Sit­u­a­tion comet- y

SFX - - Reviews -

re­leased OUT NOW! 2015 | 15 | DVD

Cre­ator Iain Hol­lands

Cast Mathew Bayn­ton, Joel Fry,

Pauline Quirke, Jenna Fis­cher

What would you do if there were only 34 days to the end of the world? Once you’d looted a new TV, had sex in the street and punched your boss in the face, you could do worse than binge- watch this 10- part Sky 1 show.

Like star Mathew Bayn­ton’s pre­vi­ous se­ries The Wrong Mans, it weds com­edy with a thriller for­mat. Bayn­ton plays Slough bank man­ager Jamie, for whom an im­pend­ing comet strike is only the tip of the bad news ice­berg; for starters, his wife, miss­ing for seven years, ap­pears to be hooked up with an evil twin he never knew he had…

The open­ing of ev­ery episode shows us where it will all end – in a bunker as the comet strikes – which does un­der­cut some of the ten­sion. Strong sup­port­ing char­ac­ters com­pen­sate, though: white su­prem­a­cist es­caped pris­oner Leanne ( Megan Mul­laly) is the stand­out, while Rob Lowe amuses as a potty- mouthed priest whose job is de­bunk­ing mes­si­ahs.

The se­ries does rather ham­mer the same but­tons re­peat­edly – af­ter a while, it starts to feel like Jamie dis­cov­ers a new rel­a­tive ev­ery 20 min­utes. Some of the hu­mour – like a sup­pos­i­tory in­ser­tion scene – is a lit­tle crass. And the show’s globe- hop­ping be­tween Slough, Wash­ing­ton and the Vat­i­can of­ten doesn’t con­vince ( some of the US ac­cents are pretty ropey). But the man­ner in which it switches be­tween com­edy, ac­tion and pathos works sur­pris­ingly well, as does the way it reg­u­larly de­liv­ers gob­s­mack­ing twists – right up un­til the fi­nal shot.

Ex­tras A 23- minute be­hind- thescenes piece; six short fea­turettes ( 23 min­utes). Ian Ber­ri­man

To pre­pare for his role as Father Jude, Rob Lowe prop­erly read the Bi­ble from cover to cover for the first time.

Stephen could never get as ex­cited about man­holes as his mates did.

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