Pulse review BBC Three

Pulse review BBC Three

Published by jamdog on 4th June, 2010.

 Pulse review BBC Three

BBC Three

 

It all begins with an old man waking up on the operating table with a surgeon elbow-deep in his guts.  Surgeon Nick Gates (Stephen Campbell Moore) rolls his eyes and says “Not again. You’ll forget all this Mr Maddox – you always do” which I’m sure is a big comfort to the now screaming old duffer.  Have my many sacrifices to the TV Gods paid off? Are we back at South Central Infirmary in Bodies? No they haven’t and no we are not – it is merely a BBC Three pilot acting up like an unruly child.  Pulse is a mysterious-spooky and altogether-ooky medical horror/drama in case you hadn’t worked it out.  It’s not exactly coy about its intentions.  Phasers are set to CHILL.

“Hannah spazzed out on the operating table a year ago – not because an old man woke up and started unravelling his viscera but because her mom had just died. An emotionally unstable surgeon – don’t see that going wrong.”

Some background on Nick, the surgeon guy:  he used to put his cock in Hannah (Claire Foy) but now he’s putting it in Stella (Emily Beecham).  Hannah is his tightly-strung brunette ex from undergraduate days and Stella is his ambitious flighty blonde toots from the present day.  Hannah spazzed out on the operating table a year ago – not because a pensioner woke up and started unravelling his viscera but because her mom had just died. An emotionally unstable surgeon – don’t see that going wrong.

Nick’s a tough one to figure out.  Seems a nice enough guy but then he’s taking part in those shady medical experiments and keeps sticking those creepy injections of grrrrrr into himself and the patients.  A nasty cut he got in theatre during Bad Surgery keeps on gaping and throbbing and only Weird Injections will bring it down.  What the same Weird Injections he keeps giving to aforementioned Mr Maddox? Tell you what, I bet you they are.

“Nick keeps gently warning her not to get involved when he’s not trying to rape her. He still cares about her (when he’s not trying to rape her).”

Nick seems seems to have shitty timing as well. As soon as he starts putting the snog on Hannah, Stella walks by and sees EVERYTHING. Weirdly, when Hannah becomes uncomfortable with the tonguedown and asks him to stop, Nick becomes all rapey like his name was Dr Harris from Mad Men. Luckily for Hannah, Nicky is just rubbish at this kind of thing – it’s the least convincing rape since Andrea Dworkin‘s One Night in Paris. Still, what made Nick come over all queer? You don’t think it’s those INJECTIONS OF DOOM?

Christ, I hope not. There’s already enough crazy shit going down.  Hannah is snooping around the Maddox case; constant operations to remove cancers yet he refuses to die. Nick keeps gently warning her not to get involved when he’s not trying to rape her.  He still cares about her (when he’s not trying to rape her).

“It’s worryingly reminiscent of Garth Marenghi’s Dark Place and seems intent on powering beyond parody at turbo speeds. It’s firmly informed by an old fashioned B-movie chiller ethic and makes no attempt to reinvent or subvert the genre.”

Ah look, they’re just unusually sexually attractive doctors finding love among the medical malpractice. It’s worryingly reminiscent of Garth Marenghi’s Dark Place and seems intent on powering beyond parody at turbo speeds.  It’s firmly informed by an old fashioned B-movie chiller ethic and makes no attempt to reinvent or subvert the genre.  Nothing particularly wrong with that but it is catastrophically dumb at times.  There’s a fine line between affectionate homage and thick eared wash-and-stack clichés and they step the wrong side of it too often.  It’s gorier than a night out with Courtney Love and makes about as much sense.

It’s not like it’s awful or anything.  Just daft as a brush.

The verdict on Pulse: Struggling to find a voice that isn’t Boobarella from The Simpsons.

Marks out of 10: 5

 

Imagined: Friday, June 04, 2010

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