Outcasts–mid season view

Given the massive response to my earlier post, here’s a bit of an update as we continue to watch our way through the series.

Four episodes in (we’re catching up), I’m definitely growing in fondness for Outcasts. It’s pretty sophisticated writing, with layer upon layer of plotline piling dark edges on top of each other to create a really satisfying universe with characters you don’t quite know how to place and baddies you aren’t entirely sure are baddies – with the exception of the supremely creepy Eric Mabius as Julius Berger.

I’m hoping they continue to leave points of conflict open – from the romantic plotline between Fleur/Jack/Cass to the darker political one with Julius/Tate to the psychological ones with Tipper/Tate and beyond… but that’s only if they are given time to complete the story arcs as (apparently) intended. My concern, with only four episodes to go, is that there isn’t anything like enough time to round out all these stories properly. I’m hoping they avoid Deus Ex Machina where they can – my screenplay writing training with Robert McKee a few years ago drilled a strong distaste for that into me.

Quick plot check four episodes in (spoilers herein, avoid if you’re not at this point):

  • The past plotline – jawbone et al
  • The Fleur/Jack/Cass romantic plotline
  • The Isen girls plotline
  • The Tipper Malone plotline
  • The future of the ACs plotline
  • The Julius Berger / sexual assault plotline
  • The Julius Berger / Tate political plotline
  • The Tate/kids plotline
  • The kid from the pilot’s plotline (will he return?)
  • The role of the XPs plotline
  • The planet plotline (white-outs et al)
  • The Earth plotline (what’s happened etc)

That’s a lot to resolve in 4 hours of television – have I missed any? I’ll be impressed if they get through it all.

As to the future of the show, who can say? There’s certainly been an outpouring of support in the comments here but 2,800 odd fans on Facebook will not a renewal make, not for this man from the sound of things. Although what’s interesting for me from the ratings (increasingly worse, hence the rescheduling) and the comments (most people watching on iPlayer, and its in the ‘most popular’ TV on iPlayer section) is how little traditional ratings might mean for this show. It’s sci-fi, which means a passionate core audience. And it’s the BBC, so iPlayer might be the way to swing it.

Fingers crossed.