The first episode of Preacher was on BBC Two the other night. Did anybody else see it? Like most people I read the comics back in the day, but you know how it is: I loved them so much at the time I’d no doubt think they were dead lame now. So I haven’t gone back. Even so, I was interested to see the show, which I thought was…
For anybody not familiar with the plot of Preacher, it’s about a Preacher. To say much more would be to give shit away, and besides the first episode (sorry, ‘pilot’) didn’t go much further than that anyway. Okay, it goes a bit further. There’s this Preacher (Dominic Cooper) suffering a crisis of conscience which has in turn precipitated a crisis of faith. Or it might be the other way around. He has an ex-girlfriend, Tulip (alert: best character in the show) who is a kickass assassin. Maybe he used to be an assassin too. I don’t remember that from the comics (just his terrible haircut and constant smoking), and the pilot didn’t make it totally clear.
ANYWAY. So there’s those two, plus an Irish vampire guy played by Joe Gilgun, who also played Woody in This Is Ireland ’92. Cassidy’s just sort of ‘in the mix’ at the moment. A bit of comic relief. Most importantly is a kind of extraterrestrial force that finds a host, explodes and then moves on. Where it ends up is kinda important so I won’t spoil it by saying.
So that’s the plot, but what’s it like? Well, tonally uneven, it comes like a cross between Carnivale, Utopia and Twin Peaks, which although they’re fine reference points isn’t necessarily a good thing because it never quite nails a style all its own. I was particularly unimpressed by Cassidy’s entrance, which felt like something Matthew Vaughn might direct – and not the good, Kick Ass Matthew Vaughn, either, but the smug, blokey Kingsman Matthew Vaughn.
Tell you what, though, I never stopped being not-bored. Never for a second did I consider flipping open the old laptop. Preacher while flawed is eager to please and constantly entertaining. I’m feeling good about the next episode, which I gather is on BBC Two on June 6.