Monday, 9 February 2015

Dark Shadows Bloodlust Episode Eight 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: I wondered how long it would take for Harry to start to suspect his step mother of the murder of his father. Given the conflict between them it is a perfectly reasonable conclusion to draw. Besides I haven't taken my eye off of anybody (not even newfound vigilante leader Maggie Evans). I thought I detected something intimate developing between Harry and Cody and now it seems that that relationship has come to fruition off screen. It's not something that Harry is especially proud of but it is the only thing in his life that makes sense at the moment. Amy had so many plans for Tommy and chief among them was to keep him safe but in his current state that is not a possibility in Collinsport. Amy wont touch the supernatural, she wishes that she had nothing to do with it because all it causes is pain and sadness. However it would seem that anybody who is connected to Collinsport is enveloped in its deadly embrace at some point. Tommy discovers some of his families less salubrious connections to the Collins family. Quentin is his great, great grandfather and he is very, very old. Impossibly old. I'm starting to wonder if Tommy is more equipped to learn about such things because everything is new to him. Unlike the townsfolk of Collinsport who have lived their lives and are coming to terms with the shocking truth of the supernatural, Tommy is seeing the whole thing through the eyes of a child. I am starting to wonder if somehow he will be Collinsport's salvation at the end of this serial. The curse affects the first born child of each generation. When the moon uncloaks, the wolf in him will tear free.

Sparkling Dialogue: 'All bacon is good bacon...' - never a truer word spoken.
'Revenge is a monster that sits in your soul.'

Great Ideas: For the safety of its residents, Collinsport is now under curfew. That's how it begins usually...with an innocent act to protect the citizens and before you know it the town is under a form of martial law with certain citizens in charge and unwilling to usurp power. There is a veil that is cloaking Collinwood that will not allow Angelique to see what is going on there. What are they trying to keep from her?

Isn't it Odd: Curse of the unconvincing walk on part...a staple of any soap opera and I am pleased to see the great tradition turning up in Bloodlust. The orderly at the hospital sports the most unconvincing American accent I have heard in a while.

Standout Scene: My interest certainly perked up during the intimate scene between Barnabas and Angelique in the last ten minutes. Probably as close to a sexual encounter as you will come in a Big Finish adventure (outside of Dorian Gray perhaps). Kudos to the actors for playing this scene so deadly straight. I bet there were some amusing outtakes in this story.

Result: Less of a game changer than the less couple of episodes, this is one of this pieces of the puzzle that has to be filled in in order to get to all the juicy stuff. Dealing with the aftermath of Maggie's coup, blowing the lid of Harry's relationship with Cody, suggesting troubling times ahead for Tommy, revealing an intimacy between Barnabas and Angelique and unearthing some dirt on Kate Ripperton, episode eight has a shopping list of things to do and it achieves them in a very entertaining fashion. The production values continue impress in this series with the music standing out as being especially accomplished and moody. Whilst the feeding scene is one of the highlights of the series to date the episode doesn't really build to a terrifically rousing finish like the others have but then if every instalment rounded off on a stonking cliffhanger we would never be able to highlight the more successful ones. I'm ready for a bit more information about the murder of Melody now, whilst the town is reacting in an explosive way to the murder the investigation itself seems to have ground to a halt when it comes to sifting out answers. Or is there a revelation waiting just around the corner? Big Finish should pull their finger out and commission a second year (or continuation) of this serial...it is the most inventive and engaging material they have released in years. I haven't been this excited about where a series is going on a regular basis since the early days of Dalek Empire. This isn't even one of the strongest episodes but it is still a cut above a lot of the stuff that is going on elsewhere on audio: 7/10


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