OUTCASTS Series 1 Episode 3 Review

OUTCASTS (BBC) Episode 3

OUTCASTS Series Episode 3 – I’ve figured out the disconnect between my reviews of Outcasts and the comments they receive. While everyone else is likely looking at this from a general ‘is this supposed to be science fiction?’ point of view, I’m comparing it to the shows it reminds me of or that I’ve reviewed recently, namely Battlestar Galactica (season 3, naturally), The Event and other BBC fare such as Spooks and Silent Witness.

So I stick by the first two episodes being better than the BSG season 3 opening, I’m happy to accept that opening and closing a hundred storylines every episode is the done thing (á la the BBC series I mentioned above) and, let’s face it, if you’ve seen The Event, Outcasts is pure gold in comparison.

This week I’m going to try and be more objective. That said, episode 3 really is quite pants.

The entire episode revolves around a coming whiteout predicted in papers left to his wife by a scientist, Rosen, who died on the last transporter. Without these it seems the Forthaven folk wouldn’t have known of the impending whiteout, since they expected the cycle to have finished. Apparently no one looks out of their windows, since the sky has been doing a whole weird glowing thing. Besides, you’d think that with all the people constantly going out of the town, someone would have noticed something weird and reported it back. Like Fleur. Did she not take some sort of communication device with her?

I really want to know how they chose who would get onto an emergency shuttle and who wouldn’t. I’m fairly sure they mentioned it last week, but I still don’t get why they didn’t put the Nobel prize winning astroclimatologist – you know, the dude who knows about whiteouts – onto a shuttle. What good was his non-astroclimatologist wife going to be?

But then it seems that they did a pretty craptastic job of prioritizing all along, given that there are no other mathematicians in Forthaven and so they have to turn to Tipper. While this was obvious, cliched and pretty stupid, it gave us a lot of Tipper screentime. And whatddya know – he may be the most interesting character out of the lot. He’s nothing unique, but since the plot slowed to a snail’s pace this week, his little boy lost schtick was actually rather engaging.

But Tipper’s character wasn’t the only trope this week, oh no. We had the token gay who dies, the power hungry religious zealot (sorry, Julian, Gaius Baltar did it better), and the hallucinating leader. There were probably more, but I’m getting distracted by one little question:

What IS a whiteout? It’s some dust-electromagnetic-seismic thing that isn’t explained properly and doesn’t seem to make any sense. Reader, do you have the answer? Let us know in the comments if you have any insights.

So then there was a marriage (the bride’s taste in men leaves something to be desired), and some talk with the ACs, the most anticlimactic mass announcement known to mankind (is that all Tate could come up with to announce the survival of the ACs?), and then some of Tipper’s saccharine memories of his sisters, which, while a nice almost-ending for the episode, would probably have had more impact if they were alluded to and not actually shown.

I still think I’ve seen much worse on the BBC (The Deep comes to mind), but still, this was one episode of Outcasts that the series could probably have done without.

What did you think of episode 3? Let us know in the comments below!

Episode 4 airs tonight, 9pm on BBC One.

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