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Series 1, Episode 5 (S01E05) - Review

Director: Brendan Maher

Main cast:
Molly Daniels - Ellie
Narek Arman - Homer
Madeleine Madden - Corrie
Andrew Creer - Kevin
Fantine Banulski - Robyn
Madeleine Clunies-Ross - Fi
Jon Prasida - Lee

Other characters::
Sibylla Budd - Rachel Maxwell/Fi's mum
Spencer McLaren - Daniel Maxwell/Fi's dad
Keith Purcell - Chris Maxwell/Fi's brother
Deborah Mailman - Kath McKenzie/Corrie's mum
Alison Bell - Liz Linton/Ellie's mum
Richard Young - Jack Linton /Ellie's Dad
Damien Fotiou - George Yannos/Homer's dad
Alfred Nicdao - Umar Takkam/Lee's Dad
James Stewart - Colonel Lee

As the series has departed from the book a significant amount in this adaptation I will refrain from giving away any of the major plot points in this episode as it is more enjoyable to find out what has happened on your own. Instead I will talk about the bits I enjoyed the most and who was the best during the episode.

An early highlight of the episode is Corrie's mum cracking under the pressure and slapping the enemy soldier so she can try to see her daughter, who she is being kept from seeing. I would have thought it would be easier to slap the doctor around as he still does not know her name and continues to call her "nurse" the thing that most actual nurses hate the guts of doctors for doing.

There are a lot of excellent character moments in this episode between two characters at certain points during the story as even though the action is heating up there is still a chance for people to get to know each other better during the quieter times.

The three in particular I liked in this episode are Fi and Robyn, Ellie and Homer and Homer and Fi.

Fi and Robyn get to spend quite a bit of time together in this episode and escape from some hairy situations. There is also the lighter moment of Robyn showing Fi how to skin the rabbit which is referenced again when Fi walks up carrying two rabbits later in the episode. Fi is struggling with feeling she is not contributing to the group but Robyn tries to convince her that she is.

I also liked the scene with Ellie and Homer doing the reconnaissance at the hospital as there have not really been that many scenes of them together as I remember in the first book. The two actors really work well together and you do get the feeling that these two people have grown up together and could share anything. It was funny Homer admonishing Ellie for her "boyfriend problems" with Lee and also hearing a bit more about Fi and Homer's relationship from his perspective.

In the most tender and realistic scene Homer and Fi have a romantic moment and Homer stumbles over his feelings toward her. There is hint of things not being right with Fi, but she is on medication and can manage it. "I need to go be awesome someplace else" is probably the best thing she could have said in that situation.

There is also a major bust up with the parents of the in the showground due to a plot being revealed. The person who ratted them out claims she was only trying to help but she has her own reasons.

In this episode you can also see the tensions out in the open between the Sergeant and Colonel Lee as interrogating Kevin is not working to find Ellie and the others and now there is pressure coming down from the higher ups to secure the sector for the next stage of the invasion.

There is another dramatic moment at the end of the episode but I will leave that you to find out what happens.

I am enjoying the way the TV adaptation is working out but it hard to watch in spots as I know how much the characters go through in the books and with this version it feels like they are even less safe in what they are doing and any moment they could be hurt or killed.

There are a lot of things that may need to be discussed before and after watching this episode if you have younger children or maybe don't watch this series until they get a bit older. I am not sure the status of the original text on the school curriculum but there are several discussion and further study topics that could be raised from this episode and the other ones in the series.

This is a story about war, but the main characters take great lengths to avoid hurting anyone and dealing with the consequences of the one person they have killed so far is what is motivating the pursuit for them.

Even the enemy soldiers seem not to want to shoot anyone unless necessary and just want to do their jobs. In this episode when Ellie and her friends are armed they are able to use the threat of violence to avoid a confrontation.

If you are in the "when are we going to get to the fireworks factory?" frame of mind, don't worry the bit with the petrol tanker and the you know what is still coming, there is no telling who is still going to be with us when we get to it though.

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Copyright © 1998-2016 Tim Chmielewski