In­trud­ers Sea­son One

Mas­ter­ing life af­ter death

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Re­lease Date: OUT NOW!

2014 | 15 | Blu- ray/ DVD Cre­ator: Glen Mor­gan Cast: John Simm, Mira Sorvino, Tory Kittles, James Frain, Mil­lie Brown

In many ways

this BBC Amer­ica/ BBC Two co- pro­duc­tion re­sem­bles an­other transat­lantic part­ner­ship. It re­volves around a shock rev­e­la­tion about death, and a se­cret con­trolled by a small, pow­er­ful elite. A key char­ac­ter’s a sleaze­ball who does hor­ri­ble things to kids. The lead was a re­cur­ring guest on Doc­tor Who; the exec pro­duc­ers are alumni too. Hang on… it’s Torch­wood: Mir­a­cle Day all over again!

This dark, gritty para­nor­mal thriller isn’t quite as be­wil­der­ingly all- over- the- shop as Cap­tain Jack’s last hur­rah, though. John Simm is Jack Harkn… sorry, Whe­lan, a Trou­bled Ex- Cop drawn into a web of con­spir­acy af­ter his mis­sus ( Mira Sorvino) starts act­ing out of char­ac­ter: speak­ing Rus­sian; stroking her arms like they’re new to her and, most dis­turb­ing of all, sud­denly de­vel­op­ing a lik­ing for jazz. Her soul’s been dis­placed by one of the Qui Re­verti, a se­cret so­ci­ety who’ve mas­tered how to re­turn af­ter death. And she’s not the only one…

Simm does his best with a char­ac­ter painted in broad strokes (“I’ve got anger is­sues! Look, I just punched the French doors!”), but he’s over­shad­owed by Mil­lie Brown as Madi­son, a nine- year- old pos­sessed by a cen­turies- old se­rial killer. The phys­i­cal­ity of her per­for­mance im­presses: when she flashes a mur­der­ous glare, or flops down in a chair like a geezer, legs spread apart, you buy it. And watch­ing a lit­tle girl cuss like a docker never gets old.

In­trud­ers has its flaws, though. Jack is an­noy­ingly re­sis­tant to the truth. Af­ter eight episodes, the se­ries’ mythol­ogy re­mains both out of fo­cus and re­sis­tant to logic. And there’s some­thing faintly dis­re­spect­ful about the use of his­tor­i­cal fig­ures – one re­turnee is jazz mu­si­cian Bix Bei­der­becke. But the ma­jor frus­tra­tion is that it takes a big idea with global im­pli­ca­tions, and man­ages to make it seem small. All too of­ten the fo­cus is on in­ternecine war­fare be­tween the Qui Re­verti and their hit­men lack­eys; as a re­sult the stakes never seem as sub­stan­tial as they should.

One measly talk­ing heads intro fea­turette ( 10 min­utes). Ian Ber­ri­man

The se­ries’ mythol­ogy re­mains re­sis­tant to logic

“What are we up to? Oh, just ca­su­ally hang­ing around a ware­house. You?”

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