‘Yonderland’ finale: ‘Dirty Ernie’ review

Negatus’ kinks are further developed in this finale, as his boss Imperatrix is due to arrive to sort things out herself, due to Negatus’ incompetence. In disguise as a tramp (the titular Ernie), Negatus plans to destroy Debbie once and for all. Along the way he learns that being pure motiveless evil isn’t necessarily great for your self-esteem.

Featuring many returning characters from the previous episodes as part of the quest, it’s fun to see a new combination of familiar idiots, as the Monk Estate Agents meet the Wizard Bradley, and Elf is interrogated by the demons. There’s also a great running gag involving asides, the usual bookend scenes with Pete (these are consistently strong), and the culmination of the Havelock and Havesham sketches. Mainly though, it’s business as usual with a stream of silly gags and voices (and one look to camera that is destined to be a .gif), though being the finale it’s slightly more arc-heavy than usual.

With the impending arrival of Imperatrix, Negatus is desperate to make up for his past mistakes, and gets a little bit more of his backstory filled in. Essentially, he’s a bit tragic, and has spent most of his time as a villain installing luxury features into his lair (yielding a ‘four percent increase in evil’). Despite the lure of niceness and being all good and that, he imprisons Debbie, Elf and Nick the Stick in time for the arrival of his boss.

Ending on a cliffhanger – one you might have been able to work out based on the actress involved – it seems a second series will feature a more involved fight against two villains. After the strength of this debut run, it seems likely that Yonderland will return with critical acclaim and high viewing figures.

Only West Brom’s defensive midfielders could possibly feel aggrieved by this prospect.

Aired at 6.30pm on Sunday 22 December 2013 on Sky1.

> Order Yonderland on DVD on Amazon.

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