The Torchwood Institute is the name of a secret organization set up to combat alien threats to the human race. Initially founded by Queen Victoria herself, Torchwood's head office was based in the Canary Wharf tower in London's docklands. However, a devastating alien attack [shown in the Doctor Who episode "Doomsday"] left virtually the entire staff dead, the organization without a leader, and the tiny Cardiff field office left to defend humanity on its own. Well, almost on its own...

Torchwood's small Cardiff office (known as 'The Hub') was established at the end of the 19th Century, on top of a rift in space and time. People, objects and creatures from across the Universe and from all periods of time often find themselves 'washed up' in Cardiff - and it's Torchwood's job to assess if they pose a threat to humanity, and to either capture or destroy them if they do or to take care of them if they don’t. Torchwood often works in partnership with UNIT, the Unified Intelligence Taskforce - a large-scale international armed force with many decades of experience in fighting alien invasions on Earth.


101. "Everything Changes" 
102. "Day One" 
103. "Ghost Machine" 
104. "Cyberwoman" 
105. "Small Worlds" 
106. "Countrycide" 
107. "Greeks Bearing Gifts" 
108. "They Keep Killing Suzie" 
109. "Random Shoes" 
110. "Out of Time" 
111. "Combat" 
112. "Captain Jack Harkness" 
113. "End of Days" 


201. "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang"
202. "Sleeper"
203. "To the Last Man" 
204. "Meat"
205. "Adam" 
206. "Reset" 
207. "Dead Man Walking" 
208. "A Day in the Death" 
209. "Something Borrowed" 
210. "From Out of the Rain" 
211. "Adrift" 
212. "Fragments"
213. "Exit Wounds"


CAPTAIN JACK HARKNESS (played by John Barrowman)

Jack is the leader of Torchwood Three. A former Time Agent born in the 51st century, Jack had two years of his memories wiped by the Time Agency and subsequently became a con-man operating in the 20th century, where he stole the name of "Captain Jack Harkness"; his real name is unknown. After contact with The Doctor in Doctor Who, Jack reformed and changed his ways to do good works with Torchwood where he has become a member and later the leader of the Institute's Cardiff branch. He joined Torchwood in the 19th Century by time-travelling there. As a result of his reluctant immortality, Jack has lived a long life, in which he has seen the loss of his brother Gray, countless deaths and many different lovers over the years, both men and women.

GWEN COOPER (played by Eve Myles)

Gwen was recruited into Torchwood Three in the series premiere "Everything Changes". A policewoman, partnered with PC Andy Davidson, Gwen by the second series becomes elevated to the team's second-in-command, after serving as leader during Jack's absence. Despite their relationship being tested by Gwen's dishonesty, feelings for Jack Harkness and a tempestuous affair with Owen Harper, Gwen and her live-in boyfriend Rhys eventually get married.

DOCTOR OWEN HARPER (played by Burn Gorman)

Owen is Torchwood Three's medical officer. Having lost his fiancĂ©e to an alien parasite, Owen's genius and determination is recognised by Captain Jack and he is recruited into the Institute. Owen would go on to have many short-lived sexual relationships with women such as Suzie Costello and Gwen Cooper, but remained largely indifferent to the affections of colleague Toshiko Sato. In Torchwood series 2, Owen is killed by Aaron Copley, and having been resurrected with alien technology is left in a state of living death.

TOSHIKO SATO (played by Naoko Mori)

Tosh is Torchwood Three's technical expert and computer specialist. Toshiko is quiet, fiercely private and professional but harbours a crush on colleague Owen Harper. A fantastic genius, she was recruited into Torchwood after being imprisoned by a similar organisation, UNIT, from whom she stole design plans for a "sonic modulator" in a bid to free her captured mother. Working for Torchwood Three, Toshiko perfected the "Rift Manipulator" device for the organisation. The character first appeared in the Doctor Who episode "Aliens of London", although it was not established what she was doing (on a mission, covering for team medic Owen) in that episode until her final appearance in the Torchwood episode "Exit Wounds".

IANTO JONES (played by Gareth David-Lloyd)

Ianto is Torchwood Three's support man. Ianto's job initially involves managing clean-up operations concerning Torchwood's various activities and providing tea and coffee, although his role later expands to accompanying the team on field missions. Having transferred to Torchwood Three from the head branch in London (Torchwood One), Ianto's motives at first are simply to house his partially cyber-converted girlfriend Lisa Hallett, who later breaks loose and is exterminated by the team in "Cyberwoman". He enters into a sexual relationship with Jack in the first series, which meets with mixed reactions from the other characters; Owen, for example, characterises him as Jack's "part time shag".

SUZIE COSTELLO (played by Indira Varma)

Suzie is a principal character in the first episode "Everything Changes". The second-in-command of Torchwood Three, she has been researching a piece of alien technology, a glove which has the ability to resurrect creatures that have recently died, but only for a short period of time.

Origins and pictures from BBC America:

Character descriptions from Wikipedia: