Short review; I like this show and want to see the full series.
More? Good, as I'm working to a word count here.
Paul Cornell is someone that has gone below the radar for a long time. Since the early nineties he worked on things like Holby City, Casualty, Doctor Who novels and a few Marvel comics. He also wrote a two part episode of Doctor Who for it's third series. Based on his own book, Human Nature and Family of Blood were very well regarded and are probably two of the best episodes of the modern Who series.
This work has now paid off as now we have Pulse, an original Paul Cornell TV show pilot.
Set in a teaching hospital, it follows one of the students, Hannah, who is returning to her schooling following the death of her mother. Trying to fit back in she sees something moving in the stomach of one of her patients. Or did she?
Well, yes she did. In the opening sequence we see one of the surgeons operating on the patient and implanting... something.
There we have the crux of the pilot. Secret medical experiments, someone trying to uncover the truth and a bucket full of blood.
Blood? Yes, this is a hospital. People have operations. Which we see. Graphically. Those scared of blood need to know this. There is blood. And scapels.
If you can deal with the blood the main thing to consider is this; does it work?
Yes it does.
It works as a stand alone show rather well, it feels like a Future Shock from 2000AD. The characters are well drawn and the premises is intruiging. Whilst there are no real answers given as it is a pilot, it leaves you wanting more but in a good way. You don't feel annoyed and left hanging like other island based TV shows.
My only problem with it was the overpowering music. There is a sense of foreboding to the show from the very beginning just in the way it's filmed. This is hammered home by the music, a little too much for my taste. It cheapens a few of the scares in the show.
I want to see more, which you will remember from the beginning. It's a great little concept and, so far, is executed well.
(Pulse airs Thursday 3rd June on BBC3 at 9pm. You can watch it online right now. If you like the pilot, please comment on the BBC3 blog afterwards - all feedback helps)
Phil Doyle is one of the creators of abadeducation.com and co-host of the sonicsring.com podcast. His real job is in insurance which he hopes won't be forever. He also has every issue of the 1990s Midnight Sons crossover and does not feel guilty about it.