Whilst on the UKTV Player site I saw a new fantasy comedy advertised so decided to give it a go. Starring James Buckley of Inbetweeners fame as Brian Weaver, a man transported into a fantasy land it looks like it’ll be a laugh.
If I had to describe the episode in short then unfortunately I’d have to say that it was trying too hard. It was extremely funny but a lot of the jokes felt like they were trying to be clever but weren’t.
Brian Weaver isn’t a easy character to get behind, Buckley isn’t bad in it but it also feels like he hasn’t got much to do. His character appears first in his own world, the normal cocky, arrogant, lazy character you’d expect from Buckley (or I would, I’ve only really seen him as Jay to be honest) but soon gets lost in his predicament. He flits between panic and confusion to just getting on with it and rolling with the punches time and time again. The episode would have done well to be more of a exploration of the world he finds himself in then having him join in a scam set up by Howell (Paul Kaye) where he felt too comfortable in his surroundings just to go back to panicking about being stuck there.
I think that could easily become a problem with the series but hope it doesn’t get bogged down with it.
The cast are actually really good and there is instant sparks with them. Paul Kaye was by far my favourite character as the crazy, pointy teethed Howell. That said a lot of the jokes I found fell flat were his but somehow he still was the best part of the episode, they gave him too much to say and do and it was like a whirlwind of activity but his general charm and charisma pulled a good few laughs out of the bag. Kenneth Collard as Steg was a close second favourite as the more realistic down to earth character… As much as there can be that kind of character in this kind of show. Sharon Rooney s Barbara has a lot of potential and I loved the brewing one sided romance with Weaver.
Even though that might not seem the best review to give a opening episode I think there is a spark there that will make it a delightful little show. I’m hoping this episode was it just finding its feet and they get over Weaver finding himself in his new location right from the beginning of episode 2 and just get on with having some fun with all involved. There is a wonderful bad guy in Sally Phillips Slasher Morgan and that laugh is just the icing on the cake for her.
The best moment of the episode was the fight with the table.
I think it’ll be a series worth watching.