This new three part offering from Sky Living competes with the strongholds that the BBC and ITV have over drama on Sunday Nights. I suspect they will do well. It is a simple premise, single mum and three children living in Enfield is menaced by a suspected poltergeist, amateur paranormal investigator is asked to take a look by the reporters who could not explain the happenings.
The age old catalyst of menstruation in teenage girls being a draw to spirits was used to nice effect as events began to unfold and the two girls playing sisters are rather fabulous in their glee at trying to give each other "The Willies" until really scary things start to happen in their bedroom.
This first episode proves to be more than just a ghost story and I suspect that the teenage angst on display here will have a lot to play as the series continues. Sibling jealousy and rivalry are creating energies of all kinds! The missing Father and incarcerated older brother may also prove pertinent but so far my disbelief is suspended enough to enjoy the programmes immensely.
Timothy Spall seems so perfect for his role as Maurice. An Everyman with a secret in his past that prompts his supernatural interest, plagued by both bad dream and Angina , he is not your normal paranormal investigator, but in a dingy kitchen in North London in 1977, there could be no other!
Matthew McFadyen's portrayal of snooty expert Guy Lyon Playfair is just this side of obnoxious, and I found myself rooting for Maurice immediately. He is sceptical of Maurice's innocent belief that
the family are telling the truth and is bordering on rude about all the children before even knowing them a little. His belief that Maurice's grief for a tragically killed daughter is clouding his judgement might be tested and as the book this story is derived from was from Lyon Playfair's true accounting of events, one must presume his opinions change!
The scares are definitely there and the atmospheric nature of the even quiet scenes is nicely realised, the last minutes were truly frightening and I will be hastening to the next episode on the Living "see it first" page almost immediately
For more in-depth information on the real life case...
Enfield Poltergeist - CSI http://www.csicop.org/si/show/enfield_poltergeist/#footer