They Keep Killing Suzie
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|08 – "They Keep Killing Suzie"|
|Directed by||James Strong|
Paul Tomalin |
|Script editor||Brian Minchin|
Chris Chibnall (co-producer)
Russell T Davies|
|Originally broadcast||3 December 2006|
"They Keep Killing Suzie" is the eighth episode of the first series of the British science fiction television series Torchwood, which was originally broadcast on the digital television channel BBC Three on 3 December 2006.
The episode is set in and around Cardiff in the early 21st century, three months after the 2006 episode "Everything Changes". In the episode, Suzie Costello (Indira Varma), a deceased member of a team of alien hunters called Torchwood, is revealed to have been plotting a long game where she hypnotically conditions a man called Max (Shend) to commit murders to facilitate Torchwood bringing Suzie back from the dead.
Torchwood is connected to a series of murders, with its name written on the walls of the latest victims, a suburban couple. Called to investigate by Detective Kathy Swanson, the Torchwood team discover traces of the murderer's hair, its DNA showing signs of "Retcon", the primary ingredient in their amnesia pills. Though initially reluctant, Jack allows Gwen to use Resurrection Gauntlet to temporarily bring back to life the latest victims, from which she discovers that their murderer was named Max, a fellow member of a group called "Pilgrim", and that he knows of Torchwood's former member, Suzie Costello, who had committed suicide some months back. Investigating Suzie's possessions confirms her connection to the Pilgrim group.
With no other leads to Max' location, Jack allows them to use the gauntlet on Suzie. She is initially panicked on revival and Torchwood is unable to learn anything before she collapses, but to their surprise, she still seems to be alive. After she recovers, she identifies Max as one person she could confide in about her experience in Torchwood, but always used the amnesia pills to wipe his memory. Looking through the victims, she recognises them all as Pilgrim members, absent one girl. Torchwood arrives at the girl's job and capture Max before he can kill her.
At the Hub, Max is found to be in a hypnotic-like state, only reacting violently for ten seconds on hearing the word "Torchwood". Meanwhile, while the rest of the team ostracises Suzie, Gwen gets to know her better. Suzie requests Gwen's help in seeing her dying father in a distant hospital, and Gwen agrees, smuggling her out of Torchwood. Some time later, as they discover Suzie's absence, the Hub is put into lockdown, triggered by Max's repeated chanting of Emily Dickinson's poem, "Because I could not stop for death". Tosh realises that Suzie, before her suicide, had programmed the Hub's computer systems to react to Max, while Max was conditioned to carry out the murders and behave in this fashion if he did not receive the amnesia pill for three months, all part of a long game played by Suzie. They are forced to request help from Detective Swanson, using other works by Dickinson in Suzie's possessions to try to break the code. Tosh recognises that one of the books' ISBN numbers could be the code, and successfully disables the lockdown. The team quickly race after Gwen and Suzie, aware that the gauntlet is still siphoning energy between them, and could eventually kill Gwen.
Meanwhile, the two women arrive at the hospital, Gwen discovering she is becoming weak. She is unable to stop Suzie from pulling her father's life-support equipment, killing him, and soon Suzie, who had regained much of her strength, is forced to use a wheelchair to return Gwen to the car. Suzie is intercepted by Torchwood as she attempts to head for a ferry to one of the outer islands while carrying Gwen. Jack holds Suzie at gunpoint, but when she taunts him, he fires, discovering that the bullet wounds have no impact on her. Jack orders the team to destroy the Gauntlet; as soon as they do, Suzie collapses, dead, while Gwen begins to recover. They return Suzie's body to Torchwood, glad that they have destroyed the Gauntlet. Yet even so, Ianto sets the stage for the future, pointing out that "the thing about gloves...is that they come in pairs."
- The episode title, a reference to the Avengers episode "They Keep Killing Steed", was originally announced as only "They Keep Killing" in order to conceal Suzie's death before the first broadcast of "Everything Changes".
- This episode was originally planned to be an "overcommission" episode, for use in the case of emergency or as a potential second series episode. However Russell T Davies was sufficiently impressed with the writing to produce it conventionally.
- Yasmin Bannerman, who played Jabe in the Doctor Who episode "The End of the World", plays police detective Kathy Swanson in this episode.
- The implication that there may be a second glove was added to the script by Davies. The second glove was seen in the later episode "Dead Man Walking".
- "Red Is The New Black" by Funeral for a Friend (when the team look for Lucy at the Wolf Bar), "Sing" by Travis, "Soley, Soley" by Middle of the Road (when Gwen and Suzie are in the car, Suzie says her mum used to sing this) and "Górecki" by Lamb (when Owen comforts Gwen; Jack and Gwen return to work; Suzie's body is placed back into storage) are featured in this episode.
- One character recites the poem Because I could not stop for Death — by Emily Dickinson. Jack gives ISBN 0-19-860058-5 for the book, which is actually the ISBN for "The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations". The correct ISBN is ISBN 0-316-18413-6.
- Suzie's line, "Captain! my Captain!", is a quote from the poem O Captain! My Captain! by Walt Whitman.
- Shannon Sullivan (5 December 2006). "A Brief History Of Time (Travel): They Keep Killing Suzie". Retrieved 5 December 2006.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Torchwood|
- They Keep Killing Suzie on Tardis Data Core, an external wiki
- "They Keep Killing Suzie" episode guide entry on the BBC website
- "They Keep Killing Suzie" at Doctor Who: A Brief History of Time (Travel)
- "They Keep Killing Suzie" at the Doctor Who Reference Guide