The BBC’s Mayday is now out on DVD, after airing its five episode mini-series this March.
The show is set in an English village, where Mayday celebrations lead to fear and intrigue, as the young May Queen, Hattie, disappears. Allegations of who may have been responsible, soon run rampant, as the local form a search party intent on finding the girl, who apparently has some secrets of her own.
The nice thing about this series is that although it is given water-colour sense of Paganism around the edges, its modern setting remains decidedly grounded. The setting and story is decidedly normal and could be found in any modern thriller. However, despite this, the viewer cannot help but escape from a certain sense of there being “something else” outside of the norm.
The show gives a light touch on ideas like magic and the supernatural, but does so in a way that would probably be very familiar to those who have experienced such things – small things which are inexplicable and obviously strange to the person experiencing it, but that would likely be dismissed by a third party in the retelling.
Small Pagan hints weave their way through the narrative, while at the same time appearing inconsequential to the plot. This again gives the viewer a sense of the strangeness surrounding the events, but that would be dismissed by anyone else.
As the story continues and secrets are revealed, we’re left still unsure of the May Queen’s fate and who is responsible. A cast of suspects is presented to us, with motives ranging from resentment over failed development plans, to a sacrifice in a Druid ritual.
While the Pagan elements are subtle, the story is enjoyable and by the end it will have you thinking about the blurry lines between reality, superstition and insanity.
Worth checking out.
Mayday is available from the BBC and other retailers