The Smoke: More questions to ask.

by | Mar 24, 2014 | All, Reviews

This week ticked all the boxes for me. We learnt that Fat Yoga Man is called Biggles. Ziggy continued to feature heavily. Mal kept it in his trousers. It was a beautiful full of love, joy, and Gog’s battered face. Oh well we nearly made it through without upset.

So, about Gog. First of all how excited must the prosthetics teams be on The Smoke? As if reconfiguring Jamie Bamber’s body each episode wasn’t skill enough, this week they added wounds to Gog that made my cheeks hurt in sympathy. Not that I sympathise with Gog, who is of course evil, and is now threatening Asbo, who I’ve become strangely maternal over.

 Also feeling parental this week was Kev, who unexpectedly bonded with a precocious 10 year old (line of the week: I’m Kev, 37) and gave sanctuary to Asbo. The fact that he showed no surprise when Asbo referred to Gog, and Kev’s speech about Gog being ‘a scared little boy’ has made me wonder if Kev has worked out Asbo’s real identity. Which will be a fine twist for later episodes if he has.

With Asbo firmly in the fold, Mal got pushed further out. Now I’ve been pretty judgemental of him so far, after all, you can’t expect to act the hero when you’ve just got off with your best mate’s girl, but I did feel for him after his underwater adventure. Had I had a blanket, I would have passed it to him myself. By the way, 10 points if you made it through that scene without tearing up, I’m going to have shares in Kleenex by the time Jamie Bamber and Rashan Stone are through.

Also tugging at the heart strings this episode was the phenomenal Trish. I’ve written before about how gender norms are thrown out of the window in The Smoke, but it’s really nice to see a strong woman character who just gets on with things. Too often an actress is playing the vamp, the victim or the ball breaker. But Trish is just a human being who makes mistakes and deals with the consequences. This week, she got to tell her estranged daughter her real identity, an incident which went off largely without a hitch. Though I do wonder how many takes it took before Jodie Whittaker could hold that slug without flinching!

I particularly enjoyed Ziggy giving Trish a pep talk, while simultaneously giving the talk to herself (excellent use of a mirror, there). There was also a nice moment when Trish asked how Ziggy’s newly revealed kids were, and got the reply ‘Rob’s fine but Little Al’s a pain in the arse’. I hope we get to see a bit more of Ziggy at home versus Ziggy at work, it’s a lovely contrast.

The action’s moving along nicely and with the anniversary of the Churchill Estate blaze coming up, I think the various plot strands are about to tangle up. I’m still hugely scared for Asbo and Kev’s safety, but I’ve a new worry that Mal might do something even dafter than put in for a transfer. This week I’m also wondering:

  • How the rooftop garden of the fire station stays so nice? Is this Biggles handiwork?
  • What did Trish do that possibly caused her daughter’s cerebral policy? The NHS website suggests cocaine, are we to expect further dark secrets from Trish?
  • Will Ziggy’s plastic bag fashion outfit catch on? I suspect not, but I reckon her husband’s got competition on his hands for who makes the kid’s costumes!

As always, tweet me @QueeniePrior to have your say about The Smoke. Last week Laura Tovey agreed with me that ‘Who-ate-all-the-pies-itis?’ was hilarious, and I had the honour of being retweeted by the Guv, Mr Jamie Bamber, himself. I wonder what I can manage this week?

Vicky Prior

Vicky Prior



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