Here’s another somewhat dull and routine melodrama trying to scrape some scary intrigues from an offbeat setting – an amusement arcade featuring a ‘ghost tunnel’. I can’t, however, hold it responsible for getting Michael Jackson stuck in my head.
It’s a Venus episode, but not a great one. Venus’ contribution is underwhelming for a couple of reason. Firstly, she doesn’t get to sing in front of an audience – instead she makes a studio recording, which the director is so bored by he shoots the tape recorder – and there’s a particularly egregious example of Venus breaking the fourth wall during a number. Secondly, Venus is portrayed as being easily scared and slow witted too – getting freaked out by the ghost tunnel, and blundering into a foolhardy confrontation with the villains.
Steed doesn’t do too well either (he’s too busy dispensing sexist lines about ‘making someone a good wife’) – so ultimately the baddies get away. He has another new boss in One-Six who gives a squad of fellow officer – and us – a boring info dump, whilst sporting a tux and an ear-piece that wouldn’t look out of place in series one of Torchwood.
The only high points are when someone gets stabbed with what appears to be a cake slice, and the splendid concept of a record player bomb.
Oh, and Steed’s dog features heavily but it’s the new dog, not Freckles. The dog’s called Sheba and Steed’s got Venus looking after her…