Episode appearance: Something Borrowed
Friend or Foe: Definite Foe
Nostrovite played: Mike Henley, Colette Brown, John Barrowman and Nerys Hughes plus another – yet to be identified.
Nostrovites are well known to Torchwood. They are black blooded carnivorous shape shifting aliens with a penchant for human flesh. They are known to mate for life and are known to bring their young on hunts with them, many from an early age. A bit like a ‘take your children to work’ day!
To procreate, the female Nostrovite passes her eggs to the male Nostrovite who stores them in a protected pouch in his throat. He is able to pass the eggs onto the host, while administering serum, caused by biting the host – in this case by biting Gwen Cooper on the arm.
The eggs remain incubating for 24 hours till they are ready to hatch. Of course, it’s not as easy as giving birth the natural way. To a Nostrovite, giving birth requires the female to locate the host and ‘rip the baby out of their stomach’, not pretty, by a long chalk.
How can you tell if there is a Nostrovite in the building?
Shape shifters, especially Nostrovites are able to change form by using a black sac of energy otherwise known as the Prometheus Gland, which can rewrite their DNA, so they can assume the identity of anyone and anything. However, one thing they cannot replicate is smell, and after Jack rudely spoke to Rhys’ mother Brenda, it was only the mere smell of Brenda’s perfume that saved her from being pumped full of bullets.
After Toshiko had responded to the screams coming from Mervyn Powell’s room, she found herself caught in a black web with the hapless Banana Boat, as a meal for later. The cocoon web was created from bodily fluids from the Nostrovite. It had the texture of filmy plastic but once it made contact with the air it hardened. Once cocooned inside the black web, it is absolutely impossible to escape the prison.
How to kill a Nostrovite?
Although a male Nostrovite takes many bullets from a conventional weapon before it finally gives up the ghost, it can take a lot more to kill a female.
When the female Nostrovite took on the many forms at the Wedding of Rhys Williams and Gwen Cooper, it proved difficult to kill the conventional way – bullets just couldn’t stop it. However, Jack Harkness determined not to be beaten by a shape shifting alien, had come prepared with a larger and far more powerful weapon, and locating the correct Brenda (Nostrovite), obliterated it.
It is unclear just how many families of Nostrovites are presently on planet Earth and given the fact that they can adopt any identity, they could truly walk among us.
The Torchwood Archives