This week, the No. 9 we were Inside was a theatre dressing room, mostly set during a run of Macbeth. Of course, it being Macbeth, there were usurpations, manipulations and bloody hands galore.
But given just how hard we were being hammered about the head with Laura’s parallels to Lady Macbeth, she could never have truly been the culprit. The Shakespeare references worked best when they were subtle, such as the hallucinations experienced by Jim and Laura. The visions were so vague that they drew you in, and made you wonder why exactly Jim would end up with blood on his hands. But the best moment was when Laura heard something in the shower, tying in as it did with Macbeth’s speech over the intercom. As she creeps towards the shower curtain, where she will eventually kill herself, Tony is on stage lamenting his Lady Macbeth’s suicide. Soundtracking her reveal of the empty shower with the single word “nothing” was a beautiful piece of televisual suspense. More could have been made of that, using the unique location to its fullest potential, as opposed to limiting it to this and Tony’s accident.
In conclusion, another almost great episode. It looked good, Steve Pemberton’s acting was again outstanding, and given an hour-long slot, maybe the plot would have been tighter. Failing that, cut the character of Felicity and the cheap shots about how stage managers must be predatory lesbians, and maybe there would have been more time to expand Kirstie’s character. Then maybe her actions could have made sense. Instead, it’s like a Scooby Doo mystery – the villain is always the character who’s introduced first and is the least likely to have done it.