New sci-fi–Outcasts

Update: Further thoughts on Outcasts here.

I’ve only seen the pilot of Outcasts but am loving the ambition of the show. Bold, crazy, post-apocalyptic universe, Jamie Bamber making an appearance with his native British accent*, big budget BBC drama, Roz from Spooks, staggeringly striking sets in South Africa… so many good ingredients.

It saddens me that there have already been negative mutterings about its ratings and its been shifted to a graveyard slot – probably with a doubtful future. Why set these shows up on a pedestal? It’s sci-fi! For some reason, with rare exceptions, these shows always attract what the BBC controller describes as a “loyal, core audience” and rarely hit the mass-market mainstream – so why expect otherwise? I guess SFX budgets still don’t come in cheap, and everyone’s hoping they write a BatGal or a Star Trek.

Still – even if it doesn’t do great here, the BBC didn’t do much for its chances to do much better overseas with its weird series formats. 8 episodes? What is that?? An American half-season is 13 episodes – a length which gives you more time to get into a story or a universe, and which gives time for things to evolve to a point of genuine goodness.

Sigh. Well, if it gets cancelled, I’ll hope that it gets worse by episode three and I won’t regret its demise. But I’m not hopeful – I enjoyed the pilot. Check out the trailer here:


*I swear I thought he was American, he must be a good actor because I thought his English accent in Outcasts was unconvincing after seeing him on BatGal for years!