Blu-Ray Review: Disappointing ‘Outcasts’ Not Worth Your Time

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CHICAGO – With so much great science fiction on the tube now from masterpieces like “Being Human” and “Torchwood” to enjoyable diversions like “Warehouse 13,” it’s one of the best times to be a fan of the genre. And so when a piece with a brilliant premise, talented ensemble, and high production values like “Outcasts” comes along, it’s tempting to assume that it will deliver on its potential like so many of its colleagues. “Outcasts” is nothing but a string of rising disappointments.

HollywoodChicago.com Blu-Ray Rating: 2.0/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 2.0/5.0

Synopsis:
“We have another chance - but will the human race make the same mistakes again?

After Earth is hit by catastrophe, humans become refugees on their own planet, a place now fraught with extreme danger … until a group of courageous pioneers were given a unique opportunity: the chance to create a new and better future on a distant planet called Carpathia. The city they built, Forthaven, is now the only refuge for those able to escape a doomed Earth.

President Tate, his core team of Stella, Cass and Fleur, and the expeditionaries Mitchell and Jack, have faced personal tragedy and conflict to develop the now thriving city. But as the last transporter from Earth approaches - with Tate’s rival Julius Berger and Stella’s daughter among the passengers - the fragile peace that was forged is about to be rocked to its core.

With loyalties tested and secrets uncovered, Carpathia’s humans struggle to cope with the planet’s volatile whiteouts, mysterious life forms and the presence of a hostile exiled group. Under such tensions, can they really avoid making the mistakes of Earth and build a better world on Carpathia?”

Outcasts was released on Blu-ray and DVD on August 16th, 2011
Outcasts was released on Blu-ray and DVD on August 16th, 2011
Photo credit: BBC/Warner Bros.

“Outcasts” opened its life on BBC One in February of 2011 with immense anticipation. The cast, the premise, the build-up — could this be the next great BBC sci-fi show? Initial reviews were poor at best but sometimes it just takes time for a show to find an audience. Time was no friend to “Outcasts,” as the show plummeted in the ratings, losing over 50% by the airing of what would end being not just a season but a series finale aired. What happened here? Where did it go wrong?

The failure of “Outcasts” solidifies the theory that television is all about the writing. If it’s not there, the best production values and most talented cast can’t save it. And the writing simply isn’t good on “Outcasts.” It’s a program that continuously defies the timeless rule of all fictional storytelling — show, don’t tell. Everyone in “Outcasts” is telling. Telling each other what they’re thinking, what they’re doing, and how important their show is to the social and cultural fabric. Rarely has a sci-fi program felt more self-important; more convinced of its own value to the medium. Sci-fi viewers are smart. They don’t want their themes underlined for them. “Outcasts” doesn’t just underline — it highlights, circles, and bold-faces as well.

Special Features:
o Outcasts: Reach Out To The Stars - Hear from the creator, producer, director and cast of the series
o Forthaven - Set Tour

“Outcasts” stars Liam Cunningham, Jamie Bamber, Jeanne Kietzmann, Eric Mabius, Hermione Norris, Ashley Walters, and Michael Legge. It was created by Ben Richards. The first (and only) season was released on Blu-ray and DVD on August 16th, 2011.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

By BRIAN TALLERICO
Content Director
HollywoodChicago.com
brian@hollywoodchicago.com

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