Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them

Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them is the year’s best Doctor Who episode so far, beating Legends Of Tomorrow season one.

I’m being facetious, but only somewhat. Eddie Redmayne’s Newt Scamander is a gangling British visitor who looks out of time as well as place in 1920s New York, carries a suitcase which is much bigger on the inside, has various useful things in his pockets, chats amiably with locals and gets them in and out of trouble.

“Trust me, it’s perfectly safe!”
“Has anyone ever believed you?”

We also have some familiar elements like a smart and spirited heroine and a schlubby sidekick (with the addition of a flapper telepath, who sees everyone’s inner lives and is kind and understanding, a lovely detail) and a seemingly obvious villain who is not what he seems... or is he...?

It cranks up the magical need for secrecy with some big open chaos in the streets, something Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince and The Deathly Hallows both threatened but didn’t really go in on. And it also complicates the issue, with a human “No-Maj” among the heroes. (Sadly they don’t run with the joke about Muggles meaning something else in that time and place, being a couple years early to include the Louis Armstrong tune referring to it.)

Gorgeous effects, great period setting, plenty of worldbuilding and apparently four more films to come. (Will they be Fantastic Beasts And When, What, Who and Why...?)

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