This British miniseries is a wild, outrageous ride through the conspiracy theories of the moment, wrapped in a paranoid, blow-’em-up, all-stops-out thriller. Take your pick: Cell phones give you brain cancer. The Iraq war was a plot to make rich industrialists even richer (did you know that before the 2004 war, Iraq was one of the very few nations left on Earth without cell-phone coverage?). Corporations are run by evil men. Modern life is killing us all, either metaphorically or actually. It’s all here. Across four 50-minute episodes that look at events from four different perspectives, we see cell-phone towers across England get blown up, scary drive-by motorcyclists taking out drivers talking on their mobiles in heavy traffic, yakkers on trains getting bullets through the head… Is it someone — or more than one someone — with an axe to grind against obnoxious cell-phone users, or is something even more insidious going on? (Hint: It’s something even more insidious.) By the end of episode one, which focuses on a former engineer for a cell-phone company (Neil Fitzmaurice) who is dying of brain tumor and has a huge grudge against his former employer, I was groaning at how ridiculous the whole thing was. But I was too intrigued to stop watching. Episode two is all about an army sharpshooter (Jamie Draven) who misses going into Iraq with his buddies and is pretty pissed off at that, so he gets himself into some bad trouble with cell phones. (Yes, it makes sense, actually.) Episode three is about a telecom exec (Michael Kitchen: Proof of Life) with, yes, a grudge regarding cell phones. Connecting them all, in one way or another, is another telecom exec played by Keith Allen, who plays the Sheriff of Nottingham on the new Robin Hood, and is just as evil. Did I mention the ending, which is so preposterous that I almost threw something at the TV, and yet I loved it anyway? It’s kind of awesome that TV can be so silly as this, and still so satisfying.
viewed at home on a small screen