Yes, it’s Difficult Second Episode week. Viewers who have stuck with you past your the first episode will be looking to be entertained enough to stay with you to the end (in a good way, not a “Bloody hell, might as well see where this ends now I’ve wasted three weeks on it” way).
I’m enjoying the quiet quirkiness and warm heart of Eternal Law. Sam West is a joy to watch as Zak, and he’s been gifted some lovely dialogue by Matthew Graham and Ashley Pharoah. And yet, gentle reader, I worry for Eternal Law.
Casting around t’internet, there are people who think it’s too silly or too dull. I can’t agree with the ‘silly’ people – I’m willing to buy into angels covertly helping humans. That’s no sillier than a dead policeman conjuring up his own personal limbo for other dead coppers…
So, is it dull? That’s not the adjective I’d choose, but I can see why you might reach for it when both EL’s cases of the week have been so predictable.
It was clear from the beginning that the only villain in this piece was Richard (Tobias Menzies doing his creepy vulpine thing). That’s not to say that there aren’t divorcing parents out there who won’t benefit from a reminder that they should be going to court for what’s best for their child, not to punish their ex. And I enjoyed the judge’s King Solomon moment as he made his final decision – though I don’t suppose Social Services appreciate being used as a stand-in for the whole ‘chop the baby in half’ solution.
I could do with a bit more of the supernatural too. I appreciate that it can’t be all wings and heavenly CGI, and I like the extra pressure on Zak not to be tempted by Hannah (one more angel leaving Heaven and Mr Mountjoy may give up on the human race completely – though why we should get the blame for the angels I’m not quite sure…), but I’m not feeling the threat of armageddon yet.
Until I start caring about anyone other than Zak, there’s no real jeopardy (or long-term interest). I’m not giving up on Eternal Law yet though. I stand by my statement that it shouldn’t be judged too fast or against Those Other Shows. For now Sam West’s luminous performance is enough to bring me back next week – but if Eternal Law wants a longer run than six episodes it will need more than one stellar actor.
Posted by Jo the Hat