I have spent a lot of time thinking about Outcasts this week, and what I was going to write about it. I’ve changed my mind more times than I can count, but I have finally come to the conclusion that Outcasts is not for me.
On Monday I settled down to watch the third episode, hoping that it would be moving away from the exposition and that more would happen. To a certain extent it did, there was certainly more going on, but for me it just didn’t work. Throughout the episode I began to realise that I didn’t really care about any of the characters or what happened to them. This point was driven home to me by the penultimate scene of the episode, an emotionally driven sequence that would typically have reduced me to tears – I watched it without even a lump in the throat. Once the episode had finished I decided that I was going to watch no more episodes.
After I’d made that decision came the news that Outcasts was going to be moved to a Sunday evening graveyard slot after episode 5. This news saddened me, and started me thinking about whether I had been too hasty in my decision. After plenty of thought I have decided to stick with my original plan, but I do it with plenty of regret.
Whilst Outcasts hasn’t worked for me and for many viewers it is not a programme without positives. The decision to make it was a bold one, I can’t tell you how much I wish it had paid off. I still believe strongly that the concept of the programme was sound. I have also been impressed through all three episodes with how the show looks – the South African landscape has been used wonderfully to create Carpathia and the effects based work has been excellent.
I’ve seen a few different commentators suggesting that if the UK tv schedules allowed for the double length or extended length pilot episodes that other countries give their genre tv the series may have panned out differently. I think there is of merit in this idea, with so much world building needed at the beginning of the series this may have allowed the dialogue and pacing to work differently and produced a more engaging show.
So this will be my final Outcasts round up. What do you think? Are you still watching?