Saturday, October 12, 2013
My Review of The Last Witch
Written by Sally Wainwright
Directed by Robin Shephard
Alice: "I'm a witch as well."
Daniel: "I don't suppose you can prove that?"
I guess it must be because Halloween is coming around the corner but when I haven't been watching various documentaries on witches (thank you, Nat Geo, BBC4 and More4 respectively) or getting myself enamoured with American Horror Story: Coven, then the fourth of SkyLiving's Drama Matters pilots has similarly been a little spellbinding.
Since leaving Coronation Street in 2012, Katherine Kelly has come under the same fate as other former wife of Steve McDonald, Suranne Jones (who popped up in other pilot, Lawless last week) and never been off our screens for too long. Mr Selfridges was already a massive hit for her this year and if this pilot manages to get picked up, it could be something of a hit for her too. The ingredients are certainly there already.
Kelly plays a 500 years old cursed witch named Alice Lister who we learned pretty fast was doomed to walk the Earth alone and kill any man she falls in love (at least sixteen of them have perished so far) after trying to kill her out of control sister, Jane. Of course just because Alice might have to walk the Earth alone, doesn't mean that death was an actual deterrent for Jane as we soon found out here.
Within the hour Jane was jumping from the body of a dog to kindly Matilda (played by Anne Reid) and then landing in the body of a comatose journalist named Kate (Maimie McCoy), setting up a very modern day rivalry between the warring sisters should this get picked up for a series.
Like most of the pilots, The Last Witch is definitely a very female oriented one with Kelly, Reid and McCoy getting the most screen time and characterisation throughout - not a bad thing, mind. Gregg Chillin (DaVinci's Demons) as Daniel and William Ash (Waterloo Road) as a grieving husband are somewhat underused by comparison. The former himself is presented as a love interest for Alice while the latter is Kate's husband. Hopefully both characters themselves are more developed should the show being picked up for a series.
- Alice went through at least three different aliases while being hanged for murdering some of her lovers.
- I liked the method in which Alice was able to get people to do what she wanted - a nice masterclass in subtlety there.
- Alice's general curse isn't that dissimilar to Zoe's one in American Horror Story: Coven, though presumably it will be depicted in a less graphic way though.
- The makers of Switch could've learned a lot from this pilot alone.
Out of all the pilots that SkyLiving have, I really do think this is the only one that could run for at least a series. It has all the potential and scope and it would be a shame if SkyLiving didn't pick it up and aside from In The Flesh, we don't have that much in the way of UK supernaturals dramas, do we?
Rating: 7 out of 10