I have been anticipating Intruders since BBC America first started airing those WTF commercials showing nothing but Mira Sorvino with a thousand yard stare saying, “We will be alright. Because in the beginning there was death.”
BBCA showed this ad about a million times over; unlike the Orphan Black ad’s repetition of Sarah-as-Beth’s “damn right!”, I never got tired of it.
(There was this one time, in the middle of the night, when my husband decided to stand next to my side of the bed, swaying and staring until I asked him if he was okay. And then he said, “We’ll be alright; because in the beginning there was death.” I threw a stuffed Stitch at him. So I may have been on about Intruders a bit much.)
Then they started showing the teaser ad with this little girl, Madison, and a bloodied corpse in a bathtub. “I can even make this [body] work,” she declares.
Dear readers, I was sold. I’ve always been interested in tales dealing with death, and the personification or subversion thereof. Throw in JAMES FRAIN, Mira Sorvino, John Simm, a creepy little girl, mysterious – possibly arcane – triggers, a little Latin, and conspiracy theories? I AM SO THERE. So there they might as well put a little engraved nameplate on my chair.
BBC America gave me the opportunity last night to watch the premiere early, so I grabbed my headphones and dove right in. How was it?
When the episode finished, I immediately hit replay and started taking notes on what connects the characters and any little clues that appeared during the narrative’s opening salvo.
Men in black? In the room right now.
Reductive symbols? Triskele and sand dollar.
Conspiracy nut in a tech-laden van? He’s got his own sock-puppeted podcast.
Interior character struggle? We got multiple souls thrashing about!
Retired LA cop doing his detective bit? Check, check, JOHN SIMM-EFFIN’ CHECK.
James Frain? JAMES FRAAAAAIIINNN.
(It is possible I have a greater than average interest in the acting of James Frain JAMES FRAAAAAIIINNN.)
I don’t want to spoil any of the twists or discoveries in the first episode, so I’m not going to try and describe the narrative. If you’ve been nodding along to all of the above, or even most of it, you already know that you want to stay tuned after Doctor Who this Saturday night and check it out.
But there is one thing I want to spoil, as it may be a very upsetting trigger for more people than me: there is the sudden murder of a pet cat in this premiere episode. It’s handled as visually obliquely on screen as possible, and it’s presented as utterly disturbing. But it’s not pleasant – that shit is never pleasant. Be prepared.
So: James Frain being a BAMF. Sleeper soul tactics. Subsonic science theories. Conspiracy nuts who are probably crazy even though “they” ARE out to get them. X-Files references. Chewy and mysterious suspense.
Will you be watching?
If you’d like to find more information, check out these sites:
“‘Intruders’ makes immortality a conspiracy” at USA Today.
“BBCA’s ‘Intruders’ will make its audience wait for answers” at zap2it.
BBC America’s YouTube channel for Intruders.
BBC America’s Intruders’ Twitter feed.
P.S. inkandcayenne was the originator of “JAMES FRAAAAAIIINNNN.” Just ever since she first shared that, I haven’t been able to stop doing it whenever James Frain first appears on screen.