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Countrycide was the sixth episode in the first series of Torchwood. It was written by Chris Chibnall and directed by Andy Goddard. It continued to push the boundaries of an after-watershed timeslot and contained strong graphic elements beyond the family-friendly archetypes of Doctor Who.

In terms of the ongoing Torchwood narrative, it was important for advancing Gwen's burgeoning sexual fling with Owen, which evolved into a stint of cheating on her lover Rhys Williams. Of perhaps more long-lasting impact was the fact that it gave a clear indication of Tosh's attraction to Owen, and his diffidence towards her — a theme that would pick up steam in the latter half of series 2 and form the emotional basis of their story arc.


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.


A woman is on the phone with her dad when she loses signal. She stops her car when she sees something resembling a body laid out on the road. Taking with her a baseball bat, she ventured outside to see if he's okay. As she nears the corpse, she realises it's actually a football in a hoodie. She sees a flash out of the corner of her eye, and runs back to her car. Her car's not starting, her car keys are gone, and her mobile's not working. Someone from the outside unlocks the doors, and begins to pull her out of the vehicle. She screams out of sheer terror.

The Torchwood team responds to reports of 17 other 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.


Torchwood's campsite

After stopping at a rural hamburger stand, to which Tosh denies a burger, due to fears of hepatitis, they begin to set up camp. 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 rotting corpse, almost stripped to the bone. As the team investigates it to determine the cause of death, they hear their SUV 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, only to find two further corpses, both similar to the one in the woods. Other than that, the homes 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. Suddenly, though, as they discuss possibilities, the lights go out and movement comes from both outside the pub and from within 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. The man directs the two towards one of the lit buildings in the village.

Meanwhile, Toshiko and Ianto attempt to find the SUV, but are both quickly captured. They awake in a cellar full of old clothes, 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 rotting body parts and corpses. Toshiko quickly realises that Helen is acting, and that she and others are cannibals. Her husband 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, where all the villagers are waiting.

Cause it made me happy

"'Cause it made me happy."

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 target travellers passing through the area, and butcher them. When Gwen demands to know why, Evan simply whispers to her, "'Cause it made me happy." which Gwen finds to be highly disturbing. The surviving villagers are taken into custody by the police.

After returning to Cardiff, Gwen looks outside the windows of Owen's flat and thinks about how she cannot share any of her Torchwood experiences with anyone, including her boyfriend Rhys. Owen then appears behind her, and reassures Gwen that she can talk to him. They kiss, and begin a long-lasting sexual relationship.



General production staff

Script department

Camera and lighting department

Art department

Costume department

Make-up and prosthetics



General post-production staff

Special and visual effects


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.



Food and beverages[]

Popular culture[]

Story notes[]

  • The episode was repeated on BBC Two, three days later at 9:00pm on Wednesday 22 November 2006.
  • This episode is the first episode of Torchwood to be rated 18 by the Irish Film Classification Office, the other being Random Shoes.
  • 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.
  • This episode featured the premiere of "Captain Jack's Theme", which plays during the moment he ploughs a tractor into the barn where his teammates are held captive and starts shooting at the cannibals. An extra in the Series 2 disc set shows Murray Gold found his inspiration to compose the theme out of this scene by bashing out notes on his piano keyboard to the tune of, "here he comes in a ruddy-great tractor". The onomatopoetic structure of Captain Jack's theme made it a popular hit among the musical scores in the first two Torchwood series.
    • Additionally, a musical track appropriated titled "Tractor Attack" debuts in the Children of Earth series, with parts of Captain Jack's Theme mixed into the musical score. The titles refers back to the tractor scene and Foster's inspiration.
  • 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 Children of Earth: Day Two, the episode after the Hub's destruction.
  • The cast named this as their favorite episode because they're "sick people" in the words of Eve Myles and the gruesome, horror film like content appealed to them.
  • Ianto's head wound was not make-up, but the result of Gareth David-Lloyd cracking his head open when the whole cast got very drunk the night before filming. In fact, the make-up artist tried and failed to cover up the cut, so they ended up just showing him get hit in the head instead.
  • The pub would years later again be used for a filming location in an episode of Doctor Who. (TV: 73 Yards)


  • 1.22 million viewers[1]

Filming locations[]

  • South Wales Caving Club


Date Time Channel Notes
Sunday 19 November 2006 22:00 BBC Three First broadcast.
Wednesday 22 November 2006 21:00 BBC Two England
Monday 12 February 2007 01:55 BBC Three
Friday 19 October 2007 21:00 BBC Three
Saturday 20 October 2007 02:40 BBC Three
Thursday 27 May 2010 23:00 BBC HD

Production errors[]

If you'd like to talk about narrative problems with this story — like plot holes and things that seem to contradict other stories — please go to this episode's discontinuity discussion.
  • When Ellie Johnson is attacked, the tyres on her car are punctured, but at the end of the scene the tyres are perfectly normal.


Home video releases[]


Series one, part two DVD cover

DVD releases[]

  • 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 19 November 2007.
  • It was also released in the Series 1-4 boxset (Region 2 release: 14 November 2011.)

Blu-ray releases[]

  • Released in the US with the rest of Series 1 as a Complete First Season set on 16 September 2008.
  • It was released in the Series 1-3 Blu-ray boxset on 26 October 2009 in the UK. The US release was on 19 July 2011.
  • It was also released in the Series 1-4 Blu-ray boxset. (Region 2 release: 14 November 2011)

External links[]