Given the massive response to my earlier post, hereâ€™s a bit of an update as we continue to watch our way through the series.
Four episodes in (weâ€™re catching up), Iâ€™m definitely growing in fondness for Outcasts. Itâ€™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 donâ€™t quite know how to place and baddies you arenâ€™t entirely sure are baddies â€“ with the exception of the supremely creepy Eric Mabius as Julius Berger.
Iâ€™m hoping they continue to leave points of conflict open â€“ from the romantic plotline between Fleur/Jack/Cass to the darker political one with Julius/Tate to the psychological ones with Tipper/Tate and beyondâ€¦ but thatâ€™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 isnâ€™t anything like enough time to round out all these stories properly. Iâ€™m hoping they avoid Deus Ex Machina where they can â€“ 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 youâ€™re not at this point):
- The past plotline â€“ 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 pilotâ€™s plotline (will he return?)
- The role of the XPs plotline
- The planet plotline (white-outs et al)
- The Earth plotline (whatâ€™s happened etc)
Thatâ€™s a lot to resolve in 4 hours of television â€“ have I missed any? Iâ€™ll be impressed if they get through it all.
As to the future of the show, who can say? Thereâ€™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 whatâ€™s interesting for me from the ratings (increasingly worse, hence the rescheduling) and the comments (most people watching on iPlayer, and its in the â€˜most popularâ€™ TV on iPlayer section) is how little traditional ratings might mean for this show. Itâ€™s sci-fi, which means a passionate core audience. And itâ€™s the BBC, so iPlayer might be the way to swing it.