By Poppy Cumming-Spain
Channel 4 drama: The Isle
[Please read this aloud like Jeremy Clarkson, or at the very least with a dramatic inner voice]
The credits open on a close up of a pair of piercing green eyes. The pupils dilate as if the owner has ingested narcotics, but the audience will later discover that he categorically would not do anything of the sort and it’s much more likely that he was actually recalling a goal scored by Arsenal long, long ago. The shot pans out, revealing his commanding stance as he stares out to sea intently (most likely planning world domination).
Two girls are behind him standing back to back. At first glance, one appears to be homeless. The other, a phony red head, is dressed like a librarian. There is also some debate whether she is, in fact, a he, but this remains a mystery. Despite their proximity, it’s clear that they’re enemies as they’re flicking venomous looks at each other, one after the other.
Sat beside them is a small woman with a face shaped like the moon, scribbling into a notebook. No one knows what she writes in there, but a man with cat-like hair seems determined to find out. He’s peering over her shoulder giggling mischievously to himself.
A bulky gentleman is a sat on a bench scrolling through countless fake news stories. He’s surrounded by nine discarded empty Coca-Cola bottles and is cradling a tenth which is half full. He wriggles as if he’s uncomfortable. It’s unclear if this is…
- Because the bench is very hard
- Because he’s read something extremely unsettling
- Because he’s desperate to urinate after all that Coke
Two suspicious-looking youngsters covered in bruises and cuts join him on the bench. He secretly photographs them in preparation for his next piece of fake news.
A surfer dude is chilling on the beach, naturally. He’s uncertain whether he prefers his hair down or tucked behind his ears, so he switches between looks as he reads mildly amusing jokes on the side of a carton of chocolate milk.
Nearby, a girl with long red hair and countless tattoos is dancing around on the sand, taking edgy shots of the view and shrieking as the water nears her Doc Martens.
The final shot shows all of the characters in on a grassy hilltop. They’re stood in a circle, each faced outwards, with their arms crossed. The camera circles the group, closing in on each of their faces. The audience sees 20 pairs of eyes with almost no soul left in them. In the centre of the circle is a band called Baggy Winkles playing Mustang Sally with incredible enthusiasm. The group join hands and skip joyfully together, circling the band with painful smiles and sweaty palms. The shot pans out for a final time, revealing the location of the hilltop as the Isle of Wight and the drama’s title in Helvetica.
We fade to black and silence for 15 seconds so the audience can prepare themselves for what will certainly be the best, and perhaps most confusing, drama series Channel 4 has ever produced.