Chapter 4 - 'The Devil in the Potteries'
Chapter 4 of this epic saga picks up right where the last episode left off, and sees our unlikely heroes entering a beautiful, yet rather sinister-looking, Gothic mansion. The scale of the episode is superb, and the set design very Hammer Horror. I was drooling with nostalgic glee at the gorgeous, wooden library! Director Chris Stone also gives us a nice slice of melodramatic choir music to ramp up the tension and the atmosphere.
The tension throughout the Chapter is gently undercut with moments of humour, mostly centered around the awkwardness of Miles' character. When he first meets the gentlemen, I was inclined to laugh, but also cringe at the potential danger he had put himself in. Moments like this work beautifully, as acting, set design, music, direction, production, and scripting all come together and work in unison. And speaking of the script, how about "Creatures that wear the skin of the DEAD!" for a line?
In this Chapter, too, we also get to meet Linus Hemlock properly. It's a wonderfully arch performance by David Lemberg, who chews up and spits out the scenes he's in with twisted glee.Lemberg is clearly having a ball here, and there is no doubt that he is the major villain. His baiting of Newlyn is brilliant and frightening, setting up a trap that mr Howell walks right into!
Rachel Shenton is fantastic, yet again. As well as showing us her inquisitive side, she also reveals her great comic timing, during the rather naughty sequence with Lady Victoria (the ever-beautiful Lara De-Leuw).
The cliffhanger to Chapter 4 is the best yet. You know what's going to happen, you've seen it a thousand times, and yet it's constructed so brilliantly, edited so tightly, that director Chris Stone squeezes out every ounce of atmosphere that he possibly can.
Chapter 4 has everything. Gothic setting, insane Vampire girls, heaving busoms, lesbian undertones, a truly wicked villain, and great comic timing. Try watching it without a big grin on your face, it's pretty much impossible!
Chapter 5 - 'There's No Such Thing as Vampires'
Taking it's title from the previous installment's gut-wrenching cliffhanger, Chapter 5 ramps things up a notch. Shorter (about half the length) than part 4, the sole purpose of 5 is to progress the story as quickly as possible, with compromising on anything.
In quick sucession, we get a resolution to the cliffhanger (a bit of an easy way out, but there's a very good reason for that!), another bit of sexual tension between Victoria and Anna, Anna finding herself a marked woman, and Newlyn coming face to face with that which he does not believe in.
Lare De-Leuw steals this short Chapter, looking more beautiful and sumptuous with every scene she appears in, and her taunting of Anna and Newlyn is utterly wicked. This contrasts nicely with Newlyn's disbelieving reaction: Pathetically waving his stick at her.
The cliffhanger is another 'how's he gonna get out of this one?', scary, tense, and full of Lady Victoria's heaving cleavage.
A short but sweet episode, breathlessly exciting and supremely sexy. Which also rather nicely sums up the whole series, actually....
Watch Chapter 4
Watch Chapter 5
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