The dark, often bleak crime drama from the BBC continues this week with the team finding a severed hand near the large estate of rich-philanthropic-recluse Harold Penton…
For most of Episode 2, it seems the writers were trying to warn us with: don’t trust the old man, who lives in the big house all on his own. As warnings go in the world of the whodunit-esque mystery television, it’s a fair one.
You see, Harold Penton (Michael Byrne) is a recluse in every sense of the word. He has physically removed himself from society; keeping himself locked up in his mansion for the past 20 years. Why? Well, I’m glad you ask. Despite being very ill, it would seem Mr. Penton is quite an intense germophobe, afraid of human contact, a fact I urge you to remember during the rest of the review.
It’s quite severe; I thought at one point Penton was going to slip into cardiac arrest as Eve Lockhart took his saliva sample.
But what is a rich germophobe without his trusted right hand man, in this case Jimmy West (Gary Lewis), to do all his bidding for him. Straight off the bat it’s simple to deduce that West is hiding something; In general, things seem very shifty in the Penton household.
Knowing they are going to struggle to break down Mr. Pentons loyal minion, the team turn to the help of Penton’s doctor. It isn’t long before I start to think “Hang on a minute, It could be the doctor”, and thanks to some eagle-eyed vision from Eve who spots a freezer in the doctors garage (I actually thought at the time she was looking at the set of golf clubs), Hale begins to focus on covertly questioning the Doctor.
You probably know where this is going. It turns out the Doctor was involved with the death of the young boy, but couldn’t be charged explicitly.
You see, the boy was a junkie and amongst other things, suffered from the later stages of pneumonia. When entering the doctor’s car to perform uh, acts of a sexual nature, the rapid change from cold to the warm, caused fluid to form on boys lungs. Yes, he precipitated to death.
But what really surprised me during this whole hour was when Harold Pentor, self-imposed recluse of 20 years and germophobe extraordinaire decided to turn up to the court hearing. A court room with people!
It threw me off that much, I half expected him say to Jimmy “Don’t worry about the lift, I’ll get the bus home.”
Now you may feel I’m being slightly flippant with my review. In my defence I’m trying to be light-hearted in what is an essentially a quite a depressing story.
The show highlights what must be a regular occurrence for people like the young boy, Jason Quinn, and in all honesty, it’s horrible to think about.
I have no problems with a show taking itself seriously, and I think The Body Farm is one of these shows. But, there is absolutely no light heartedness or comic relief whatsoever. The Body Farm, based on his subject matter, has a chance for some pretty unique and dark humour.
There was a brief attempt at this about seven minutes into Episode 2. “We’ve found a hand, a right hand, and you’re his right hand man aren’t you?” Hale says to West. I know, appalling…
It seems Episode 2 hardly focused on the rest of the team either, in fact Eve and DI Hale and possible Rosa could have probably solved this week’s crime all by themselves.