Thursday, 22 January 2015

Bloodlust Episode Four 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...

Andrew Cunningham: A control freak and a misogynist, Andrew convinces Amy that she doesn't want to have a night out so he can head out and have a game cards with the lads. He patronisingly calls her a 'good girl' and stops shy of patting her on the head. The more they build this arsehole up for a fall, the more delicious it is going to be when it happens. He is so deluded that he thinks he can control a spirit like Angelique, offering her the less than flattering terms of doing what he wants or else. I bet he was the little boy in the playground that reflected the sun through magnifying glasses and burnt ants alive. If he wants spells that will make him the big man about town then he has to earn it the hard way. Andrew knows his wife's secrets, her dabbling in the paranormal before she met him. It might be borrowed knowledge but he has rummaged through her books and acquired a little dark power of his own. Enough for it to go to his head, certainly. Like a lot of relationships there is an awful lot unsaid or fabricated and just as Amy has left her supernatural past a blank, it appears Andrew has been stacking up the lies to his wife too (specifically about his redundancy money). This is a marriage that is starting to unravel, where both parties have their secrets.

Angelique: The spirit in the cave has lived centuries. She has loved, lost and loved again, transcending time and space and death. She has known great darkness and great power and there is little that can surprise or frighten her now. It appears like a charitable act when she releases Andrew but I am certain his torment has only just begun.

Standout Performance: Matthew Waterhouse continues to impress, he's attacking this material with the sort of passion you don't expect in audio drama. Andrew is a piece of work and then some and Waterhouse isn't afraid to make him as despicable as possible. They say villains are the most enjoyable roles and he is living up to that maxim with relish.

Great Ideas: Nobody knew Melody Devereaux so who would kill a complete stranger? A random attack? A maniac? Maybe somebody was visiting that did know her? Her husband is practically a choir boy and doesn't seem capable. How do you proceed with a case when you have absolutely no leads whatsoever? When you have been through all the probable causes of exsanguination do you then turn to the supernatural as a possibility? We finally get to participate in one of Maggie Evans' late night congregations but her endgame is far from clear. 

Audio Landscape: A thriving pub atmosphere, doors opening and closing, hands clapping, telephone ring, Angelique's screams, flames crackling. 

Result: I'm starting to really fall in love with Matthew Waterhouse's deliciously twisted turn as Andrew Cunningham. There is simply nothing remotely likable about this man and the tides are gathering about his head. The games between Andrew and Angelique are the highlight of this episode, his insane notion that he has the power to harm her and the way she playfully lets him believe that he has conquered her. I have so many questions about both of these characters that have yet to be answered but there is still a long way to go yet. I want to know what Maggie Evans is planning, I want to know who killed Melody and I want to know why Angelique let Andrew all good soap operas the treads are trickling through the serial, gathering momentum, teasing us with anticipation. The cliffhanger ending to this story was completely unexpected - where do we go from here? It feels like in Collinsport, anything could happen and that is an exciting feeling: 8/10

No comments: