Sydney Ransom
Sydney Ransom
Billie Piper as Sydney.
Portrayed By Billie Piper
Gender Female
Date of Birth October 23, 1984
Age 23
Zodiac Sign Scorpio
Aliases Amber (stage name)
Place of Birth New York City, NY, USA
Current Location New York City, NY, USA
Occupation Stripper
Known Relatives Eleanor Ransom (mother), unknown father
Known Abilities Memory Manipulation
First Appearance If Not Who You Are, Then Who?

Sydney Ransom is a stripper working at The Back Alley strip club in Lower Manhattan. Incidentally, she is also an Evolved Human struggling to understand and come to grips with her ability. It isn't easy; feelings of despair and loneliness brought on by her experiences with her power have driven her to a life of substance abuse.


Eleanor Ransom was a good woman, but she was not a good mother. Raising one child on a single salary is difficult enough—raising two children on a single salary can sometimes feel impossible, and though she managed to scrape by during the first four years of her children’s’ lives, she eventually began to neglect them, turning to alcohol and prescription drugs to help ease the stress of her job as an emergency dispatch operator in Manhattan, New York. When her eldest daughter, Sydney, was six, Eleanor’s mother passed away after a long battle with lung cancer. Eleanor, unable to cope with the loss, was fired for repeatedly coming into work drunk and, at the concerned recommendation of her co-workers, entered a rehabilitation program that required the state’s Foster Care system to take custody of the children.

The children’s case worker made an extra effort to keep the two together as they were shuffled from one group home to the next. In this respect, they were lucky—not all siblings in the foster care system are fortunate to receive the same treatment, but their case worker quickly realized that, without their mother, they depended upon one another. Unfortunately, she was not able to keep them together forever—and when Sydney was nine and her younger brother was seven, they were separated.

With puberty came an even more dramatic change in Sydney’s life. When she had been small, she had been a wild child: excitable, overemotional and prone to temper tantrums that earned her regular spankings from her distraught mother. As she aged, her behavior only became worse. Hoping to channel her destructive energy into something useful, Sydney’s case worker suggested that she take advantage of a course in contemporary dance that was being offered free of charge to children in the foster care system. Grudgingly, she signed up, and – much to her surprise – she found that she not only enjoyed dancing, but also the sense of competition that it fostered between herself and the other girls in her class. Unlike the hectic and discordant group home that she resided in, this was an environment where she could thrive. Between the ages of eleven and seventeen, she honed her skills as a dancer, though her efforts were often hampered by particularly difficult rehearsals when emotions were high and tempers were short. On one occasion, she got into a fight with another girl and beat her so viciously that she was suspended from the program for four months.

On her eighteenth birthday, Sydney was released from Foster Care with six hundred dollars and a suitcase full of clothes to her name. She soon found work putting her skills to work at a strip club in Lower Manhattan, which allowed her to put down a deposit on a partially furnished studio apartment. Although she hoped to one day perform in a professional venue, she pushed her aspirations aside in the hope of keeping a roof over her head and food in her stomach.

Six years passed; today, Sydney isn’t much better off than she was when she took her first job at The Back Alley. Like her mother, she has found herself trapped in a viscous cycle of substance abuse where her habit costs her almost as much as her rent—but, unlike her mother, it isn’t the stress of her job that compels her to use.

It’s her secret.


Through touch, Sydney has the ability to bestow and extract memory. She can induce a person to recall a set of related memories and then remove them, adopting them as though they were her own. In the same way, she has the ability to pass these same memories on to someone else, though in doing so they are lost to her forever (or at least until she takes them back).

This removal of memory has harmful side effects. Her subjects have been known to experience headaches, blackouts and - once - the fatal development of a subdural hematoma in the brain. For Sydney, this is not only a physical danger, but an emotional and spiritual one as well. To keep track of which memories are hers and which memories belong to other people, she keeps a detailed journal - lest she accidentally lose track of her own identity in the shuffle.



  • "It's so easy to get sucked into that twelve step bullshit. They treat you like a bitty baby bird with a broken wing — like it's something they can fix with some masking tape and a popsicle stick. Truth is? The poor bastards are only trying to help you with your problems so they don't have to think about their own." — Dark Hair and Nice Smiles
  • "I like subtle. It's a lot easier than shooting lightning out of my ears or dropping cars on people." — Friends in High Places


  • Sydney has two tattoos – an ouroboros that encircles her naval, and a macabre interpretation of Yggdrasil – the World Tree – on the back of her neck.
  • A collector of "found art," Sydney furnishes her apartment with things that most people would call junk. In 2005, she began making her own pieces out of discarded items that she's bought off eBay, found in dumpsters and - occasionally - stolen from other people.
  • Sydney is an on-again-off-again member of Narcotics Anonymous, a twelve step program of recovery from drug addiction; while she attends meetings, she finds that she has difficulty sitting through them and struggles with the concept of putting faith in a higher power.

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