The first episode of The 100, a new sci-fi series, was aired last night on E4 (Mondays, 9pm). If you missed it, as well as a near certain repeat, it's available via Channel 4's on demand service, online.
Beyond the basics of the premise there are no spoilers below.
The basic premise of The 100 is this: nuclear devastation wrecked Earth. Those who could, fled to the small number of working space stations, which were joined together to form the Ark. For 97 years, mankind has survived there.
However, the Ark is failing. The only alternative, if it cannot be mended, is to try and survive on horribly irradiated Earth. The canaries used to find out whether it's possible are 100 juvenile prisoners (due to very scarce resources all crimes are capital, with those below the age of majority being locked up instead). The 100 are sent down with wrist-bands attached to measure their vital signs, so that those on the Ark can decide whether Earth is now safe.
It's a pretty simple and sensible premise. I rather like it (then again, I liked the premise of Outcasts). The action is split between bickering adults on the Ark and bickering teenagers on Earth.
There is a Lord of the Flies feel to the newly released prisoners, many of whom are juvenile delinquents. The Ark was never going to be a happy place given the resources limitations, but it's perhaps going to be just as fraught as the situation on Earth.
Acting, I think it's fair to say, is a little variable. Most of the faces, except the lovely Kelly Hu, are new to me, and if you get weird deja vu with the protagonist, Eliza Taylor, it's because she was in Neighbours a few years ago (I had that for a while when I first saw Jesse Spencer as Dr. Chase in House). It's a slight shame they made her adopt a (very good) American accent rather than her Aussie one. One would've thought that people who aren't American would've survived. (Reminds me a shade of XCOM: Enemy Unknown, which has a strong international focus but still gives every single soldier an American accent).
There are relatively few special effects, and I'm glad the show isn't going over the top with that. What CGI etc there is works well.
Anyway, the first episode was pretty interesting and I'll catch the second next week.