Type of Villain:
Anti-Villain, Corrupt Official, Power Hungry
Tracy Ann Oberman
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Yvonne Hartman was the Head of the Torchwood Institute and director of Torchwood London. It was a phone-call from Alex Hopkins before he killed himself that led her to rise through the ranks of Torchwood London and get the organisation ready for the 21st century. She combated a number of extraterrestrial threats and presided over the long-awaited capture of the Tenth Doctor before she became a Cyberman in the Battle of Canary Wharf, maintaining her will and killing a number of her fellow Cybermen.
Pippa believed that Yvonne was Sagittarius. Her father, John Hartman served in the British Army, meaning that she came”from all over”, frequently travelling, (Through the Ruins) and her mother was Anne Hartman, who ran acquisitions for the Land Registry. (The Rockery) She had a brother who went on to work as a bouncer. (One Rule) Her parents called her “Yvvie”. (The Rockery)
In the 1970s, Anne told her husband that Yvonne would be attending the local comprehensive to meet people of all walks of life rather than boarding school. (The Rockery) She worked hard and was captain of the lacrosse team. (Through the Ruins) at the age of thirteen, she asked her mother to make her friendship bracelets, which she then sold at school. Her mother once read her diary. She did an O level in Biology. (The Rockery)
She had little love for her relatives and bemoaned that one could not choose their family. (New Girl) She was especially angry with her father. (Blind Summit) From him, she acquired files on the Fendahl. (Night of the Fendahl)
AS A TORCHWOOD OPERATIVE
Yvonne joined Torchwood One in the late 1990s, (One Rule, Locker 15) where she uploaded the Fendahl files. (Night of the Fendahl) She was unable to sleep after her first kill, but told everyone that she was fine. (New Girl)
Early in her career, on New Year’s Eve 1999, she received a phonecall from Alex Hopkins, the leader of Torchwood Three, who spoke to her of his epiphany that Torchwood was not ready for the 21st century as he killed his team by shooting them. This incident made Yvonne realise that Torchwood needed a strong leader to face the 21st century. (One Rule)
One night, Yvonne was charged with looking after containment in Torchwood Tower. However, she abandoned her post briefly to answer a distressing call from her mother, during which some shapeshifters escaped. She shot one and saved Dave Cooke, ignoring his insistence that there was another one. By the time she was director of Torchwood, her name had disappeared from the rota of that night, covering up her failure. (Locker 15)
After her father died in 2003, her mother moved from Kent to Kensington. Yvonne attended the funeral but did not often visit her mother afterwards aside from the occasional Christmas. She found it hard to see her mother without her father and so took a step back, allowing Torchwood to get in the way. (The Rockery)
EARLY DAYS AS DIRECTOR
Yvonne rose through the ranks and became the head of the institute between 2003 and March 2005. (Locker 15) She continued her predecessor’s relationship with arms dealer Hank. (Uprising) She rebuilt the institute from the ground up. Civil servant St John Colchester knew all about her and her achievements and believed that she was brilliant. (Poker Face)
She knew about the Committee but believed that Torchwood was unaware of them. (One Rule) She generally did not hire only children due to the effect that their deaths might have upon their families, although she occasionally did so regardless, as she did when she hired Dean. (Through the Ruins) She had the facilities given a makeover and cleared out half of the accounts floor as part of her streamlining exercise. (Locker 15)
Yvonne received a phone-call from Suzie Costello, who told her that she had found Object 1 after destroying the factory of Ovid Industries. Yvonne sent a helicopter to pick her up and promised to talk to her about advancing her career in Torchwood. In truth, she had been aware of Ovid’s construction of bodies for the Committee and was irritated by Suzie’s actions. The locket was brought to London. (The Torchwood Archive)
Whilst attending her cousin’s cremation, Yvonne was required by Torchwood and was picked up by a helicopter. Her mother claimed that this ruined the occasion. (The Rockery)
By 2005, Matthew was her secretary. (Blind Summit)
HIRING IANTO JONES
When bodies started being found in the river, Yvonne came to believe that there was a mole in Torchwood that had supplied Blind Summit with Excellium from the Brett Archive. She cut everybody out but Matthew, whom she trusted after giving him a truth serum. Regardless, she felt lonely and repeatedly retconned Ianto Jones, an employee at a local coffee shop, in order to have somebody to talk to. She sympathised with him and his having to deal with his father and also spoke to him about her troubled relationship with her own.
Yvonne met with Pascal Babich at Ianto’s coffee shop, where Babich sent a soldier to kill her. She and Ianto were saved by Matthew, who drove them to Ianto’s home where she told him about Torchwood before retconning him, protecting national security and not wanting anybody to see her cry. She kidnapped Ianto’s father in order to have him assist her by infiltrating Blind Summit where he was given Excellium, which restored his lost memories. Yvonne attempted to save him and learnt that Matthew was the traitor, being immune to the truth serum thanks to Excellium.
Tommy Pierce saved Yvonne and Ianto and decapitated Babich. Yvonne left Matthew to be killed by an Arachmed and offered Ianto both a job and retcon to remove his memories of his father. He declined on both counts and asked to forget about Torchwood and to get his job back in Cardiff, which she agreed to do. She also paid off his landlord Willie and had his flat cleaned.
In March 2005, South Wales was put in danger after a Viking ship was found. Yvonne travelled to Cardiff to deal with it as Torchwood Three had all disappeared. As Ianto was working on the excavation, she arrived on his doorstep and enlisted his help. (Blind Summit)
Ianto later submitted his CV to Torchwood. Although Bev Stanley had no interest in hiring him, Yvonne did so after his CV landed on her desk. (Uprising) She and Tommy kept his previous interactions with Yvonne a secret, however. (Blind Summit) He later became her personal assistant in addition to being a junior researcher. (New Girl)
Not long after Yvonne hired Ianto, she arranged for a small party in the basement of Torchwood Tower for Dave Cooke, who had worked as a cleaner there since 1991. She thanked him for his work and quickly left. She gave him an engraved pen. (Locker 15)
ARRIVAL OF THE VOID SHIP
Torchwood probed the breach in spacetime that Torchwood Tower had been built to reach, causing a Void Ship to come through and “ghosts” to follow in its wake. She assigned Rajesh Singh to analyse the sphere. (Army of Ghosts)
Shortly after 26 March 2005, Yvonne went to Cardiff in order to steal a Drahvin scanner held by Torchwood Three, which she was able to take after Raj used a time bubble to freeze Jack, Suzie and Toshiko Sato. However, she lost it in a fire at Manor Rest Hotel, which she managed to escape in only a towel.
Despite saying that she did not involve herself in local politics, Yvonne attempted to protect Barry Jackson and Helen Evans after learning that those running for the office of Lord Mayor of Cardiff were being killed. After Evans was killed, she discovered that Jackson was using an alien given to him by the Committee to pick off the competition. She covered for him in return for him keeping an eye on Torchwood Cardiff and for the arrival of the Doctor. However, before returning to London she injured him and left him with a permanent limp, as she had liked Helen Evans. (One Rule)
In 2005, Yvonne hired Rachel Allan as Tommy Pierce’s personal assistant. She fired Patrick after Rachel claimed that he had been spreading rumours and later fired and replaced Tommy as Head of Alien Acquisitions with Rachel after he was found drunk. She presented the Royal Hope transmat at a party which resulted in Dean’s death. Yvonne quickly fled, realising that Rachel had framed her, a belief that was confirmed when Rachel called her to gloat. (New Girl)
Yvonne stayed a night at Ianto’s flat before visiting Lord Jim Jacobin to find out what Rachel was up to. Learning that Planet XXX was involved, she visited Ex Libris at the New Cavendish Library to learn about it and its indigenous life-forms. Whilst there, Kieran Frost attempted to assassinate her under Rachel’s Protocol 4 and later attempted to kill Soren and take her to Torchwood. However, Soren knocked him unconscious and Yvonne was able to flee with him. They were chased by an envoy from Planet XXX, who told Yvonne that Torchwood had been sending out messages of war. Yvonne killed him, believing it was kinder than leaving him to die. (Through the Ruins)
Yvonne was on the run from Torchwood for a month. Rachel sent alpha-level assassin Julius after her, but Yvonne hired a freelancer who saved her. With the money that she took from his corpse, she rented office space from which she called her alien contacts. She bought weapons from Hank and took them to Lord Millidar of the Korvax First Brood at the Cosy Night Budget Hotel, asking him to attack Torchwood. She called Ianto for help with getting more funds.
Yvonne returned to Torchwood Tower during the Korvax attack and took over the situation from Rachel, who was out of her depth. The situation was resolved when the Korvax killed the First Brood per Yvonne’s plan. Afterwards, she spiked Rachel and retconned her to forget all about Torchwood and to believe that she was an orphan. She considered getting rid of Rachel to be a waste and hired her to work in Admin. (Uprising)
That year, Blind Summit went into liquidation. Yvonne kept an eye on what happened to the technology but neglected to purchase it, wanting to see who was interested in the tech. (9 to 5)
In December, Yvonne spent Christmas with her mother in Kensington. It was the last that they would spend together. (The Rockery)
Yvonne planned to have London put under total surveillance through the use of the Law Machines, which she suggested to Mayor McAndrew without telling her of her true reasoning. McAndrew agreed and Torchwood built the Law Machines from the 1966 War Machines.
Upon their activation at the unveiling in 2006, the Law Machines fell under WOTAN’s control and attacked the city, causing a Code Black. Yvonne, Ianto and McAndrew met up with Tommy and went to Torchwood Tower where McAndrew died. She took the alias of “Annie Jones” and claimed to Julian Delaware that McAndrew’s body was Yvonne Hartman, but this ruse was later seen through by WOTAN. She managed to defeat WOTAN by deleting his file and used these events to justify increased surveillance in London, suggesting the Fiona McAndrew Memorial Bridge and claiming that she would have supported the move.
In the wake of these events, Yvonne had Raj begin recovering data from discarded hard drives as Delaware had done (The Law Machines) and tasked Tommy with turning their own hard drives into scrap. Tommy almost exposed Ianto’s involvement with Blind Summit before Yvonne caught him. (Blind Summit)
Torchwood became aware of Whitehall employing Temporary Solutions to staff various offices around London, digitising old data. Torchwood learnt of the temporary people, technology that Yvonne was interested in stealing for the use of the institute. After more than two months, Yvonne infiltrated HQP by pretending to be the new head of Human Resources and stole Stacey Newman’s lanyard to gain clearance to secure rooms, but was later confronted by her. She and Ianto fled with Stacey from a gun-toting Tanya, whom Ianto killed by beaming too much information into her brain. The two told Stacey that she was a temporary person and she agreed to help, disguising them as temps – Yvette and Ian.
Yvonne and Ianto found that the temp technology came from Blind Summit and that Elaine Hartwell had the highest clearance at HQP. Fortunately, Stacey swiped Elaine’s lanyard. Yvonne sent Ianto and Stacey to the server room whilst she distracted the staff, eventually asking to see Elaine, who took her to the server room. Elaine wired her up to the computer, which Yvonne correctly deduced was WOTAN. Ianto changed the limiters, meaning that when WOTAN upgraded, it attempted to download its entire self into every temp. Whilst Elaine was destroyed, the other temps evacuated HQP and were safe.
Whilst Ianto was shaken by the death of Stacey, Yvonne remained collected and arranged for airborne retcon to be deployed. (9 to 5)
THE THREE RETIREMENTS
Yvonne was aware of Tommy getting up to something in the basement of Torchwood Tower. She and members of every department watched him and Ianto in his simulated reality for their own amusement, but she informed Tommy that he would never be allowed to retire after he and Ianto came out. She also ordered the machine destroyed. (Retirement Plan)
Upon learning of the danger of Locker 15, Yvonne attempted to learn what was causing it by sending Ianto to Dave Cooke in his nursing home. Due to a lack of progress, she pretended to be his niece and took him to Torchwood Tower to jog his memory, eventually learning that he was not the real Dave. Once the situation was resolved, she told Ianto that she was taking”Dave” back to the nursing home to live out the rest of his life there. Whilst she did indeed return him, she suffocated him with a pillow. (Locker 15)
Yvonne helped her mother move from Kensington to Shropshire but was called away due to an alien ship being detected. She returned to Anne’s cottage two weeks later and had her care for a haunt, blackmailing her with her pension. She later spent a night at the cottage and told her mother off for having her neighbour William Hogan look after it. She was aware of her mother’s depression.
Yvonne had to cancel a meeting with her mother due to a breakthrough with the Void Ship. (The Rockery) Torchwood made the hole in space-time bigger and began the Ghost Shift experiments to produce power with the aim of making the United Kingdom truly independent. (Army of Ghosts)
During her next visit, she had Anne host a dinner for the two of them and William after his cat died. She assured Anne that the ghosts were nothing to be worried about and confessed that she would like to see her father, which upset Anne. The ensuing discussion involved Yvonne telling Anne that she knew about her depression. Yvonne visited weeks later and confronted Anne about the haunt killing squirrels and birds and the two killed it. She told her mother that she would always be there for her and left in a helicopter with Ianto and Sameer, promising to visit often once the Ghost Shifts were over. (The Rockery)
THE BATTLE OF CANARY WHARF
Yvonne took the Tenth Doctor prisoner when he landed in Torchwood Tower and showed him around, employing his help with the Void Ship and eventually conceding to postpone a Ghost Shift.
Despite this postponement, Adeola Oshodi, Gareth Evans and Matt Crane were under the control of the Cybermen and proceeded with the Shift until The Doctor killed them. Yvonne, The Doctor and Jackie Tyler encountered the advance guard of Cybermen and watched as more emerged through the breach. (Army of Ghosts) At some point, she gave Object 1 to Kieran Frost, telling him to throw it into the Void. (The Torchwood Archive) Yvonne and Jackie were taken to be upgraded, with Jackie blaming Yvonne and her Torchwood for the series of events. Yvonne approached the cyber-conversion unit telling herself that she did her duty, for Queen and country, before being painfully upgraded.
Yvonne retained her sense of identity and control over her new metallic body and fended off the Cybermen approaching the top offices, allowing The Doctor and Rose Tyler the time to seal the breach between worlds. She repeated the phrase”I did my duty for Queen and country” and cried an oily tear. (Doomsday)
In 2008, Anne mourned Yvonne on the anniversary of her death. She admitted her grief to William and maintained the regrown haunt, confident that Yvonne would have been proud of her. She believed that John and Yvonne were both in the garden paradise that the haunt represented. (The Rockery)
In an alternate timeline in which John Hart took control of the British Empire and the Torchwood Institute, Yvonne called to inform him of the discovery of the Sphere. Despite the reservations of Rajesh Singh, the King ordered that the Sphere be opened, resulting in the massacre of Torchwood One. (The Death of Captain Jack)
After being presumed dead, (Broken) Yvonne joined the reformed Torchwood Three in 2017, with the intention of becoming the new leader. (The Empty Hand) She was, in fact, from a parallel universe. (Poker Face)
Yvonne Hartman was an arrogant woman who was always convinced that everything Torchwood did was for the good of the country, even if others begged to differ. One example of her arrogance was when she stated that anything that was alien belonged to Torchwood. This included The Doctor’s TARDIS, despite The Doctor’s protests. Yvonne was also reckless, and meddled with the Void, which was something far beyond her understanding. (Army of Ghosts)
Jackie Tyler said it was all her fault that the Cybermen and Daleks had invaded Earth, because Hartman was too reckless to try to put a stop to the experiments on the Void until it was too late. (Doomsday)
Another example of both qualities was her ordering a Jathaa sunglider shot down over the Shetland Islands merely because it had “violated their airspace”, this risked igniting a major conflict between Earth and the Jathaa due to the ship’s presumably non-hostile intentions. However, Yvonne did show uncertainty when The Doctor suddenly changed his demeanour, one moment the Time Lord was warning her not to open the void and the next he was cheerfully encouraging her. Hartman was so confused and uncertain by The Doctor’s sudden change from foreboding to cheerful that she finally agreed not to open the void, although by then it was too late. (Army of Ghosts)
Despite her arrogance and foolishness, Yvonne genuinely cared about her country, even managing to overcome the programming of the Cybermen due to her devotion to Britain. In her metal body she appeared to be crying as she stated that she’d done her duty for queen and country. She also showed a willingness to sacrifice herself as she fought the Cybermen by herself to give The Doctor and Rose time to open the void and most likely died in the process. (Doomsday)
Although she admitted that The Doctor was a prisoner, Yvonne did try to make the Time Lord comfortable and treated him like a guest rather than a prisoner. She also liked to call her employees by their first names, saying that she was a”people person”. Despite this she did display a more ruthless streak since she stated, rather cheerfully, that she could have Rose Tyler shot if The Doctor didn’t know her. (Army of Ghosts)
Hartman was ambitious and driven, believing she was the sort of leadership Torchwood needed and believing she could make the organisation better. She was also capable of being highly manipulative, telling Jackson she had figured out his plans long before he revealed them, and had been a step ahead of him the whole time – playing events to her advantage. Hartman seemed aggravated when men made heavy reference to her gender, telling Jackson not to refer to her as”love” and threatening to break someone’s arm who groped her. (One Rule)
She liked cocoa (The Torchwood Archive) and Scotch. (One Rule)
BEHIND THE SCENES
* Yvonne Hartman’s name is similar to that of Yvonne Hartley from Spare Parts, the Big Finish story which inspired Rise of the Cybermen/The Age of Steel.