Saturday nights have become a rare televisual jewel.
I suspect it won’t last long but for the time being at least Saturday nights are a night of perfectly pristine telly.
Doctor Who, Doctor Who Confidential, Jekyll and Would I Lie To You? One after the other. Wow. The Beeb has got my bland demographic neatly tucked up in the dry heart of its performance indicators and I’m more than happy for it to be there.
Doctor Who I will gloss over as I know some of my fellow bloggers will analyse and probe last night’s episode to within an inch of shattering the head of its bulbously glowing laser screwdriver. But suffice to say, the thought that the Master’s screwdriver is much bigger than the Doctor’s causes me much mirth. However, I’m sure it’s what you do with it that counts, eh, Doctor?
Would I Lie To You? sees Angus Deayton back on TV and about time too I say. Yes he’s smug. Yes he’s superior and personally unlikeable but he is funny, professional and polished and is the perfect front man for any satire-based comedy quiz. Who gives a toss who he was screwing or what he was sniffing? He was caught with his pants down, didn’t deny it, apologized and that should have been the end of it. The BBC seems to view its employees the same way that a headmistress at an all girls’ school regards its adolescently burgeoning charges. I’m not sure that’s entirely appropriate.
Hmm. Angus Deayton in a St. Trinian’s uniform…?
No. Let’s not go there.
For me the crowning glory of last night was Jekyll. James Nesbitt, though physically too slight to fill the role of Hyde properly, does however compensate for most of the missing girth with a truly mesmerizing performance. Things got much darker last night – a tangle of sub plots is slowly unravelling itself and Steven Moffat is expert enough to keep the viewer hungrily focused by constantly supplying tiny but elegantly juicy titbits. Just enough to feed the hunger but not quite to sate it… not yet at any rate… not till he’s ready.
Hyde had more screen time last night – which is, of course, exactly what we want. Nesbitt is pacing his portrayal of this enigma just right… animalising and unhinging him more and more by slow degrees as the plot unfolds… but also allowing him to be startlingly intelligent, both instinctively and emotionally. That for me is far more terrifying that the quick cuts of slavering canines protruding from his jaws that the show frequently peppers itself with.
Michelle Ryan is also giving good service as Katherine Reimer – she’s pitched her performance well; a university post-grad vulnerability mixed with a haughty professionalism. She’s a good foil for both Hyde’s mania and Jackman’s victimization… and her good looks add an extra frisson, I’m sure, as most of the male viewers will be half desiring Hyde to get to grips with her just so they can indulge themselves in a spot of vicarious wantonness. Dirty bleeders. This is art for God’s sake. Kindly reign yourselves in, boys. She’s not that kind of girl though Hyde is definitely that kind of boy.
The only disappointment for me is Paterson Joseph playing the part of high rolling business man Benjamin. His American accent is lame and his constant grinning makes him look like Prince’s sidekick, Jerome Benton, from Under The Cherry Moon.
That’s not good. Not good at all.
I really wish he’d just Kiss off.