CHRISTOPHER STEVENS reviews last night’s TV: A killer baby falling from the sky… that doesn’t happen every day!
The Baby (Sky Atlantic)
Ghislaine Maxwell: The Making Of A Monster (C4)
We’re not going to let it change anything. Yes, we’re having a baby, but why does that mean anything else has to be different?
As delusions go, this one is as crackpot as invading Austria in a bicorne hat, convinced you are the Emperor Napoleon.
For most first-time parents, it doesn’t take long for reality to assert itself — usually around the third sleepless night.
Tash is convinced the baby that’s ruining her life isn’t hers
It’s worse for Tash (played by former model Michelle de Swarte) in The Baby (Sky Atlantic), because she’s convinced the dimpled blue-eyed cutie that’s ruining her life isn’t hers. He quite literally dropped out of the sky into her arms.
The Baby is a daring blend of horror, dark comedy and psychological thriller. Fans of the U.S. crime caper Fargo will recognise its intentions, though there are no serial killers or gangland assassins here — just a six-month-old with the power of life or death over anyone that crosses his path.
In the debut double bill of half-hour episodes, the body count included two reluctant mothers, two incompetent coppers, a garage attendant and a dog.
It opened with a woman running through woods, fleeing unseen pursuers. We’ve seen that hackneyed image in countless Scandi thrillers, but this time it turned weird.
Isy Suttie plays her best friend, Rita, but seems to take it for granted that this child really is Tash’s
The woman was carrying a baby in a holdall, and the pursuers were a pair of policemen too incompetent to be Keystone Cops.
Then the woman fell over a cliff edge, the baby followed, and that’s where Tash came in — catching the plummeting child like a fly-half grabbing a rugby ball.
This was so surreal (as was the subsequent death of the bobbies, crushed by a falling boulder) that it was hard to know whether we were meant to take it literally.
An hour later, that question still wasn’t resolved, but hints are mounting that the nightmare scenes might partly be Tash’s psychotic delusion, perhaps brought on by postpartum depression — the mental illness too often dismissed as ‘baby blues’.
Her best friend Rita (Isy Suttie) seems to take it for granted that this child really is Tash’s. Most other people never think to question it . . . though one of the running jokes of the show is that, once a woman has a baby, the rest of the world treats her with a gentle pity, as though her personality has ceased to exist.
The Baby is ambitious, odd, sometimes stagey and occasionally distracted by its own cleverness. But if you’re looking for something different to watch, it’s definitely that.
Michelle de Swarte is also a stand-up comedian, and one of her stage routines describes the chilling night in New York when, after a fashion show, the sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein propositioned her.
That might make her unusual, because Epstein generally used other people to lure in his prey.
Ghislaine Maxwell: The Making Of A Monster describes Jeffrey Epstein’s system as ‘a sexual pyramid scheme’
Ghislaine Maxwell: The Making Of A Monster (C4) described his system as ‘a sexual pyramid scheme’. His mistress, Robert Maxwell’s devious daughter, recruited teenagers to pander to Epstein’s perverted lusts, and then sent those girls out to find more victims. This series was raking over ground well trodden by previous documentaries.
Robert Maxwell’s devious daughter recruited teenagers to pander to Epstein’s perverted lusts
None of the films has fully explained why Maxwell enabled Epstein’s paedophilia for so many years. In part, that’s because evil is inexplicable — and she is certainly evil.
But we will never completely understand until the enigma of Epstein and his money is unravelled. And there appear to be many very powerful men determined to suppress that story.
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