ITV1 - 17th January 2008 - 7.40pm
'Galvin, I don't like this!' shouts Mina Harker half way through tonight's episode. Never a truer word was said in jest. I don't like it either, love. This week the producers are obviously trying to explore our characters further and the focus is on Galvin, out for revenge against wife-murderer Tobias Tibbs, and on Ruby, erstwhile emo-girl companion to Luke who has a widdle liddle cwush on him. Oh, wake up love and smell the coffee. You are surplus to requirement. And just as we heave a sigh of relief that the writer Lucy Watkins has decided to ditch her, she then contrives a whole plot around her being marvellous and defusing a bomb.
...she has plenty of time as the bomb has a ridiculous 45 minute countdownActually, she's useless at defusing bombs because whilst the audience is screaming at her to cut the bloody wires or chuck the thing in the river, she has to go and look up how to cut wires on a bomb in a book. And it takes her half an hour to realise that there is actually a bomb ticking away next to the prone body of Mina. That said, she has plenty of time as the bomb has a ridiculous 45 minute countdown. Why doesn't Tibbs kill Mina there and then? Or chuck petrol over the place and set it on fire? It's utter nonsense.
The best thing about this episode is Kevin McNally as Tobias Tibbs. Despite scant screen time, he chews the scenery and spits it back out in the faces of Glenister, Cooke and Grainger. There you feckless lot, that's how to act in a piece of nonsense like this. And that's even whilst he's wearing rat prosthetics and a tail. He's great as the villain and makes a rather obvious plot just that little bit better. There is now a danger that the guest villains are beginning to make the regular ensemble cast look a bit rubbish. Glenister is still mangling an accent. Tell me Phil, which part of America, South London or Yorkshire do you come from again? Cooke is still wearing his shop window dummy expression, tight black vests and pretending he's good at kung-fuing those doggy monsters who look like hoodies. I mourn for Zoe Tapper's career as she's good as Mina, and Holiday Grainger just needs a slap.
Shoot, or should I say, shit.The plot, what there is of it, is thin. Galvin seeks revenge on Tibbs for the death of his wife, gets lured into rescuing the nasty Grace (geddit eh, 'saving Grace', eh) who then clubs Mina to the ground (best bit, actually) and lets Tibbs into the Stacks (stacks of books, library, yeah...geddit) who then tries to blow it up whilst Galvin and Luke fall into his sewer trap. I'll tell you what, those are the cleanest, prettiest sewers I've ever seen. Has London council decided to light up their sewers in bright hues of blue and green without telling us? And the water looks very clean. I was hoping to see more turds bobbing about in the water but then realised that Galvin and Luke were already doing that. Shoot, or should I say, shit. And the water levels had a very strange knack of raising and lowering between shots. Cooke did look quite sexy, I'll admit, drenched in water.
Watkins script squanders the various opportunities to make this interesting. The sense of not caring about Galvin's wife is the major problem here. She's a character we've never seen and the script just doesn't provide us with enough to actually understand Galvin's revenge. There's a line here and there and a bit more exposition in the flooding cell sequence but I didn't have much sympathy for him. And enjoyable as the Tibbs character was, we got precious little again to go on. There's a juicy intimation that he's a rat that experiments on humans. Well then, bloody well show us. The series is way too timid for its timeslot and the producers don't know if they are aiming this at young kids, teenagers or adults. I would say if their aim is for a family audience then they are way off target.
Cathode Ray Tube Demons Saving Grace