Tess Hunter -
Ben Naismith -
Carey Naismith -
Emma Jane Lavin
Richard Naismith -
Mrs Hunter -
Esme Harkness -
May Harkness -
Written By -
Russell T Davies
Directed By -
OTHER MENTALLY ENHANCED SHOWS
Tess and her mother arrive in Century Falls. Ben and Carey are also newcomers, newcomers with history. Ben has powers, mental powers that frighten the adults, and a wild, uncontrolled attitude. There are undercurrents in Century Falls, mysteries to be fathomed, not least of which is the temple and what happened on the 17th July 1953.
This first episode of CENTURY FALLS weaves a slow burn sense of oppression and dread that is unusual for a children's show. There are hints of terrible acts and even worse consequences, but little in the way of explanations. The script by Russell T Davies is nicely judged, giving the adults plenty to play with, but proves to be a bit beyond the abilities of the younger cast to deal with believably.
The conspiring supernatural elements are, however, enough to draw the audience in and ensure that they will be present for future episodes.Top
Some of the villagers gather together under the lead of the Harkness sisters to confirm that Tess' mother is pregnant and what Naismith is planning. Ben continues to expand his powers whilst a golden mask worn by a mysterious apparition threatens to return.
Continuing hints about the underlying plot masks the fact that nothing very much happens in this episode. The foreboding atmosphere continues to build through the focus on the unborn child and untold conspiracies.
The character of Ben, the psychic twin, remains unconvincing, which undermines the show since he seems to be central to what is happening.
The 'Gathering' of the villagers is well-handled, making the most of a simple sequence. The appearance of the gold-clad figure at the end promises further developments.Top
Ben shares a vision with Tess and Esme Harkness of a woman in gold destroying the temple in 1953. The consequences are known, but not the cause. Revelations about who is really in charge are made.
The town's communal spirit raised a monster that destroyed the place and prevented children being born. The return of that monster, known as Century, is Naismith's plan, but is he really the one pulling the strings?
Answers are starting to come, but not in sufficient qunatities to reveal the plot entirely or ruin the sense of foreboding that the show has worked so hard to build up. The reveals are being masterfully handled and focussing on the adults disrtracts from the relative weakness of the younger cast members.Top
Tess and her mother learn the full story of the temple fire and their own origins and links to Century Falls. Ben determines to avenge himself on his uncle and learns the identity of the mysterious 'patient' upstairs and the plans that have been made for him.
The pace of the story picks up as the past is revealed and future plans laid out. Ben is the key and his life might be forfeit as a result. Plot takes over from atmosphere, even though it leads to an unconvincing turnaround from Ben.
The special effects cliffhanger is pretty impressive.Top
Carey proves to be the solution to stopping Ben's raising of the dangerous psychic being Century, but the villagers can no longer leave. Ben is rescued and hidden, but a betrayal leads Julia right to him and the final part of the plot is revealed.
This penultimate episode brings all the players together, setting up the big finale, the last remnants of the carefully crafted story fitting together. The plot overcomes the weaknesses of the young players and drives things to a satisfying cliffhanger.Top
Tess' unborn sister is to be the new Century. The village is now under Julia's control, but Esme and Tess still resist.
The past is brought alive again as the villagers attempt to bring Century back. The story gets a bit muddled under the weight of the imagery as past collides with present, psychic powers run wild and ghosts turn out to be the future. It's heady stuff even if it does get a bit garbled in the telling.Top
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