A Wayne Carlisle penalty earned Rovers a vital point in their battle to avoid relegation from the Nationwide Division Three.
Carlisle's 18th minute spot kick wiped out Alex Russell's early goal as the Devon visitors stunned the home crowd.
Dorset referee Paul Durkin had no hesitation in pointing to the spot when Rovers striker Paul Tait stumbled under a challenge from Reuben Hazell but contact seemed minimal.
But Carlisle kept his cool amid the protests to slot home his sixth goal of the season.
It was a perfect response from Ray Graydon's struggling team after Russell's terrific 20-yard strike had put Torquay into the lead after just six minutes.
Torquay continued to dominate the match and defender Kevin Hill should have done better in the 28th minute when he was put clear.
Carlisle came closest to putting Rovers into the lead when his 50th minute shot was tipped over by Torquay keeper Kevin Dearden.
It was a rare Rovers attack and for much of the second period they were pinned in their own half as Torquay dictated the tempo.
Torquay substitute Jo Kuffour brought extra pace into attack and from his searching pass Martin Gritton, scorer of two goals in last weekend's win over York, screwed his shot just wide.
Then in the 64th minute defender David Woozley made a great run into the area.
But Torquay finished on top and in the final minutes striker Gritton saw his shot drift just inches wide.