Snow Blind

Posted in Website by - April 03, 2018
Snow Blind

Released February 2006

With Sarah’s role in an ancient prophecy revealed as two conflicting chapters of the Orphans of the Future cult vie for her acceptance and with the introduction of Harry Sullivan’s stepbrother, Will, who just so happens to work at the Antarctic expedition studying global warming that Sarah is partially funding, ‘Buried Secrets’ managed to set in motion plenty of intriguing ideas for this second series while being very cognisant and respectful of the events of the first. ‘Snow Blind’ sees Sarah and Josh accept Will’s invitation to visit him upon the ice as all but the most crucial of staff have left for holiday ahead of a terrible storm. As secrets abound and murder ensues with all communications to the outside world severed, the hidden truth is far more personal than Sarah could have ever expected.

Rather quickly, writer David Bishop is able to evoke the stark imagery of the Antarctic landscape as well as the tense claustrophobia so prevalent in an isolated base at the extreme end of the world. These prove to be major driving forces for the narrative that work incredibly successfully, in some respects able to make up for the fact that this is, like ‘Ghost Town’ in the first series, a whodunit mystery with an extremely limited cast of suspects and no real attempt to deceive who the real culprit is due to the allotted running time of the story. It’s all but a given that neither Sarah nor Josh is the culprit, and though the script does well to at least give a sort of murky and questionable characterisation to both Morgan and Munro on the base, the timing of the attack eliminates both as reasonable suspects. Again, the small cast is not a fault of the story itself, but the fact that an investigative journalist of Sarah’s calibre still does not piece together the mystery as quickly as events are laid out is something of a missed opportunity to prove how intuitive and adept this character is even in heightened circumstances.

Still, Elisabeth Sladen herself gives an immense performance, and Sarah is absolutely afforded the opportunity to prove just how resourceful and clever she is when put into truly terrible situations, and her reactions both to succumbing to snow blindness and to slowly regaining her vision are played perfectly. Likewise, Nicholas Briggs as the stress-ridden base commander Munro, Julia Righton as the fiercely intelligent woman with a certain reputation Morgane, and Tim Chadbon as the well-meaning Will help to develop the tension running rampant within the base quite well both before and after Sarah’s life comes to hang in the balance. Truthfully, it would have been nice to see the relationship between Will and Josh expand to more than the bickering and quarrelling that surfaces here even if Josh feels that he may have reason to be jealous of Will, but there is nonetheless an easy chemistry among all of the actors that allows each scene to unfold naturally as the mystery develops and unfolds. Again, the revelation that Sarah is a foretold prominent figure in the contemporary doomsday cult is a neat way to tie together decades of the character’s continuity, but it’s still quite a coincidence that she should arrive at the base at exactly this time as uranium deposits are discovered and the cult’s plans reach a new stage. With the story itself culminating in another big coincidence that is becoming something of a hallmark for this series, ‘Snow Blind’ does a lot right along its track but still steps into familiar pitfalls that a brief running time and series almost necessarily entail.

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