October 25, 2013
The gripes are minor and infrequent though. There's a natural levity to Tourmaline that brought to mind Neil Gaiman at his most playful (ie: "La Belle Dame de Merci" asylum - affectionately known as "Beldam"!), yet this nestles alongside dark unflinching fantasy violence that wouldn't be out of place in Clive Barker's Books of Blood. Like Christopher Priest, Brogden treats his twin realities as something of a logic puzzle but he isn't afraid to go full cosmic and explore the abstract, at times reminiscent of Gene Wolfe's masterly Book of the New Sun. These are heavyweight comparisons so early in a writer's career; a testament to the kind of talent and imagination on offer here.
If you like fantasy and yearn for an intelligent, meaningful new voice, dip your toes into the turquoise waters of Tourmaline. Just be aware that next time you're out observing, you might start to see a few rather more unsettling things that weren't there before. Oh, and do watch out for the floating sensor buoys...
Here’s where everything comes together, then. Amongst the plot-of-the-week developments and McGuffins, it turns out The Wrong Mans has been sowing the seeds of a much bigger plot. And in the final two episodes, it looks like we’re gonna see all of that plotting bear fruit. Sorry, that was a horrible metaphor, I think I’m a bit over-excited.
So, yes: the mystery of the music box has been solved. It was totally unremarkable, except that somewhere among its cogs and wheels it held a memory stick. And on that memory stick? A video of Scarlett having sex with a vaguely familiar-looking man. Throughout the series I’ve felt like I ought to be paying more attention to the news reports we’ve glimpsed every time Sam and Phil have passed through the Council’s reception area, and, yup, turns out they were absolutely there for a reason.
Because the man on Scarlett’s sex tape is an MP, and he’s the one who’ll ultimately be responsible for the route of the high speed rail link that could cut out the heart of Bracknell’s tiny community. Gulp. And, oh God, poor Lizzie. The writing’s been on the wall for her big regeneration project since the beginning, really, but yikes. No wonder Reid didn’t want the project named after him – it’s all gonna crash and burn, making him a gazillionaire but leaving the County Council out of pocket and looking for scapegoats. And it’ll be Lizzie’s head that rolls, unless Sam and Phil can warn her and expose Reid before his dodgy deals go through.