Thursday, 5 February 2015

Bloodlust Episode Seven 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...

Unholy: Barnabas never had much of a taste for strong women. He refuses to admit that he had anything to do with Melody's murder. It would seem that she and Barnabas have swapped places; him the impulsive monster on the hunt and her the calm voice of reason.

Standout Performance: Like Lalla Ward, Kathryn Leigh-Scott getting bossy and angry is almost enough to make me question my sexuality. It is that alluring. Alexandra Donnachie is no slouch either and Tate and Maggie tear as each other like a pair of crazed cats.

Sparkling Dialogue: 'You can't just throw the word supernatural at every problem you encounter, Maggie!'
'Quit pouring your poison in her ear, Collins...'

Great Ideas: Maggie Evans is a stronger, more vicious woman than she used to be. Andrew Cunningham was found strangled with the markings of a witch on his body. It seems that vigilante actions are the only actions being taken - it appears that the police force are hanging back and allowing crazy shit to happen in Collinsport and the townspeople have lost faith. Now it is time for the Sheriff to speak and rouse the populace back in her favour. Maggie's meeting appears to be the perfect forum for that, an attempt to stop the violence and attacks that are going on what seems like a daily basis. Power to the people and all that. But in a town where information is kept under lock and key just what is it that Maggie and her cronies can actually do, even with the law behind them? I have a feeling that the conflict between the people and the supernatural forces might just tear this town apart. Not before the mistrust between the law and the people has been dealt with. Maggie is called an uppity inn owner who is trying to make herself feel special in the heat of the moment - a vicious move on Tate's part and one that costs her. Collinsport Town is within its rights using a democratic vote to exercise powers over certain public officials. The people have lost faith in Sheriff Tate and are calling for her head. Maggie Evans as Sheriff of Collinsport? What fresh madness is this? If I were Tate, I would walk away from the whole ungrateful lot of them too. People are never happy with those in authority...and those who replace them usually do a worse job. Like the memorable Survivors episode Law and Order there is a split vote amongst the town and Amy has to make a decision that will affect the lives of everybody. I hope she doesn't live to regret it.

Audio Landscape: Water running, Maggie's excitable crowd, applause, banging a gavel, the lights going snapping on and off.

Musical Cues: The music plays a massive role in the mood of this instalment, growing in volume and drama as the dispute breaks out. 

Isn't it Odd: The first half of episode seven feels like it is keeping everything in a holding pattern and explaining again information that was made perfectly clear in the last instalment. The Unholy Trinity are watching. The people are angry. Maggie Evans is their spokesperson. The law is impotent. The story fails to move on for at least half this episodes length. However given that this is the first episode of the second set it might simply be a recap for those people who have had trouble keeping up with the manifest of threads that have been weaving through the series.

Standout Scene: Another attack, bloody and unexpected. Great joy!

Result: 'I feel like we've hit breaking point...' Time for something a bit different. Bloodlust has skipped along in a certain formula for six episodes and now it is time to experiment. An episode staged in real time with the paranoia running rife amongst the people of Collinsport. A chance for all the secondary characters to have their say publicly. It is the opportunity to indulge in a performance piece where all the actors can come together in a crowd scene and strut their stuff, in a way that feels almost improvisational. Midnight style, the tension spreads through the crowd until they are all turning on each other. It's the ugliest form of conflict, one that is seeded with suspicion and where nobody is behaving rationally because they are scared. Where the episode ends up is quite interesting with the authority in the town shifting considerably. What impressed me most of all was how many characters were involved in these scenes and how vividly they have been written and portrayed to this point so I had no trouble understanding who everybody was, even when there was scrum of voices being thrown. Quite a few audios make it through their running time without highlighting one interesting character but Bloodlust has an entire cast of distinctive and fascinating personalities. That is another thing for the creators to be proud of. Once again, all bets are off. Time to vote, Amy: 8/10

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