The series opener had some heavy material to deal with: the aftermath of dusting Mitchell, and another two leads (Sinead Keenan and Russell Tovey) eager to follow him through the ‘Door to Death’. Writer Toby Whithouse handled the seemingly impossible in admirable fashion, penning an episode that was very firmly looking to the future.
There is the unveiling of a new prophecy about the ‘war child’ – gruesomely scribed on a flap of skin complete with hairy nipple – and flash-forwards to London 2037 where the vamps are taking over the world. It paints a grim Terminator-style future filled with resistance bods and unexplained events waiting to be woven into present day at Honolulu Heights.
Back at the house, the tone is bleak and haunted by George’s red-rimmed stare. The one-liners fell to Annie in her vain attempts to get her friend back. “I meant have a shower, not storm the bat cave!” she cries when he decides to take the fight straight to the vampire nest. The mother of his child, Nina, was brutally scribbled out of this series with a line of dialogue and George’s final moments were just that – mere moments. He stuck around long enough to give fans a hero’s farewell, though, after a fantastically hideous half-transformation rampage.
The poignant end to the episode leaves us with a new tenant at Honolulu Heights, Tom, and the promise of another ghost and a vampire that were only teased this episode. Whithouse packed in so much drama this series’ opener that viewers weren’t given a moment to mourn Mitchell, which is a testament to the writing. At last, a good hour of telly for Sunday nights!
Trivia: Doctor Who fans will have spotted Louis Mahoney (Leo the werewolf), who played the aged version of Billy in Blink.