Monday, 7 March 2011

Outcasts, episode 7 (and other progs)

Hmm. It is quite odd to have a series with so many potentially excellent, or at least good, storylines which never seem to have a pay-off. Almost like watching an adult film which begins with the line “Hello, I’ve come to fix your sink”, features 17 minutes of plumbing and ends with the line “Your sink is now fixed. Goodbye”.

We’re 7/8 into Outcasts, and yet the writers still don’t want to let us know anything. Fleur discovered (through remarkably convoluted means) that Cass once went by another name, and has a horrid secret. Naturally, we don’t get to know what he’s actually done.

The unseen aliens want to destroy Forthaven and are communicating through high-pitched, ultrasonic means, but we don’t know what they’re saying.

At the end, Berger thanked the mothership for the information on Cass (he manipulated the situation somewhat), and found out that there’s something weird about Fleur. Of course, we don’t know what that is.

I don’t mind some mystery, but this is verging on Lost levels of annoying. It’s a shame because the ideas (a colony, XP/PAS conflict, political shenanigans) are all fine, it’s the execution that’s flawed. I’ll watch the final episode, but if there’s another series it’ll need damn good (p)reviews for me to tune in.

Mind you, the first series of Blackadder was the weakest of the lot, so maybe all hope is not lost.

Sunday also saw a much more enjoyable programme, a new series (8pm Channel 4) by historian Niall Ferguson regarding the West and China over the last 500 odd years. Except for the irritating ‘killer app’ shtick, there was no dumbing down and the first programme covered the advantage that international and commercial competition furnished the West with during the era of exploration and expansion.

I did tune into Brian Cox’s programme immediately afterwards, but 30 minutes in all I’d learnt was that time moves in one direction, the universe is quite old and the programme bored me.


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