Stars: Liam Cunningham, Hermione Norris, Daniel Mays, Amy Manson, Ashley Walters, Eric Mabius, Michael Legge, Jeanne Kietzmann, Gary Lewis
Writer: Ben Richards and Jimmy Gardner
Director: Andy Goddard
Network: BBC America, airs Saturday nights
Original Telecast: July 16, 2011
Last week an AC arrived at Forthaven and threw the whole community for a loop; this week it’s a mystery man in a hood (Gary Lewis) who arrives during a rainstorm and throws out diamonds for drinks as we begin the fifth episode of the BBC America sci-fi series, OUTCASTS. Pak, or Patrick Baxter, was one of the first expeditionaries to arrive on Carpathia eleven years ago, and supposedly murdered his commanding officer before escaping and dying in a crash. The truth is slightly different, and the very much alive Pak leads Cass and Fleur to a beach deep in the Closed Zone that he claims as home. Meanwhile, back in Forthaven the political tug of war between President Tate (Liam Cunningham) and Julius Berger (Eric Mabius) continues.
The Closed Zone has the ring of PLANET OF THE APES’ Forbidden Zone, a similarity made all the more prominent by the beach setting in the episode’s finale. I was half hoping the Statue of Liberty would turn up, but it was not to be. Never mind though, this series is doing well enough building its own mythology, but the shame (I know, I say this every week) is that we’ll never see it mature. Still, even with no future to hope for, nearly Biblical moments like the climactic discovery of ancient skeletons by Stella (Hermione Norris) can’t help but pack quite a punch. But that’s not even as shocking as Berger’s final scene.
After weeks of strong character building, there’s an annoying inconsistency in the Cass/Fleur relationship. After a devastating situation last week, with Cass betraying Fleur and Fleur declaring that she could never trust him again, this episode finds them as comfortable as they were before with no explanation given. Perhaps she just realized that on a distant world far from everything they once knew, holding a grudge is counter-productive?
The introduction of diamonds into the Forthaven community illustrates how quickly we can be corrupted and reduced to violence, as in a scene in which Lily (Jeanne Kietzmann) is attacked for a single diamond. The theme is underscored by how insane the circumstances are – with so few people on a new planet light years from Earth, why should diamonds or any old system of exchange matter in the slightest or offer even a moment’s temptation? Life is more important than wealth now, but that doesn’t change the way we behave.
The other big struggle is between science and practicality, represented by President Tate (Liam Cunningham), and religious and spiritual manipulation, represented by Julius Berger (Eric Mabius). As I noted last week, it’s also interesting that our figure of evil from within is our only character sporting an American accent, and one of his latest steps has been to try to alter the school curriculum for young survivors to include other “theories.” As we’ve seen in the real world, one of the best ways to weaken a society is to chip away at fact, and Berger’s plan is all too familiar.
The biggest issue though is introduced by Pak, when he shares the true story of Carpathia’s “first foot” with Cass and Fleur. It’s fascinating how quickly we can lie to ourselves and create myths instead of truth. In just eleven years, the survivors already believe a history that is severely distorted and have no idea how this endeavor really began or what secrets await Mankind on their adopted home world.
The visual of the dog in Pak’s final scene brings up a question that might link back to Tate’s visions of his dead children: is there an alien life form on Carpathia playing with the survivors by means of telepathy, or is the planet itself some sort of hallucinatory experience, with the very environment itself distorting human perception? We may never find out in the few episodes remaining, but ah, the possibilities.
Next week, it’s time for the obligatory “creepy girl” episode.
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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 the link for AX’s review of DOCTOR WHO episode “The Rebel Flesh”
CLICK HERE for AX’s List on “THE FIVE QUESTIONS WE HOPE DOCTOR WHO – SERIES 6 ANSWERS”
CLICK HERE for Neil Gaiman talking about scripting his Season 6 DOCTOR WHO episode
CLICK HERE for brand new photos from DOCTOR WHO – Season 6 – including new poster
CLICK HERE to view the new EXTENDED SEASON 6 DOCTOR WHO trailer
CLICK HERE for Actor Mark Sheppard talking about his role in a Season 6 episode of DOCTOR WHO
Article Source: Assignment X
Article: Review – OUTCASTS – Season 1 – “Episode Five”