One of these fifteen is Jamie Winton (Matthew Baynton – Bill, Horrible Histories, The Wrong Mans), a banker who really needs to lighten up as he thrives on routine, all of which has been thrown the window by the news that an asteroid, eight miles wide and travelling at 27 miles per second, is on its way.
The story then flashes back to the day this is first discovered, 34 days before, to be precise. Personally, love ‘end of the world’ movies, but it’s not exactly often you get a TV comedy/drama based on the premise. However, these days TV series are the new ‘movies’, as they get several hours to tell their story.
Jamie is first seen, living in Slough – the town which also represented in space, in Elite: Dangerous, courtesy of Kate Russell’s Mostly Harmless – and he’s recording a message to his long lost girlfriend. Not just the first, it’s number 2610 ever since they were parted. But how, or why? As the episode begins we are not privy to this information and, in any event, he doesn’t know where she is at all.
To make matters worse, he’s subsequently arrested on nearly 500 charges of bank robbery, simply because the leader of terrorist group Deus Ex Machina, The White Horse, looks exactly like him; and his doppelganger is traced to Moscow, yet Jamie has never been.
There were some great comic-timed moments, such as after being arrested and interviewed by the police, Jamie’s solicitor asks hopefully: “I don’t suppose there’s a chance you have a twin?”. Jamie replies “No”, to which comes the sigh-ful reply: “Bugger. That really would’ve helped.”
Another came between Jamie and his Mum, Paula (Pauline Quirke):
- Paula: “You’re like that woman in that book”
Jamie: “…You’ll have to narrow that down a bit(!)”
In addition, his flatmate, Dave (Joel Fry), has an alibi of a bowling game for the night his doppelganger was meant to be committing all kinds of deadly deeds. But then, during the interrogation, Jamie reveals his wife Layla (Karla Crome) disappeared at the airport just after they got back from honeymoon, while he went to get some coffee, and the revelation comes that Layla’s been with his doppelganger the whole time! WTF??
The second of the fifteen introduced here was prisoner Rhonda (Jenna Fischer – Pam Beesly in the US version of The Office), seemingly on Death Row according to her uniform, who quickly manages to annoy annoys both the Latinas and the Nazis within a very short space of him, especially when she gave them the finger, but then her solicitor had arrived and she stupidly assumed she was getting out of there that moment. Alas, the prosecutors want to make an example out of her and, as later confirmed on the national news, she’s going to be locked up for the full 5-10 years of her crime of treason.
Why? Well, she’s meant to have hacked into the NSA’s computer systems, but while it was actually her 14-year-old son, and since she, as a librarian, has no idea how to program a computer – and her lawyer knows this, Rhonda is still refusing to fess up the real culprit, and so she’s not getting out of jail any time soon. It’d make more sense to spill the beans, since that way she’d get out of there and her son would get a slap on the wrist. However, we see that she wants to be out because her husband is receiving chemotherapy in hospital… and she’s just wasted her last phone call being cut off by a nurse after asking to speak to him and being told he’s sleeping.
Feeling dejected and fearful, Leanne (Megan Mullally) tells Rhonda not to act like a victim, and just to act like a crazy bitch. Alternatively, she can get into the vulnerable facility by either being stabbed or getting pregnant, at which point she offers to get her some “good, strong semen”…
Go to page 2 for more thoughts on this episode.
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.