Should You Give Outcasts a Second Chance?

By Heather Hughes

Feb 16, 2011

For many people, the first episode of Outcasts was their last. Millions tuned out, complaining it was slow and dull, making this Monday’s instalment less popular than ITV’s Biggest Loser--a huge blow to the BBC. The broadcaster is so disappointed with the show, in fact, it was revealed today that it's moving the show to a late-night (10.25pm) Sunday slot, from next week.

Things are looking up for the series, though. Four episodes in and we’re still being teased about the true intent of one of the most interesting characters--Julius Burger. He’s obviously a bad guy, but to what extent? Even after last night’s AC-heavy episode it’s Burger who remains the main reason to watch. He’s mysterious, creepy and extremely well acted by Ugly Betty’s Eric Mabius.

New sci-fi developments are also emerging. Last night’s episode smoothed out the experimentation storyline, while introducing the concept of seeing the dead (which we’re hoping isn’t about ghosts but a more unique arc, perhaps about the effects of their mind-reading machine). It certainly looks more like a hallucination at the moment.

Some early storylines have been abandoned without explanation: where did annoying Tiger boy go? Why has no one asked where his dad is? While this is frustrating, it does mean that we’re now left with a show that has a distinct direction. Excess baggage has been discarded, leaving us with a seemingly smooth ride ahead.

Don’t get your hopes too high though; the series is far from perfect. Despite its best efforts, Outcasts will never be Battlestar Galactica. It still looks cheap in places and the unlikely events, which frustrated so many at the start, still occur on Capathia--just less regularly.

For those who’ve stopped watching, here’s what you’ve missed (look away now if you don’t want things spoiled): There’s been an enormous white out (sand storm) that’s destroyed a few buildings, killed a couple of unimportant people and, most notably, proved there’s something strange going on on the Outcasts’ new home planet. A fossil of a human skull has been found, and the Advanced Cultivars have Jekyll-like behavioural spasms which make them hit out when they’re scared, because President Tate used to experiment on them.

Will you give the show a second chance?

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  • holidaycarter Aug 14, 2013

    I have now watched the entire first season & would defiantly like to see more. It is true that it started out rather slow, but has improved in the last two episodes.

  • SeadriveCimma Apr 10, 2012

    I just completed series 1 on Neflix Canada and must admit that the show started out quite slow indeed. However, the next episodes were quite good and very interesting. I would rather a show start out slow and get better than the opposite, which often occurs. The script is quite logical, the characters are well created and like most British shows, the acting is superb. It's utterly amazing that well written shows like this and "Firefly" are cancelled while so many terrible, poorly written shows achieve success. Does everything require regular profanity and nudity to become successful today...can anyone explain how "Baywatch" survived?

  • cryogen72 Mar 23, 2011

    Best SciFi story around these days, its really a bad thing to kill it now when its just developing. Alas I seen many good shows canceled and I don't expect the Jericho phenomenon happening again :(
    I think the plot is tight and we have a really good storyline which would be bad to be left not finnished. About comparisons, every series has it's pros and cons, BSG wandered to and fro on many ocasions... let's not start talking about Firefly, that is a myth screaming to be brought back.

  • EvilNubia Mar 01, 2011

    Well i have to say that i am really starting to enjoy this series. Yes at first i wasn't fussy about it. The first episode was slow and unlike other series there was no real hint at the plot giving away no real idea where this was going to go. At the end of the episode i was in no real rush to watch the next. However, after trying out the next few episodes i've found that i am now addicted to the series. I believe the slow release of information really allowed room for the development of characters. For example the plot is continually supplying hints of the true nature of the characters which continue to surprise me. As well as this the slow plot development is keeping us on our toes. I really want to find out what exactly is going on on Carpathia. Are their aliens? Were there humans there before? etc. It's annoying yet very satisfying how the viewers are only being given a small amount of information in each episode. Overall I'm finding this series really interesting (even new). I can understand why people switched off after the first episode but i thoroughly suggest viewers to give it another go. If you don't like it, you don't like it. This seems to me to be more like a movie rather than a series which is fresh.

  • Spoontown Feb 16, 2011

    I dont get the constant comparisons with BSG. In one humanity is being chased mainly through space by cylons after leaving the colonies which are all fictional planets, in the other humanity has left earth to find a new home. Is it really that Jamie Bamber was in the first episode? If so then that is just sooo lazy it's not even funny. It's nothing like BSG which, aside from brief periods, was completely set on Galactica, the name sort of gives it away. Please stop mentioning the classic BSG when talking about a new British show. Getting back to Outcasts there is a good story being hampered by a lack of money and script editing, the guy that created it needs some other people to bounce stuff off. There were some really interesting bits in the first couple of episodes, and then some really annoying dumb bits of dialogue (the presidents speech to the transporter for one) and plotting. I really enjoyed Survivors and would much rather have had a 3rd series of that than Outcasts, but I will watch the rest and see if it improves, and also see if I can spot anything that reminds me of BSG........

  • big-boss-91 Feb 16, 2011

    i like the idea of humanity trying to survive after losing earth on a alien planet but outcast's delivery is not perfect, the story-line needs smoothing out, faster pace (battlestar galactica was facer paced than this) and don't make the plot obvious!

  • mermayd Feb 16, 2011

    Hmm. The fact that nobody has commented on this article speaks volumes. I'd rather watch youtube frankly. Shame.