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I don't normally write reviews but I was compelled to do so for this
series in light of many of the general downbeat comments. I have to say
that I am enjoying this show. Like anything new, I believe it is
important to give it a chance and by the third episode I was finding it
to be quite a good series, for what it is - light evening
entertainment. It's filled with plot holes and the characterisation is
a little light, but when you have an 8 episode series character
development probably isn't going to be a major factor of a show,
particularly in action dominated sci-fi. The concept is interesting,
and hopefully more questions about what happened on earth and why there
is no military presence in the colony will be answered over the series.
The acting is good, as are the set pieces and most of the FX,
particularly in episode 3. Script wise it is at times a little clunky
but I think the actors have done a respectable job with what they have
to work with.
A note now on all the "one star" reviews. Writing a negative review and brandishing one star ratings is unfortunately a way for people to excercise a little bit of the power that is lacking in their life. I do not believe this series is a one star show, but that is my opinion. I think people can state if they truly feel something is poor without resorting to some of the vindictive things being said here. No one deliberately sets out to make a bad show just to ruin your day. Many people have worked very hard on this series (and no I am not one of them or affiliated with anybody involved). Ultimately it is about entertainment, and if people do not like it, don't watch it. Why waste your time writing such horrid things. There are zillions of channels to choose from now. Often the comments people write online are things they would never dare say to someones face, and are a complete overeaction to what is in reality just a TV show. All that negative energy could be channelled into something much more constructive.
So, soldier on Outcasts. I for one am enjoying the ride, and grateful to the BBC for trying something new in sci-fi.
I read the previous review, and I totally disagree. Em Squared apparently hasn't got a clue about the sci-fi genre. He condemns the lack of "phasers" and the abundance of lens flare. My friend, you need to stop watching Star Trek, I believe that 20 times is enough... Now, in my opinion this series was a good one, the only down side to it might be the fact that it got canceled ahead of time. The story is decent, and so are the performances. It has that bit of drama which reminds you that you are not watching a continuous gun/"phaser"/light saber fight. All in all, I would definitely recommend it for all SG and BSG fans.
OK, so I've read some negative comments from a lot of you guys but I
think this series has so much potential. Just give it a chance!
I live in Cape town, the series was filmed about an hour away from where I live and I think they have made an amazing effort so far, it's only the 4th episode and I want more!
I agree that there is much more scum on TV at the moment that shouldn't be there, but seriously, I'd love to see where this series will go in the future. Characters are interesting and I honestly want to see what happened with the AC's. I think so far episode 4 has been the most intense, with action and suspense and all that goes alongside a good sci-fi.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I'm going to swim against the tide, I'm afraid. I can't judge the whole
series, because as I write this only 2 episodes have been shown.
However, while I wouldn't put 'Outcasts' into the same class as
'Spooks,' I have enjoyed what I've seen so far. Yes, some of the
dialogue has been a little heavy-going, but I write myself, and I know
that it is a very difficult thing to do, so I wouldn't be perhaps as
judgemental as others. I think the cinematography is stunning, as are
the settings, and I have no major complaints about the acting. While
the quality of it varies - with Hermione Norris several giant strides
ahead of most of the others, which is usually the case in anything I've
seen her in - I've seen an awful lot worse.
I personally like drama involving moral conundrums and the interplay between characters as they develop, and I have no problem with something that moves slowly; if you do, and those things spell 'dull' to you, then Outcasts is possibly not for you.
Reading other reviews, the one thing that surprises me is the widespread criticism of minute detail - this wouldn't be used, they wouldn't have done it like that, that couldn't have happened, it wouldn't look that way. Forgive me, but how does anyone know? It's set in the future, which none of us have seen, and it's fiction anyway. It puzzles me.
Anyway, there is enough in the story lines to follow to keep me watching ... if no-one else!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Trolling" is the word that springs to mind when I skim over the many
1- star reviews here - an impression only reinforced when I spot that
the spelling and grammar of some such reviews is roughly befitting that
of a sub-literate 8-year old. Still, it would be unfair and arrogant to
dismiss every single person who dislikes Outcasts as one of these, so
instead I'm just going to go straight to the review.
I'll be blunt: in its 4 episodes so far, Outcasts has become one of my favourite TV series ever. I've always been a fan of sci-fi series in general, but Outcasts is a rare example of a "hard" science fiction series - in other words, it's actually befitting of the title "science fiction", unlike Doctor Who or Stargate (not that there's anything wrong with those shows, either). Faster-than-light travel seems like it's out, there aren't any shiny purple laser guns, the possibility of aliens is only a vague one and time travel, to my knowledge, hasn't even been brought up. If you don't like this and prefer the more fantastical variant of sci-fi (sometimes called "science fantasy"), then Outcasts probably isn't for you. I suppose that's why so many people don't like it - they've been conditioned into wanting magical time travel with weird aliens and bright phaser beams by the media for a long, long time now. Depressing really.
In fact, the show Outcasts reminds me of most is not Star Trek or any other popular sci-fi, but Heroes - because, like Heroes, it's a slow - paced show with a focus is on the characters. The show doesn't disappoint in this regard - the characters are all interesting, and the relationships and dialogue between them is entertaining. More importantly, there is some genuine emotion involved as we learn more about the characters' pasts, and as they are developed. Where it differs from Heroes, though, is that it isn't padded out to the ends of the Earth. Honestly, I only realised just how needlessly padded out Heroes was after watching Outcasts - though I will grant that the latter doesn't have quite as many characters, and, well, they don't have superpowers.
Outcasts is also great at creating tension without resorting to one- dimensional card-carrying villains pointing guns at the heroes. Again, I've got no problems with the Daleks - in fact, I rather love them - but it is nice to see a show break from the mold every once in a while and do something original.
The special effects are probably the best I've seen in a TV series. That's a bold claim, but I stand by it - and you know why? It's because they are used in moderation. There's a few shots in the first episode of the space ship above Carpathia, and they all look beautiful. The "white- out" in episode 3 also looks great and believable - as do the effects marking its approach (the odd effect it has on the sunlight...) and the shot of it from space. That said, it lacks the interesting art direction of other, softer sci-fi shows - but that's to be expected, since it's much more down-to-Carpathia in general.
The plot in each episode is also compelling and well written - and I can't say much more about it without giving away major spoilers (I've already given away minor ones as it is). There isn't much in the way of an overarching story, however, which I am a little disappointed by - oh, there is a hook at the end of each episode, but nothing I'd call a "story arc". However, this is justifiable as it's a British series, and as such is typically short.
The acting is also very good, much of the time - particularly from Liam Cunningham, who plays the president, Tate. It seemed a bit flat at times in the opening episode, but it has improved and is properly convincing. On the other hand, this is one of those few areas where Outcasts CAN be directly compared to other sci-fi shows, since acting talent has nothing to do with setting or premise - and while the acting is great, it's no Patrick Stewart or David Tennant. Still, it's not very far behind.
One thing that can't be classified in those categories is the overriding theme of the show: humanity, starting again in a new environment they simply do not understand. What's more, they appear to have learnt nothing so far - a subtly depressing commentary on the human race, which may turn some people off. I wouldn't call it grim - "gritty" is slightly more apt, but I'd rather not apply either term to it after Warhammer 40,000 (which is both of those things, several times over). The best word for it is "bleak" - but there is certainly light at the end of the tunnel. Besides, the depressing overtones are confined to the background for the most part and don't saturate the show, which contains its fair share of light-hearted jokes.
I think I've covered everything, although it was quite late as I wrote this so forgive me if I missed anything.
Summary: Do you adore the crazy escapism that goes with things like Doctor Who? Stay away from this. Do you like down-to-Earth shows, where the muted science fiction is placed behind the characters and themes in terms of importance? Then this show is for you. Looking over the review, I see that Outcasts is actually for a rather niché market, in the end - I suppose I shouldn't be surprised by the falling ratings and poor reception. Nonetheless, I must admit to being a little disappointed in my fellow Brits.
I really enjoyed this series and was rather surprised, and a little disappointed, to find out that the BBC has decided not to make a second series. It is particularly annoying when a series develops an unresolved theme and then is canceled, without the story coming to a full conclusion. You feel rather cheated! I noted (elsewhere) the comments of the writer - to the effect that the series took a while to develop its storyline. I tend to agree and feel that the decisions to firstly move it to a late night time slot (in the UK - not in Australia) and then to can it completely, were both premature and self-serving. I hope there is some consideration made to making another series, or at the very least a one-off episode to bring series one to a full conclusion.
Outcasts shows a lot of promise for a great new Scifi show involving
deep character relationships, a unique plot, interesting idea's and a
fresh storyline that hasn't been done yet.
Each episode has it's own individual story, but still has a continuous main story throughout the episodes. Outcasts contains Scifi elements, but still appeals to people who aren't hardcore science fiction fans. It focuses on different types of relationships with the characters, dilemma's people can actually relate to, and also contains suspenseful drama.
The acting is very well done and after only a few episodes I found myself intrigued with the series and interested in what would happen next. The show has a lot of fantasy ideas, but still manages to be very believable. It contains many different elements and diverse characters, and makes you feel involved in their lives and feel for them.
The show is exciting and always leaves you wanting more.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It was bad but the BBC have done worse. I posted a cut down version of
the script in case you missed this episode.
Ship's Captain: Are there any human beings down there? Planet: Erm... what other English speakers were you expecting?
Middle Class Kid: Oh poetry, oh poetry, why must the other boys keep kicking me?
Angry Scottish Bird: You were stealing medical supplies Irish Druggie: Well if you didn't want a drug dealer on Carpathia why did you bring me along?
Cougar woman: With this device I can see your memories Irish Druggie: How does it work? Cougar woman: Well, with you it shows your memories in first person, but with me it shows them in the third person Irish Druggie: O...kay....
Angry Scottish Bird: This woman has been hit on the head. Hard. Take her to Holby City immediately.
Gun Totting Mad Man: Got to get away! Big Guy: It's not time Gun Totting Mad Man: Got to get away! Big Guy: It's not time Gun Totting Mad Man: Got to get away! Big Guy: Why? Gun Totting Mad Man: Dunno
Cougar woman: Fancy a shag? Irish Druggie: I haven't had my beer yet
Angry Scottish Bird: I'm shouting in your face! Big Guy: Why? Angry Scottish Bird: To show how tough I am Big Guy: That's not fair when all have is my hugely superior physique and rifle to protect me
Ship's Captain: We've traveled through space for 5 years and we're coming down President: Fix your shields first or you'll explode Ship's Captain: No time for that, we want to get down before the tea gets cold President: Well... don't say I didn't warn you!
Gun Totting Mad Man: I'm away and I'm taking my softie son with me Angry Scottish Bird: A MAN? Taking care of a CHILD? Wait till the Family Court hears about this!
Gun Totting Mad Man: You've been a naughty boy President: I have been a naughty boy but trust me, I'm a politician and the state knows best
President: Go after that crazy gun totting guy! Scruffy lower class person: Who, should I take? The big guy with the muscles and the gun? President: No, take the loud Scottish girl. She'll be handy.
Boring person 1: Hey, did you see that thing that just happened? Boring person 2: Yes I did Boring person 1: Well, let me just tell you about it anyway. Nothing makes events you've already witnessed more interesting than hearing about them in long segments of exposition. Wouldn't you agree? Boring person 2: Sorry, could you repeat that?
President: We decided to call this planet Carpathia. I can't remember the whole story but I think if they'd had more life boats... Ship's Captain: We don't have enough life boats! President: If only the planet namers had spoken to the ship designers...
Gun Totting Mad Man: Do you really think human beings can make a better life for our children? Angry Scottish Bird: Human beings? Gun Totting Mad Man: Yeah, you know... US Angry Scottish Bird: So why didn't you just say "WE"? Why can't we make a better life for our children?
Gun Totting Mad Man: I know I'm the main character here but how about you just kill me now?
*Bang* *Explosion* *Poetry*
After a friend of mine suggested I watch this, I decided to play
catch-up on BBC iplayer a few weeks ago. The first 15 minutes of it and
I thought "OMG - this is like an updated Blake's 7 I can't watch
this!!" Recently the same friend complained I hadn't given it a chance
and told me it was "getting good". So I gave it another go ... I
thought "I'm gonna sit through this and REALLY try to like it".
Okay - the first episode was PAINFUL. The characters seemed boring, the kid that kept repeating his "tiger tiger" poem almost put me off watching ... but I struggled through. First episode felt very long. However I persevered and watched a second episode ... then a third ... then a fourth ...
It's actually turning out to be quite interesting in certain respects but doesn't have me completely hooked as yet.
I think the characters could be improved - they are currently REALLY difficult to warm to - they have no spark. They feel a bit like cardboard cut-outs at the moment, stilted and awkward - and certainly need a bit more depth.
Looking past the stilted characters are the predictable character relationships ... just a bit boring and uninspiring - again no SPARK.
The story is somewhat intriguing in parts but with the lack of charismatic characters or interesting dialogue it just makes it difficult to wade through.
The jury is still hung for me on this.
This show COULD be better, but needs a whole lot of fine-tuning if it ever wants to become a really good show.
I started watching this series and as it progressed it got better and better. The plot was very enthralling and kept me wanting to see more and more.The way the the story progresses with the 2 types of foes and how it all started was excellent. I was looking to see more of the turmoil between the two groups. After 3 episodes I was hooked well and truly. I was extremely disappointed that the series was terminated only after 8 episodes just at the point where a third element was added to the story line. I cannot understand why the TV stations start something and after a short time they decide to scrap it without any consultation to the many avid followers of the series. I do hope they reconsider and bring it back.
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