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The Sensitive: A Nobody by Alastair Jessiman

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BBC Radio 4, 24 March 2010
 

Thomas (Robin Laing) is a psychic detective, who ensnares his victims not by patient deduction but by trying to second-guess their movements. For the most part his operations are successful; but there are times when felons manage to get the better of him. This was certainly the case with “A Nobody,” where Thomas pursues a psychic killer right up to the Scottish Highlands, and only manages to eliminate his adversary by shooting him in self-defence. On the way Thomas undergoes several agonies of conscience: does the killer really exist, or is he just a projection of the detective’s fevered imagination?

 

Bruce Young’s production offered an interesting dissection of the detective’s life. Thomas becomes so absorbed in his work that he becomes indifferent both to his mother and his girlfriend Kat (Daniela Nardini), who follows him patient Grissil-like all around the Highlands for scant emotional reward. Meanwhile Thomas’ inner struggles were portrayed through the use of overlapping voices; Kat’s and the killer’s (Ian Robertson’s) being the most prominent, In the end we had no way of knowing whether the killer actually died, or whether he was just killed as part of Thomas’ tortured dreams. Although unnamed, the killer obviously had a powerful effect on the detective’s imagination.