You, Me and the Apocalypse is a bold, adrenaline-fuelled comedy-drama about the last days of mankind – boasting a relentlessly entertaining mix of action, adventure, romance and wit set against a backdrop of apocalyptic chaos.
The story follows an eclectic group of seemingly unconnected characters around the world as their lives start to intersect in the most unexpected ways, all triggered by the news that a comet is on an unavoidable collision course towards earth.
This week’s episode (well, I say that, it aired a few weeks ago now) was written by Sarah Dollard! (That’s @carrionlaughing, for those of you following at home on tumblr.) Her name stood out to me, actually, when I saw it in the opening credits, because I am a big Doctor Who fan, and obviously I knew that Sarah Dollard is going to be writing the tenth episode of series 9, Face the Raven. I’ve been avoiding plot details for that, more or less, but I do know one thing now – it’s going to be very good.
This fifth episode is very much a transitional one; it’s the mid point in this ten episode series, and you can clearly see a lot of story arcs drawing to a close, and new ones opening up. It’s something that Sarah Dollard handled really well, bringing (in some cases) a sense of closure to this crossroads, with plenty of intrigue following on.
Much like last episode, it’s a great episode for characterisation – much like the whole series, really. Jamie and Dave start to get to know Mary in this episode, and there are some genuinely compelling scenes between them; an obvious one to point to is Jamie’s grief when he finds out about Ariel and ‘Hawkwind’, but the one that stayed with me more was Dave reproaching Jamie for his response to Mary’s delusions – it was a rather powerful moment, actually. The way the show has handled Mary’s mental illness has been impressively sensitive, actually; they’re very careful as to how the other characters respond to her, and just what exactly is played for laughs, and what is a moment of pathos.
I also quite enjoyed the culmination of Rhonda and Leanne’s story; it was similarly well done. It’ll be a shame to see Leanne go, actually – she was a consistently very funny character, and there was a level of depth to her too; the goodbye between her and Rhonda (the circumstances of which were very well chosen) was in fact quite poignant. And, of course, Scotty and General Gaines had a similarly compelling storyline. Kyle Soller is a fantastic actor – fast becoming one of my favourite characters, actually. Very well characterised, from the acting and the writing. Paterson Joseph too is rather wonderful; there’s an interesting potential Doctor in there. (It’s always on the brain.)
Another very strong episode there then! Enjoyed it quite a lot; very much an “end of act one” sort of story, but it’s come at the right time, and it’s got a lot of strengths in its own right.