Stars: Liam Cunningham, Hermione Norris, Daniel Mays, Amy Manson, Ashley Walters, Eric Mabius, Langley Kirkwood, Michael Legge, Jeanne Kietzmann, Jamie Sives, Conrad Kemp, Fiona Button
Writer: Ben Richards and Simon Block
Director:  Omar Madha
Network: BBC America, airs Saturday nights
Original Telecast: July 2, 2011

Once again OUTCASTS delivers on a nice balance of character and story arc development while upping the ante with a spectacular effects sequence that illustrates just how dangerous it is for humanity’s last hope, the Forthaven community, on the storm-ravaged surface of Carpathia. As Fleur (Amy Manson) takes the baby back to Rudi (Langley Kirkwood) and discovers she just may have a tentative friend among the ACs, Tate must weigh the benefits and dangers of trusting Berger (Eric Mabius) enough to allow him input on the community’s ruling council. Meanwhile, everyone from Tipper (Michael Legge) and Cass (Daniel Mays) to a couple walking down the aisle in a day’s time must face the fact that a devastating storm is on the way.

It continues to mystify me as to how this series could have drawn such bilious coverage over in the UK. It’s a very well written show with compelling characters, stunning vistas, excellent set design, and with this episode, a clear sense of pacing as to how and when to deliver the next revelations in an ongoing storyline. Add to all of that a riveting sequence with the biggest whiteout storm since the colony’s arrival on the planet, with lives in danger and the future of the entire community at stake, and you have an excellent installment that propels the saga forward as well as opening the door to more of our ensemble’s pasts.

Relationships deepen as we not only learn more about Cass and Fleur’s prior romance but just how much Cass’ surviving love for her can affect the stoic but still sensitive leader of the ACs, Rudi. Rudi’s softer interaction with Fleur is nice to see, as it might suggest the potential for a rapprochement between Forthaven and the ACs…or at least it would, if the series had been given a chance to last.

We also find out about the tragic loss suffered by Tipper. His bad boy shenanigans not only gain a deeper meaning as a façade to cover pain but as a way of distancing himself from the person he once was, a person he must be again when the Forthaven community has a chance to learn about the future of the whiteout storms thanks to materials provided by the late Professor Rosen.

The centerpiece of this episode is that storm as the entire colony is ripped apart and still manages to come together at the end to celebrate a wedding. Although the conclusion is a little predictable, using a traditional event to underscore the notion that our brave survivors will soldier on, the show has bought enough good will through its characters that the cliché is not unwelcome.

We also see the power struggle between Tate and Berger reach another level as Tate makes what seems like a profoundly flawed decision to allow Berger more access to and power over the colonists, and there’s another bizarre moment in which Tate might be either slipping into madness or perhaps suffering from some sort of psychic attack. From the epic nature of the storm to the quiet warmth of two people finding each other after death and destruction, this episode sets the stage for bigger things to come while enriching the background of everyone in the community.

Next week an AC arrives at Forthaven while an incredible secret awaits discovery out in the wilderness.

AGREE? DISAGREE? LET US KNOW HOW YOU FEEL – COMMENT BELOW!

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 4

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Comments:

  1. In answer to your question as to why Outcasts was so viciously criticised hee in the UK, I think it was for two reasons – one: it wasn’t pure enough sci-fi for the sci-fi purists, two: the criticism turned into a nasty, aggressive, competitive campaign to see who could come up with the most unpleasant, offensive and scathing put-downs. Any attempt to make a reasonable, polite critique of the programme was bawled down by one of the most unpleasant acts of collective bullying on the Internet I have ever seen. I know what I’m talking about, because I tried to make one. I was, and remain, very sorry for the writer and the actors, none of whom should have had to put up with the kind of nasty personal slurs that I read. I hope I never see such a thing again.

    Rosemary
  2. Thank you, Rosemary. It is indeed a shame that when we get so much recycled trash on television, US or UK, that something with some genuine heart and intelligence didn’t get a chance to grow. Sure, it’s not perfect, but it has a lot more to it than most of the garbage that keeps running year after year.

    ARNOLD T. BLUMBERG

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