Intruders Season 1 DVD review: John Simm does X-Files

Our review of BBC America’s supernatural drama Intruders from the creator of The X Files

Hopes were high for this series from former X-Files showrunner Glen Morgan, with many hoping that Intruders would inherit some of the traits of the former. Indeed, it does, the only problem being that foremost among their similarities is the enormously frustrating tendency to fail to deliver answers.

The story sees former LAPD detective Jack Whelan (Life On Mars’ John Simm) attempting to locate AWOL schoolgirl Madison (Millie Brown), all the while trying to reconcile the events of his marriage. As you’d expect, however, things aren’t as simple as they seem, with Jack quickly uncovering a just-a-tad-sinister conspiracy that threatens everything he knows.

If this premise sounds vague then be warned: not a whole lot more is explained beyond the driving force being some sort of cabal who look to prolong their lives through taking over the bodies of the living. Otherwise, events basically consist of Jack playing catch-up as he attempts to uncover some sort of explanation – with even the finale not providing the kind of Earth-shattering revelation that would normally be the result. Television has moved on from the days of Lost serving up more questions than answers, and a return to these days isn’t welcome.

The characters do their best to make it work – Simm in particular puts everything into it, despite an ill-fitting American accent, while you get the sense that James Frain (Grimm)’s character has more interesting moral shades of grey. Newcomer Millie Brown also impresses as the ancient in a girl’s body – although this body swap dwells more on the sinister than any moments of comedy.

There’s the seeds of a good idea here, but everything’s just that bit too po-faced and inwards-looking to really engage. Even the talents of directors Eduardo Sanchez (The Blair Witch Project) and Daniel Stamm (The Last Exorcism) can’t elevate the script above the pedestrian.