This week has seen BBC 1 venture back into the world of sci fi. With a great cast and an interesting concept I was intrigued to start watching, but wary as I remembered the last few attempts such as The Deep and Survivors. Sadly my niggling doubts proved to be true and by the end of this week’s two episodes I found myself wondering whether I was going to be able to make it to the end of the series.
I’m not going to attempt to summarise what went on in the two episodes, but I thought instead I’d highlight the bits I liked and some of the bits I didn’t like. So starting with the positives:
- The setting – choosing South Africa as the filming location for Outcasts seems to have been an excellent move. The landscape is unfamiliar enough to be totally believable as an alien planet and it’s natural beauty is allowing for some gorgeous scenery shots.
- It’s not Utopia – there is plenty of information so far to tell us that the move of the human race to Carpathia has not been a smooth. The hinting about tough decisions, and Mitchell’s intended mini revolution definitely adds to the intrigue.
- Mitchell – Jamie Bamber’s portrayal of the rebel Mitchell was for me a highlight of the first episode.
The final point there leads me neatly onto the negatives of these first two episodes:
- They killed Mitchell – I sat open mouthed after Fleur shot Mitchell, unable to believe that before the end of the first episode they’d killed off the most interesting character.
- Exposition, exposition, exposition – the majority of the dialogue for the first two episodes was handed over to exposition to the point where I was resisting the temptation to shout “I don’t care” at the television. Despite the exposition heavy dialogue though I found myself still having so many questions about what was going on.
- Haven’t we seen this before? – at various points throughout the first two episodes I found myself feeling a sense of deja vu, the influences of other sci fi shows are definitely clear to see at times.
I shall keep watching but that’s mainly because I always do end up sticking with stuff that’s ropey in the hope that it’s going to get better.
Did you watch this week? Will you be tuning in again?