Should You Give Outcasts a Second Chance?

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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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