towards the second half of season 2, Jeff Mariotte's STRANGER
TO THE SUN sees the four regulars split up after a mysterious
package arrives at Angel Investigations.
the package renders Wesley unconscious, so with Cordy assigned the role
of Research Girl, it's to Angel and Gunn to pound the streets in search
of a solution.
structure of STRANGER TO THE SUN seems to
have been influenced by 24, except that the
action is confined to a night rather than a full day. This structure is
appropriate since the clock is counting down in more ways than one.
and Gunn soon discover that Wesley isn't the only one to have received
such a package, although since the one he opened was addressed to Angel
Investigations, the chances are he wasn't the intended recipient. But
what is the link between the others? Meanwhile, Cordy is so the Net Girl,
enlisting Wes' contacts across the globe to come up with a solution.
Wesley isn't merely sleeping. Instead, he finds himself with a group of
trapped miners in England sometime during the 19th century, and the air
is running out...
back cover helpfully reveals that a vampire is behind all this, and that
it's part of his attempt to plunge the Earth into constant darkness. Perhaps
he's been watching season 4, or maybe THE
DAY THE EARTH CAUGHT FIRE as the plan involves throwing
the Earth off its axis. Which might just explain why those who've been
knocked out are either skilled in magic or those who watch the sky.
it's still relatively soon after Gunn joined Team Angel, there's plenty
of antagonism between his crew and Angel, and Mariotte pulls this off
well. He also gives the relationship between Cordy and Wesley the deep
bonds that you'd expect of two people who've known and fought alongside
one another for the best part of three years.
an obvious analogy between the miners who never see the light of day and
a vampire who wants to throw LA into permanent darkness. However, I couldn't
quite see just how Wesley managed to find himself in this situation. He
sort of ties it up by relating a story from his family's history, but
quite how he got there was a mystery. Did all the others who were knocked
out experience something similiar or was it just a vivid dream based on
a memory of a story he'd been told as a child?
at least this subplot is quite interesting, and although I'm no expert
on mining, Mariotte seems to have got his facts about pasties, canaries
and methane right. But surely someone from Lancashire is a Lancastrian
instead of a "Lancashireman"?
structure of STRANGER TO THE SUN means that
it's split up into fairly sizeable chunks which, when combined with a
fairly decent storyline and a readable style, means that it's easy to
polish it off in a couple of sittings. back to the top