The pilot episode of this new sitcom by Eddie Robson, writer of numerous Doctor Who audios, avoids these perils by keeping the SF elements low in the mix. Sure, the scenario – aliens land and seal off a village from the outside world – is pure John Wyndham (or Jon Pertwee-era Who ), but this is very much a comedy about Little England, rather than big sci-fi concepts.
Katrina ( The IT Crowd ‘s Katherine Parkinson) was visiting her parents when the aliens landed. Now trapped in the village, she must juggle coordinating the apathetic resistance and dealing with the locals.
It’s feather-light stuff, as you’d expect from Radio Two, but there’s a steady stream of laughs, with a couple of very funny moments. Peter Davison makes an appearance as Katrina’s dad, while Julian Rhind-Tutt steals the show as the villainous Uljabaan, playing him with a charming mixture of bemusement and mild depression.
It does, however, suffer from the laugh track from Hell. The show was recorded in front of a live audience, so the chuckles are genuine, but did they have to be quite so loud? Ditch that, BBC, but do give Please Invade… a series. The cast is good and the writing’s sharp. There’s a lot of promise here, and the show deserves the time to develop.
Read our Eddie Robson interview about Welcome To Our Village, Please Invade Carefully.