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Small Worlds
Series: Torchwood - TV Stories
Series Number: Series 1
Story Number: 5
Enemy: Fairies
Jasmine Pierce
Mark Goodson
Setting: Cardiff, 2007
Writer: Peter J. Hammond
Director: Alice Troughton
Producer: Richard Stokes
Broadcast: 12th November 2006
Previous Story: Cyberwoman
Following Story: Countrycide



Jack encounters monsters from his past: Fairies with the ability to choke people and change the weather, make a series of killings centered around a little girl, the Chosen One.


At the Torchwood Hub, Jack wakes from a nightmare of dead soldiers in a train carriage with rose petals spilling out of their mouths, to find a single rose petal atop his desk. Ianto informs Jack that there are strange weather patterns in the area. The next day, Jack takes Gwen to visit an old friend of his, Estelle Cole, who is giving a talk on fairies. Estelle shows them the Cottingley Fairies photographs, then compares them to photographs she had taken the day before, and claims to have found proof of the fairy's existence. After her talk at her home, Jack and Estelle discuss the photographs and the nature of fairies. Gwen asks Estelle and Jack about an old photograph she found of Jack, but they both claim that that was Jack's father who had relations with Estelle during World War II, and Jack looks just like him. Jack asks Estelle to call if she encounters any more fairies. On the way back to Torchwood, Jack explains to Gwen that the fairies are in fact creatures from the dawn of time and are not bound by linear time, and can be very dangerous. Jack instructs Toshiko to watch for strange weather patterns in the area in order to locate the fairies.

Meanwhile, a young girl, Jasmine Pierce, decides to walk home from school alone when her stepfather Roy did not arrive on time. She encounters a man, Goodson, who tries to lure her into his car. When Goodson makes a grab for Jasmine, a strong wind kicks up along with strange, ethereal voices, and Goodson is forced to retreat into his car as Jasmine continues to skip on her way home to play with her fairy friends in the nearby woods. Later, a tense Goodson arrives at the Cardiff market, still hearing the strange voices, and tries to run through it. He is attacked by something unseen by the other shoppers, and starts to cough up rose petals. He manages to get himself arrested, declaring himself a paedophile in order to seek the safety of a jail cell. However, he continues to be attacked by unknown forces, and is found the next day dead by asphyxiation. Torchwood arrives and find Goodson's mouth filled with rose petals. Jack confirms that Goodson's death was by the fairies as part of their protection of a "Chosen One", a child that will soon become theirs if they cannot find her in time.

Late at night, Estelle starts to hear the strange voices and calls up Jack to alert him. However, before Torchwood can arrive, she is killed, having drowned in a rainstorm despite the area around her being completely dry. Jack mourns her loss, and Gwen realizes that it was Jack himself who loved Estelle. Jack explains that he has seen the rose petals before, back in Lahore in 1909, a week after some of his troops had drunkenly run over a little girl. While on a train, the rest of his men died, their mouths filled with leaves, and he realized that the young girl was a Chosen One. Gwen returns home with Rhys to find her own house in disarray, with leaves and rock patterns on the floor, the team realizing that the fairies are becoming more protective.

At her school the next day, Jasmine is bullied by two girls at school, and resulting a large gale sweeps over the area. Torchwood arrives to learn that no one was harmed but the only one not affected by the storm was Jasmine, and make their way to her home. Meanwhile, Roy and Jasmine's mother Lynn are having a five-year anniversary party. Jasmine, helping her mother with the food, finds that the backyard has been fenced off by Roy to prevent her from going to the woods. Angrily she bites him, causing him to slap her. A sudden wind rushes up, and the fairies make themselves visible to everyone present, attacking and killing Roy. Torchwood arrives in time to prevent harm to other guests, but Jasmine and the fairies race off to the woods. Jack catches up and demands the fairies return Jasmine, but they refuse, noting that she is their Chosen One, and if she is prevented from going, many more people will die. Realizing he has no other choice, he requests a promise that Jasmine would not be harmed, and then lets her go, Jasmine and the fairies disappearing away. Lynn, having witnessed this, cries angrily and hits Jack over and over, with Jack only able to apologize to her and to rhetorically ask what else he could have done to his team.

Back at the Hub, Gwen is sorting through the pictures in the case when a Cottingley photograph from 1917 appears on the board room monitor. Spotting something, she zooms in on the photograph until the face on one of the fairies becomes clearly visible. It is Jasmine, smiling out of the picture, frozen in mid-dance. A fairy voice whispers:

"Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand."
(excerpt from "The Stolen Child", a poem by W. B. Yeats)




Story Notes

  • This episode's plot (a young girl been taken away by fairies) is very similar to the Spice Girl's music video for their song "Viva Forever".
  • The novel trilogy "Tithe", "Valiant" and "Ironside" by Holly Black features a hidden world of modern faeries (fairies) who like to indulge in murder and torture as entertainment. As in Small Worlds, the faeries can look classic (i.e. small with wings) or large and demonic.
  • This episode is also similar to the "Charmed" episode "Once Upon A Time".


  • BBC3 - 1.3 million viewers
  • BBC2 - 2.4 million viewers


to be added

Filming Locations

to be added

Discontinuity, Plot Holes, Errors

  • Captain Jack claims he does not sleep (TW: Ghost Machine) but at the beginning of this episode he does. He could have simple being closing his eyes, or attempting to get some sleep. It could also be possible that Jack was simply exaggurating or simply lieing. He may have just meant he doesn't need sleep and not that it is biologically impossible for him to sleep at all.
  • Fairies kill people who cause harm to chosen ones, then why did they kill Estelle who wouldn't hurt a fly? They don't just kill those who harm the Chosen Ones. They're not kind faeries, as Jack stated. They kill anyone who gets too close , it is also possible that they were worried if people knew about them , they would be develop a way to stop them.


to be added

DVD Releases

to be added

See also

to be added

External Links

Torchwood Series 1
Everything Changes  • Day One  • Ghost Machine  • Cyberwoman  • Small Worlds  • Countrycide  • Greeks Bearing Gifts  • They Keep Killing Suzie  • Random Shoes  • Out of Time  • Combat  • Captain Jack Harkness  • End of Days

This article uses material from the "Small Worlds" article on the Dr Who wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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