Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Outcasts (Episode 3)

This week Outcasts continues to deliver the same quality as it did in the last episode, not significantly improving but not as laden with depression as the first episode. Sure, some characters are still gloomy and there are still a number of deaths (all minor characters we've never seen before or extras) but it doesn't seem quite so hopeless. Not quite...

This week Forthaven had to contend with a large "whiteout" - a type of electrical dust storm - whilst Fleur headed out to return the ACs' baby and a couple of engineers (one of whom is due to marry Trix, an old flame of Cass) tried to secure the Earth communication aerial. For a minute I thought Leon, Trix's fiancé, was going to snuff it in the storm but, surprisingly for Outcasts, there was actually a happy ending - although his mate did die.

This episode seemed to concentrate on Tipper, the young genius who slept with Stella, as he was asked to decipher some notes about the whiteouts that Julius brought from some guy on the transport ship. Considering we have problems predicting the next days weather, how some guy predicted these whiteouts from millions of miles away I'll never know. Anyway, it gave Tipper something to do instead of lounging in his bleak, shack-like home listening to LPs on his turntable (where the bloomin' heck did he get that antique, I wonder?).

Anyway, the usually happy-go-lucky waster Tipper was now saddled with psychological problems due to the death of his four sisters. Coincidentally psychotherapist Trix was treating him, again reinforcing the fact that there only seems to be a few dozen people in Forthaven. What is with this programme that everyone has to have issues regarding deaths of family members? I suspect Trix is a busy, if not particularly successful, woman.

Talking of deaths, Tate comes clean to everyone that he ordered the deaths of the ACs, which will probably help Julius' standing in future episodes. He also seems to be hallucinating items - such as that tin cup - related to his dead children. So it seems that moving picture from last week was just Tate going a bit, well, mad and not something interesting, like latent telekinetic abilities. Also, is it just me or does his voice sounds like Patrick Stewart's?

In a similarly manner, the whiteout we saw in the first episode seemed somewhat unusual in the way it suddenly appeared and then sucked backwards disappearing. I thought perhaps there was something sinister with this but it seems these dust storms are just a natural phenomenon and will probably not feature much after this episode.

Which leads me to wondering where will Outcasts go from here. There no longer seems to be much of any mysteries to be solved. I suspect there will be something of a power struggle as Berger tries to usurp Tate's authority but otherwise what else is there to come? I have no idea where Outcasts is going. Heck, I don't even know why it's called "Outcasts" (although, I read somewhere that originally the Forthaven inhabitants were supposed to be convicts and criminals but the Beeb felt that we wouldn't empathise with them. Or something). Whatever, let's hope the hand-wringing deaths are played down a little from now on.

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