Torchwood Three, Pilgrim
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Suzie Costello was headhunted by Jack Harkness to join Torchwood Three, where she became second-in-command and proved herself adept in various areas of Torchwood’s work.
Taking a more pragmatic and less emotional approach to her work than some of her teammates, Suzie loved her job but ultimately became obsessed with the resurrection gauntlet and the possibility of cheating death. Upon being found responsible for a numberof murders, she killed herself and was later resurrected for a time per her plans before being killed again.
Following a second resurrection, Suzie died in the arms of her lover, DCI Tom Cutler, and was damaged beyond any hope of return.
Born on 6 May 1973, (The Torchwood Archives) Suzie grew up in the United Kingdom. Her father wanted the Costellos to be the perfect British family, but each of them, in Suzie’s words, ended up “messed up” in some way, conflicting with her father’s wish. (Sync)
As a child, her mother would sing Soley, soley by Middle of the Road to her, a song that Suzie would later call “ancient”. She came to hate her father, who suffered from cancer and ended up in a hospital. (They Keep Killing Suzie)
Suzie found herself very stressed during exams, resulting in her having to take her driver’s test multiple times before she passed. (Moving Target)
WORKING FOR TORCHWOOD
Suzie was headhunted by Jack Harkness to join Torchwood Three (Moving Target) some time after Ben Brown (Long Time Dead) was hired and before Sebastian Vaughan and Toshiko Sato were hired. (The Vigil) She left her home and moved to Cardiff, a city that she never grew to like. (Sync) When she joined, Jack told her that it was the one job that one could not quit.
During her time with Torchwood, Suzie had a sexual relationship with medic Owen Harper but largely kept to herself and did not develop any friendships with her teammates. She greatly feared death and became obsessed with the resurrection gauntlet. In a scheme to have herself resurrected should she ever die, she placed triggers on Pilgrim member Max Tresilian for two years, using retcon to alter his behaviour and have him begin a killing spree in the event of her death. (They Keep Killing Suzie)
Tosh called Suzie after escaping a psychiatric ward exploiting alien squids. (Suckers)
In 2004, Suzie found Object 1 in an Ovid factory. In order to get the object away from Torchwood Cardiff, Jack had her call Yvonne Hartman and give her the object. Yvonne promised to talk to her about the advancement of her career in Torchwood. Jack thanked her, telling her that he had assumed she was just a “daddy’s girl”. (The Torchwood Archive)
Suzie was present in the Hub on 26 March 2005 when it was frozen in a time bubble for a day by Torchwood One’s Rajesh Singh so that director Yvonne Hartman could procure a Drahvin scanner from the Hub unhindered. (One Rule)
In 2006, the Illyrians made contact with Suzie through the Rift. She agreed to give them refuge on Earth in exchange for more alien technology. However, she shot them down in the Rift and went to the crash site to salvage the tech, where she met Blon Fel-Fotch Passameer-Day Slitheen. The two were joined together by bangles and had to work together to find the pilot to release them and save them from missiles. They succeeded and Suzie threw the bangles into the Illyrian’s escape pod, causing the missiles to kill him. Suzie and Blon parted ways in a stalemate, with each knowing the other’s secrets. (Sync)
On 29 November 2006, Suzie woke up late to find the whole world frozen in time. The only other person unfrozen was a woman named Alex. After spending days defending Alex from aliens that had paid for an opportunity to hunt her, she realised the only way to end the hunt was for Alex to die. The Referee of the hunt told Suzie that Alex’s death would have no effect on the world, so she used her last bullet to kill her, resuming time. (Moving Target)
Suzie asked Sebastian Vaughan to get Toshiko Sato’s report on the cortex leeches. However, he had forgotten and got Tosh to hurriedly finish the report the night before. At some point, she had Sebastian film a final message in the event of his death. (The Vigil)
Aware that the resurrection gauntlet not only worked particularly well on the victims of violent deaths, but that it was especially so on those killed by a knife made of the same metal, Suzie committed a series of murders to improve her use of it. She stabbed three victims from behind with the knife and, when resurrecting them, positioned herself behind their head in case they were able to identify her.
When Jack suggested that Torchwood liaise with the police on the matterof the murders, Suzie found that she had been identified. (Everything Changes) She wiped her records (They Keep Killing Suzie) and planned to run away, taking a gun with her. Upon being confronted by PC Gwen Cooper and Jack, whom she shot and whose resurrection she witnessed, she shot and killed herself (Everything Changes) in the knowledge that she would be brought back some months later.
Suzie’s body was placed in the Torchwood cryo-chambers and her worldly possessions collected and placed into storage, as was common practice for deceased Torchwood operatives. (They Keep Killing Suzie)
Three months after Suzie’s death, Max killed three people in the space of a day, marking the walls in blood with the word “Torchwood” to draw Torchwood’s attention. After discovering her involvement with Pilgrim, Torchwood decided to revive Suzie, ironically with the very resurrection gauntlet that Suzie had killed forearlier. Gwen wielded the glove this time, but rather than reviving Suzie foronly a few minutes as usual, the glove revived her apparently permanently. This left Torchwood in a quandary since they now had a dead person who had come back to life, yet among other things still had a severe head injury caused by the suicide bullet. Unknown to the team, Suzie had foreseen this and through a mental link in the glove, Gwen was forced to transfer part of her essence, which Suzie used to heal her injury, an action which slowly killed Gwen. She also visited her father and murdered him.
Seeing the effects on Gwen, Jack asked Suzie to give up her restored life. She refused. Faced with Gwen’s imminent death, Jack shot Suzie down in cold blood. However the link via the gauntlet prevented Suzie from dying. Only after Jack ordered Toshiko Sato to destroy the gauntlet did Suzie die again. Her body was returned to the cryo-chamber. (They Keep Killing Suzie)
Following the destruction of the Hub in 2009, (Children of Earth: Day One) a piece of alien technology concealed within her body was activated, enabling Suzie to be resurrected for a third time. After murdering one young worker at the site, she fled the area, undertaking the alias Sue Costa. A series of brutal murders followed until Suzie was finally tracked down before then being enticed back to the Hub. There she met DCI Tom Cutler with whom she shared an intimate relationship. Tom attempted to negotiate with Suzie before the Hub was destroyed a second time. Half an hour later the two were locked in each others arms before the explosion took both their lives. The remains of both Tom and Suzie were later discovered by a tearful PC Andy Davidson. (Long Time Dead)
Gwen mentioned how Suzie was resurrected by the glove when Martha Jones asked how they obtained the gloves after Jack resurrected Owen using one. (Dead Man Walking)
After the 456 incident, Jack revealed that he felt responsible for Suzie’s death, along with those of all the other Torchwood operatives who died under his command. (Children of Earth: Day Five)
Suzie felt that she was “messed up” and thus did not fit her father’s idyllic vision of his family. (Sync) She loved her work at Torchwood (Everything Changes) and felt that it made her important, (Moving Target) but came to believe that Earth was dirty as it seemed to only warrant the arrival of Weevils and other examples of what she saw as alien “filth”. (Everything Changes)
Suzie was highly organised. (Long Time Dead) She was skilled with computers and, according to Tosh, was good at everything. Despite this, she had low self-confidence and believed that Gwen was better than her in every way and that she herself only ever managed to do wrong. Following her first death, she realised that life was all that there was and was willing to do anything to remain alive, including allowing Gwen to die for her. It gave her great pleasure to send her father into the darkness that she had experienced.
Whilst working at Torchwood, Suzie kept herself to herself and did not develop much of a relationship with her teammates. Despite having a sexual relationship with Owen and working with Tosh and Jack for years, none of them felt as though they knew her. (They Keep Killing Suzie)
Suzie was a tall, beautiful woman with thick, dark hair, brown eyes and full lips. She had long, slim limbs, clear features and could move with a cat-like elegance. John Blackman believed that she was “absolutely stunning”. (Long Time Dead)
BEHIND THE SCENES
In order to catch viewers unaware with the twist ending of Everything Changes, the first episode of Torchwood credited actress Indira Varma as a regular cast member. She was featured in pre-broadcast publicity for the series.
In his book The Writer’s Tale, Russell T Davies reveals that he planned at one point to bring Suzie back for an episode of Torchwood series 2 but Varma was unable to commit due to being pregnant at the time.
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