Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Bloodlust Episode Five written by Alan Flanagan, Will Howells & Joe Lidster and directed by Ursula Burton & David Darlington

What's it about: Some describe it as the town at the edge of the world. When Melody and Michael Devereux come to Collinsport on their honeymoon, they don't know the secrets that are hidden behind closed doors. But those secrets will be unearthed when an innocent is viciously murdered. Collinsport will be a town divided. One woman's rise to power will lead to further death and destruction. Families will be ripped apart. Blood will be spilt. And the dark forces that wait in the shadows will wait no more. For in Collinsport, death is never the end...

The Cunninghams: It's finally time for Amy to have it out with Andrew because her family is now being affected by his shadowy dealings with Angelique. Andrew has known the truth about Amy since the day they first met and has been planning a return to Collinsport for a long time. So was this a marriage of convenience all along? It is very refreshing for somebody who isn't a viewer of the TV series to have Amy's past spelt out in quite so much detail. She studied parapsychology and fought the living dead in Egypt. One of her brothers was a werewolf and her sister in law killed him because she was one too. That's the sort of family history that would drive anyone bananas. Amy understands that when you mess around with magic and the supernatural, people die. It isn't something to dabble in when you don't know what you are doing. Even Harry doesn't want anything to do with his father anymore, he would choose to stay with his new wife than him. It is very empowering to hear Amy stand up to her husband, to toss him aside and take the fight to Angelique. She might have been playing the meek housewife but it's clear that she has teeth.

Standout Performance: Now it is Stephanie Ellyne's turn to step from the shadows and show us all what she is made of. The hatred she flings at Matthew Waterhouse in the opening scenes is a thing to behold. Amy has emerged as the dominant figure in this episode and Ellyne is more than up to the task of taking control of the story. I hope Amy doesn't leave town. 

Sparkling Dialogue: 'Amy Cunningham is no more. Amy Jennings? She fights back!'
'I hope you know how to use the loo.'
'I used to live as a Goddess and now I skulk down here like a rat.'

Great Ideas: It's a dangerous game but if Kate can investigate and prove that Melody was killed by a vampire then she can clear her name and public scandal and expose the truth to the world. It would make her career and salvage her reputation. It's a perilous gamble but one I can understand that she would think is worth taking. There is a quick flashback t Beyond the Grave, a superb full length Dark Shadows audio that is well worth checking out as a standalone adventure. Imagine if you were touched by magic and transformed from a baby to an adult where the world is still all new to you. How would you cope with the sudden expectations? Imagine being able to experience everything that wasn't available to you as a baby for the first time? Poor Harry is left holding the baby...who just happens to be a fully grown man now. Angelique was abandoned by Barnabas Collins, the man that she loved and left to rot in a miserable town. Mercy doesn't come easy to her anymore. See, the idea of becoming a witch is probably a very enticing prospect for Amy but when Angelique is your only example of how this lifestyle ends up it would suddenly lose its shine for me. What precisely is Quentin's secret?

Isn't it Odd: How sad that Andrew Cunningham has met his maker. I was loving Matthew Waterhouse's contribution to this serial.

Result: 'There will be another attack tonight...' Time for some real substance. Until now Bloodlust has been chugging along the train line setting up the journey and slowly unveiling the secrets that everybody is hiding on board. This is the point where we really get in touch with everybody's feelings on what is happening and where the ladies about town make their move. With Amy, Angelique and Maggie Evans you have a trio of very strong female characters. It's a very satisfying piece of the puzzle because all the melodrama and surprises is worth nothing unless the characters are behaving to it in a natural and interesting manner. This is the first episode scripted by Joe Lidster and you can tell, he juggles up the threads very confidently and ensures that everybody gets some screen time and development. With the characters aflame, the narrative flying and the big question of the identity of Melody's killer becoming more and more enticing this is the most engaging episode yet. I was hooked throughout: 9/10

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