Torchwood is a vastly powerful organisation, as such it possesses:
The Torchwood Institute, or simply Torchwood, is a fictional secret organisation from the British science fiction television series Doctor Who and its spin-off series Torchwood. It was established in 1879 by Queen Victoria after the events of "Tooth and Claw". Its prime directive is to defend Earth against supernatural and extraterrestrial threats. It is later revealed in "Army of Ghosts" that 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. Within Torchwood an unofficial slogan evolved: "If it's alien, it's ours". According to one base director, Yvonne Hartman, its nationalist attitude includes refusing to use metric units.
While described as "beyond the UN", the Torchwood Institute is seen to cooperate with UNIT to some extent. There appears to have been some rapport with the Prime Minister, although it is noted by Harriet Jones in "The Christmas Invasion" that she is not meant to know of Torchwood. Those who have come in contact with Torchwood primarily believe it to be a special forces team. They appear to maintain this illusion by using false witnesses, or by sectioning any journalists who threaten to expose the truth, and via the use of memory-altering drugs. Following a major incident which led to the destruction of Torchwood One, Jack Harkness rebuilds Torchwood to become less confrontational and more secretive in honour of the Doctor.
The name "Torchwood" came from an anagram of "Doctor Who", of which tapes of series 1 of the Doctor Who TV series were labelled to prevent the footage from being leaked. While writing Doctor Who series 2, head writer and executive producer Russell T Davies established the word "Torchwood"—which was the name of an institute previously mentioned in the episode "Bad Wolf" (2005)—in his script for the 2005 Christmas Special "The Christmas Invasion", both as a motif of the series similar to the "Bad Wolf" motif in series 1, and as a lead-in to the Torchwood spin-off series Davies was planning for BBC Three. Torchwood was conceived by Davies as a ruthless but professional organisation helmed by a "soulless" woman based on someone Davies had met. He originally based the Torchwood seen in the Doctor Who series 2 episodes "Army of Ghosts" and "Doomsday" (both aired 2006) over a rift in Cardiff introduced in "The Unquiet Dead" (2005), but while developing the Torchwood spin-off series over the summer of 2005, he relocated the Torchwood seen in "Army of Ghosts" and "Doomsday" to London, while maintaining the existence of a Cardiff branch for the Torchwood series he was preparing.
The Institute was founded by Queen Victoria in 1879, following the events of the Doctor Who episode "Tooth and Claw". While staying at Torchwood House, the Scottish estate of Sir Robert MacLeish, the Queen (Pauline Collins) was attacked by a werewolf, in reality an alien intelligence that planned to infect her with its consciousness by biting her. The werewolf was ultimately dispatched, thanks to the efforts of the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) and the sacrifice of Sir Robert.