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Army of Ghosts
Series: Doctor Who -
TV Stories
Series Number: Series 2
Story Number: 177a
Doctor: Tenth Doctor
Companions: Rose Tyler
Mickey Smith (guest)
Setting: London, 2007
Writer: Russell T Davies
Director: Graeme Harper
Producer: Phil Collinson
Broadcast: 1st July 2006
Format: 1 45-minute Episode (Part 1 of 2)
Prod. Code: 3.12
Previous Story: Fear Her
Following Story: Doomsday
"It's not an invasion, it's too late for that. It's a victory."
―The Doctor



The Torchwood Institute have been tapping into a new energy source that also manifests ghosts all around the world. At the same time, the Cybermen, now in our universe, are taking control of Torchwood from within. But the Cybermen aren't the only enemies the Doctor and Rose have to be careful of.


Rose Tyler narrates how her life changed when she met the Doctor, who showed her the universe, taking her on a journey she thought would last forever. Then came the army of ghosts, Torchwood, and the war. This is the story of how it all ended, and how she died.

The TARDIS materialises in a playground on the Powell Estate to visit Jackie Tyler. Jackie is overjoyed to see both Rose and the Doctor, but causes Rose concern when she says that she is expecting Rose's grandfather, Grandad Prentice, to come by any minute. Rose explains to the Doctor that her grandfather has been dead for ten years. However, true to Jackie's word, a blurred, ghost-like figure appears in her kitchen at ten past the hour.

Outside, the Doctor and Rose witness more ghosts, walking among ordinary people, who are going about their daily lives calmly despite the manifestations around them. Jackie says that the ghosts will not be around long the mid-day "ghost shift" only lasts a couple of minutes. At twelve past, somewhere else in London a white-coated technician pulls back a huge lever and the ghosts fade away. A blonde woman, Yvonne Hartman, steps out of her Torchwood Institute office and states that they measured the "ghost energy" at five thousand gigawatts, and congratulates her staff.

In Jackie's flat, the Doctor watches various television programmes such as Ghostwatch, EastEnders, and Trisha, which reveal that the ghost phenomenon is international, and that people have accepted it as a regular occurrence. Jackie explains that it started about two months ago. At first, there was panic, but then they realised that they were spirits of their departed loved ones. Jackie says that the ghost she calls her father smells like the cigarettes he used to smoke, but Rose says she smelled nothing. Jackie says that she has to make an effort, and the Doctor notes that the more they want it, the stronger it gets. The ghosts are using their desires and beliefs to press themselves into existence.

At Torchwood Tower, Hartman contacts Dr. Rajesh Singh over the Bluetooth earpieces all personnel wear, asking him if he registered any reaction. Singh replies negatively, and reports that their most sophisticated instruments have not been able to read anything off "the sphere" a large bronze globe floating above him. According to their readings, it simply does not exist. He reaches out to touch it, but an invisible barrier stops his hand.

Two Torchwood workers, Adeola and Gareth, make a clandestine romantic rendezvous. Gareth suggests a secluded location, which is off-limits as it is apparently under renovation, but Adeola hesitates. However, when Gareth goes silent, she goes into the section to look for him. As she draws back a curtain, a Cyberman lunges at her and she screams.

The Doctor assembles a device to determine the ghosts' origin by triangulation. Rose asks if the ghosts might be related to the Gelth but the Doctor replies negatively. He sets up the device in the playground, while Rose monitors the energy levels in the TARDIS. At Torchwood Tower, Hartman cues for the next ghost shift, just as Gareth and Adeola return to their desks, but wearing two Bluetooth earpieces instead of one, the lights on the devices flickering actively.

Jackie, in the TARDIS, comments that Rose has changed a lot. Jackie wonders what will happen to Rose when she is gone and if she will keep travelling, and changing, until she is no longer Rose Tyler, or even human.

The Torchwood machines power up, and the ghosts begin to appear as before. The Doctor traps a ghost within his device, looking at it through 3-D glasses and demanding to know where it comes from. As he adjusts the controls, Torchwood picks up the signal, and Hartman orders the ghost shift closed down. The Doctor has managed to locate the energy source required for the ghosts' appearance but Torchwood has also traced the interference to the Powell Estate. A CCTV camera picks up the TARDIS, and Hartman recognises it. The TARDIS dematerialises, with Jackie an unwilling passenger. Hartman, seeing this, realises the Doctor is on his way, and runs off excitedly.

The TARDIS materialises in a Torchwood Tower loading bay, and is surrounded immediately by armed guards. Telling Jackie and Rose to stay inside, the Doctor emerges with his hands raised. Hartman rushes in and to the Doctor's surprise, begins to lead the squad in applause. Hartman greets him warmly, and seems to know a good deal about him: including the fact that he travels with a companion. The Doctor reaches back into the TARDIS and pulls Jackie out, introducing her as "Rose", who unfortunately stared into the heart of the time vortex and aged fifty-seven years (despite Jackie telling the Doctor she was forty). Rose stays hidden in the TARDIS, watching them through the scanner.

Hartman welcomes the Doctor to Torchwood, bringing him around and showing him the advanced technology they have captured from alien ships and reverse engineered, all in the name of protecting the British Empire. She explains the Institute's motto: "If it's alien, it's ours," demonstrating it by carting the TARDIS away to a corner of the basement.

Adeola lures another worker, Matt, over to the work area, where she tells him to go towards a mysterious red light. He vanishes behind a plastic curtain and screams as sparks fly and saws whir. He returns to his post later with an extra earpiece. Meanwhile, Hartman reveals that the Doctor was written into the original Torchwood Foundation charter in 1879 as an enemy of the Crown. After his encounter with Queen Victoria and the werewolf, the Queen created the Torchwood Institute to keep Britain great and protect it against the alien horde. The Doctor is their prisoner, but will be kept comfortable; they hope to learn a lot from him.

Hartman leads the Doctor to the room with the Sphere, which the Doctor studies with the 3-D glasses before identifying it as a void ship, a hypothetical craft for travelling through the nothingness between parallel universes. That space was called "the Void" by the Time Lords; the Eternals called it the Howling; others call it Hell. When Singh asks how they can get into the Sphere, the Doctor tells them that they should not — they should send it back where it came from.

Hartman explains that the void ship came through and the ghosts followed in its wake. She shows the Doctor where it came through, opposite her office; when they fire particle engines at the spot, the breach opens. They detected the spatial disturbance as a radar black spot years before, and built Torchwood Tower to reach it, hoping to harness its energy. The public at large know the skyscraper as Canary Wharf.

The Doctor berates Hartman for trying to make the breach bigger, and warns her to cancel the next shift. He explains that when the sphere came through, it cracked the surface of this dimension. The ghosts have been bleeding through the fault lines, walking from their world to this one. However, too many ghosts and the surface will shatter. When Hartman insists on going through with the shift anyway, the Doctor abruptly changes gears, casually sitting to watch it happen. Hartman, disconcerted, stops the countdown, conceding that it may be prudent to get more intelligence. However, once they go into Hartman's office, Adeola, Matt and Gareth restart the countdown.

Meanwhile, Rose leaves the TARDIS and picks up a stray laboratory coat, making her way down to the room with the void ship where she uses the psychic paper to get through the door. When Singh questions her, she tries to bluff her way with the psychic paper; however, all Torchwood personnel have received basic psychic training and he sees it as blank paper. Singh calls for security and tells his assistant Samuel to check the locks. To Rose's surprise, "Samuel" is Mickey Smith, who signals Rose to keep quiet.

Hartman notices the ghost shift programme powering up, but despite her orders, the three workers continue their work. As the power rises, the void ship activates, shaking the whole room. The Doctor recognises that the workers are being controlled through the earpieces; he apologises, and uses the sonic screwdriver to disrupt the signal. The three cry out and collapse; Jackie accuses the Doctor of having killed them, but he replies that they were already dead. Hartman removes one of Adeola's earpieces, and to her disgust sees a long string of nerve tissue dangling from it, which means it was connected straight to her brain. The ghost shift is at ninety percent.

The Doctor traces the control signal to the work area and he and Hartman rush there, not hearing Singh's communication about the void ship, whose existence is beginning to register on Singh's instruments. The doors to the void ship room seal, locking in in Rose, Mickey and Singh. Mickey, more confident than he once was, assures Rose that they have beaten them before and they will beat them again. At the work area, the Doctor, Hartman and two soldiers investigate, and are quickly surrounded by the advance guard of Cybermen.

Mickey tells Rose that the Cybermen were nearly beaten on the parallel Earth but they somehow escaped, finding a way to this world. However, so did Mickey, despite the Doctor's pronouncements that it was impossible.

The Cybermen lead the Doctor and Hartman as prisoners back to the breach, where they kill the technicians trying to shut the programme down. A Cyberman with black handlebars on its helmet the Cyber Leader orders the ghost shift be increased to one hundred percent.

The Void ship opens

All around the world, the ghosts shimmer into full existence, revealing themselves to be Cybermen. World-wide panic ensues as the Cybermen march across the face of the planet, killing people and breaking into homes. Hartman calls it an invasion, but the Doctor notes it is too late for that — it is a victory. In the void ship room, the sphere begins to open up. Mickey pulls out a large rifle from its hiding space and aims it toward the ship, expecting some sort of Cyber-Leader variant to emerge.

The Doctor asks the Cyber-Leader about the void ship, claiming that the Cybermen do not have the necessary technology to build one. The Cyber-Leader confirms that the sphere is not theirs and they do not know its origins. It broke down the barrier between worlds, and they merely followed.

As Singh, Rose and Mickey watch in horror, a black Dalek and three other Daleks emerge from the void ship, along with a mysterious device. The black Dalek approaches the three humans; it announces the location as Earth, that lifeforms have been detected, and gives the order to exterminate, a command echoed by the other Daleks.



to be added




Races and species



Story Notes

The magnified star: a Graeme Harper signature
  • The working title for this episode was "Torchwood Rises"
  • Adeola Oshodi is played by Freema Agyeman, who went on to play Adeola's cousin Martha Jones.
  • The Doctor says Allons-y and Allons-Y, Alonso! for the first time. He would get to say Allons-y Alonso in Voyage of the Damned. For those who don't speak French, a translation ("Let's go!") would not be provided until Midnight, two years later.
  • Graeme Harper's penchant for including a distorted image of a main character is present in this story. Though not included in every single story he's directed for BBC Wales, it's seen often enough to be considered something of a directorial "signature". Similar distortion is achieved through the use of other magnifying glasses in The Unicorn and the Wasp and Utopia, a curved window in Journey's End, and with mirrors in Turn Left. This time, it's the Doctor that gets "the Harper treatment".
  • Murray Gold's theme to the Torchwood television series debuts in this episode as incidental music.
  • Camille Coduri (Jackie Tyler) was born on the same day Episode 1 of DW: The Tenth Planet - the episode that introduced the Cybermen - was first broadcast.


to be added


  • When the name of the episode was revealed it was heavily rumours that the titular ghosts referred to the Gelth who would return to the show in that episode. However, these rumours were clearly proven false as the ghosts turned out to be Cybermen coming through from the parallel world whose appearance and physical form was distorted by their movement through the void.

Filming Locations


  • Brandon Estate
  • Brackla Bunkers
  • Canal Park
  • Southendown Beach
  • Tredegar House
  • St. Athan
  • Capitol Shopping Center
  • Broadstairs Road
  • Canary Wharf
  • The helicopter shots of Canary Wharf are taken from The Apprentice.


Discontinuity, Plot Holes, Errors

  • When Rose presents her mother with the Bazoolium, she's holding it in her left hand. When the view switches to look at Jackie, it shifts to Rose's right hand and then immediately back to her left when the view restores to the original vantage point. Its possible Rose changed hands
  • The Doctor's psychic paper has been established as working by fooling the minds of those who see it (except for people such as those at Torchwood who have been trained not to fall for the trick). Given these parameters, it should have not worked on a non-sentient object such as a door. (It obviously has imitative capabilities beyond those previously seen. These are later seen again when it imitates an Oyster card DW:Planet of the Dead (TV story))
  • How is the police official able to call a press conference regarding the increase in ghost activity mere seconds after the ghost shift had been maximised? Perhaps the conference had already started, they get an up-to-date report, and the official decided to address the reports of increased activity. Or more time passes between the maximization of the ghost shift and the ghosts' solidification into Cybermen than we saw.
  • When the Cyberman comes in and kills the Ghostwatch person, there is no electricity coming from the Cybermans hand.(The Cyberman looked like he was strangling the person as he was grabbing the persons neck) Cybermen are very physically strong, enough to kill a human with if so desired.
  • When the Daleks emerge from the void ship, and 'interrogate' the Torchwood technician, there are clearly three Daleks and one Genesis Ark, however shortly after this, all three Daleks and the Ark are in the room watching the relayed video from a fourth Dalek who goes to confront the Cybermen. It is possible that a 4th one came out after the first 3 and this one wasn't shown. It may be invisible due to being behind the Ark
  • Doesn't anyone notice, especially Yvonne Hartman, that three high-ranking Torchwood employees now have two earpods instead of one and are acting very differently. Especially the one who appears to be Yvonne's favourite.She might have been pre-occupied with what was happening with the ghosts to check her employees' ears.
  • Both Jackie Tyler and Yvonne Hartman refer to Torchwood Tower's "public name", Canary Wharf, however, in reality, Canary Wharf is a District in London, not a building! (The implication is that the building, which was recently constructed, was named after the district in which it was located.Also some members of the public do refer to the buildings specifically as Canary Warf)


DVD Releases

Series 2 Volume 5 DVD Cover
  • Army of Ghosts was released on Series 2 Volume 5, with Doomsday and Fear Her.
  • It was also released as part of the Series 2 DVD boxset.

See also

to be added

External Links

  • Doctor Who Reference Guide - Detailed Synopsis - Army of Ghosts
  • The Whoniverse - The Discontinuity Guide to: Army of Ghosts
  • Doctor Who: A Brief History of Time (Travel) - A Brief History of Time (Travel): Army of Ghosts
  • The Locations Guide to Doctor Who, Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures: Story Locations - Army of Ghosts
Series 2
Mini-episode: Children in Need Special  • Christmas Special: The Christmas Invasion

New Earth  • Tooth and Claw  • School Reunion  • The Girl in the Fireplace  • Rise of the Cybermen  • The Age of Steel  • The Idiot's Lantern  • The Impossible Planet  • The Satan Pit  • Love & Monsters  • Fear Her  • Army of Ghosts  • Doomsday

Dalek television stories
Major appearances: The Daleks  • The Dalek Invasion of Earth  • The Chase  • Mission to the Unknown  • The Daleks' Master Plan  • The Power of the Daleks  • The Evil of the Daleks  • Day of the Daleks  • Planet of the Daleks  • Death to the Daleks  • Genesis of the Daleks  • Destiny of the Daleks  • Resurrection of the Daleks  • Revelation of the Daleks  • Remembrance of the Daleks  • Dalek • Bad Wolf/ The Parting of the Ways  • Army of Ghosts/Doomsday  • Daleks in Manhattan / Evolution of the Daleks  • The Stolen Earth / Journey's End
Minor appearances: The Space Museum  • The Wheel in Space  • The War Games  • The Mind of Evil  • Frontier in Space  • Logopolis  • The Five Doctors  • The TV Movie  • Human Nature  • The Waters of Mars
Non-canonical: The Curse of Fatal Death
 • Complete List of Appearances •
Cyberman Television Stories
Original Cybermen: The Tenth Planet  • The Moonbase  • The Tomb of the Cybermen  • The Wheel in Space  • The Invasion  • Revenge of the Cybermen  • Earthshock  • The Five Doctors  • Attack of the Cybermen  • Silver Nemesis
Alternate Universe Cybermen: Rise of the Cybermen/ The Age of Steel  • Army of Ghosts/ Doomsday  • The Next Doctor
Torchwood: Cyberwoman

This article uses material from the "Army of Ghosts" article on the Dr Who wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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