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Playing With / Aliens in Cardiff

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Basic Trope: Extraordinary/supernatural things happen in a real but non-major city.

  • Straight:
    • The world is endangered by a malicious coven of witches in Cusco, Peru.
    • The front lines of a shadow war to stop an Alien Invasion are being set in Schenectady, New York.
  • Exaggerated: The fate of the universe is in the hands of the witches of a tiny town in Jibuti that we only know exists because Google Earth says so.
  • Downplayed:
    • The coven only threatens Cusco, they're not that powerful or ambitious.
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    • The danger comes from a medium-sized city, like Vienna, Austria.
    • The danger is not on New York City but on the outer reaches of Queens, which is still technically New York but far enough away that the coven doesn't needs to worry with attracting the immediate attention of any witch-hunters (who focus only on Manhattan, in any case).
    • The witch coven schemes to attack Chicago, Houston, Seattle, Columbus or Vancouver, Canada, which are some of the largest cities around and very important but statistically less seen in media (well, Vancouver is seen a lot, actually, just not as Vancouver).
    • The oddities occur in a well-known but obscure location, such as Weekie Wachiee Springs, Florida.
  • Justified:
    • Cusco isn't important enough to attract the attention they're trying to avoid.
    • The danger is from an Eldritch Abomination that outdates the existence of the human race. There just happens to be a town on top of it now.
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    • There's something very important for the invaders buried underneath Cusco. No one else noticed it prior to their arrival, but there it is!
    • The aliens don't have any interest in a particular town or city, they just happened to land in Schenechtady.
    • Because of Blue and Orange Morality, there is something in or very near to Cusco that is important to the Monster of the Week but that it wouldn't get if it went to Washington D.C. (like Native American reservations or lots of sheep).
  • Implied: A Meaningful Background Event (or Funny Background Event) in the house of the cast's Conspiracy Theorist is a map of the greater State of New York with the typical "has so many unusual events recorded on it with pins that it looks like modern art" apperance... and as a Genius Bonus for keen-eyed viewers, the greater bunch of pins is located near Schenectady.
  • Inverted:
    • Witches are causing trouble everywhere except Cusco, Peru. Why not there? Who knows?
    • The only safe spots on Earth are the "metro" cities (because of high pollution, too many witnesses, disrupted leylines because of road construction, who knows really?).
  • Subverted: It soon becomes clear that the weird stuff going on is happening everywhere, and there's nothing special about where it was noticed first...
  • Double Subverted: ...except it turns out Cusco was Where It All Began.
  • Parodied: The heroes' investigation reveals that every weird event of the past thirty years - alien invasions, monster attacks, Bigfoot sightings, you name it - had some connection to Cusco.
  • Zig Zagged: There are mysterious goings on all over the world; some in major cities, some in small towns, some in the middle of the ocean.
  • Averted:
  • Enforced: "Hey guys, the guys at HQ say they want the show to happen in the CEO's hometown." "But where the f**k is 'Cusco'?"
  • Lampshaded:
    • "But... why here? Nothing Exciting Ever Happens Here!"
    • "Half a dozen aliens just landed in Ypsilanti. Do you know what that means?" "That the town's population just doubled?"
  • Invoked: The Big Bad is staging a Thanatos Gambit, so he makes his plans around the corner from The Chosen One in his tiny backwater village.
  • Exploited: One word - Tourism!
  • Defied: The aliens land in Cusco, but realise no one is there and head to Washington D.C. instead.
  • Discussed: "Why not, though? If witches can operate in a more famous city, there's nothing stopping them here."
  • Conversed: "I know this show's made by BBC Wales, but really. Cardiff?
  • Deconstructed: The witches' plans are allowed to go much farther than they should have, since nobody thinks of witches when they think of Cusco not even the nearest witchhunters (who just focus on Much More well known palces).
  • Reconstructed: Neighborhood watch notices the disappearances and call FBI to investigate. The FBI finds and quickly dispatches the problem.
  • Plotted A Good Waste: The series spends so much time using the "monsters on the backroads of America" gimmick that when the cast mentions with incredible seriousness that they need to get to Schenedtady ASAP, we expect it to be some kind of Wham Episode... only that it turns out to be a comedy episode where no monsters appear and the reason they were so determined to get to the town was because they wanted to get a Super-Duper Big Mackkk Breakfast before the restaurant stopped serving for the day or something similar.
  • Played For Laughs: The main theme of the series is that Cardiff is a City of Weirdos, with all of the "Hilarity Ensues" that comes with it.
  • Played For Drama: After the fifth or sixth Monster of the Week rampage by the Eldritch Abomination Inscrutable Aliens, there is nothing nice about living in Schenectady anymore: people evacuate (or are forcefully evacuated), property values plummmet at a meteoric rate (and it's also explained that if it was a mayor metropolitan area like New York it would have a chance to recover, but being the boondocks...), martial law is declared, The Men in Black implement their own version of the Day of the Jackboot (and will continue to do so until they finally understand why the aliens chose Schenedacty of all the places in the world), and overall it's made very clear that Cusco is well on its way to become a Dying Town... or even a full-blown Ghost Town.
  • Played For Horror: Cusco is the hero's Doomed Hometown. We get a nice thirty minutes of aliens goose-stepping through the streets and massacring innocent people with the impunity that comes from knowing the people who can provide an appropriate response won't arrive until it's too late because they didn't expected an assault on Cusco.

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