Revisiting Kingdom Hospital – episode 5

Matt's once again roaming the corridors of Kingdom Hospital - and he's upset at the treatment of CGI anteaters...

If you’ve been following this series of articles, you’ll know that my feelings on this horror series are somewhat mixed. There have been no big scares as yet – it’s clear the series so far has been far more character-driven, which isn’t to say that’s a bad thing. Curiously, there is something incredibly warm and atmospheric about this show, and something likeable and gripping about the characters and their secrets. So, on with episode five.

The evil ghost boy attempts to strangle Peter Rickman while he sleeps, but Mary and the ant eater (whom it would appear is called Antibus) appear together, with Antibus scaring him off with those massive razor teeth. Yay.

The two orderlies with Down Syndrome approach Dr. Jesse James and ask for a favour, the details of which are kept hidden from the audience for now. Although, in true anybody-with-a-handy-cap-must-be-paranormal style, it’s clear these two clearly know a great deal about the supernatural goings on at the Kingdom.

During a weekly meeting, a homeless man begins to go crazy, babbling all sorts that makes little sense to the people around him, but makes slightly more sense to us. He mentions Mary and a boy named Paul, before slamming his head against the wall and passing out. On the operating table, the homeless man looks to have a tumour on his brain which, thanks to Dr. Stegman, is successfully removed. Just then, however, the homeless man sees Mary and dies. One of the surgeons there becomes convinced the man on the table is Dr. Elmer’s twin, because of the striking resemblance between the two.

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Down in the depths of the hospital, Dr. Hook decides to show co-worker Christine Draper (Allison Hossack) what he calls the “Old Kingdom”. They take a tour of a rundown, underground hospital, and Hook explains there was a hospital here before the Kingdom was built, which burned down in a terrible fire. He then takes her to his pad, and engages in some not-very-subtle double entendres before showing her his rather morbid hobby.

Hook has a collection of tin toil trays on his table, each filled with earth, and each baring a little cross made from lolly pop sticks. Written on the crosses are the names of the patients who have suffered at the hands of mistakes caused by certain doctors. Hook says there must be consequences for evil and malpractice. Draper finds this a highly self-righteous and grotesque way of spending one’s time – and quite rightly so. Otto, Sally Druse and son Bobby turn up to drink champagne, and possibly form some sort of plan for contacting Peter Rickman, I’m not sure.

Things finish up with the boy with fangs lurking in a dark, derelict corridor, with the ant eater skulking around below him. The boy kicks over a rather large steel beam, which falls and crushes Antibus. Noooooooooooooooooooo!

For some reason, I’m far more upset than I should be at seeing a CGI ant eater being knocked down and whimpering in pain. But I take that as the sign of a good series, because clearly I’m caring about these characters. This episode plants quite a few seeds I’m sure will flourish later in the series. Things have gotten a little bit more exciting, but in general the pace is still quite steady, taking you by the hand down the dark, chemical-soaked corridors of the Kingdom, rather than firing you head-first into the thick of the action.

I hope Antibus isn’t dead.