Very firmly aimed at the Sarah Jane Adventures/Wizards vs Aliens audience – or, as we used to call them, fans of the classic Doctor Who series – Eve kicks off with a solid opener by co-creator Emma Reeves, which shows the potential of the format quickly. Strong casting in both adult and teen roles – and I’m counting Poppy Lee Friar as Eve in the latter for these purposes – means that even during the humorous moments, we never lose sight of the dangerous side to this tale… and it’s clear from the final few moments of the episode that we’ve only been getting a glimpse of what’s involved.
It’s too early to tell whether this is going to go down the A For Andromeda route (man makes creature which is actually obeying orders from another species which may be inimical to mankind’s survival), or whether Eve is going to be like Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Data, a Pinocchio figure learning about life, and providing a quizzical outlook on humanity. There are some neat visual touches and sight gags (one of which unfortunately got upstaged by Doctor Who’s Flatline a few weeks back) as well as a couple of laugh aloud moments – director Adrian McDowall never letting things remain static for too long.
It will be intriguing to see how Friar’s Eve applies the lessons she learns from episode to episode – there are noticeable differences in her performance across this first half hour – and exactly what her programming really is…
Verdict: An enjoyable half hour which bodes well for CBBC’s first SF series of 2015. 8/10
Eve begins on January 5th on CBBC.