Friday, 30 January 2015

Bloodlust Episode Six 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: Harry genuinely hated his father and wished he was dead but now it has actually happened he is conflicted. It's something you think but don't mean. He, Amy and Tommy will make an unusual family but I could see it working. You would think Harry spitting insults at Angelique would encourage her to flay the skin from his bones but it has quite the opposite effect. She likes the fire inside of him. And despite her unholy alliance and supernatural powers I believe her when she says she didn't kill Andrew. She has no reason to lie.

Standout Performance: Kathryn Leigh-Scott. I just think she's fabulous. Give her more to do please.

Sparkling Dialogue: 'Isn't marrying you a quick and sure way of signing your own death warrant?'
'We need to stop pretending that the supernatural isn't real. Collinsport is a town blighted by creatures of the night.'

Great Ideas: Quentin is a werewolf.  Maggie threatens to tell the town what he is unless he leaves immediately, her name clearly carrying a lot of weight in Collinsport. Or possibly Andrew was killed by something supernatural like a witch, as the pentagram implies. Frankly there is such a list of suspects in this town it would probably be more productive to decide who isn't a possibility and work backwards from there. Nobody seems that keen to have Quentin in town but then across his extreme spread of episodes in the TV series he seems to have had his hand in just about everything. He's in love with Leyla Collins and they are married. Angelique is using her time in the cave to contemplate, to plan...possibly a revenge on Barnabas? She turned Quentin into a wolf to defeat the Rankin creature, it is trapped in the portrait but it claws at his heart. Spare me the thought of Cody perving over Tommy, especially when he is technically (if not physically) still a very young child. And even moreso because he might be infected with a certain lupine strain of madness that could erupt at any time. There was no gas leak when the Beyond the Grave team came to town. Collinsport is simply a place where bad things happen and people go missing all the time. The Birds, the ghost ship, the death of Susan nice to see a number of standalone Dark Shadows storylines being dragged into the greater whole, enhancing them. How awesome to hear Maggie Evans finally take a stand against the supernatural forces that are tearing apart their lives in Collinsport.

Audio Landscape: Birdsong (it's so unusual to have a sound effect that isn't trying to scare the shit out of you that it really stands out), doorbell, pouring a drink, pub crowd, an angry mob (Big Finish doesn't have a good track record at convincing with these but these scenes are brilliantly done), cocking a gun,

Standout Scene: The final scene is to die for. Finally...he has arrived!

Result: 'It's time for us to stop waiting to die!' Reasons to love Bloodlust at this point; it is completely unlike anything else that Big Finish has ever put out before in it's serial nature, it has an enormous cast of characters that are all well defined, it is juggling two murder plots with a plethora of suspects, there is an unusually dominant female presence which is hugely refreshing, it deals with elements of the TV show but has added all manner of intriguing extra characters and is pushing the established ones in fresh directions, the standalone Dark Shadows audios are being slotted into the central narrative to add further weight to the series and range as a whole, the serial is being scripted and directed by fresh talent (and some old talent that hasn't been exhausted out of constant employment in the Doctor Who ranges)... I might have been a little skeptical in the early episodes of Bloodlust because the set up took a little while to get going but now things are complicated and dramatic and running away at a rate of knots. It's probably the most substantial thing Big Finish has brought out in about three or four years, thanks to its serial nature and the fact that it is set in one place. Unlike Doctor Who, Blakes' 7 or Jago & Litefoot there is no need to maintain the status quo at the end of a story - people can be bumped off or treated appallingly and that is a very exciting prospect. Actions have consequences. Emphasis on Quentin is exciting...but it is the Angelique material that is the most exciting again. And Maggie Evans is on the warpath and anybody in their right mind would pay good money for that. And the ending had me salivating for more...the character I have been waiting for more than any other! Stirring stuff: 9/10

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If you like Kathryn Leigh Scott so much then you really should try Beyond the Grave and Harvest of Souls. And you're right, she's terrific.