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Outcasts: Premiere

"What's the weather like on Carpathia?"

Outcasts is a new sci-fi series airing on BBC America. I saw the premiere last night. And mostly, I was confused. I felt like I didn't quite "get it." I kept feeling like there was a pilot that aired earlier that I missed. (I checked. There wasn't.)

The focus of the premiere episode was a guy named Mitchell (Jamie Bamber) who appeared to be suffering from multiple personality disorder but who was also part of a group that was planning some sort of coup. Why a coup? I never quite understood why this group felt such a strong need for an armed rebellion, just because they wanted to leave Forthaven. And now he's dead, already. I assume he was either a guest star, or there are going to be zombies? Eric Mabius was arriving on the escape pod, and he and Jamie Bamber feel a bit interchangeable, so that might not be a huge loss.

But why didn't they give us an origin story? Most science fiction needs more set-up than this; you don't jump feet first into an episode of heavy-duty personal drama when you're not yet clear on where you are and what's going on. You have to care about the characters before this sort of drama works. Television 101, people.

Since I'm complaining, I was also confused about why the arriving ship was in trouble. I also didn't get any feel for the planet Carpathia other than that it looked a lot like California except for white-outs, which seem to be bad. And there are new, unknown diseases, one of which killed a lot of the children after the initial landing. Which is sad, but doesn't make a lot of sense biologically.

And now I feel bad that all I did was complain. So I did a tiny bit of research and discovered that there are only eight episodes and it's already been canceled. And then I thought, maybe I shouldn't even bother posting this review. But it's already written. So here you go.
Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.


  1. I think I lasted maybe two episodes. It wasn't very good. And many of the cast were *very* irritating. No wonder twas cancelled!

  2. Great review. I laughed, and then laughed again.

    Hmm...should I watch this or the Hoarders marathon? Does Outcasts have smooshed cats? Because that's my sine qua non for good TV these days.

  3. I don't remember any smooshed cats, so I think I'd go with Hoarders, Josie. :)

  4. I must be the only one who liked Outcasts. I saw the whole series and was very disappointed that the powers that be cancelled it. Maybe that's the difference between British science fiction and American TV. We expect more action, more something. Most of the British scifi that I've seen is much more slowly paced and slower to develop. But that's okay. I like it.

  5. I also saw the whole series and liked it. Fleur and Cass in particular really grew on me and things do get very interesting a few episodes in. Having said that, where exactly the writers were going with it i have no idea and i have a sneak suspicion they didn't either.

  6. I lasted until about episode 6, but by then it was only on in the background. I wasn't really concentrating. I, too, intended to review this series. Then I saw it. Somehow, it just wasn't interesting enough. It was unmemorable. In fact, half way through reading your review I thought to myself "Oh, Jamie Bamber's in another turkey". I'd completely forgotten I'd already watched this series. According to wikipedia it aired over here in February. I'd swear that was wrong. It seems like ages ago that I was cursing it.

  7. I made it 15 minutes in, then gave up. I don't remember much of what I saw.

    Conclusion: if I can't remember what I've seen less than two hours after watching it, it's probably not for me.

    There was a piglet, though. Piglets are cool.

  8. A piglet, you say? You know, the show was so boring, not only can I not remember it, I'm starting to forget stuff in real life which featured in it. I can't even remember what a piglet is. There's were "people" in it, you say? Hmmm... I'll have to look that up.

  9. Paul, "people" have curlicue tails and adorable little faces.

    "Piglets" are comic, but think of themselves as tragic.


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