Moving on from her recent discovery of El Dorado, a little time has passed and we catch up with the British Museum’s Lady Alex (Ophelia Lovibond) in Rome.
Ostensibly in the Italian capital to go wedding dress shopping with her mother, Alex is far more interested in some recently discovered archaeological treasures which have found themselves in the way of a construction project.
Meanwhile, Hooten (Michael Landes) is on a mission; tasked by the friendly Sister Maria Viva to retrieve a long-lost book of Sibylline prophecy which can be used to tell the future. Making a rather impressive pre-credits entrance, he is keen to reacquaint himself with Alex and make use of her accredited access to the Eternal City.
In the wake of a frosty reunion, not helped by Hooten trying out all his best lines on Alex’s mother Lady Tabitha Lindo-Parker, a hilarious Jane Seymour, we are soon taking in some of the sights of Rome at a lick, (by scooter, of course) and the promptly finding a connection to perhaps the most famous ceiling in the world.
Given the setting we were fearful it might all get a bit involved, like one of Dan Brown’s interminable potboilers, but were thankfully spared too many convolutions as we chased from library to cathedral to crypt. Then, after throwing in a lovely bit of urban myth, the story promptly twisted off to become something else entirely as it offered a face-off with a rogue mobster.
While it is Alex who has all the formal education, it was pleasing to see Hooten figuring out the clues leading to the Sistine chapel. Despite their chalk and cheese dynamic, the two do work rather well together and we gained a few more nuggets of character information; namely the fact that Alex was adopted (possibly a thread to be picked up later) and about Hooten’s religious upbringing – as well as the wonderful revelation of his first name. Ulysees… of course it is!
Smart and entertaining, and making ample use of the scenery, this second outing does a good job of building on last week’s series opener. Hooten and the Lady is undemanding fare, but the pace remains fast, the production smart and the banter quotient high – this time echoing a famous line from The Blues Brothers at one point.
Next time, the pair will be on the trail of the Tomb of Alexander the Great, with a guest appearance from Merlin star Angel Coulby. We can’t wait!
Airs at 9pm on Friday 23 September 2016 on Sky1.
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