(Mercedes) Grower appears in one of the darker episodes. Her character, Layla, is heavily pregnant, by Daniel she insists, who’s played with a slightly sinister air by Fielding.
Drawing on the Mighty Boosh man’s magical manchild shtick, Daniel kicks his football around in the snow, taking it everywhere – a crutch he can’t do without. But it’s not just the fact that he works in a Soho sex shop that makes him unsettling. Clearly, he and Layla have dependency and narcotics issues. And Daniel, perhaps burnt before, is keener to engage with his ball than her.
When you ultimately see their initial courtship, you can appreciate the boyishly persuasive and offbeat charisma that attracted her. Except now his persistence feels like it has an immature and predatory edge.
By contrast, Barratt’s Elliot is clearly delusional in his infatuation with the regretful Ray (a fine foil in Oliver Maltman), following their drunken entanglement in Barcelona.
But there’s an underlying innocence and joy to his stalking, culminating in a childlike instance of love tokenism with ice cream. Ostensibly the creepiest character, who pursued his desire from one country to another, Elliot is actually the least calculating and most genuine, murmuring verses as his tender looks convey his devotion. –
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