Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Alphas, on 5* at 10pm

A while ago I saw a discussion about this programme, but, as is often the case, it wasn’t on Freeview. I don’t watch 5* often, but yesterday caught some of the 2007 CGI Beowulf film and saw an ad for Alphas.

The next episode (airs tonight) is number 3, and the second can be seen (for a few hours anyway) on the Channel Five website. Unfortunately I didn’t see the first episode, but there we are.

The premise is not all that original (people suddenly start developing cool mutations that give them strange powers), and will be familiar to anyone who watched the excellent X-Men films or Heroes.

Episode 2 was a little hit and miss, but it is a new series and I’ll probably give it a go for a few weeks and see how it progresses. Some of the powers do look to be a little more interesting than usuak (one chap has a sort of rational predictive power, not quite prophecy but similar to it), although there is the obligatory strong man and persuasive woman.

I hope it ends up better than Heroes. I watched almost all of series 1, but missed series 2 (it clashed with House) and didn’t really feel the need to watch it later. People not getting killed (in both books and series like this) is something I dislike and (Isaac, I think his name was, aside) Heroes was pretty bad at that. It’s hard to build up dramatic tension or feel worried for someone if you know that the man next to them who has just been introduced and is wearing a red Star Trek uniform is going to be the one taking the bullet.

The Walking Dead has also made a return, but has jumped from Channel Five to FX (not Freeview) so hopefully, like Alphas, it will make a free-to-air appearance in a little while. I enjoyed the first series, but was surprised by how brief it was (just six episodes) given the American habit of mega-series with 20 or so episodes.

I hope the next time a British firm tries making something they spend a little less on special effects and a bit more on writing. I tried to like Outcasts. I did. It even had the (occasional) good moment, but you can’t transmit a virus by vibrating air molecules and even if you could the virus wouldn’t stop being there when the transmission halted.

Last (but very much not least) The Big Bang Theory returns this Thursday at 8pm on E4.


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