Godfrey and Lucier walk into a garage in the short film ‘Be My Head’.
Today sees the official release of Gareth David-Lloyd’s directorial debut in the short film ‘Be My Head’. The short was produced by Twisted Showcase and stars David-Lloyd alongside British actor Mark Fleischmann.
David-Lloyd is best known to Doctor Who fans for his role as Ianto Jones in Torchwood. He played the character for three series and appeared in the crossover episode with its parent show, Doctor Who. Ianto’s demise created an unprecedented outcry by Torchwood fans. A shrine to David-Lloyd’s character was set up in Cardiff Bay by fans which still stands today. In recent years, Gareth has played Ianto numerous times for Big Finish Productions.
So the fact that David-Lloyd’s character is called Lucifer Jones would seem deliberate. But the script cleverly puts paid to that by talking about how common a name ‘Jones’ is. Then points out that you should probably be more concerned about the first name.
Twisted Showcase is an anthology series of short films focusing on supernatural, sci-fi and horror stories. It was recognised as one of the Guardian’s top 25 recommended web series in 2012. Gareth David-Lloyd has been working with Twisted Showcase for several years. But this is the first time he’s worked behind the camera as well.
Be My Head
For his first time in the director’s chair, David-Lloyd shows promise and a deep knowledge of film language. The opening moments use close-ups and a near-subliminal score to build up the discomfort. Fleischmann’s first appearance as Godfrey Cavendish chimes perfectly with that sense. The opening is so effective at portraying Lucifer’s state of mind that, even though the audience mistrusts Godfrey, you understand why Lucifer is taken in by him.
Lucifer and Godfrey enjoy a very complicated chemistry. Helped in no small part by their actors. Their relationship undergoes subtle but meaningful shifts that keep you guessing. There’s obviously a power play going on here that smug, chummy Godfrey thinks he’s in charge of. But, without giving away the ending, you’re left in no doubt who has the power by the end of their time together.
The script could have used a bit more detailed around the middle but Lucifer’s emotional journey has a very well explored beginning and end. However, the story would have benefited from an extra few minutes. That said, the opening and closing moments were so effective that the story holds up perfectly well and is definitely enjoyable.