The Intruders began on BBC Two this evening with a double-header, the first two episodes of an eight part serialised supernatural thriller. The story is based on a book of the same name written by Michael Marshall Smith, who also writes as Michael Marshall. I haven't read his work (though one of his novels has lurked on my TBR pile for quite a while) but he's a best-seller, and more significantly I know some good judges who rate his books very highly. When I looked him up, I was startled to find that, like me, he was born in Knusford, but unlike me, he moved when young to Illinois. Very different from Cheshire,I bet...
I was really drawn to The Intruders by the fact that the cast is headed by John Simm. I first came across Simm a long time ago, in Cracker and The Lakes, and later I also enjoyed his performances in Life on Mars and Doctor Who. He's a very good actor, and in this show, unexpectedly, he plays an American ex-cop, who has become a writer.
He is married to a glamorous but enigmatic corporate lawyer, played by Mira Sorvino, and there are early clues that she is hiding something from him. But what? The first episode sees a rapid sequence of dramatic and confusing events. A mother and her son are shot dead by an intruder who calls at their house, looking for the woman's husband. A girl commits suicide in her bath. Later, a cat meets an unpleasant end, also in a bath. A conspiracy theorist has his head blown off by that intrusive gunman. What on earth is going on?
Probably the reason why the second episode followed immediately after the first was to give one or two more clues about the story's direction of travel. It was less cryptic, and more gripping, and I started to become more interested in the characters. Plentiful references to the number 9, and the repeated incantation of the phrase "what goes around, comes around" didn't,however, fascinate me quite as much as the scriptwriter presumably intended. Is the story going to be strong enough to sustain eight episodes? The jury is, I think, still out on The Intruders..