Stars: Liam Cunningham, Hermione Norris, Daniel Mays, Amy Manson, Ashley Walters, Eric Mabius, Langley Kirkwood, Michael Legge, Jeanne Kietzmann, Moshidi Motshegwa
Writer: Ben Richards
Director: Jamie Payne
Network: BBC America, airs Saturday nights
Original Telecast: August 6, 2011
In the final episode of the BBC America sci-fi series, OUTCASTS, President Tate’s (Liam Cunningham) fragile Forthaven colony reels from attacks on all sides: a new virus sweeps the population, Julius Berger (Eric Mabius) uses the crisis to topple Tate’s administration, and the mysterious alien “host force” that opposes the human presence on Carpathia may not be the only threat to humanity’s future with a mysterious new transport on the way to the planet…one that is apparently in league with Berger.
This tightly written, well produced, compelling sci-fi drama reaches an exciting conclusion at the end of its first – and very sadly, only – series, with allegiances broken and healed, threats from without and within faced with heroism and intelligence, and new challenges introduced that prove the Forthaven colonists still have a lot to do if they are to insure the survival of the human race.
The mystery of the original C-23 virus is mostly resolved as we witness the new strain, C-24, ravaging the community, including characters like Tipper (Michael Legge) and Lily (Jeanne Kietzmann). Given the nature of the story, it’s not beyond reason to think that perhaps one or both of these main characters could die by episode’s end, so the threat has a palpable effect on the story and there’s a lot of suspense surrounding the plan to block the alien attack via an ultrasound barrier. DNA coding, “the music of our bodies,” as a weapon? It’s a fun idea that may not make for good science, but that’s never why I watch a fantasy adventure show anyway.
We never learn anything more about the transport with which Berger has been communicating, but something tells me that the very kind of people we’d be happy to leave behind in a global crisis – politicians, corporate leaders – are probably on board and coordinating with Berger to retake their place at the top of the human hierarchy. So many story possibilities for a Series 2 of OUTCASTS fade just as that ship hurtles toward Forthaven, endangering everyone.
We learn about Cass’ (Daniel Mays) secret past and the rift is mostly healed between him and Fleur (Amy Manson) but nothing could prepare us for the truth about her own origins. Again, there’s a lot of intriguing beats to play in Fleur’s discovery of her unique AC status, as well as her strange familial connection with Tate.
Perhaps the most pleasing character development is in Jack (Ashley Walters), who finds himself in the middle of the Tate/Berger power struggle and takes on the role of acting President just as the colony faces its greatest threat in years. His decision to support one or the other is fraught with tension, but the final choice isn’t quite a shock since he’s always seemed to be a good man pushed into dodgy choices only by circumstances. Given a chance, he chooses the right thing, which is a nice statement on the essential nature of humanity in general.
“Maybe, in the end, we can still design ourselves.” As it began, the series ends with the notion that we are capable of being the best we can be if we only strive for it. But with that theme reinforced, we come to the end of the saga. OUTCASTS was cancelled in the UK before it ever came to BBC America, and there are no hopes for it to return. This was an excellent start for a series, with an engaging cast, a solid premise, great production values, and intriguing mysteries that deserved time to unfold. This was also a show that eschewed the rapid-fire nonsensical storytelling of many recent “hit” fantasy and sci-fi shows, instead choosing to take its time to let its characters make themselves known to us as their story began.
But it seems people don’t want that these days, and that’s a loss for all of us. OUTCASTS will ultimately be just a footnote in the long history of failed TV shows, but for a short time, it was a fun ride. I wish the Carpathians luck; they’re going to need it.
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Click on link: AX’s Interview with OUTCASTS and MI-5 creator Ben Richards
Click on link: AX’s review of OUTCASTS – Episode 1
Click on link: AX’s review of OUTCASTS – Episode 2
Click on link: AX’s review of OUTCASTS – Episode 3
Click on link: AX’s review of OUTCASTS – Episode 4
Click on link: AX’s review of OUTCASTS – Episode 5
Click on link: AX’s review of OUTCASTS – Episode 6
Click on link: AX’s review of OUTCASTS – Episode 7
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Article Source: Assignment X
Article: Review – OUTCASTS – Season 1 – “Episode Eight”