Intruders: Review: Series 1 Episode 5: The Shepherds and the Fox

Intruders 5Jack realises that Amy isn’t the only one who’s been lying to him, as he becomes a target…

The pace picks up in this week’s episode (although not in the rendition of Ave Verum Corpus, which appears in the soundtrack of the initial flashback at its more normal speed!) as the various characters’ paths increasingly cross. After the murder of Bill Anderson, Jack wants more information from his old school friend about what’s going on, but what he learns isn’t at all what he wants to hear: it certainly seems as if Gary has gone round the twist, believing that his daughter is the reincarnation of one of the Qui Reverti… but then Gary gives Jack a piece of information leading to the episode’s final reveal, which shakes Jack to the core even further.

Of all the episodes to date, this has given John Simm the most to do as Jack Whelan – not only is he seen investigating, but there’s also a well-choreographed fight between him and Robert Forster. As Roger Moore’s Simon Templar noted at the start of the movie The Fiction Makers, screen fights can (usually) be very predictable: everything that’s in the immediate area is only there to be used for the contest. Daniel Stamm, taking over the directing reins from Eduardo Sanchez, ensures that the fight seems real and if it weren’t for James Frain’s Richard Shepherd arriving at the right moment, things could have gone very differently.

We’ve also got a few typical “Madison as Marcus” moments – the best of which is the tippling in the shower. Madison’s confusion and Marcus’ sheer nastiness fight for supremacy in the scene where she looks for the knives, and when we see that look on Millie Brown’s face, we know who’s won!

Once again, Mira Sorvino is not featured as much as you might expect: Amy is a constant presence throughout the series, but we don’t spend that much time with her (although the throwforward suggests that may change next episode; not before time). The impression we have is that she too is conflicted about the loyalties of her past and present bodies, just as Madison/Marcus is (are?), but if that’s meant to be the case, it’s not getting enough screen time to be convincing.

It’s the only element that isn’t quite working, but otherwise Intruders has become must-see television: a genre thriller that doles out its answers at its own speed, but about which you feel confident that the writers genuinely do know the answers! And that’s more of a rarity than you might think…

Verdict: Some gory moments, but most of the terror is psychological as Qui Reverti’s beliefs and the extent to which they will act on them becomes increasingly apparent. 8/10

Paul Simpson

<<< 4. Ave Verum Corpus

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