Reviews selected from TV Zone #135
.

Reviews online this month (ratings given are out of 10)
• Jon Pertwee's first Doctor Who story acclaimed on DVD
Angel meets up with Darla again in Season 2
• Going by the board with a Buffy the Vampire Slayer game
• and Charmed comes up trumps for the Halliwells

ANGEL
DEAR BOY Rating: 7
Episode B5 First aired: 24 October 2000, WB
First UK airing: 2 Feb 2001, Sky One
Reviewed by
Mark Wyman
The vampire and sire reunion is only a moment away

Angel and DarlaWith Angel, it’s diverting to have a little wager: will novelty or back-story be the driving force this week? The teaser suggests the former: cue some heavy-duty conflict with a Thrall Demon’s acolytes. Yet what lights the touch-paper is Angel sighting old flame Darla afterwards – not in dreams, but in downtown LA.

So, another trip down memory lane? Hardly: Tim Minear’s tantalising self-directed script concerns Darla and Angel’s interaction right here, right now. Darla is enjoying wearing down the dear boy she sired, who’s now ‘cursed’ with a soul. But she isn’t wholly leashed by Wolfram & Hart, not even the smitten Lindsey. More startling is the nature of her resurrection. When Angel confronts her, she denies being Darla, and runs to her ‘husband’ in the sunlight. A charade, naturally, but the conclusion is that she’s now human, which surely wrong-foots us as much as Angel.

Darla and Lindsey’s trap seems sprung until Angel kidnaps her, and the home truths begin. In revealing Darla’s true hopes and despairs, Julie Benz seizes the chance to deepen her character immeasurably. The face-off between the old cohorts is almost operatic in intensity. For flashback devotees, the long-unseen Drusilla’s introduction to the historic duo adds Victorian value. The only disappointment is a rather clumsy, two-dimensional use of Kate Lochley as a pawn in Lindsey’s plans. But with Boreanaz’s deadpan asides and his associates’ bickering becoming ever sharper, that’s a minor blemish.

Also reviewed in this issue: Guise Will Be Guise (B6) and Darla (B7), plus the three corresponding Buffy episodes

.
CHARMED
SIGHT UNSEEN Rating: 10
Episode C5 First aired: 2 November 2000, WB
First UK airing: March 5 2001 TBC, Living
Reviewed by
Paul Spragg
A sharper vision

Charming SistersComing up trumps so far this season is Sight Unseen. Not putting a foot wrong in execution, it’s the intricate story of a break-in at the Halliwells that an increasingly obsessed Prue puts down to demons. Knowing that Cole has been rooting about already, we’re led down a similar path even though Darryl thinks differently. After all, he’s right about as often as Scully used to be.

The reason it works so well is that just as you think you’re got it all worked out, the rug is pulled from under you. Prue’s springs a demon trap on Cole, who awakens everyone except Phoebe’s suspicions when he’s found in the house. But it’s the final 10 minutes that surprises, as just as Piper is reminding us that we’ve reached the end of an unsatisfying story, we get a new twist for a superbly creepy finale. All episodes should be like this.

Also reviewed in this issue: Magic Hour (C2), Once Upon a Time (C3), All Halliwells' Eve (C4) and Primrose Path (C6).
selected from TV Zone #135
© Visual Imagination Ltd 2000. Not for reproduction
TV Zone footer