The latest Damon Dark story, "Is there anybody out there?" blew me away on so many levels. I want to share with you my personal reasons why I think this is the greatest Damon Dark story so far in the history of the series. First of all I apologise for any spelling mistakes. I was typing this in rather a hurry!
The first thing that people will argue is that stories such as "Maddox" were obviously the best stories ever. On some levels this is true. "Maddox "had the advantage of a large cast at its disposal, a wide range of locations, a certain amount of money and various other things which make it the biggest Damon Dark story so far. The only thing I can fault it on is the fact that it looks a little dated with some of the technology but we can't blame anyone for that can we!
But for some reason I just prefer "Is there anybody out there?" more than "Maddox". But I'm not writing this with any intention to compare it to previous stories. I'm just saying why I liked this story more than any other.
Brett Gerry, a British film maker, wrote the script for this episode. And we I can already see, based on this and his previous Damon Dark episode "Hidden Camera, Hidden Truth", that he is trying to bring a more mature, dark tone to Damon Dark. For example, having a seance to make contact with the aliens really intrigued me. The normal method of alien contact in an episode is something involving Damon being confronted with the alien in front of him, or the alien randomly attacking Damon's mind. This seance scene was something completely new to Damon Dark and is a method of alien communication that I really approve of.
I could go on for hours about how the writing of this episode is different to the norm. But I have to stress that just because it is different doesn't make it any better than what normally features in a Damon Dark episode. But what is normal for Damon Dark anyway, since every episode is something new, special, unique and exciting?
Anyway, I have to move on to the actual production of the story which is the most impressive part of the two episodes! It is brilliant to see Garry Sutton taking a more active part in the storyline of the episode and Robert Trott gives a wonderful performance. This can also be said of Dr. Hannah Stern played by Charlotte Hukvari who appears to have become even more commanding since previous episodes, and also even more of a fantasy figure to those fans who've been missing Niobe Dean a little too much ( ). I would love to see Hannah becoming even more of a part in Damon Dark, rather than just being on the end of a phone.
A touch to the episode which I think works really well is the fact that as far as locations are concerned, there are little or no compromises made. Usually a blank wall in the Sherlock household can be an office one week to a space station in the next! Without doubt, the highlight of the story are the scenes in the woods with Gary rescuing Damon. The exciting car and action sequences were actually done for really rather than sound effects and a stock photo being use to represent a car screeching off.
And for me, the icing of the cake in this episode was the use of the music. As always, used in the right places, but this time, for some reason it felt even more special, probably because there was some REAL action footage matching the action music!
But basically. If you want the reason why this story towers over all the others, is that it is just everything you would want from a Damon Dark story, just everything is up one notch - the ideas, the acting, the amount of character interaction, the locations and the realism.
So there you have it; my opinion of why "Is there anybody out there?" is the best Damon Dark story. I only hope that Adrian has the capabilities to keep up this amazing high standard. Whatever he does next, I'm sure it will not fail to disappoint!