If Millie Brown isn’t nominated for awards for her performance in Intruders, then there’s something seriously wrong with the system (then again, many people have said the same thing about Tatiana Maslany in Orphan Black!). As Madison – or is she really Marcus Fox? – she has a screen presence that is assisted by some very effective camera work from director Eduardo Sanchez: the shot leading into the opening credits looks great, and tells us so much about how the character is feeling at that moment.
Intruders continues to reverse cause and effect in its storytelling: in Madison’s initial flashback, we see certain elements that don’t appear to make much sense, but then when Richard Shepherd goes to talk to her parents, the pieces start to fall into place. And while some of those questions may not pertain to Madison’s experiences, for the audience, they start to make sense of what happened to Amy Whelan. Unusually, “tell, don’t show” is the hallmark of the Whelan plotline – we’re finding out, along with Jack, what happened to her as he talks to various people. His feelings of isolation and paranoia are emphasised by the framing of the shots, particularly in Amy’s office, as well as a layered performance from John Simm.
Handily for the audience, Madison has been given a book which provides her with some of the answers – or at least provides her with some statements that may turn out to be answers, given that they are far outside normal human experience. We are treated to a set of images illustrating this which can’t be ones from Madison’s own memories – unless she’s an incredibly news-savvy nine year old, and they’re not usually – and it’s unclear whether she’s seeing them, or they’re there for the benefit of the audience. I’ll be intrigued to see if there is a reaction to that specific scene.
It was a wise move on BBC America’s part to release this episode along with the first: by the end of the two hours, viewers should have a pretty good idea of what’s behind Qui Revertis, even if there are still plenty of questions that need answers.
Verdict: Some strong performances and direction keep Intruders gripping. 8/10