Written by Tom Grieves
Directed by Daniel O’Hara
Annie: “Why would you say that?”
Kirby: “Oh, Annie, I’ve tried, believe me but you’d have to have the patience of a saint to spend more than a day with you and well, I’m no saint.”
Nope, Kirby most definitely is not a saint. What is he is a slimy, manipulative creepy little bastard who managed to nearly split our gang up and kill Eve and for that alone, he might be one of the best villains this show has ever done. It also helps that with the 70s gear, James Lance does look rather frightful as well for good measure.
I’ve read complaints from some fans who thought that that the gang were too easily manipulated by Kirby’s words and actions throughout the episode but if this story had occurred during the George/Mitchell/Annie/Nina dynamic in the third series, I’d agree. Here however it seemed rather believable and they did make up in the end and celebrate Tom’s birthday, so all that ends well.
We might be at the halfway point of this series and Annie might have a nice little life of sorts with Hal and Tom when it comes to protecting Eve but our latest vampire/ghost/werewolf trio are still reasonably getting to know each other and that to me meant that it was believable that Kirby’s attempts of prying them apart would be child’s play.
It’s hard to determine which of Kirby’s methods were the nastiest because all of the tricks that Kirby played out had a delicious texture of cruelty behind them. Tom might have killed more vampires than most people his age have but at the same time, he’s still yearning for a family and Kirby used his birthday as a great means of causing tension when Annie and Hal were unaware that he was turning 21.
Similarly, Hal’s need for order and control got mucked about the place when Kirby decided to trash his room and make it look like he was about to attack Eve. Hal might have thought he wasn’t as easily manipulated but Kirby knew how to bring him down and trying to use Hal’s hinterland past was also a nifty means of trying to create a rift with everyone.
And then there was his way of taking Annie down. No-one wants the fact that they’re a nice person to be used against them and I did slightly think that Kirby might have succeeded in dispersing Annie for good. Thankfully though, Annie turned out to be the wrong person to piss off this week.
I wish the writers would show some more consistency into Annie’s abilities because as much as I enjoyed her going all blue and scary eyed looking to get of Kirby, the cynic in me knows that this fun ability will be forgotten about and Annie will go back to fretting and obsessing over rotas like she did for a fair chunk of the episode.
As for Kirby – he was sent by that mysterious woman (or basically future Eve) in order to kill the present day baby version but aside from his insane in taking out the supernatural trio, he seemed more fixated with his own desire to stay in the world than kill a child. Then again, considering that he prefers to kill mothers rather than children, I guess that makes a modicum of sense.
Also, despite all of Kirby’s trouble, it’s turned out that Hal is the burnt arm man that’s a threat to Eve (he got Tom’s blood on his arm during a fight with the werewolf) but it would be kind of nice if Hal actually managed to fight destiny and ended up being Eve’s saviour than her demise. Then again, if Mitchell can actually get killed by a wolf shaped bullet of sorts, then I do fear the next few episodes with Hal and Eve.
Hal’s dark side is definitely set to make an appearance though. Kirby might have taunted him over his past kills but Annie might have done potentially more damage by not letting Hal talk about his past. Similarly the continuity with the Box Tunnel 20 and Hal’s confrontation with Dr Wilson also revealed that Cutler might be a lot more devious than first thought, especially considering that he reached out to Tom this week and seemed more worried that Hal was in town now.
Also in “A Spectre Calls”
Kirby seemingly wanted to be known as the Toyman and was annoyed when Hal and Tom didn’t recognise him at the end.
Hal: “Annie, you’ve seen me. This is how I focus and control it.”
Annie: “So, you take it out on your pecs?”
Hal: “Better than humanity.”
Hal’s ditched the tweed looking and has started wearing a lot of black. It looks good but I miss the tweed look for him.
Kirby: “Annie, you’re so nice. I think you’re the best.”
Hal (to GP): “I’m um-“
Annie: “- Say it!”
Hal (re Tom): “- I’m his boyfriend.”
As amusing as the whole Tom/Hal pretending to be a gay couple bit was, it’s kind of disappointing that apart from Carl in Series 2, we’ve had very few gay characters on the show.
Hal (re Annie): “She knows about my past.”
Kirby: “Really? All the gory details?”
Hal: “There are things I’ve done.”
Annie: “No, no, you don’t have to tell me.”
Eve got an ear infection in this episode while we learn that Jason was supposed to have had a cannibal link to Box Tunnel 20 and Hal’s victims have been named as Eleanor, Nadia and Catherine.
Tom: “I’m on the rota.”
Kirby: “You want to ruin your own twenty first?”
Hal (re Tom): “He was my friend.”
Kirby: “You don’t have any friends.”
Hal: “Well, he could’ve been.”
The last two prequels we’ve had online were for Tom applying for a job at the burger bar and one with Annie and Hal. Both can also be seen on YouTube.
Kirby (to Annie): “Evil is like travelling first class. Try it once and you can never go back.”
Annie (to Tom/Hal): “Is it me or do I have the worst taste in men ever?”
Chronology: Not that long since “The Graveyard Shift”.
“A Spectre Calls” was definitely an unsettling episode to watch. Kirby proved to be a wonderful guest menace, Eve’s prophecy is getting more interesting and I can’t wait to see what happens when both Hal and Cutler clash as well.
Rating: 9 out of 10