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06 – "Countrycide"
Torchwood episode
Ianto and Tosh discover the human meat.
Directed byAndy Goddard
Written byChris Chibnall
Script editorBrian Minchin
Produced byRichard Stokes
Chris Chibnall (co-producer)
Executive producer(s)Russell T Davies
Julie Gardner
Incidental music composerMurray Gold
Ben Foster
Production code1.6
SeriesSeries 1
Running time50 mins
First broadcast19 November 2006 (2006-11-19)
← Preceded by
"Small Worlds"
Followed by →
"Greeks Bearing Gifts"
List of Torchwood episodes

"Countrycide" is the sixth 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 19 November 2006.

Set in a small Welsh village, the episode involves a village full of cannibals harvesting and butchering passing travellers every ten years.

It was viewed by 1.22 million people.[1]


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, much to the surprise of Tosh, 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, with maggots crawling on it. 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, leading to a romantic moment between the two. 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, pointed defensively at the two, and 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, ready to be cannabalised.

Just before Ianto is cut open and bled, Jack, having learned of the villagers' intent from Martin, bursts through the building on a tractor and wounds the assembled cannibals, with a shotgun. They spare Evan's life to try to learn the truth: that every ten years, the village targets travellers passing through the area and butcher them. When Gwen demands to know why, Evan simply whispers to her "'Cos 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.


  • The programme's title (a pun on "countryside" and the suffix "-cide") is one of several references to the contrast between town and country, emphasised throughout the episode by Londoner Owen's remarks about the countryside.
  • The word "fuck" is used in dialogue in this episode; when broadcast on CBC in Canada and on BBC America in the U.S. the word was bleeped although other explicit language remains unaltered.


  • The song "Monster" by The Automatic is featured in this episode (when Ellie stops her car to check on the 'body' in the middle of the road at the very beginning of the episode).
  • Captain Jack's Theme debuts in the scene where Jack drives a tractor straight through the barn doors and fires on the cannibals. Ben Foster used this as an inspiration to create the music, by bashing out on his keyboard "here he comes in a ruddy-great tractor". The theme's onomatopoeic structure made it a big hit from the first two season's original score.

Cast notes


  1. ^ "Multichannel top 10 programmes". UK: Barb. Retrieved 4 October 2017. (select BBC3, 2006, November, 13 Nov - 19 Nov)

External links

This page was last edited on 16 June 2021, at 08:31
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