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Cardiff Rift: Misc


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From TARDIS Index File, the free Doctor Who reference.

The extrapolator and the TARDIS begin to rip open the Cardiff Rift. (DW: Boom Town)

The Cardiff rift was a time rift situated in (and above) Cardiff, the capital city of Wales, United Kingdom, Earth.


Geographic location

The Rift stretches about five mile miles from Cardiff Bay (WEB: When the Rift fractured, during the events of End of Days, it temporarily spread out from Cardiff to cover parts of the entire Earth, including London and Tokyo.

The location of the other end of the rift, on the other hand, is more vague. Objects from across time and space have been picked up, ranging from a Pteranodon from the past to alien objects from distant planets. It is believed that the opposite end of the rift is either wandering in time and space or has several fixed openings which are switched between randomly. (WEB:



Prison of Abaddon

The Rift, in some way, acted as a prison for Abaddon. However, unlike the Beast, Abaddon could easily be freed if his particular trap was opened. (TW: End of Days)

In A.D. 92, a Roman stationed near the future site of Cardiff had heard of legends of "a demonic giant trapped beneath the earth." (WEB:

The Disciples of the Light may possibly have created the prison, and likewise the rift itself. We do not know how long it has existed.

Gelth use of the Rift

The Rift (DW: The Unquiet Dead)

Following the Last Great Time War, the Gelth fled to 1869 Cardiff in order to use the rift. The Gelth had used the Rift to try and take over the bodies of Human corpses and then eventually attempt to invade the planet and kill the entire species. During this attempt, the rift was closed by a psychic named Gwyneth. (DW: The Unquiet Dead)

Torchwood Institute interest in the Rift

Sometime between the Torchwood Institute's formation in 1879 (DW: Tooth and Claw) and 1883, it realized the existence of the Rift. In 1883, Queen Victoria herself spoke to the Institute on this subject, stressing the danger the Rift posed. Torchwood found themselves unable to effectively get through the Rift themselves, but decided to try to monitor it and secure whatever useful items might pass through it into Cardiff. Sometime before 1913, they began work on the Rift Manipulator. (WEB:

The Widening of the Rift

The Rift was later used in September 2006 by both the Doctor (to power up the TARDIS) and by Blon Fel-Fotch. Blon Fel-Fotch, now mayor of Cardiff, built a nuclear power station on the site of the rift and plotted to cause a core meltdown. The meltdown would destroy the Earth, generating a shock wave that she could ride to escape off into space using a tribophysical waveform macro-kinetic extrapolator. The extrapolator, connected to the Doctor's TARDIS, accidentally widened the Rift and caused an event known as the Cardiff earthquake. (DW: Boom Town) Since that event, the width and activity of the Rift has increased. (WEB:

Torchwood 3 and the Hub

The Rift before Captain John emerges. (DW: Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang)

The interaction between the TARDIS and the Rift had created a perception filter at the place where the TARDIS had landed in Cardiff earlier. This made for a hiding place for a lift going from the surface to the underground. (TW: Everything Changes)

At an unknown time, the Torchwood Institute set up a Welsh branch, Torchwood 3.

Torchwood 3 seemed to have existed at the time of the Cardiff earthquake. It possibly exists as a response to an investigation by the Institute.

Located in an underground base called the Hub and under the command of Captain Jack Harkness, Torchwood 3, had the task of monitoring the Rift and phenomena associated with it and with securing for Torchwood any artifacts that might come through. (TW: Everything Changes onwards) The Hub also possessed a Rift manipulator (TW: Captain Jack Harkness, TW: End of Days).

The fracturing of the Rift

Warning signs

As early as spring 1913, the Torchwood Institute had noted ground tremors and Rift activity. They theorized that an event which had not happened yet had sent a ripple effect back through time. The event, they predicted, would occur in the early 21st century. (WEB: In late 2007, increased numbers of Weevils coming through caused Jack Harkness to feel some concern over increased Rift activity. (TW: Everything Changes)

The event

In early 2008, Bilis Manger contrived to trick Torchwood 3's Owen Harper into using the Rift Manipulator to widen the Rift on purpose. This caused the Rift to fracture, causing time slips worldwide. Many believed the end of the world had come. (TW: Captain Jack Harkness, End of Days)

In Cardiff more Weevils came through and onto the street, a Roman soldier and sufferers of bubonic plague, appeared. Finally, as Manger had planned, the Rift opened up wide enough to release Abaddon. (TW: End of Days)

Jack stated that the area would become more active after the opening of the rift and the death of Abaddon. (TW: End of Days)

Later uses and discoveries

The Rift causes an overlap in time between 1918 and 2008 in a Cardiff hospital, creating the illusion of "ghost sightings" in both times, potentially leading to a disaster where time bleeds. By sending a cyrogenically frozen soldier from 1918 back through the bleed with a "Rift key" he is able to close the bleed. (TW: To the Last Man) The same year, Gwen Cooper discovered an unknown property of the Rift: that it abducts as well as deposits, and that a number of missing persons can be connected to the Rift's activities. (TW: Adrift)

Jack Harkness' brother Gray had John Hart widen the rift to create chaos around Cardiff. (TW: Exit Wounds)

Using the Rift positively, Gwen Cooper and Ianto Jones used the Rift Manipulator in conjuction with Sarah Jane Smith's supercomputer Mr Smith to power a message to the Doctor via Martha Jones' superphone. (DW: The Stolen Earth) They later use the combination of the Rift and Mr Smith again to help the Doctor returned the Earth back to its regular orbit. (DW: Journey's End)

The Doctor used the Rift to "fuel up" the TARDIS. (DW: "Utopia")

Use by other extraterrestrials

Humanoids known as Weevils have used the Rift to cross over into Cardiff for unknown reasons of their own, more so as the Rift de-stabilised. (TW: Everything Changes, Combat, End of Days)

Other aliens, such as Mary and her guard in 1812 (TW: Greeks Bearing Gifts) and the "Sex Gas" (TW: Day One) in 2007, perhaps coincidentally, came to Earth close to the Rift, though apparently neither used it as their means of transport onto the planet. A Dogon eye was also found near the rift, though whether it came through the rift is unknown. (TW: Random Shoes)

Indirect influence upon Cardiff

In common with time fissures (DW: Image of the Fendahl), growing up near the rift tends to enable one to develop psychic powers, as with Gwyneth, who had the gift of clairvoyance (DW: The Unquiet Dead).

This may also account for the abilities possessed by Bilis Manger.

Some individuals, such as Bernie Harris, locally, have engaged in the selling of alien "flotsam and jetsam" that has passed through the Rift. (TW: Ghost Machine) Another human, Mark Lynch, started an underground "fight club" of sorts where humans could go up against Weevils, for a fee. (TW: Combat)

External links

  • Official in-universe Torchwood file on the Cardiff Rift
  • Memo on 1913 events, from in-universe Torchwood website
  • Queen Victoria speaking on the Cardiff Rift, from the in-universe Torchwood website

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


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