Outcasts (2011) is a BBC science fiction drama created by Ben Richards. There are eigh 50-minute episodes. The season ends with a cliff-hanger, but it was not picked up for a second season. Despite its poor reception in the UK, Americans can get a hold of Outcasts pretty much anywhere. It’s on DVD in both region 1 and 2. Google Play has it for $2/episode. It’s on iTunes. It’s on Amazon Instant, both SD and HD. It’s also on Netflix, currently both discs and streaming. Vudu has it for $15.
It’s the future. Earthlings have colonized another planet. Humans are being genetically engineered. There is sci-fi danger everywhere. But, oh, it is age-old human weakness and greed that will be their downfall! Classic science fiction format. Too bad they couldn’t come up with a unique angle for the show. Action centers around the makeshift government. There are leaders: Tate (Liam Cunningham) is a president whose children were killed by a C23 virus; Stella (Hermione Norris) is the sympathetic, brainy commander with family on board the incoming ship. There are expeditionaries: Jack (Ashley Walters) helps protect the planet, with brute force as necessary. There are also rebels and bad guys: Tipper (Michael Legge) is the obnoxious, rebellious boy-genius with his own radio show; Berger (Eric Mabius) is up to no good; a group of genetically enhanced people called ACs have been banished after being wrongly accused of carrying the C23 virus. None of these people are particularly interesting.
What makes the show worth watching is the relationship between police officers Cass (Danny Mays) and Fleur (Amy Manson). They may not be central to the plot, but they are the heart of the show and carry the theme. We learn all too late (in the last episode or two) that what the show is really about is identity. Can Cass overcome his secret past and be the person he wants to be for Fleur? What faith can one have in one’s self if their personality has been meticulously engineered? Will Cass and Fleur just live happily ever after already? That’s all we want, after all.