In contrast to last week’s hazy flight of fancy about reincarnated space grandparents, this week’s Electric Dream has the most prosaic, ordinary setting and prosaic, ordinary hero it can: the peerless Timothy Spall gives a beautifully-judged, achingly-sad performance as a quiet, unassuming railway worker struggling to deal with his deeply troubled son, when he suddenly discovers that there’s a perfect town and a perfect life, not on any maps, but exactly 28 minutes down the railway line, where he no longer has to.
Sweet, poignant and as clear as Impossible Planet was vague, The Commuter is a modern little morality play about the importance of love and family above all things, and it’s impeccably, movingly done, but we’re now three weeks in to the series, and my fundamental problem with it is the same as it was after episode 1: the anthology format itself. With different characters and concepts every week, it’s like watching 2017’s answer to Tales of the Unexpected. Or an adult version of Dramarama. Which, in theory, is a great idea, but tv and I have moved on a lot since then, and, in practice, since every Electric Dream ends in 50 minutes and I know I’ll never see the protagonists again, it’s all beginning to feel somewhat anti-climactic. I just want a season-long story (ideally following on from episode 1) and a will they/ won’t they shipper arc I can lose myself in for months, if I’m honest. Which is my issue, rather than Electric Dreams’s; the series is an incredibly impressive undertaking and I might well keep watching for the cast and ideas alone, but whether I’ll keep writing about it is another matter – I’m not sure I have much left to say.