With the help of The X-Files Glen Morgan, Michael Marshall Smith’s novel ‘The Intruders’ is getting its chance at a television program.
Something strange is happening in the Pacific Northwest. Jack Whelan, a formerly violent LAPD cop, has put aside a difficult past for the quiet of life as a writer. Despite her hate for her birthdays, his lawyer wife, Amy (Mira Sorvino) agrees to spend the night in with her husband. He catches her dancing lazily in the bedroom to jazz. He is surprised as this is a type of music she has always loathed. The following day Amy goes on a business trip and promptly disappears. Meanwhile in Oregon, a young girl named Madison (Millie Brown) begins to act strangely and even murders her own cat without knowing what she is doing. An assassin named Richard Shepard (James Frain) ties them all together as he begins hunting them in a strange series of murders he sees as justifiable. These murders prompt Jack’s long term friend, Gary Fisher (Tory Kittles) to seek out his friend for help in solving the crimes. So begins the new BBC America production, The Intruders.
Part X-Files, part atmospheric drama, The Intruders does its best to fall in line with a series of dark shows produced by BBC. Intruders tries very hard to capture the atmospheric darkness of shows like Ripper Street and Orphan Black, but often to its detriment.The initial episode shows various segments of unspecified intruder occurrences through the United States. These include introducing the Whelans, a podcasting conspiracy theorist and the little girl all separately. This segmentation feels far from smooth in its instrumentation and the number of them leave the viewer uncomfortable and wondering just which characters they should be putting their focus on. Plunging further into darkness is a scene in which a 9-year-old girl drowns her own cat while an unknown entity takes over her body. She falls to the ground screaming “what have I done” over and over. I’m not sure about you, but I’ve never met a 9-year-old that eloquent when truly upset. Jon Simms has a British accent too strong to hide with an American style, and this often becomes distracting during serious scenes.
Still, Glen Morgan’s writing is strong and his concept has the potential to pull through in further episodes. The special effects of suddenly flooding pupils is eerie enough to elicit a gasp the first time it happens and yet never really gets less creepy.
With a blanket wrapped around you and the hope that you don’t have to go to the Pacific Northwest anytime soon for work or run a conspiracy theory podcast, The Intruders can be an eerie way to spend your evening post Doctor Who.