One of the great things about British TV shows is that they know how to pack a ton of entertainment into a short period of time. Where North American audiences are forced to endure (at times) 20+ episodes a season for often five or more seasons, the British creators get in, make their point, make you think or make you laugh, and then get out. Overall it's such a more satisfying viewing experience.
Famous shows like 'Faulty Towers' (12 episodes) or 'The Prisoner' (18 episodes) allow viewers to get into the program with only a limited number of hours to watch. Like 'Firefly', such limited source material easily lends itself to fandom and cult status. It's easy to become an expert in the show and enjoy the singular vision of the creators.
One of the things that I always felt with such a great show such as 'Lost' is that the writers and creators had so many hours of TV to fill that creatively they lost their way. They had such great ideas over the years that they gave into the temptation to abandon a cohesive vision in favor of exploring ideas that weren't originally part of their overall original story arc. They branched off into so many different directions - never fully completing a single thought.
Sure 'Lost' all sorta came together in the end but not in as satisfying a way as audiences would have like it to end. I may have a different perspective on this because I watched the entire six year run in only a couple of months before the final so it was on my mind daily. I could have chopped a third of the 'fat' away and still have felt that I had lost nothing - storywise.
'Outcasts' is an example of the sleek British way of storytelling. The first season was only eight episodes long and you can easily find the torrents online for this fantastic thinking man's science fiction show. The story is best summed up from the BBC Website.
With Earth no longer habitable, a group of courageous pioneers have traveled to another planet to begin again. They’ve built the town of Forthaven on the planet of Carpathia and have the unique opportunity of creating a new and better future on another planet. Led by President Tate (Cunningham) and his core team of Stella (Norris), Cass (Daniel Mays, The Bank Job, Atonement) and Fleur (Amy Manson, Being Human), they’re determined to run the civilization in a democratic way, but some tough decisions in the past may prove divisive.
The settlers are a diverse group of individuals who left their old lives behind in extraordinary circumstances. They’ve been promised a second chance but are far away from home, friends, family and their pasts. Passionate about their jobs, confident of their ideals and optimistic about the future, they work hard to preserve what they've built on the planet they now call home.
Carpathia offers the possibility of redemption as the new inhabitants try to avoid the mistakes made on Earth. Inevitably they cannot escape the human pitfalls of love, greed, lust, loss, corruption and a longing for those they've left behind. As they continue to work and live together, they come to realize this is no ordinary planet. Is there a bigger purpose at work? Is the peace of Forthaven more fragile than they think?
The show is more about character than flashy ray guns and aliens. In fact, you would be hard pressed to find any of the standard science fiction trappings in this program. I can only think of a few CGI effects.
I suspect the point is that no matter where we humans find ourselves in the Universe, we still bring the best and worst of humanity with us and the issues we are confronted with never change. Our conflicts continue to be man against self, man against nature and man against man. Those issues were handled in interesting ways by good actors. That is what made this program enjoyable to me.
The first season ended on a great cliffhanger and I am looking forward to seeing many of the plot threads resolved or extended if/when a second season comes about. It's worth your time to check out.
Unfortunately there will not be a second season for this show according to the news just posted on the BBC website. It got poor ratings in the U.K. I am glad I didn't know that because it would have caused me to give the show a pass. As it is I will just have to accept the fact that I will never know the fate of 'Fort Haven'.
I forever stand vigilant to protect this planet from the myriad of forces that are always against us. Be it the octopus, zombies, aliens or the robots my team of human agents, and our feline allies, circle the globe in a never ending struggle for human freedom.
I learn all I can on every subject that interests me. I especially enjoy ancient history because in the past there are valuable lessons to be found. Also, if I ever get my time machine to work properly, it would be good to know a bit about possible destinations and what to expect when I get there.
I greatly appreciate beautiful design. Be it manufactured or found naturally I am fascinated by the process of invention. I am attracted to the unique, the strange, the haunted. I like to share what I find on this blog.
And not let us forget the 'Cephalopod Menace' who, if allowed to, would wrap their tentacles around all that is good and pure in this life and crush it until it remained no more. They are creatures of pure spite. Hate is all they know. Death is all they do. They are our most ruthless and determined enemy.
So we fight. Selena has the celebrity contacts, the cat is ruthless and without pity, Roosevelt's ghost has the experience and I do the wetwork.
Fighting for the future of the planet doesn't have to be a chore, however. We can take the time to appreciate all that is cool in this world even as we cut the octopus into bite sized chunks.
This is the reason there has always been and must forever be, a Cave of Cool. Be sure to wipe your feet before you enter.