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We know the story and the outcome from the very start. The production probably cost less than the "original" Doctor Who programmes that Marl Gatiss is such a fan of. It features no famous names, Gatiss himself aside maybe, and an overall cast of about eight people. But it is one of the most unmissable and memorable single dramas of 2007.
Why? Obviously the basic subject matter itself is fascinating and a classic, but that is never enough to guarantee success. However, Gatiss is - frankly - a genius word-smith and faultless character actor in an increasing number of roles. And in this production he is at his best.
Its all here - the daring-do, the British pluck - but also the questioning of why, and the open admission that it was all largely pointless. A flawed hero, driven almost mad by his heroism is captured with precision.
It also has a curious old-fashioned feel to it as well, which is no bad thing. There is so much said in small words, gestures and silences.
Cherry-Garland, who Gatiss plays himself, was famous in his time but as maybe been forgotten in recent years. Its good to welcome him back from obscurity.
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