The plot has to deal with two main threads – the return of the King of Cats, and the monstrous plague ravaging the village. In the midst of this Reverend Ailing is worried about something, Mrs Frimbly (Susan Jameson) is distracted and young Susie (Katy Manning) is busy up and down from that London, and every time she pops back to Happenstance, things are getting worse!
At the centre, if there is a centre to the story, is the return of the King of Cats, and as the series is all tied up under the banner of Baker’s End, perhaps it was inevitable the new incarnation of the King would be Colin Baker. Perhaps the series should be titled Bakers’ End?
Colin’s reveal is handled well, though his arrival causes less confusion that might have been expected, then that might be the plague distracting everybody, never mind Derek Titts and his extreme pest control. It’s a new ear, but there’s plenty of continuity, and darkness creeping across the village and the whole is still baffling and adorable in equal measure. The only downside is the lack of news on the next episode!
Baker’s End is as mad as ever, though it’s a slightly different style of mad, and there’s more bad language than usual, thanks to the mysterious Sister Timperley. The stakes seem raised, and future episodes have a lot to live up to.
THE HAPPENSTANCE POX / AUTHOR: PAUL MAGRS / PUBLISHER: BAFFLEGAB / STARRING: COLIN BAKER, KATY MANNING, SUSAN JAMESON, ALASTAIR PETRIE, MARGARET CABOURN-SMOTH / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW