I smiled brightly when the guest stars were named in this episode. Matt Lucas, who had been the “big baby” George Daws in Reeves and Mortimer’s hilarious Shooting Stars, is in this one as another ghost called Nesbitt. Plus there’s a great pre-credits scene: Jeff starts the episode dreaming that he’s awakened when he’s still sleeping, and waking again to find that he’s still asleep. This has happened to me a few times so memorably that the way they did it here looked like they were deliberately targeting me. And midway through the episode, thanks to Marty and Nesbitt, Jeff has a hysterically funny nightmare that’s executed flatly unlike any dream I’ve ever seen in any movie or TV show. It’s completely insane and had my son and I roaring with laughter.
And yet none of these have anything to do with why I loved watching this one unfold. Look, we all agree that the original Randall and Hopkirk is in a class by itself, but stone me if “Revenge of the Bog People” isn’t my favorite episode of either production (so far). This is completely amazing and I loved it to pieces and I didn’t see where it was going at least three times.
Anna Wilson-Jones plays an old flame of Jeff’s who asks him to take one more look into her father’s decade-old disappearance. Jeff couldn’t clear his name then, and things at the museum where he worked are no different, except his former boss has resigned in disgrace and poverty, and there’s something going on with a family buried together in a peat bog thousands of years ago and a very small entity running around the exhibits going bump in the night and frightening the poor security guards.
This was so darn good that I couldn’t wait for it to finish so that I could go back and rewatch a scene because I realized there was a clue in it that I completely missed. I frequently miss things like this because I’m not trying to build a case or out-think the writer; I just want to be swept along. I love the feeling of watching a splendid production come together and all the pieces find their right place, even if some people need a few encouraging words from a ghost to get where they need to be.