Everything is strange in that small island of England, which barely reaches a kilometer and a half square. In a scene from The Third Day, two of the characters hit an LSD trip, but what we see before and after is just as hallucinogenic. Sullen neighbors, a syncretic religion between Christianity and ancient Celtic rites, macabre animal sacrifices and who knows if humans, appearances and disappearances, a dense fog and, above all, the isolation of a place without mobile coverage and to which only It is reached by a narrow bumpy road, the work of the Romans, which is flooded 23 hours a day.
Says the lyrics to Hotel California, the Eagles song: « You can leave the room whenever you want, but you can never leave. » The British miniseries The Third Day (The Third Day, on HBO) is harrowing, has blurred boundaries between action and daydreaming, and achieves its purpose of giving you a pleasant hard time. The protagonists are antagonistic: Jude Law, deranged and enigmatic, and Naomie Harris, the only one with her feet on the ground. Between the two the protagonists of two stories of three chapters each are shared.
A 12-hour special was also filmed as an “immersive experience”; a strange experiment —not available on the platform, but yes, in two parts, on Facebook— only suitable for those who have become very hooked on this strange atmosphere, with the hook of the participation of the singer Florence Welch as a kind of priestess . This additional and uncontrolled footage is not essential to understand the series, which on the other hand leaves more questions than answers: the plot moves by surprise between the aggressive and the mystical, between the erotic and the puritanical, between the festive and the sinister.
The site seems unreal and it is not. There is that island of Osea, in the estuary of the River Blackwater, and that old Roman road that is only passable at certain times – although, of course, its neighbors have boats, the series do not. And, as mentioned in these chapters, the community was founded in 1903 by a certain Charrington, a member of a family of breweries, who set up a rehabilitation center in an alcohol-free environment. Today the owner of the island is music producer Nigel Frieda; It is said that Rihanna stopped there to work on one of her albums; Before that, Amy Winehouse was at the addiction clinic, which reopened in 2004 but was closed in 2011 by the health authority, and where a week of treatment cost a whopping 10,000 pounds. Frieda has turned her island into a destination for musicians and the perfect venue for private parties: the anniversary of Island Records and The Weeknd’s only concert in the UK in 2015 are remembered.
The few residents of Osea, will not be more than a few dozen, participated in the series that does not leave them very well. In any case, it has been a great business for tourism for those who want to get away from it all: there is a four-star hotel there (that mansion that appears in each chapter), a handful of houses available for rent on Airbnb and a restaurant. The hostility of the locals, I have no doubt, is fictitious. But I don’t know if I would sleep peacefully there.
All premiere and return dates, in the Fifth Season series calendar
More series recommendations and all the television news, in the EL PAÍS Television newsletter. Subscribe for free.