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TV Review: Torchwood – “Small Worlds”

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Over at Torchwood, Jack has a nightmare. He’s on a train car circa 1950s where he finds all the soldiers in the car dead with rose petals coming out of their mouths. He goes over to his office and finds a single petal on his desk. Ianto reports odd weather patterns. This, grouped with the petal, disturbs Jack.

School has just let out and a young girl, Jasmine, is waiting for her stepdad to pick her up. He seems to be running late, so she starts to walk home alone, but she is being followed by a man who offers her a ride. When she refuses, he grabs her and tries to force her in to the car. Right then the wind kicks up, knocking him out of the way. Jasmine walks off, skipping as she goes. The man gets in his car, but hears giggly voices all around him.

Jack and Gwen go to see an old friend of Jack’s, Estelle, an elderly lady who is giving a lecture, Faeries: Fact or Fantasy? Gwen’s not a believer, but Jack listens intently. He and Estelle have a friendly argument about the nature of faeries. Estelle thinks they are good creatures, Jack believes they are not. Jack wants to see more of Estelle’s recent faery photos, so the three head to her house.

The pedophile from before walks into a farmer’s market, still hearing the voices and fluttering of wings. Something attacks him and he stumbles down the lane, coughing up rose petals. He grabs a cop and begs for help, but he is so violent that she arrests him. Over at Estelle’s house, Jack is looking at the faery photos while Gwen spots an old picture of Jack on the mantle. Jack claims it’s a picture of his father. His father and Estelle were an item back in the day.

Jack later tells Gwen that faeries don’t have a proper name. Creatures from the dawn of time, they are not alien, but part of their world. They’re dangerous – part myth, part spirit, part real, all jumbled together, unbound by linear time. Once they are back at Torchwood, Jack has Tosh look for anomalous weather patterns, as that is the only way to track them.

Back home, Jasmine gets in trouble for walking home alone. Jasmine tells her mom nothing can harm her and proceeds to go out to the garden to play with her faery friends.

The pedophile is put into jail where he confesses to being such, but asks to be locked up as something is trying to kill him. That night, he is murdered by the faeries. When Torchwood arrives to investigate, Gwen pulls rose petals from the pedophile’s throat.

Estelle hears odd noises and sees something staring at her from her garden outside. She puts in a call to Jack and then realizes her cat is still outside. As she goes out to find him, she is suddenly locked out of her house. It starts to pour rain, but only on Estelle. By the time Torchwood arrives, Estelle is dead – drowned, although the area around her is dry.

Gwen sees the effect Estelle’s death has had on Jack and surmises that it wasn’t his father in love with Estelle, but Jack himself. Jack confesses the truth and tells how they met long ago.

When Gwen arrives at her apartment, she finds it ransacked, covered with stones, petals, and branches. She calls Jack over and demands to know what a Chosen One is. Jack tells her that all faeries were once children and they are looking for the next child to become a faery.

Jasmine is at school, being bullied by classmates. A wind picks up, sending all but Jasmine running off. The wind stops, but Torchwood detected it and goes to investigate. The teacher tells them only Jasmine seemed unaffected.

Jasmine’s mom and stepdad are having a party when Jasmine sees that her stepdad has put up a fence to keep Jasmine out of the back garden (and hence stop her from playing with the faeries). Jasmine wants him to take it down, but her stepdad refuses. They fight and Jasmine bites him. He slaps her and then walks back to the party to tell the partygoers that he and his wife are looking forward to having kids of their own.

Just then the wind picks up and the faeries, in their grotesque form, break down the fence and attack. Torchwood arrives just in time to escort everyone out, but the faeries have gotten a hold of the stepdad. By the time they get to him, he’s dead, his mouth filled with rose petals.

Jasmine follows the faeries into the forest. Gwen and Jack follow Jasmine. When they try to persuade Jasmine to stay, the faeries tell them it cannot be, and if she doesn’t come with them then there will be worse horrors to follow. Jack relents, and to Gwen’s shock and dismay, Jack asks the faeries for their assurance that Jasmine won’t be harmed. We then see Jasmine fade off into the garden, hopping along, laughing as she goes. Jasmine’s mom cries out, but there’s nothing she can do. She’s lost her love and her daughter all in one day.

This was an okay episode, but again, not the best by far. It tends to be scarier when they don’t show the creatures. While the faeries were creepy, seeing them kind of downplayed the whole scare factor for me.

I liked the interaction between Jack and Estelle. It shows that Jack has loved and lost many times over the years. I’m curious to see the 60/70s version of Jack with disco pants on. Yeah, baby.

I’d like to see more of Owen and Tosh in action. Why is it always the Asian who is the brainiac at the computer?

I don’t recall, but it didn’t say where Rhys was at the time of the ransacking of Gwen’s apartment.

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  • Tami

    You actually have the date wrong for the flashback for Jack. It’s actually 1909.