Set in the year 2060, the Beeb’s latest
jaunt into science fiction takes place on the distant planet Carpathia,
where the last remnants of humanity have gathered following a nuclear
holocaust on Earth.
The bulk of the population resides in the
pioneer town of Forthaven. Carpathia has only been settled for
approximately a decade, so the new residents are still making
discoveries, many of them, as the series progresses, quite shocking.
Also joining the party are Advanced Cultivars, a race of artificially
created humanoids who are blamed for a deadly plague which broke out
shortly after arrival on Carpathia, Expeditionaries, whose job is to
explore humanity’s frequently hostile new abode, and those aboard CT-9,
likely the last transporter that will reach Carpathia from Earth
The premise of humanity fleeing a ruined
Earth and colonising a distant solar system is an unoriginal but
fascinating one, and resonates particularly in a modern human psyche
wearied of war, the threat of nuclear tyranny, the destruction of the
environment, and so on. The actual execution of Outcasts is,
however, somewhat lacking, and what could have been one of the sci-fi
standouts of the last decade frequently descended into a morass of
boring exposition, bland characterisations and equally uninspiring plot
Viewers in its native UK evidently agreed,
with ratings plunging by two thirds over the course of the show’s
8-episode run and the BBC, after relegating the series to Sunday nights
from its previous primetime slot, wasting no time announcing the show
had been axed. The series did have its fans early on, such as The
Independent’s Brian Viner, who praised the show as well written,
smartly directed and splendidly acted, words which now adorn the box
cover of the two disc Blu-ray edition and which he may well have
regretted a couple of episodes down the track.
The special effects are frequently stunning
and fans of the genre fill find much to recommend Outcasts.
Ultimately though it’s rather niche and far from engrossing, and, worst
of all, fails to live up to a premise that should have been thrilling
and rife with drama from the outset.
Audio & Video
Aspect Ratio: 1080i 16:9 HD
Audio: English DTS HD-MA 2.0
Subs: English SDH
Outcasts – Reach Out to the Stars
Forthaven Set Tour