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Might Have Been Good ...

4/10
Author: Theo Robertson from Isle Of Bute, Scotland
22 November 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

... If I knew what was happening **** SPOILERS **** This gets off to a gripping though disturbing start . The computer system at a British maximum security prison breaks down releasing the prisoners who take their frustrations out on the prison officers - cue some distressing violence and it's down to Max Raines to find out what caused the system to fail . The ending is also memorable in its totally totally downbeat outlook , so much so that I doubt if I could watch it again and that must be seen as something for a failure , though WIPE OUT suffers from an even bigger failing The first episode of this five part serial is compelling and as the story goes on it's revealed that the prison computer system has been hacked in to by terrorists . As I sit in front of my PC and as you read this review you don't need any explanation as to what hackers are , you don't need any explanation what computer networks are etc but WIPE OUT was broadcast in 1988 when the average member of the public had no knowledge of computers so for episodes two three and four the plot revolves around Raines being told how computers work and I can't explain how drawn out and tedious this is , and I not ashamed to admit that these conversations went miles above my head and by the end of the second episode I'm certain the average viewer would have been lost as to where the plot was going and decided to do something more entertaining like watch paint dry instead There's also a character subplot involving Raines . He has flashbacks to Kenya as a child where his parents were murdered by the Mau Mau . At the end the terrorists have been stopped in their tracks just as their about to hack into the world's nuclear missile codes causing World War Three . A civil servant then reveals that Raines parents were actually murdered by the British ( I can't remember the reason why ) so in a fit of rage Raines runs over to the console setting off the world's nuclear weapons and the final scene is a montage of missiles in flight . As I said it's such a bleak and depressing ending as to be unwatchable and what is the subtext to this ? I suppose doesn't matter since the ending is as confusing as the bits that preceded it

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