BBC Three: Mutants and Viruses

Before The Mighty Boosh, there were only two reasons I would ever watch BBC Three:

Japanorama:

Mind, Body and Kick-Ass Moves:

I felt there was nothing on that directly appealed my admittedly pretentious, high-brow, eastern-inflected, esoteric tastes but now we have the intriguing Pulse.

Part of a series of pilot episodes BBC Three are launching, Pulse had three things that most BBC Three programmes don’t usually have: original concept (for the channel at least), good writing and body horror. This feeling was further reinforced by the trailer for next week’s pilot, a pretty limp generic harlotry comedy in the vein of American Pie – presumably the type of comedy where you don’t laugh because I was left in a boredom-induced coma.

Anyway, Pulse is set in a teaching hospital which main protagonist Hannah is returning to after the death of her mother, a brilliant surgeon. Now that she’s back she’s haunted by visions and a bad reputation. On top of that she also has to cope with an increasingly aggressive and strange ex-boyfriend who is also a star surgeon and clandestine experiments altering the human body.

The special effects for Pulse were low-key and genuinely creepy, the gouts of blood enough to satiate a gore-hound audience. The full concept has yet to be revealed, but there are twists and a tantalisingly interesting sight is glimpsed at the end so there is a lot of potential for a decent and original horror show. Indeed, the story could be far more intriguing than the usual sci-fi/horror found on television and looks like it could be a slimmed down version of Lars Von Trier’s Kingdom Hospital.

To leave the story here makes it sound entirely generic when it is only partially generic but this is only the pilot so if a series made I expect it to improve. So the show was more Cronenberg-Shivers and less American Pie which can only be a good thing considering the channel has enough of that generic nonsense.

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