Saturday, 24 August 2013

Big Gay Longcat reviews Dark Towers (part four)

The Dark Tree

Edward is scared but he manages to answer the Tall Knight's question. The Tall Knight says he can't help Edward unless "the girl and the dog" come too, because of an "old legend." The Tall Knight then vanishes and it gets light again.

Towser takes Tracy to the Tall Knight's Folly where they meet Edward. The ominous noise starts again and it gets dark.

The Tall Knight appears again and gives them a clue.

"Go to the old library
And a gold key you will see
Inside the inside of the Dark Tree."

Edward says he doesn't understand but the terrifying Tall Knight isn't obliging with explanations. He just repeats the riddle and then vanishes with the sound of scary thunder. While it may seem strange from a dramatic point of view to have the Tall Knight appear, disappear and then reappear in such a short space of time (less than seven minutes of screen time) and it makes the pacing of this episode a bit odd, it makes sense from the point of view of establishing that the Tall Knight's appearance was not a one-off, never to be repeated occurrence. Seen in that regard then it is the first signposting of how the story will resolve: we are now over half way and heading towards the climax.

Edward trusts Tracy and doesn't think that she is a thief, so they work together to try and work out the meaning of the Tall Knight's clue. They go to the library and look for the Dark Family Tree.

They find it. Tracy shakes the book and a paper and a key both fall out. The paper, of course, has a clue on it.

The episode ends over a shot of the clue, its meaning to be left for next time.

Beware of the bird!

Edward goes to ask Lord Dark if they have any studded chests. (Tracy can't go because she is still suspected of being a thief.) Lord Dark tells him but Miss Hawk hears as well. The friendly ghost in the painting from part one speaks to Edward to warn him:
"Beware of the bird with the brown feather,
A hawk to hunt treasure!"

Towser leads Tracy and Edward to the chest and they open it with the key. But then Benger and Bunce come in and capture them!

Miss Hawk orders Edward be taken to the red bedroom, while Bunce puts Tracy in their van and drives away. Towser chases after it but can't catch up.

As the van drives past the Tall Knight's Folly it gets dark and...


The Tall Knight appears in front of the van, and that is the end of the episode.

I think that the Tall Knight's appearing at the end might have come across as a deus ex machina had it not been cleverly established in part seven that there are certain implicit rules about when and where he can manifest. But either way, the effect of the sudden fall of darkness and flash of light makes for an exciting cliffhanger.

While these two episodes are not quite as good as parts five and six (a tough act to follow if ever there was one), by progressing the plot and always keeping the pace up they remain top quality TV. With only two parts still to go the series is well on its way to the story's conclusion, with Towser, Tracy and Edward all separated and in various degrees of peril.

Continued in Part Five.

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