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He Feedeth Among The Lilies

This one is another that has always been popular with fans of the show. In many ways it's an odd choice for that kind of accolade, as practically nothing happens in it. It's a clear example of an episode being made for as little money as possible, with very limited sets and equipment - and the plot is stretched pretty thin as well. It is good, though. I think it trades its popularity solely on the fact that it's impossible to dislike Harrison (unless you're in the army); but it's not his episode. The focus this time is on an assortment of civilians, who all have a tale to tell.

An ambulance. Just in case you didn't know.

The aliens have been kidnapping people off the streets, and subjecting them to interesting experiments, in order to study the human immune system. In this particular instance they also seem to have raided a porn shop, as that's a lot of interesting equipment they've got that victim tied down with.

Either that or they just have a general metal-and-leather fetish. And a thing for nurses. Anyway, they hit upon the idea that ambulances are great for spiriting people away in, but the sick and broken kind are much less fun to play with. So instead of only spiriting away the people they find in ambulances, they snatch themselves a fleet, and set out accosting healthy people as well.

This leads to a huge rise in the number of alien encounters. Harrison and assorted others will therefore be spending pretty much the entire episode in a room, listening to some people all recounting the exact same experience with aliens. Green lights, bewilderment, three fingers, etc and so forth. Many of the people will be exhibiting all the classic signs of alien abduction trauma - wild over-acting, heavy breathing, the complete loss of any subtlety whatsoever...

Between interviews, Ironhorse worries that saving the planet is too damned expensive. Ironhorse, you're spending the entire episode in one room. I think it's fair to say that you're not wasting the money.

An alien abductee of the non-panting-and-over-acting persuasion. She is... somebody with a name I don't remember. She's an anthropologist, anyway. She and Harrison share an enthusiasm for obscure tribal music and botany. Among other things.

She gets upset during her interview, so he calms her with a shoulder massage, and a barrage of endearing character traits. This is blatant favouritism, since with the other interviewees all he did was share grim looks with Ironhorse.

Who is still worried about the budget in between interviews.

Harrison's new girlfriend (what happened to the secret Russian one?!) keeps dreaming about aliens attacking her while she was out jogging some months earlier.

I'm really not sure that those hands are a good idea. They look like a pretty rubbish bit of evolution, all things considered. Must really hamper music making, for starters.

Harrison has decided that he's in love. His seduction technique turns out to involve ringing up the object of his affections at four o'clock in the morning, and asking her if she fancies breakfast and a discussion of psychotherapeutic techniques. That really is quite brilliantly Harrison.

The next morning, Ironhorse worries where Harrison is, and moans about beds that haven't been slept in. He was the same over the secret Russian girlfriend. Apparently monastic tendencies are preferred when saving the planet.

Breakfast went well. Clearly so did the discussion on psychotherapeutic techniques, as they decide to have it again over dinner.

And then again at her apartment. Harrison apologises for not being able to take her back to his place, on the grounds of international security and his top secret work in astrophysics; thus proving that, whilst he may be a socially inept geek, he definitely knows all the right ways to flirt.

Leaves. TV code for "There are people having sex in the vicinity".

Ironhorse is still not at all happy, about budgets, interviews, sex and Harrison, not necessarily in that order. Norton apparently finds it all hilarious. I do like Norton. I only wish he were played by a mildly competent actor.

The aliens are still abducting people meanwhile, in their ambulance/porn shop mobile operating theatre. They discuss their plan, for no apparent reason other than for the benefit of the cameraman lurking in the front seat. Apparently they plant a probe behind a rib, leave to percolate for six months, and then harvest. Cue dramatic chords.

Suzanne hypnotises the girlfriend, to try to help her discover what happened when she was out jogging some months ago.

And we hear the same story all over again.

Green lights, aliens, funky equipment, three fingers.

Sinister lighting, strange music, occasional outbreaks of subtitles whenever an alien speaks. She also remembers something being put inside her.

The gang talk all this over again, in their room again, in the dark again. Ironhorse probably worries about budgets again. Harrison mostly worries about what the aliens have put inside his girlfriend. He decides that they probably ought to find out what it is.

So he tells her about the aliens. He tells her that they're evil, they're invading the planet, they're kidnapping humans, they've put something inside her, nobody but the aliens knows what it is, it's undoubtedly sinister, probably dangerous, and altogether not a very good thing.

Then she goes home and goes to bed, because... I don't know. Because it's always a good idea to wait until tomorrow to find out the nature of your sinister alien implant.

Anyway, then she has bad dreams, which surely can't be a surprise, so she rings up Harrison to ask him to go round and hold her hand, or arrange for another discreet fade to random leaves, or something.

No sooner has she hung up, though, than a strange feeling spreads from behind her ribs. Oh no!

Harrison dashes towards her, but thoughtfully gets out of the way of an ambulance that's going in the same direction.

There it is, look. An ambulance.

The girlfriend, under the influence of some strange mental control, wanders out into the street.

Where, seconds before Harrison draws up, she's bundled into the back of the ambulance, and driven away. The show ends with Harrison arriving.

A strange one, this. Probably seventy-five percent of the episode is interviews, and then subsequent talking about them. As a doomed romance it's a little lacking, since the romance consists mostly of interviews just rehashing old ground, and we never really get to know the woman at all. All the same, something about it works. I wish they'd played up the aliens in ambulances thing a bit more, as it should have been creepier than it was, but all in all it's a nice little variation from the norm. Having Ironhorse worry about the budget when they're saving the world from ferocious alien monsters is just bizarre, mind. What planet is he from?!


( 2 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )
Feb. 11th, 2012 02:05 pm (UTC)
The episode ends?? It's not a 2-parter? I was getting all into it! LOL. Maybe it is. I know why fans love this one-it's the romance episode. The one where the hero finds a sort of true love. If my scientist boyfriend told me that aliens abducted me and put something in me I'd be sprinting to the hospital and freaking out, not going home to sleep. Could it be alien babies?? arrhh!

Edited at 2012-02-11 06:06 pm (UTC)
Feb. 11th, 2012 08:40 pm (UTC)
I think most people would run for the nearest X-ray machine! It's quite baffling when she just decides to go home and have a sleep instead. Sometimes television seems quite determined not to make sense.
( 2 fierce growls — Growl fiercely )

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