February 8th, 2011

BBC’s Outcasts Review

Our British Nerd, James Hayward, comes at us again with another review, this time of the new BBC series, Outcasts.

British Sci Fi can be a little hit and miss but what the Brits lack in big budget special effects, they’ve, more often than not, compensated for with rich characters, interesting plots and snappy scripts. Of course, like any other country, some god-awful poop gets released here once in a while (Primival I’m looking at you) but in general standards are high.

So it was with some reasonably held expectations that I tuned into BBC’s new Sci-Fi series, Outcasts, last night.

I wasn’t disappointed.

In a nutshell, this is a show set in a universe where the people of Earth have done themselves in…(as in a full scale apocalypse extinction-level event). We don’t actually get a clear idea of what transpired but tangential comments in the first episode seem to indicate a US-China nuclear war precipitated the demise of mankind thereby leaving the planet all but inhabitable. Evidently, after the apocalypse, humanity built itself some rough and ready spaceship lifeboats in order to ‘abandon planet’. The destination was Carpathia; the hostile and unknown word upon which the show is set.

We enter the fray as the story picks up 10+ years after the event. Things seem both bleak and hopeful at once as the new colonizers face the challenges of their new home. The pace of the first show is reassuringly measured, with a generous amount of scene setting and character build up. The occupants of the first ship are predominantly Brits but we learn that the second evacuee ship is on the verge of arrival. IMDB indicates that Eric Mabius (of Ugly Betty fame) is aboard so perhaps this will represent ‘lifeboat USA’? In any event, the feel of the Carpathia colony is decidedly British with witty tea banter and stiff upper lip moments abundant in equal measure.

Taking a leaf from the mood of Battlestar Galactica (along with Jamie Bamber, who features heavily in the first episode), Outcasts looks like it will cover similar ground regarding the moral relativism of governance and the precarious balance between group security and individual liberty. The colony President, superbly portrayed by Liam Cunningham in the first episode, has clearly taken some grim decisions in his time.

Outcasts has started well and I have faith in the pedigree of writer/director Ben Richards, (whose resume includes writing the highly compelling BBC spy –series “Spooks”)  to continue to develop what looks like a fascinating drama series.

Outcasts is currently only viewable on UK television but keep your eyes peeled for its imminent arrival to US screens via the BBC America Channel.

James Hayward

All content © 2009-2010 by Chronicles of the Nerds




This episode is…more than meets the eye. I’m sorry. I’ll never do that again. We talk about the history of the franchise, how the hell it survived, our experiences with it, and its secret to success. To downlo...
by admin


The Last Jedi

Well, we’re back. We said we would be, and here we are. New format, new schedule, new people, new everything. Joining us this week to talk about The Last Jedi is Matt Koenig (Super Geeky Play Date), and Dan Tabayoyon. We ...
by admin


Podcast 300.Infinity: Goede Fund Me

We got back together for an extra special episode. Long-time listener and friend, Brandon Goede, has recently been hit with some major health issues. This has caused him to miss weeks of work, and the medical bills will be pili...
by admin



Podcast 299 (5/7/16)

Joining us today is the Star Pilot himself, Kielen King. We talk hip hop, Captain America: Civil War, and movies in general. I’m glad after 299 episodes, we still still call a new episode one of the best yet. Next week it...
by admin


Podcast 298 (4/30/16)

We’re getting so close to the end. This week, The Doctor Andrew Hill joins us to talk about how to keep yourself healthy at your next convention. Other than that, it’s basically just us doing what we do best. I̵...
by admin