Friday, 30 May 2008

Delta flies under the radar

There was something quite likeable about the latest BBC3 Comedy pilot, Delta Forever, a tale of obsessive book fans connected by a website.

The script worked hard to squeeze quite a lot of ideas into a very short space. The writing team of Jon Hunter, Misha Manson Smith, Holly Walsh, Greg McHugh and Ben Bond managed to cover the weirdness of media-two-point-wotsit better than almost any other script yet to tackle the subject. Many have tried and failed to nail online culture in a TV format, to our mind at least this is the first time it’s been done successfully, certainly such an effective satire of the web-wide-world we live in, is quite rare just now. Delta Forever manages to cover obsessive fans, video bloggers, ebay opportunists and creepy ad-men trying to get their head around web culture.

It helps that the whole thing was supported by a bunch of perky performances, notably by comic Greg McHugh (whose brilliant Gary: Tank Commander character debuted over on More4 this week), whose bitter obsessive chews up the webcam, and is easily the stand-out turn of the piece. Also of note was rentabitch Antonia Campbell Hughes, and sketch stalwart Jonny Sweet (the remaining third of the House Of Windsor not currently moonlighting as an Imbetweener over on E4)

We’re pretty sure that, unlike the baffling headfuck of Phoo Action or the dark twists of Being Human, there’s not enough lurking beneath the surface here to warrant a full series. It wasn’t well promoted, and flew in rather under the radar, which is a shame: Delta Forever had a lot going for it as a self contained little teleplay with something to talk about, proving at least that someone at BBC3 has more than a surface understanding of the interweb.

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