Saturday, January 29, 2011


So, the BBC is starting a major new drama series.

Set in space with the future of earth looking increasingly precarious, the race is on in Outcasts to find an alternative home in the universe.

Apparently, to get to this alternative home the outcasts travel through some kind of tranporter, but,

Outcasts is a tense and fast-paced series about co-operation and conflict, idealism and power, sexual competition and love. Most of all it is about our life's big imperatives – cheating death, seeking suitable mates and surviving as a species.

And it is definitely not science fiction. According to the designer, James North, who previously spent 5 years designing sets for Dr Who, '...the BBC doesn't want to give the impression it's putting out a sci-fi show on prime-time BBC1. This is a futuristic drama with the focus on pioneering humans who, out of necessity, just happen to be living on a planet that is not Earth.'

Let me give my deeply considered opinion on the above statement: what a wanker.


Chris said...

Oh look, a rehash of "Triffids" or "Survivors" only with 'killer plants/the plague' replaced with 'in space'.

1) Expect the usual BBC drama stereotype character tickboxes and such scintillating, unexpected and non-loaded dialogue as:

"None of your old rules apply here."
"We have to do things a new way."
"There is no black and white; there are only humans."

2) £5 on the working class white guy and/or the openly Christian one being the villain.

3) No honesty sci-fi, assumption-confronting elements, just "The Archers" in a Welsh quarry.

vaudeviewgalor raandisisraisins said...

the plopline sounds familiar from hmm....everything else.

breaking news:

the implications were outlined (stolen from fiction) when Dragon started dumping eggs everywhere. more machetes ahead.

just started Coltrane's TALON. uh, this isn't sf so much as a hip James Bond kinda thing. i'm sucked in tho.

Afront said...

Just checked this on TV guide app Digiguide:

"Outcasts. Science-fiction drama series."

I'm just hoping it's nothing at all like Paradox, the last new prime-time BBC SF show.

Bob Lock said...

Probably a big mate of Margaret Atwood then...
Her stuff isn't SF either :P

Neal Asher said...

Chris, you missed out the essential inclusion of a member of the 'religion of peace'. And don't forget that whilst 'there is no black and white' only white heterosexual males are allowed to be evil.

Vaude, yeah, I remember enjoying Talon, which was why it got included in my SF collection.

Afront, if the BBC ever learns how to do SF it will have ceased to be the BBC we know.

I know Bob - none of that squids in space nonsense.

Ryan said...

It bugs me how awful most TV sci-fi is. There's never any consideration for how technology or different setting will change society and psychology. Its always cultural values circa 2000 with shiny gadgets bolted on. Dr Who is the biggest BBC example of this, it could be tens of thousands of years in the future on a moon orbiting a black hole and people would still be fulfilling roles normally found on eastenders

Andrew said...

The BBC can't do sci fi. They will water down a story so that it offends no one and then use really bad special effects, poor writing, bad acting and then terrible directing.

Just look at how bad spooks is. And they seem to be using the same actors in this.

The recent Dirk Gently programme started off like this, although it was saved by humour towards the end.

R Hartwell said...

Sounds like someone at the BBC dusted off their copies of NBC's 'Earth 2'.

Paul said...

Watch out for the who's who of BBC characters. The gay one, the ethnic minority (who may also be the gay one), the addict, the evil scientist white male, the butch warrior (who will hate but eventually befriend the gay one), the Muslim, the clever female, the less attractive female (who will have other worth attributes) and possibly the geek (young male, probably a model with glasses for the 'reveal' when he hits it off with the gay one, or the ethnic minority).

Neal Asher said...

Ryan and Andrew, too many people involved in the production of it that just don't get it, unfortunately.

R Hartwell, I don't know it but I wouldn't be surprised. And off they go to a planet called Caprica ... sorry, Carpathia.

Such cynicism, Paul. Didn't you know that even while the world is falling apart the immutable rules about diversity and multiculturalism fail to break down? We know this from that wonderful rehash of Survivors...

Phil M said...

And the most important's cheap, no fleets of exotic spacecraft, no multi limbed aliens. It's Eastenders on a different (painted backdrop)planet. I'll watch the first episode but probably not the rest.

ninjaguardsheep said...

"what a wanker"

- nothing further to add.

Disco Stu said...

Can't have scifi on prime time BBC!

Why shy away from scifi?

Every programme can't be a flippin soap!

Can you imagine a world without red tape and politics..?

Disco Stu said...

There will be 8 episodes apparently.

I'll be having a look - if I don't it hinders constructive moaning.