After a bit of a blip with Road Trip, Legion returns the Benny series to the heights that it seemed to want to scale once more, as indicated in the first box set of this revitalised series, Epoch. A third of the running time is devoted to a backdoor pilot to the upcoming Dorian Gray series but this is so good you don’t begrudge the time.
The set starts with Tony Lee’s Vesuvius Falling, which returns Benny to her roots as an archaeologist. It’s a terrific little detective story that plays fair with the audience: if you’re astute enough, you may even work out what Benny tells the computer in the lead up to the final confrontation before it’s revealed. As with the other Benny story in the set, this also deals with some of the oddities that we learned about at the end of Road Trip in terms of the set up of Legion: the rift between Peter and Benny and the presence of an apparently benign Irving Braxiatel among them.
Shades of Gray adopts a format seen in the Star Trek: Deep Space 9 episode where the cast relive portions of Dax’s earlier lives. Benny, Jack and Ruth each are pulled into a story – with the other cast members present – which slowly reveals some horrific truths. As a prequel (and sequel – that’ll make sense when you hear the Doran series), this really sets the scene well, and having read the scripts, I can heartily recommend the Dorian series that starts this month. There’s the odd interesting accent from the cast, but overall this maintains the standard.
As does Miles Richardson’s Everybody Loves Irving. It wouldn’t be Brax if there weren’t more questions posed than answered; it wouldn’t be a Benny story without her getting in hot water of some description. There’s black comedy – and some interesting use of stereotypes – in a story that constantly tries to wrongfoot the listener, and most of the time succeeds.
Verdict: With some strong guest stars and clear direction, this is recommended for those who have felt Benny lost her way some time back. 8/10