a real world point of view
|Main character(s):||Jack, Gwen, Tosh, Owen, Ianto|
|Main enemy:||Evan and Helen Sherman |
|Main setting:||Brecon Beacons, 2007|
|Premiere broadcast:||19 November 2006|
|Premiere network:||BBC Three|
|Small Worlds||Greeks Bearing Gifts|
The episode is interesting for its almost complete abandonment of science fictional elements. It has no aliens, no display of Jack's superhuman abilities and no technology beyond what was reasonably available in the year the episode was broadcast.
However, it doesn't entirely turn its back on its sci-fi roots, since the characters initially fear that the strange goings on in rural Wales are the result of the Cardiff Rift.
Concerned that the space-time rift is spreading, Torchwood investigates a series of gruesome deaths located in a small village in the Brecon Beacons. What sort of creature could cause such shocking injuries? Stranded without communications or equipment and isolated from one another, the team confronts a terrifying enemy.
The Torchwood team responds to reports of 17 people missing in the same 20-mile radius in the Brecon Beacons using the last mobile phone signal from the last disappearance as their starting point. After stopping at a rural hamburger stand (at which Toshiko declines a hamburger, citing concerns about hepatitis), they begin to set up camp, and during friendly chatter, Owen reveals that his last kiss was with Gwen, prompting the others to get more details. Owen and Gwen quickly go off to get firewood, Gwen scolding Owen for revealing the kiss, when they suddenly see two hooded figures through the trees. They try to chase them but instead find a corpse. As the team investigates it to determine the cause of death, they hear their Range Rover start and drive off without the team. Ianto tracks the vehicle to a nearby village; Jack believes that the corpse was a lure to make them come to the village and warns the team to be alert as they split up to investigate.
Jack, Gwen, and Owen search the pub and nearby homes to find a further two corpses, each left in the same manner as the first. Other than that, they are deserted, save for one young man named Kieran who accidentally shoots and wounds Gwen with a shotgun, believing "they" had come back for him. Jack tries to calm Kieran down, but the man insists the only way to protect themselves is to barricade themselves in a building. Jack orders his group to the pub to create a defensive position while Owen tends to Gwen's wound. They learn from Kieran more about the victims, still unsure if they are dealing with aliens from the Rift, but suddenly the lights go out and movement comes from both outside the pub and the pub's cellar. The diversion prevents them from keeping Kieran from being dragged away, and Gwen and Owen try to follow against Jack's orders. Jack stays behind to interrogate Martin, the man he shot from the cellars. Gwen and Owen come across a policeman named Huw who says that he is there for the town meeting that night, and directs the two towards one of the lit buildings in the village.
Meanwhile, Toshiko and Ianto attempt to find the Range Rover, but both are quickly captured and awake in a cellar, full of old clothes and shoes, and a refrigerator full of human body parts; Toshiko realises they are to be food for their captors. The cellar door opens, and a scared woman named Helen enters the room holding a shotgun to the two, learns from them of the other Torchwood members, and then tells them that she cannot help them; she has been asked to collect the two for the "Harvest" which happens every ten years. They are taken into a kitchen filled with body parts and corpses. Toshiko quickly realises that Helen is acting, and that she and others are cannibals, as a man named Evan begins to handcuff them to be prepared for butchering. Ianto headbutts Evan, allowing Toshiko to escape, pursued by Evan. Evan catches up to Toshiko and starts strangling her, but before he can choke her to death, Owen and Gwen, along with Huw, show up to stop him. Evan looks unconcerned as Huw reveals himself to be Evan's nephew, and the two lead the three Torchwood members back to the village at gunpoint.
Just before Ianto is cut open and bled, Jack, having learned of the villager's intent from Martin, bursts through the building on a tractor and disables the assembled villagers. They spare Evan's life to try to learn the truth: that every ten years, the village targets travelers passing through the area and butcher them. When Gwen demands to know why, Evan simply whispers to her "'Cause it made me happy." The surviving villagers are taken into custody by the police. After returning to Cardiff, Gwen begins a sexual relationship with Owen, as he is the only one with whom she can share the experiences that she has been through.
- Captain Jack Harkness - John Barrowman
- Gwen Cooper - Eve Myles
- Owen Harper - Burn Gorman
- Toshiko Sato - Naoko Mori
- Ianto Jones - Gareth David-Lloyd
- Rhys Williams - Kai Owen
- Evan Sherman - Owen Teale
- Helen Sherman - Maxine Evans
- Kieran - Callum Gallaghan
- Huw - Rhys Op Trefor
- Ellie - Emily Bowker
- Martin - Robert Barton
Created by Russell T Davies
|Executive Producers Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner|
|Not every person who worked on this adventure was credited. The absence of a credit for a position doesn't necessarily mean the job wasn't required. The information above is based solely on observations of the actual end credits of the episodes as broadcast, and does not relay information from IMDB or other sources.|
Space-time anomalies Edit
- Weevils don't strip their victims down to a carcass.
- Jack says that no species in the universe goes camping, other than humans.
Popular Culture Edit
- This episode contains several references to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
Story notes Edit
- This episode contains no obvious CGI elements, though there was at least one shot where the production team needed to black out the Cardiff cityscape in the background.
- This is the first episode in which no scenes are set in the Torchwood Hub. This would not happen again until after the Hub's destruction in TV: Children of Earth: Day One.
- The town in which the story is set, Brynblaidd, is not actually named in the narrative. However, it was named in the BBC's original description of the episode, and therefore has appeared in virtually all subsequent TV listings, worldwide. As of March 2012[update], the name continues to be used on the official BBC Torchwood website.
- As is routine for Torchwood, The Sarah Jane Adventures, and the revived Doctor Who itself, a "NEXT TIME" trailer for the next episode is shown at the end of the episode.
- 1.2 million viewers
Filming locations Edit
Production errors Edit
- When Ellie Johnson is attacked the tyres on her car are punctured but at the end of the scene the tyres are perfectly normal.
- Gwen and Owen kissed in TV: Cyberwoman, as did Ianto and Lisa.
- The SUV would be stolen again in TV: Fragments and Children of Earth: Day One.
- Tosh was locked in a UNIT cell, seen in TV: Fragments.
Home video releases Edit
- This episode was first released on DVD, with three other episodes entitled Torchwood: Series 1, part 2 on 26 February 2007. It was later released in Torchwood: The Complete First Series on 19th November 2007.
- Countrycide at the Doctor Who Reference Guide
- Countrycide at Shannon Sullivan's A Brief History of Time (Travel)
- Countrycide at The Locations Guide