HBO & Sky bring us this latest dark comedy verging on horror, The Baby, from creators Lucy Gaymer and Sian Robins-Grace (“Alpha: Omega (Short)”, “Fire (Short)”).
We open with a woman running away from two police officers. It is dark and they are somewhere remote. She emerges from the trees holding a bag and wearing a yellow raincoat and races towards a cliff edge, the two officers stopping short, talking to her via a megaphone.
They ask her to put the bag down, she obliges. They ask her to open it, she obliges. A baby emerges, which doesn’t appear to take the police officers by surprise. They ask her to show her hands and walk slowly towards them.
Instead, eyes on the baby as it slowly crawls towards her, she slowly, a step at a time, moves backwards, towards the cliff edge, until she isn’t here anymore. The officers race towards the baby, it too now heading to the cliff edge.
Meanwhile, somewhere in London, Natasha, Michelle de Swarte (“The Duchess (TV)”), is playing poker with friends Mags, Shvorne Marks (“Breeders (TV)”, “SAS: Red Notice”), and Rita, Isy Suttie (“Man Down (TV)”, “Peep Show (TV)”).
This is their regular game, something Nat looks forward to. But this game begins to go downhill when Mags’ baby begins crying and she has to bring it to the game. Despite Nat’s best efforts, everything suddenly revolves around the baby, and when Rita announces she is also pregnant, Nat’s night is done.
She makes a series of inappropriate jokes about babies and stuff and her friends leave. Nat decides she needs to get away, clear her head. She calls work, where she’s a chef, and heads to the coast.
Nat arrives at an isolated wooden shack, right on the waters edge at the base of a cliff. It looks awful and, when she goes in, it is awful. She steps out in the evening for a cigarette only to jump out of her skin when a woman falls to her death right behind her, splattering her in blood.
As she takes a closer look at the body, she looks up to find a baby falling towards her. She puts out her hands and catches it.
The police officers, when they arrive, don’t know what to do. She hands them the baby and shows them the door, but they don’t get very far and she is forced to take the baby the many miles to the nearest police station herself.
On the way she stops at a gas station, which doesn’t go well. The police aren’t convinced by her story, I mean, catching a baby from a cliff, body count higher than most serial killers manage in a night, so they keep her in, but discover she’s telling the truth.
She arrives home, the remnants of the poker party still on display. She begins cleaning up and as she is at the door to take the trash out the doorbell goes. She opens the door, there’s nobody there, until she looks down to find the baby.
Written by Robins-Grace and Gaymer and directed by Nicole Kassell (“Watchmen (TV)”, “Westworld (TV)”), The Baby has a wonderful dark humour to it, reminiscent of something like Ben Wheatley’s 2012 Sightseers, though without the intentional killing, we think.
The baby, or in this case the pair of babies, are Albie Hills and Arthur Hills and hit their marks wonderfully, I shudder to think how many takes it took but it works on screen.
It’s a darkly comic start from The Baby and we hope it continues in this vein for the rest of the season.
7th July 2022
THE QUICK SELL
After yet another friend makes a surprise pregnancy announcement, a dejected Natasha heads to a remote cabin to get her head straight.
TV / STREAMING PLATFORM