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Toshiko "Tosh" Sato was a member of Torchwood Three in the 2000s.

After being imprisoned by UNIT for assisting criminals under duress, Tosh was released by Jack Harkness under the condition that she work for Torchwood for five years. She was quiet and unassuming, generally using her computer genius to avoid exposure and to assist her colleagues. Nonetheless, she proved herself to be a field agent capable of taking on her own missions and projects. She had feelings for Owen Harper that she did not make known to him for quite some time.

She suffered a gunshot inflicted by Gray and died saving Cardiff from nuclear meltdown. However, she felt that she had failed Owen, who died unaware that she too was moments from death.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Early life[edit | edit source]

Tosh was born in London in July 1975. In 1977, her mother and father, who had both been in the RAF, moved with her to Osaka (TV: Greeks Bearing Gifts; AUDIO: torchwood_cascade_CDRIP.tor) where they lived with her grandmother. Her parents taught her English. As a child, her favourite programme was Science Ninja Team Gatchaman. (PROSE: Trace Memory) She had a brother who died and whose death she felt responsible for, believing that she had abandoned him. (AUDIO: torchwood_cascade_CDRIP.tor) Their grandfather had worked at Bletchley Park. (TV: Greeks Bearing Gifts)

Whilst living in Osaka, Tosh was read fairy tales about Sentaro. At the age of five, she met Michael Bellini, who had time travelled into her bedroom, and was threatened by a Vondrax before Bellini left. (PROSE: Trace Memory) She was a big fan of Steve Ross's comic books, (AUDIO: Believe) was obsessed with Tetris (AUDIO: Zone 10) and was part of her school's Maths Club. (TV: Adam) In 1986, the Satos returned to the United Kingdom. (TV: Greeks Bearing Gifts)

When Tosh moved into her own flat, she chose not to have a flat-warming party as there was nobody that she wanted to invite. (TV: Adam) She got a job at the Ministry of Defence's Lodmoor Research Facility. (TV: Fragments)

Career at Torchwood[edit | edit source]

Joining Torchwood[edit | edit source]

Tosh was blackmailed by Milton, who had taken her mother hostage, into stealing the Ministry of Defence's plans for a sonic modulator and building one. She managed to do so, improving upon the design as the plans were incorrect, hence their being shelved. Shortly after handing it over, Tosh was arrested by UNIT and held indefinitely and without hope of a trial or appeal. She did not know her mother's fate as UNIT refused to give her any information.

After some time, Tosh was visited by Jack Harkness who told her that her mother was okay and that Tosh would be held at UNIT forever to make an example of her. He promised her her freedom in return for five years' work at Torchwood Three, an offer that she took. (TV: Fragments)

Early years[edit | edit source]

Tosh worked alongside Jack and Suzie Costello, with whom she was temporarily frozen in a time bubble in the Hub for a day on the orders of Yvonne Hartman, who remarked that she was "cute". (AUDIO: One Rule) She attempted to find out Jack's identity, finding that there had been no US citizen by that name for fifty years. (TV: Day One) She developed feelings for Tommy Brockless, whom they unfroze once a day every year. (TV: To the Last Man)

They were joined by Owen Harper and Ianto Jones. (TV: Fragments) From the moment that Owen joined Torchwood, Tosh had to step in to save him, including posing as a doctor during his second week due to a hangover (TV: Fragments) to perform an autopsy on the Space Pig, which injured her, at Albion Hospital. She met the Ninth Doctor who told her the truth about the pig. (TV: Aliens of London)

Tosh at Rockfell Hall. (AUDIO: The Vigil)

Although Tosh considered new recruit Sebastian Vaughan to be a friend, he was unkind and sometimes racist to her, telling her that the team found her and her obsession with technology boring and that there was no real difference between the Chinese and the Japanese.

Tosh investigated the cortex leeches, which Sebastian told her was obsessive and unnecessary. They attacked Sebastian, who asked Tosh to kill him and told her that she was and would always be unsuited to Torchwood after she refused. Tosh took his body to Madeline Vaughan at Rockfell Hall, blaming herself for his death, and saved Madeline from Sebastian's leech-possessed corpse. (AUDIO: The Vigil)

Joined by Gwen[edit | edit source]

When Torchwood went to crime scenes to test the resurrection gauntlet, Tosh was the one to ask questions. She covered up the killing of a hospital porter by a Weevil by planting a false alibi and changing the hospital's rota, something that she told Gwen Cooper when she entered the Hub, telling her that it was her job to do so. (TV: Everything Changes) She was more sympathetic to Gwen on her first day than her colleagues and helped defeat the Sex Gas that had possessed Carys Fletcher, cornering it at the Conway Clinic. (TV: Day One)

Tosh helped Jack, Owen and Gwen track down the quantum transducer that Bernie Harris had in his possession, tracking him down and visiting his mother. (TV: Ghost Machine) She also helped to defeat the Bruydac, (PROSE: Another Life) Scotus and his alien tapeworms (PROSE: Slow Decay) and Lisa Hallett, whom she shot whilst she was in Annie Botchwell's body. (TV: Cyberwoman) She provided her teammates with valuable information on the Fairies (TV: Small Worlds) and the CARU Clinic. (AUDIO: Hidden)

She joined the team on a visit to the Brecon Beacons to solve a number of disappearances. In Brynblaidd, she and Ianto were kidnapped by the cannibals as part of the harvest, (TV: Countrycide) an ordeal that she had nightmares about afterwards. (AUDIO: Broken)

Jack cheers up Tosh after Mary's death. (TV: Greeks Bearing Gifts)

Tosh had a relationship with the Arcateenian known as Mary, who tried to use her to gain access to her technology that Torchwood had confiscated. Their relationship was the first one that Tosh had had with another woman. To drive a wedge between her and her teammates, Mary gave Tosh a telepathy pendant, which she chose to destroy for fear of its possible uses after Jack tricked Mary into teleporting into the Sun. (TV: Greeks Bearing Gifts) Upset by what she had heard what her colleagues thought of her, she attended one of Simon's therapy sessions and became suspicious of him after Jolly Otter suffered an aneurysm after an argument with him. She employed Janet's help to stop him. (AUDIO: Instant Karma)

On Jack's orders, Tosh destroyed the resurrection gauntlet to kill Suzie and save Gwen. (TV: They Keep Killing Suzie) She believed that Eugene Jones's death was a simple road accident, (TV: Random Shoes) supplied Diane Holmes, John Ellis and Emma-Louise Cowell with proof that they had time travelled (TV: Out of Time) and provided Owen with a cover story and identity to investigate Mark Lynch. (TV: Combat)

Tosh joined Jack in visiting the the Ritz at 11 Richmond Street and was transported back to 1941, meaning that she missed her grandfather's birthday in London. She tried to get a complete equation to Gwen, Owen and Ianto in the future and failed to do so, but was able to return after Owen opened the Rift. (TV: Captain Jack Harkness) She was tempted to open it further by a vision of her mother and joined Gwen, Owen and Ianto in doing so, unwittingly unleashing Abaddon. (TV: End of Days)

Jack's absence[edit | edit source]

Following Jack's disappearance, Tosh was made team leader under Torchwood guidelines which assigned the role to the longest-standing member. However, she was temporarily rendered mentally unfit to command after exposure to an alien artefact and deferred command to Gwen. (PROSE: Kaleidoscope)

Tosh, Gwen, Owen and Ianto were sent on a "wild goose chase" to the Himalayas by Harold Saxon to keep them from being a threat to his plans. (TV: The Sound of Drums) On Valentine's Day, Owen failed to appear for Tosh's planned night at the opera and Gwen was with Rhys. She and Ianto spent the night investigating aliens at the opera. (AUDIO: Dinner and a Show)

After Jack's return[edit | edit source]

Tosh and Tommy in 1918. (TV: To the Last Man)

Whilst dealing with a hostage situation involving a Blowfish, Jack returned and shot him. Tosh helped locate the canisters that they were warned of by Captain John Hart and helped find and save Gwen after John poisoned her. (TV: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) She controlled the mind probe to interrogate Beth Halloran and uncovered Cell 114's plan to use nuclear warheads. (TV: Sleeper)

When Tommy was woken up, Tosh went out with him and, after they learnt that he had to go back to 1918, took him to her house where they slept together. She encouraged him to return despite knowing that he would be court martialled, knowing that it was the right thing to do, and appeared as a projection to him to get him to seal the Rift breach behind him. (TV: To the Last Man)

Tosh helped investigate the Cash Cow and was the first to bring up the option of "putting it out of its misery". (TV: Meat) She and Owen were kidnapped by Bilis Manger and possessed by the Dark before he transferred it into Idris Hopper. (PROSE: The Twilight Streets) Thanks to Adam Smith's influence, Tosh became confident and believed herself to be in a relationship with him. She drew her gun when Adam was locked away but eventually resigned herself to taking retcon to forget and defeat him. (TV: Adam)

Owen agrees to a date with Tosh. (TV: Reset)

Finally mustering the courage, Tosh asked Owen out on a date. She was personally responsible for shutting down the Pharm and was devastated when Owen was shot and killed by Aaron Copley, (TV: Reset) confessing her love for him when they brought him back, for what she assumed would be the briefest of times, using the second resurrection gauntlet. (TV: Dead Man Walking) She still maintained hope of a relationship with him despite his being dead and wanted to help him deal with the situation. (TV: A Day in the Death)

Tosh went to Gwen and Rhys's wedding as a guest, with Gwen apologising for not making her a bridesmaid, and helped defeat the Nostrovite. (TV: Something Borrowed) As part of Owen's mission against the Church of the Outsiders, Tosh was tasked with seducing Frank Layton in order to search his house for information on the Church. She forced Owen to listen to her having sex with him as revenge for making her do it, although she was angry with herself as well as at him. (AUDIO: Believe) She used her computer skills to look into the Night Travellers (TV: From Out of the Rain) and helped Gwen collect information on people who had been taken by the Rift. (TV: Adrift)

Tosh on Zone 10. (AUDIO: Zone 10)

Whilst working on a time lock in the Hub, Tosh solved the mystery of the Pulse's message ("Toshiko Sato. The truth is in Zone 10") and headed to Russia to look into it, escorted by Maxim Ivanov of the KVI. She learnt what he knew about the Committee and was given Object 1 by Anna Volokova, who sent the message as she escaped Zone 10 in her rocket. (AUDIO: Zone 10) Back in Cardiff, she reverse-engineered the locket to give good luck and had a "perfect day" in which Owen kissed her. Believing that nobody should have that power, she sent it into the Rift and removed her memories using retcon. (AUDIO: The Torchwood Archive)

Tosh was contacted by Stephen Heinz, formally of Torchwood One, and travelled to London to help him solve a spate of disappearances. She discovered that the victims had all shared the same birthday and that a computer virus was to blame, trapping it in her Torchwood profile after changing her birthday in the records. (AUDIO: torchwood_cascade_CDRIP.tor) She later joined the team, minus Gwen, in investigating Rift activity at an old building where they were caught in an explosion engineered by Gray and John Hart. She survived with a broken arm (TV: Fragments) for which Owen gave her painkillers. (TV: Exit Wounds)

Death[edit | edit source]

Tosh says goodbye to her friends. (TV: Exit Wounds)

Tosh worked with Owen from the Hub to prevent Turnmill Nuclear Power Station from going into meltdown and destroying Cardiff. She was shot by Gray but continued to direct Owen, not letting him know that she was dying. After Owen failed to escape, he and Tosh disussed the date that they had never gone on and reminisced about their early days together. She heard Owen die and died in Jack's arms after he returned with Gwen, Ianto and John. She told them how she had failed to save Owen.

As the team deleted Tosh's profile on the computer system, an automated video message she had recorded played. In it, Tosh thanked Jack for saving her life and proclaimed her love for Owen and the rest of the team. She reassured them that it was okay that she was gone, saying that she hoped that she had done good. (TV: Exit Wounds)

Legacy[edit | edit source]

Though dead, Tosh's presence was still felt by the others. When faced with certain death at the hands of the Daleks, who were about to overrun the Hub, Gwen expressed her desire to "go out fighting, like Owen, like Tosh"; (TV: The Stolen Earth) she and Ianto were saved by a time-lock defence system that Tosh had been working on before her death. The Hub was sealed in a time bubble, preventing a Dalek from entering to finish them off. (TV: Journey's End)

After witnessing the deaths of a couple in a café who she had been unable to save, Gwen remembered the deaths of Tosh and Owen and how utterly powerless she had felt. (PROSE: Bay of the Dead)

After the 456 incident, Jack revealed that he felt responsible for Tosh's death, along with those of all the other Torchwood operatives who had died under his command. (TV: Children of Earth: Day Five)

The ghost of Ianto Jones' father mentioned Toshiko among the loved ones his son could have seen again if he set Syriath free from the Cardiff Rift. (AUDIO: The House of the Dead)

Whilst leaving Torchwood, Gwen mentioned how she loved Tosh, as well as Owen and Esther Drummond. (AUDIO: Herald of the Dawn)

Alternate timeline[edit | edit source]

In an alternate timeline in which John Hart took control of the Torchwood Institute and became King of the British Empire, Tosh was likewise a member of Torchwood Cardiff, but died before Gwen Cooper was recruited by the king, who recalled that her death was "very sad, and messy and painful to watch" before agreeing to never speak of it again with Ianto Jones. Nevertheless, Ianto visibly burst into tears as John decided that Gwen would inherit Tosh's desk. (AUDIO: The Death of Captain Jack)

Personality[edit | edit source]

Tosh considered herself to be a rationalist. (PROSE: Slow Decay) She was a computer genius and arguably the most intelligent member of the Torchwood team. Despite her intelligence, she was insecure and not very confident in her abilities.[additional sources needed] She didn't like to be studied. She could complete a Rubik's cube within a minute, even when Owen peeled off and replaced several of the stickers. (PROSE: Another Life)

Sebastian Vaughan said that Tosh was spineless and did not listen to her instincts, saying that she was not and never would be Torchwood material. Tosh took notice of this and decided to trust her gut more. (AUDIO: The Vigil)

Tosh was in love with Owen Harper but because of her insecurity, she found it hard to tell him how she felt. (TV: Greeks Bearing Gifts) Tragically, both Tosh and Owen were killed before they could get into a romantic relationship. (TV: Reset, Dead Man Walking, A Day in the Death, Exit Wounds)

Toshiko worried Jack. While she was at the heart of the Torchwood team, she didn't realise it. She felt more remote. Jack suspected that beneath her reserved exterior, there was a supernova of emotion which he didn't want to damage the team. (PROSE: Slow Decay)

Tosh showed interest for men and women, given her continual interest in Owen, and her romance with the female Arcateenian known as Mary. (TV: Greeks Bearing Gifts)

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

Torchwood website[edit | edit source]

The series 1 version of the Torchwood website had correspondence from Tosh in an unsent draft sent to her aunt discovered by Ianto. It was translated from Japanese into English by Ianto. It said that "for the last week", Tosh was with a woman, referring to Mary, "going from a schoolgirl crush on Owen through to a fantastically fulfilling sex life with a complete stranger". She called it "a week of firsts", including: Tosh's first one night stand, lesbian kiss, lesbian "shag", and the first time Tosh was late to work because of sex.[1]

Other matters[edit | edit source]

  • During her first on-screen appearances, in Aliens of London, Tosh was a pathologist called in to autopsy an "alien pilot". When reintroduced in Torchwood, she was a computer specialist. In her final appearance (Exit Wounds), the character would explain this discrepancy by explaining she was filling in for Owen, pretending to be an MD because Owen had a hangover.
  • Tosh left a resounding impression in the Torchwood universe and in the final episode of Children of Earth Jack admits that he feels responsible for her death. It is assumed her body was destroyed when the Hub was blown up by a bomb.
  • The name Toshiko means "genius child".
  • Toshiko was the only known member of Torchwood Three other than Jack Harkness to have met an incarnation of the Doctor. Gwen and Ianto had spoken to the Tenth Doctor through the Sub-Wave Network during Journey's End, but Tosh was the only one to have physically met an incarnation of him.

Footnotes[edit | edit source]

  1. Sato, T. [English translation by Jones, I.]. Correspondence by Toshiko (Japanese). Torchwood website. Archived from the original on 24 August 2007. Retrieved on 25 July 2013.
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