When Sky announced that they were going to show a series of short plays with massive stars in them, I felt a little disheartened. Apart from a slice of Russell Tovey and Alison Steadman getting her end away with Tom Jones, nothing really stood out for me. Call me a philistine if you want, but I’m not a massive fan of plays on TV – I’m not even a fan of plays in theatre. Plays are for people who thinks Eastenders is for idiots and frequently use the word “peons” and “peasants,” and know about this whole Greece economy thing. But when I saw someone tweet that Matthew Holness (creator of Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace) was involved in one of them, you could consider my interest piqued. It was more than piqued actually, if my interest was underwear, there would’ve been a little sexy dot on the crotch.
The Snipist is a brilliant way to spend 30 minutes of your life in tense silence, watching things get progressively worse for the main character, only to not only have the carpet pulled from under you, but the three piece, Lax table from Ikea and that throw that you’ve been meaning to throw away but haven’t got round to doing yet.
Heavily influenced by Tales Of The Unexpected (of which I have been enjoying lots of; again being shown on Sky Arts) but mixed in with the dystopian horrors of Threads and 1984 (John Hurt even stars as The Voice of The Ministry as well), The Snipist shows us a future where one dog infected with rabies has been smuggled into the country and infected everyone else, humans included, to the extent that there’s only one human left free of disease, except it obviously isn’t going to be that easy is it? It never is when it comes to post Apocalyptic dramas.
Deliciously tense, with just enough information being dangled in front of you to keep you going, Douglas Henshall’s haunted Harker carries us through the story really hating his situation and the inevitable choice that he has to make; potentially killing another human, being plagued with nightmares of past events and horrid futures.
It’s difficult to say much about The Snipist without giving too much of the plot away, but if you can stick with it until the closing minutes you’ll experience one if the biggest WTF moments since Coronation Street decided that rehiring Jimmi Harkashan was a good idea. Simply put, The Snipist will make you feel incredibly uncertain; for the World created before your eyes, as well as Harker’s eventual fate, but at the same time you’ll probably marvel that an idea this brilliant can be summed up in just under 30 minutes.