nothing more than to destroy everything Jack holds dear.
Toshiko is fatally shot by Gray, while Owen dies after being engulfed in vented radioactive gas to prevent the meltdown.

Making History

With Torchwood proving a monster hit on BBC3 during its initial run, it was decided to bring the programme back for a second season, and this time broadcast it on BBC2 (although some episodes would still debut on BBC3). To further attract viewers, Martha Jones -- who had accompanied the Doctor throughout Doctor Who's 2007 season -- was added to the cast list for three episodes. At the end of the year, Torchwood experienced its first regular cast departures, as Naoko Mori and Burn Gorman left the show.

Season Three: All Fall Down

The Production Team

With Richard Stokes having left Torchwood to pursue other opportunities, Peter Bennett was appointed to take his place. Bennett had been a first assistant director on several episodes of both Torchwood and Doctor Who.

The Story
Children Of Earth
Children Of Earth by Russell T Davies, John Fay and James Moran, directed by Euros Lyn
Forty-four years ago, a mysterious alien race known only as “the 456” kidnapped a group of Scottish orphans. Now the 456 are coming back, broadcasting the message of their return through every child on the face of the Earth -- including Jack's grandson and Ianto's niece and nephew. But Jack's ties to the events run deeper still, causing forces within the British government to conspire against Torchwood. Driven to the brink of desperation, with the entire world in peril, Jack is forced to make the most terrible decision of his very long life.
Ianto is killed by a virus unleashed by the 456, while an embittered Jack departs Earth for the stars, seemingly marking the end of Torchwood.

Making History

Torchwood completed its rise up the ranks of BBC broadcasting by premiering on BBC1 with a season unprecedented in the history of the Doctor Who franchise. The programme's third year on the air was comprised of just a single story: Children Of Earth, a five-part event which was broadcast over a single week. The risky experiment paid off, as Torchwood attracted more attention than ever before.

Season Four: Miracle Day

The Characters

A rising star within the Central Intelligence Agency, Rex Matheson found himself saved from death by the timely intervention of Miracle Day, and then thrust into an uneasy alliance with Torchwood to uncover the conspiracy behind the Miracle.

Mekhi Phifer played Rex from The New World in July 2011 to The Blood Line in September 2011.

Rex Matheson

Rex Matheson's CIA analyst, Esther Drummond was forced to go underground with Torchwood alongside her superior as they investigated the cataclysmic Miracle Day.

Alexa Havins played Esther from The New World in July 2011 to The Blood Line in September 2011.

Esther Drummond

The Production Team

With Torchwood now a BBC/Starz co-production made chiefly in Hollywood, its production hierarchy changed considerably for Season Four. Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner remained executive producers, joined by Jane Tranter, the executive vice-president of BBC Worldwide Productions who had been instrumental in the creation of Torchwood in her former role as the BBC's Head of Fiction. Named co-executive producer was Vlad Wolynetz of BBC Worldwide, while various scriptwriters and directors also claimed an executive producer credit on individual episodes. The programme's new producer was Kelly Manners. He shared this credit on some episodes with Brian Minchin, who oversaw production in the UK. Minchin had been an assistant producer on Children Of Earth and was also the producer of The Sarah Jane Adventures.

The Stories
The New World
The New World by Russell T Davies, directed by Bharat Nalluri
One day, all over the world, death... stops. From CIA Agent Rex Matheson to death row inmate Oswald Danes, injuries and disease that should be fatal somehow fail to kill the victim. At the exact same time, an e-mail is sent out to the CIA containing just a single word: “Torchwood”. With the help of his analyst, Esther Drummond, Rex tracks down Gwen Cooper, now in hiding on the coast of Wales with Rhys and their baby, Anwen. But somebody else is on Gwen's trail, forcing an explosive reunion with Captain Jack Harkness.
Rendition by Doris Egan, directed by Billy Gierhart
As Rex escorts Jack and Gwen to the United States, sinister elements within the CIA mobilise to stop Torchwood before it can even begin to investigate the Miracle. Esther finds herself on the run from those she trusted, while Jack's newfound mortality is put to the test when he is poisoned in mid-flight. Meanwhile, Jilly Kitzinger, a public relations representative for pharmaceutical company PhiCorp, has designs on both Oscar Danes and Dr Juarez. And, all over the world, the Miracle raises questions of ethics and morality that threaten to fundamentally change the nature of human society.
Dead Of Night
Dead Of Night by Jane Espenson, directed by Billy Gierhart
Even as they struggle to work as a team, Jack, Gwen, Rex and Esther begin investigating the Miracle. A trail of clues leads them to a warehouse containing a massive stockpile of Phi-Corp pharmaceuticals -- a cache the company began amassing more than a year before Miracle Day. At the same time, Oswald Danes becomes the champion of a movement that demands the deregulation of prescription drugs, an event which would send Phi-Corp profits skyrocketing. It becomes clear that Phi-Corp knew of the Miracle in advance -- but are they its cause, or merely its beneficiaries?
Escape To LA
Escape To LA by Jim Gray and John Shiban, directed by Billy Gierhart
Torchwood sets its sights on top secret data hidden in a Phi-Corp installation in Los Angeles. Before they leave Washington, however, Esther's decision to visit her sister -- whose psychological problems have been exacerbated by the events following Miracle Day -- draws a Phi-Corp assassin to their trail. Meanwhile, Oswald finds his status as media sensation challenged by a conservative politician who advocates a grim fate for the “living deceased”. And, in Wales, the next stage in Phi-Corp's exploitation of the Miracle has very personal consequences for the Torchwood team.
The Categories Of Life
The Categories Of Life by Jane Espenson, directed by Guy Ferland
As the ill are moved into camps all across the world, the United Nations announces that life has been redefined into three categories: Category 1 (the unrecoverable), Category 2 (the ill who will heal) and Category 3 (the healthy). In California, Rex and Esther are joined by Dr Juarez as they infiltrate one of the camps in an effort to discover the fate of the Category 1 patients. In Wales, Gwen and Rhys go undercover in an attempt to rescue her ailing father. And as Oswald prepares to speak at a massive “Miracle Rally”, Jack gives him one last opportunity for redemption.
The Middle Men
The Middle Men by John Shiban, directed by Guy Ferland
At the San Pedro Overflow Camp, Rex desperately tries to escape with video footage revealing the truth about the Category 1 patients, even as Esther's search for Dr Juarez places herself in danger. In Wales, Gwen and Rhys find themselves racing against time to save Geraint Cooper from incineration. And in Los Angeles, Jack confronts the Chief Operating Officer of Phi-Corp, only to discover that the conspiracy behind Miracle Day is vaster and deeper than he had previously believed. But even as Torchwood strikes a blow against the Miracle, the forces working against them draw ever closer.
Immortal Sins
Immortal Sins by Jane Espenson, directed by Gwyneth Horder-Payton
With her family held hostage, Gwen kidnaps Jack and prepares to deliver him to their enemies. In so doing, they discover that the Miracle has a connection to Jack's past, and a man named Angelo Colasanto, whom he first met in 1927 New York. In Angelo, Jack saw an opportunity to share his adventures in much the same way that Rose healed the loneliness of the Doctor's travels. But Angelo became horrified when he discovered the nature of Jack's immortality. The result was one of the most terrible days of Jack's life, with consequences that would echo all the way to the present.
End Of The Road
End Of The Road by Ryan Scott and Jane Espenson, directed by Gwyneth Horder-Payton
In the home of Angelo Colasanto, the Torchwood team forges an uneasy alliance with the CIA. They learn that the true force behind the Miracle is a coalition of three families called Ablemarch, Costerdane and Frines, who have erased themselves from the history books after witnessing Jack's torture in 1928. But even as the Three Families close in on Torchwood, Jack realises that Angelo has found a way to counteract the Miracle, using technology recovered from the ruins of the Hub. And as the world economy teeters on the brink of disaster, Oswald and Jilly's path diverges suddenly and violently.
The Gathering
The Gathering by John Fay, directed by Guy Ferland
Two months after the Torchwood team was scattered across both sides of the Atlantic, they are brought back together by none other than Oswald Danes. Oswald has unwittingly unearthed a clue in Jilly Kitzinger's files which leads Torchwood to conclude that the mysterious Blessing can be found in two places, situated on diametrically opposite points on the globe: Shanghai, China and Buenos Aires, Argentina. As the countries of the world plunge into economic depression and political fascism, Torchwood embarks on a final mission to stop the Miracle and save mankind.
The Blood Line
The Blood Line by Jane Espenson and Russell T Davies, directed by Billy Gierhart
On opposite sides of the world, the Torchwood team finally comes face to face with the Blessing. It is a seam of apparent nothingness which runs through the heart of the planet and could be as old, connected in some way to mankind's morphogenic field. This is the mechanism by which the Three Families changed humanity, using Jack's blood to make the population of the Earth immortal. But in order to reverse the Miracle, all of the Torchwood members will have to stare death in the face... and not all of them will survive the ordeal.

Making History

Torchwood took a bold step into new territory with its fourth season, as the BBC explored co-production arrangements with American partners. After being considered but rejected by the Fox network, which had aired the 1996 Doctor Who TV movie, only June 7th, 2010 it was announced that Torchwood Season Four would be co-produced and aired on the Starz Entertainment cable channel.

Russell T Davies saw this as an opportunity to take Torchwood not just to America, but abroad, with a story spanning the UK, the United States, Asia and South America. Like Children Of Earth, Season Four would be comprised of a single story -- but this time it would be twice the length, fully ten episodes long.

The co-production arrangement dictated that Starz would premiere each episode, with the BBC airing the same installment within the next week. As such, Torchwood Season Four debuted Stateside, on July 8th, 2011. It began airing in Britain six days later, on July 14th.