This week’s episode focuses on a custody battle between a young boy’s adoptive parents. I like the idea of each case being something small, it works as a nice metaphor for how even the smallest of kindnesses can make all the difference.
Towards the end of last week’s installment, Zak intervened and saved Hannah’s life and asked her to go far away and believed she had done just that. Richard had other ideas and promptly hired Hannah to work on his team.
Now Zak finds himself representing the husband and Hannah’s client is the wife, so naturally things get a little complicated for Zak. They might be on opposite sides but they both agree that what is important is the child’s safety. It’s this common ground leads to a happy ending for the case, but causes Zak to keep his distance from Hannah.
Tom continues to explore human culture and he goes to a cricket match with Mrs Sheringham. Whilst there she tells him about the man she left Mr Mountjoy’s graces for, the man she became mortal for. This was a high point of the episode that showed a more emotional side to Mrs Sheringham.
I rarely write off TV series so early on, but in all honesty I am struggling to get on with Eternal Law. The performances are all solid and most are better than the material they are working with. Samuel West (Zak) is a good actor, his performance in Any Human Heart confirmed him as a character actor to look out for. He’s certainly come along way since playing King Caspian in the BBC’s Prince Caspian and the Voyage of The Dawn Treader. However, this series isn’t going to showcase his leading man ambitions.
The only person having any fun with their role is still Tobias Menzies as Richard Pembroke, although his character is thoroughly unpleasant he is quite enjoyable. Richard happily pushes homeless people in the river, if he’s feeling kind he might just throw change at them. Sadly there’s never any real sense of threat or danger, the cases present little tension and the fantasy element is being seriously underused. If Richard is the ‘big bad’ of the series he needs to up his game as he’s in danger of being little more than a bully.
The concept behind this series is interesting, the creators are very talented writers but the spark that made their previous work ignite is simply not here.
We’re only two episodes in and this was a filler story, so the signs for a second series are already ready looking unlikely. Audiences seem to agree as after a modest 5.5m opening this episode lost nearly 1.5m viewers.
Eternal Law continues Thursday at 9pm on ITV 1