Countrycide Episode Six Series One
Written by Chris Chibnall
Produced by Richard Stokes
Director Andy Goddard
Music by Ben Foster/Murray Gold
Additional music by Automatic
Ellie Johnson, is a young, blonde haired woman heading home to her Dad along a quiet country road, miles from anywhere remotely civilised. Storm clouds pull the dark night in and the roads become darker and even more desolate than before. But Ellie is safe in the car, with her radio playing ‘Monster’ by Automatic. She’s reassured her Dad that she won’t be long. The signal is breaking up but she’s safe in the car.
But lying in the road is a body!
It lies across the width of the road. Ellie could drive past, could drive on, call for help at the next nearest village, but as the music plays to the bridge her conscience won’t let her leave without first checking the body.
She gets out of the car grabbing the baseball bat that she carries in the car at all times and edges carefully to the hooded figure lying still on the road. She calls to it, hoping for an answer but nothing. The night air is cold. She gives the body a nudge with the bat, it moves she nudges it again and realises to her horror it’s a fake. Then the radio stops playing.
Fear grips Ellie as she makes her way back to the car, bat raised, she sees the tyres are quickly deflating. Getting back in the car stowing the bat on the passenger seat she reaches for the ignition key, but it’s gone!
Panicked, Ellie manually locks the driver’s door and phones for help, but there is no signal at all! She hears noises on the roof, but saw nobody climb on the car, and just like those horror stories of old, Ellie fears the worst!
She screams for the noises to go away, for whatever it is out there to leave her alone. When the locking system forces the locks up she reaches for her bat, as the door opens and before she can do anything, she’s captured!
It’s daylight, early morning and the rain freckles the windscreen. The Torchwood Three team are following the route that Ellie took on her journey home. Captain Jack Harkness is driving, sitting in the back are Toshiko, Gwen and Ianto and riding shotgun is Owen, who at this precise moment is complaining about the fresh air and the smell of the damp cold countryside. It’s all disgusting, the further away from civilisation that they get.
As with all remote lay-bys there’s always a service caravan selling hot food and snacks. The SUV parks near hand and while Ianto orders the food, Jack, Gwen and Toshiko pore over a map on the bonnet as Owen tries to warm up.
Jack relays to the team that there have been 17 disappearances in the last 5 months, given the location Owen suggests that given the area, they likely all topped themselves, knowing he’d do exactly the same if he had to live out there.
Jack continues and explains that all the people have disappeared within a 20 mile radius. As the Rift is increasing all the time it was possible that it was dumping aliens all over the place.
As Ianto brought over the burgers, he asked if Toshiko was certain she didn’t want one. Toshiko confirmed her dislike of take away vendors such as this by telling him that “...a friend of mine called hepatitis after eating a burger from one of these places.”
Jack abandons his burger. Locating the area that Ellie’s last phone call had been picked up; he decides that it would be the ideal place to set up camp, much to Owen’s disgust!
The location was set into a quarry, a large area of flat land ideal for camping. With a few tents already up, the team began unpacking. Carrying the heavy sack containing another tent, from the SUV, Owen continued to whine about the fact they were staying out of doors as oppose to staying in a hotel.
“What’s wrong with a hotel?”
“People are going missing around here do you really want to stay in a place run by strangers?”
“Yeah coz sleeping outside is going to be so much safer.”
“No other race in the universe goes camping, celebrate your own uniqueness!”
The team are completely unaware they are being watched from the trees!
As the team settle in, Gwen starts the ball rolling by asking one of those ‘girly’ questions.
“Who was the last person you snogged?” As usual it’s met with the casual dry wit of Dr Owen Harper. Gwen with the boyfriend admits her last kiss was with Rhys, Toshiko surprises Gwen by admitting her last kiss was with Owen, which even shocks Owen as he can’t recall the event.
“Outside the Millennium Centre, 3am, Christmas Eve, waiting for a cab, I had mistletoe.”
When Toshiko threw the question to Owen, she and the team were a little shocked to discover that it was Gwen he’d last ‘snogged’ and remarked to Gwen that it hadn’t taken her long to get her feet under the table.
Passing the question along, Owen asks Jack.
“Are we including non human life forms?”
Gwen laughs, never certain that Jack is telling the truth.
“You’re a sick man Harkness...”
As the laughter dies down, Ianto opens up and tells the team his last kiss had been with Lisa. An awkward silence falls across the camp and Gwen apologises.
“Sorry that she’s dead or sorry you mentioned it?” Ianto asks.
A further few awkward moments and Owen suggests gathering wood for the fire. Gwen offers to go with him, leaving Ianto alone with Captain Jack and Toshiko.
In the woods, Gwen has a go at Owen for his inability of keeping that snog to himself. Aware that this has riled Gwen, he continues to tease her, bringing Rhys into the conversation, suggesting that their sex life can’t be up to much if she’s seeking solace elsewhere.
Gwen reacts by grabbing Owen and slamming him against a tree, offering to lamp him one if he doesn’t shut up. He returns this threat by grabbing Gwen and slamming her against the same tree, and ups the ante.
“When was the last time you screwed all night? When was the last time you came so hard and so long you forgot where you are?”
Gwen struggles in his grip.
“Don't you ever think you're too familiar? Whereas you and me... we're not cosy at all. We'd be AMAZING. And that scares the shit out of you.”
A twig snaps and Gwen is forced back to reality spots a figure in the trees watching them. They both struggle to tear themselves away from the ‘moment’.
Breaking from the clinch, Gwen goes left, Owen goes right, guns at the ready. Every squawk, tweet, flutter of wings and Gwen is nervy but the stranger has gone and Gwen and Owen find themselves facing each other. Over Owen’s shoulder Gwen makes spots something lying beside a tree and they both investigate.
Using a sturdy tree branch, Owen edges forward and lifts the sheet off, and quells his desire to throw up. A skeletal bloody body devoid of flesh lies rotting with maggots crawling all over it.
As Ianto tapes off the scene, Owen gets down to business.
Although it’s hard to say what may have killed the victim, Owen is able to ascertain that it isn’t Ellie Johnson, and that it was a middle aged male in his late 40’s or 50’s.
As the team deliberate on the cause of death. The sound of a car engine breaks their thoughts.
“Is that ours?” Gwen asks.
“Yep.” Jack replies running back to camp. Whoever has the SUV drives over the tents and destroys the campsite before driving away.
During the clean up Owen apologises for leaving the keys in the ignition, while Ianto, using Toshiko’s PDA has located the SUV.
“Gunning at 90 I shouldn’t wonder. You steal a piece of equipment like that you drive straight on till morning.” Says Owen.
“Actually no it’s been stationary for the past four minutes. I’d go so far as to say it was parked.”
It is obvious to Toshiko that this is an elaborate plan, a trap, and Jack agrees. They have been under surveillance since they arrived. Without a vehicle they are now easy game. Gwen locates on the map a small village, and taking what they can carry, set a course along the Brecons towards the site.
A rundown village looks abandoned from where they stand on the hillside and Owen wonders why anyone would live in such a remote part of the country. Jack queries if the SUV has moved and discovers it’s still parked.
Time for a closer look!
As the Torchwood team reach the village someone is watching them from a grimy upstairs window. The team splits up!
Jack instructs Toshiko and Ianto to follow the signal and locate the SUV while he, Owen and Gwen see if there’s any room at the inn.
The pub is in darkness, no money has been taken from the till. Where is everyone?
With weapons drawn Jack takes the first room after the bar while Gwen makes her way to the darkened kitchen. It has been abandoned for some time, food has been left beside the stove, bread has been cut and left. The curtains are only partly open letting some light into the room. It looks to have been a busy kitchen at some point.
Behind Gwen the sound of buzzing bluebottles is loud, then the zap of a fly killer nukes a fly above her head but her gaze is drawn to the body on the ground, stripped of flesh in parts and left to decompose. Gwen throws up.
As Jack rushes in Gwen points in the direction of the body.
As Owen jokes about the burger coming back to haunt her, his laughter turns to abhorrent shock.
“Oh my god.”
A door closes downstairs, and Jack calls Gwen to follow him. Still reeling from the body, Gwen retches. Although Jack and Gwen can’t see anyone, they are being watched from a distance. Jack suggests they try the next house, jumping over the low wall, Jack presses himself against the porch wall, while Gwen grabs the door handle.
Entering the quiet house, there are no sounds, only blood underfoot the closer they get to the next room.
“Who did this Jack? Coz whatever it is can’t be human. How far is this going to spread?”
“I should be at home having dinner with Rhys, what am I doing here with you? Do you ever get scared Jack?”
Back in the kitchen of the pub Owen collects his final sample and straightens up, looking down at the body of what can only be Ellie Johnson he hopes she put up a good fight.
Out on the hillside walking to another isolated building, this time run down with boarded windows, Ianto and Toshiko follow the tracking device linked to the PDA.
Heading around the back of the stone brick building, fox cries can be heard along with the solitary pheasant. It’s a desolate, soulless place. As Toshiko turns, weapon ahead, dead game birds hang on door knobs and trees, a hunter’s fare. Toshiko aims her gun at the figure coming around the building, but it’s merely Ianto.
They’ve still further to locate the SUV, and Ianto climbs the wall and heads on up, past the house, towards the hill. As he turns back, Toshiko has disappeared. Spooked he returns to the house, scared, vulnerable, and calls out her name but hears nothing back. Scared, vulnerable and out of his comfort zone, he goes in search of her.
Ianto turns back and forth, jumping at the slightest sound, but something follows him up the side of the house and pushes him to the ground.
Outside of another empty house Jack and Gwen have found nobody alive so far and move to the next house. There is a catch on the door and it won’t give. With a tug, Gwen pulls it open and is shot.
The shooter is a young lad (Callum Callaghan) with a pump action shotgun. He’s terribly afraid that whoever has taken everyone else is going to come back for him. The boy is called Kieran; he’s up visiting and upon seeing that Jack is not a threat, despite yelling at him to lower his weapon, does as he’s told. Jack returns outside to assist Owen with Gwen, and carries her indoors to a dining table swept clear by Owen. Jack checks upstairs while Owen prepares Gwen in order to remove the buckshot that has peppered her right side.
“There’s going to be a certain amount of residue so just lie back and think of Torchwood.” Owen says looking over before continuing.
After a while, and as Owen progresses in the removal of the buckshot...
“Do you miss being a doctor?” Gwen asks after a while.
“Excuse me, I still am a doctor I just don’t deal with patients anymore that’s all...,” whispers “it’s ideal, that was the bit I always hated.” After much fiddling. “Ahh you beauty! Come on I’m good.”
Captain Jack Harkness ran back down the stairs with the pump action shotgun belonging to Kieran. Time is getting on and there has been no contact from Toshiko or Ianto.
As Owen tries to convince Jack that perhaps the SUV is locked up somewhere, Keiran throws a spanner in the works by suggesting that they could be dead, since everyone else is. Jack’s concerns are heightened when he presses Kieran for details and learns that whatever is attacking people is not human!
Jack decides that the safest place would be the pub and suggests they head there. Owen now fears for Ianto and Toshiko’s safety but allaying his fears, Jack reassures Owen that they’ll know what to do.
“They’re not children.”
Toshiko awakens to find herself in a building with limited lighting, dank and dark and with the feeling that they weren’t the first, nor will be the last people to wind up here. Ianto is already awake gripping hold of a large meat hook.
“You know I’ve always hated camping.” He says.
Toshiko searches for her weapon on the floor is told by Ianto that whoever they were taken by have their weapons. She pulls the torch from her bag and shines it around the room, looking for all possible escape routes.
“Charming place they’ve got.”
“Judging by the sound reverberations air quality, pretty deep underground.” Ianto replies fearfully.
Toshiko discovers blood on a metal slope by a possible exit. Sensing Ianto’s fear she suggests he tries to get the lamp working while she inspects the rest of the room. As Ianto’s fears set in about what lies ahead, who the creatures were that took them, about the work that Torchwood do, about the risks they take Toshiko defends it.
“It’s worth the risk! To protect people”
“And who protects us?” Ianto argues.
Toshiko can’t answer this and returns to her search about the basement and locates a shoe, then another, following the trail of shoes sees more.
“How many people have been down here?” She says spotting clothes as well.
Toshiko bounces the torch beams across the walls on the opposite side of the room and spies a fridge. Curious about why a fridge should be sat there goes to investigate. She’s horrified by what she sees.
Toshiko quickly closes the fridge but Ianto wants to see what she found. She knows how sensitive Ianto is and wants to protect him, but despite all her efforts he pulls open the fridge and stares at the contents on each shelf, layers of body parts, some wrapped, others un-wrapped.
Meanwhile at the pub, Owen and Jack barricade the doors while Kieran sleeps holding the shotgun. Gwen is compiling what evidence they have. Owen is still concerned about Ianto and Toshiko but Jack is certain they’ll be alright, but if truth be known, he is as worried as Owen.
“We have to assume the others have been killed too!” Jack says
“So you think there have been 17 deaths?” Gwen says.
“At least.” Jack replies lifting another piece of furniture to put against the door.
As Gwen updates the board glass is smashed outside, a shadow goes past the window, another sound of breaking glass. The predators are outside.
“He said they’d come back” Gwen says while Kieran still sleeps.
“Let’s not jump to conclusions!” Jack says glancing back from the window.
“We don’t know who they are or what their intentions are.” Jack says, as the lights suddenly go out.
Owen has a feeling that whatever their intentions are they won’t be good.
The rattling of the front door awakens Kieran who sits up, weapon aimed. Calmly, Gwen calls him towards her, suggesting he follow her voice. There’s a silence as the door handle ceases rattling, footsteps disappear.
It’s a tense few moments till the door handle to the cellar turns. All eyes turn towards it.
“So we didn’t check the cellar!”
Jack grabs the handle of the cellar door as it rattles loose of its chains and fires into the darkened room, just as Kieran opens fire on the front door. As the predators open fire back, Kieran begins screaming for ‘Help’ and is pulled across the floor by his legs out of the building. Gwen attempts to go after him but Jack pulls her back. Despite his protestations Gwen is adamant that she has to do something. Owen heads after her, while Jack deals with the predator in the cellar, that he knows he hit.
Meanwhile Ianto and Toshiko look for an exit from their prison. As Ianto begins kicking the reinforced door, a light switches on the other side. As the bolts slide back Ianto presses himself against the wall while Toshiko arms herself with a meat hook.
A woman – Helen Sherman (Maxine Evans) armed with a shotgun enters, and as Ianto tries to disarm her, she manages to knock him to the ground yet still maintains her position with the gun.
“I’m not going to hurt you...I promise.” She nervously protests against Ianto’s assault a few seconds earlier. She enquires after their health and if they’d been injured when they’d been brought in earlier.
“I’m a nurse.” She says, her voice low, almost a whisper, as if scared to speak too loudly for fear of being overheard in the next room. She asks if anyone knew where Toshiko and Ianto were, if they’d called for help, when discovering that Toshiko hadn’t, she seemed relieved, but also interested in the fact that there were three more people still out in the village.
Helen Sherman told the pair she was sorry that she couldn’t help them, sensing their desperation to leave, to escape. She told them that she had come to collect them, when Toshiko asks her where and what is going on, Helen merely laughs.
“No-one’s safe,” Helen says, “every 10 years it takes us again...the Harvest!”
Ianto tries to take the gun again but Helen waves the barrel in his face. “Please, you have to come with me!”
Toshiko realises they have no choice but to comply and drops the meat hook.
Jack runs down the cellar steps in search of the predator. With weapon drawn and torch in his other hand he scans the room. He is shocked to discover body organs in glass jars on shelves. He locates a shotgun lying in a gulley, a trail of blood leading off, and listens for sounds in the quiet of the cellar, for the predator.
Locating the predator, the man unmasks to reveal a human male, grubby with bloodied fingers from the gunshot wound to his lower torso. He begs for his life. He offers to tell Jack everything if he helps him.
The predator male is dropped onto the barrel ramp as Jack searches for material to plug the wound and tie off the blood supply to the leg, to stop the guy bleeding to death, before he’s had chance to interrogate him.
When the predator goes back on his word Jack removes the padding to the wound and snarls in the man’s face.
“You need to know something, a long time ago I was pretty good at torture, see I had a reputation as the ‘Go to’ guy, my job demanded it at the time see, so I know...” he removes his pistol, “where to apply the tiniest amount of pressure to a wound like yours!”
The predator begs Jack to stop.
“It’s in your power to make me stop, just tell me what I need to know coz in ten seconds I’m going to find a sharp object...”
Realising is predicament, the predator talks!
Stumbling painfully but supported by Owen Harper, Gwen Cooper makes it to the road, as a Landrover Police vehicle drives up. A young Police Officer (Rhys ap Trefor) enquires after them.
“Who are you please?”
“Special Ops, Torchwood, have you heard of Torchwood?”
“What’s that then, a band?” laughs the copper.
Gwen enquires after the light over his shoulder, and is told that it’s the big house, the village hall.
“That’s why I’m here. Constabulary report!” Gwen and Owen push past him as he shouts after them. “Where are you going?”
Helen Sherman, leads Toshiko and Ianto at gunpoint into the lit room. When Toshiko begs Helen for their freedom she refuses, pushing Toshiko with the barrel of her gun away, as Helen edges into her kitchen. Toshiko towards the room where a sheet of polythene hangs partitioning the two rooms.
“What’s that stench?”
Both Ianto and Toshiko peer through into the butchers lair at bodies hung from the ceiling wrapped in polythene, bloodied tools and equipment on benches.
“What are these creatures, do they look like us?!”
“How else are we going to look?” Evan Sherman (Owen Teale) enquires standing on the other side of the plastic sheeting in another part of the room.
Helen begins to laugh, hard. Enraged and horrified as Evan kisses his wife Helen, Ianto charges at them in a bid to escape and is knocked to the ground by Evan, and then cuffed for his troubles. Helen mentions that there are three more out in the village. He asks her about the two that they have with them, as he cuffs Ianto and makes good the rope on Toshiko’s wrists behind her back.
“They’re in a good state...” she replies.
Evan remembers that he caught the boy Kieran earlier and sits him up, removing the hood. Despite the boy’s desperate pleas that he won’t tell anyone what is going on here, Evan is clearly not going to let him go.
“What are you gonna do? Put us on meat hooks?” Toshiko asks bitterly.
“No. Not yet. You see, meat has to be tenderised first.” He lifts a baseball bat and leering at the ‘food’ before him, licks his lips as he touches Toshiko.
Ianto already having a plan up his sleeve smiles at Evan before he headbutts the man, cracking his nose. Once again in a bid to escape he’s floored and suffers a crack to the skull by Helen and the butt of her shotgun. But Toshiko has already left the building, hands tied behind her back, she relies on her feet only to get her the hell away from the house, hoping that Ianto made it out too. Evan goes after her, with the machete.
Toshiko breaks for cover as Evan looks around for but running in the woods with little idea where she’s going, she inevitably runs into Evan and is floored by the man, but she’s not beaten yet and lands a direct kick in his groin bringing tears to his eyes.
Now it’s a chase to the death. Evan is not going to take that risk again and as Toshiko falls and loses her balance on a soft bed of leaves, Evan puts his hands around her throat and proceeds to strangle her.
He doesn’t stop when Owen cocks the hammer of his pistol against his head and instructs him to stop. Owen kicks Evan away from Toshiko. Gwen and Owen learn that the villagers are dead.
“They’re cannibalising the bodies!”
When Huw arrives, Gwen tells him he can arrest Evan, which raises a laugh with the older man. Huw is hardly going to arrest his Uncle.
Owen stares down the barrel of the gun held by the police officer. Gwen points her gun at Huw yelling at him to drop the gun, while Evan insists that Huw spreads Owen’s guts. With the odds stacked against them, Owen forces Gwen to surrender her gun.
In the big house Toshiko sees a group of people sitting at tables about to have a cup of tea, poured by Helen.
“Who are these people?”
“These are our villagers.” Replies Helen.
“Villagers are dead.” Shouts Gwen angered.
“No, they’ve all been doing it.” Realises Toshiko
“This is our Harvest.” Says Evan.
Gwen laughs, sickened.
“Only in the bloody countryside, you sick fuckers!” Owen says.
Angered by the comment Evan and Huw grab the Torchwood team and frogmarch them through the polythene partition and onto the ground. Gwen falls painfully beside Kieran, glad to see he’s still alive. Owen and Toshiko are on their knees. Tosh asks after Ianto.
Evan pulls him to his knees, he’s unconscious and gagged with a piece of cloth around his mouth. Slapping him awake Evan lifts the meat cleaver.
“Time to be bled – like veal!” he says holding the cleaver against Ianto’s throat. The team are horrified.
Suddenly the ground begins to vibrate, the fruitbowl rattles, crockery, and the building begin to tremble. Releasing Ianto – into the arms of Gwen, Evan stares at the red double doors of the building, angered that he was halted from his work. Huw aims his gun as the doors burst open and a ruddy big tractor crashes through!
As the tractor stopped Jack leapt through after it, firing at everybody but his team. Shot after shot with the pump action shotgun, cartridges flying, villagers going down with shots to the knees and shoulders.
As the shotgun emptied he used his trusty Webley revolver and floored the cannibals, even shooting the hand of the police officer as he reached for his own pistol. Nobody moved, but plenty groaned.
Jack grabbed Evan and pushed the revolver under his chin, intending to finish the job as Gwen shouted for him to stop.
“No Jack. Don’t do it.”
“These people don’t deserve warnings.”
“Let me question him. I have to understand. I want to know why otherwise this...this is too much!”
“They’re injured. They need to get to a hospital.” Toshiko called from across the room.
“One hour Jack – don’t tell me you don’t want to know too!” Gwen says.
In the Inn, Evan sits opposite Gwen at the bar table while Jack sits as witness. Evan’s appearance is different now from earlier, the meat lust, the mad butcher of human flesh sits defeated in front of Gwen Cooper.
“Every generation, our tradition, once a decade, target those travelling through, those most likely to disappear and...”
“And butcher them.” Gwen says with disgust.
Evan stares at her without expression.
“What sort of people are you that you wake up in the morning and think ‘this is what I’m going to do.’ Why do you do it? Come on, make me understand!”
“Why do you care?” Evan asks.
“I have seen things you would never believe, and this is the only thing I can’t understand.”
Evan turns and smiles at Jack before looking back at Gwen. “So keep on wondering.”
“TELL ME? I need to know why.” Gwen demands.
“That’s enough.” Jack looks at Gwen before nudging Evan. “Time to go.”
As Evan is about to get up he looks at Gwen, a tear moist on his cheek. “I’ll tell you something if you let me whisper it.” Gwen nods. “Cos it made me happy!”
Back in Cardiff some time later and Gwen sits with Rhys in their flat, watching the television.
“I had a good job before this. I thought in a year or two perhaps a baby. I know Rhys would make a good dad, and I could try for Desk Sergeant. Well it was all sorting into place. And then I met you lot. All these things, all these things are changing me, changing how I see the world and I can’t share it with anyone!”
As Gwen stares out across a city below from her vantage point, wearing only a blue shirt, Owen stands behind her.
“You can now!”
BBC Torchwood 2006