Between Ofcom and ITV, last week’s episode amassed more than 800 complaints, and despite starting half-an-hour later this week as originally scheduled, I foresee a few more angry pitchfork and torch mobs on the way.
For those that were in doubt about whether this series would be suitable for young children, look no further than the opening moments of the second episode, where entrusted with a key from his father, the previously pointless Ravi Najaran (Michael Karim) staggers out of his family home and encounters a Vetala: a zombified soldier of the Tenebrae (the villainous organisation of the series). This hooded skeleton warrior dislodges his bottom jaw, screeches, and goes to attack. The nonplussed hero returns the greeting through stabbing the decaying mobile-ossuary, upon which it promptly explodes in powdery pain all over the collective faces of what must be a slightly surprised viewing audience.
Apparently, one of the reasons why we didn’t see all of the Najaran family die last week, was because, well, they didn’t all die. Same with the Harbinger (Man-Beast, how we’ve missed you!) This week, Ravi becomes the narrative counterpoint to Jekyll (Tom Bateman) as he goes on his own journey, spurred on by a terribly drawn Goonies map and what must be some mentally scarring advice from his father: “Trust no one.”
Not quite the Ceylonese Mulder to Jekyll’s Scully though, Ravi finds himself arrested and jailed by lazily drawn racist British officers, then introduced to the character of Herath Banda (Nadika Aluwihare): “The greatest bandit chief of all Ceylon”, who for all intents and purposes may as well have tumbled out the same My First Book of Caricatures that Disney’s Aladdin used. (I’m holding out for a musical number about a Lost City of Thieves next week…)…
The full 1,800 word version of this review is published at PopMatters.com, where you can read the rest of the article for free.