Pulse Review: Heart-Stopping
PULSE: Thursday 3rd June, BBC Three, 9pm ALERT ME
For those who were paying attention, you may have already seen this pilot episode of Pulse online – as we told you that you could a week ago.
If you also read our coverage of the London MCM Expo, you might also know a bit more about the show straight from executive producer Simon Heath.
But if you didn’t do either of these things then let me catch you up. Pulse is a medical drama/horror TV show that is so good, I’m dreading the day that it gets really popular. It seems whenever a BBC 3 or 4 show gets a bit of notoriety, it gets moved to BBC 1 or 2. From then on, everything about the show that got it noticed in the first place is either toned down largely removed, case in point: Torchwood.
However, the best things about Pulse are…well…everything. Claire Foy dominates the screen as Hannah, a trainee doctor returning to work who’s plagued by images of her dead mother. When she notices something moving around inside one of her patients, she sets about trying to find out what it is. Things get even more hinky when her superior/ex-boyfriend Nick (Stephen Campbell Moore) starts being cagey with the patient’s medical records. What’s he hiding? More importantly, why won’t the mysterious wound on his hand heal?
From here on in, there’s mystery, sex, suspense and one blood spattering surgery that will keep you away from hospitals for the rest of your natural born life. The cold, blue tones that linger over the show keep the atmosphere suitably unnerving and set the stage for Foy’s damaged but determined doctor to uncover a medical mystery.
Most of the cast get a little sidelined in terms of character development but the writer, Paul Cornell, gives us just enough to get our mouths watering for episode two. His script is well matched with director James Hawes who doesn’t shy away from showing gory, blood soaked surgeries but who also knows how to provide edge-of-your-seat suspense.