As an American who prides himself on watching the very highest quality television programs both domestically and from abroad, "Utopia" has quickly found a well deserved position on my current list of top ten television shows, alongside "Breaking Bad", "Game of Thrones", "Doctor Who", "Sherlock", "The Walking Dead", "Sons of Anarchy", "Misfits", "The Killing" and "Mad Men").
SPOILERS-SPOILERS-SPOILERS-SPOILERS------SERIOUS SPOILERS BELOW!!!!! PLEASE DO NOT CONTINUE READING IF YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY SEEN THE ENTIRE FIRST SERIES OF "UTOPIA"
While the acting, writing, directing, cinematography, editing and scoring are all excellent, I find myself drawn to the darker aspects of the series. Neil Maskell is, simply put, an astonishing actor, demonstrated in his profoundly moving ability to make "Arby" into a sympathetic character. I would personally love it if the show would be daring enough to portray Arby as one of the (anti?)heroes in series 2. After all, If what we've seen thus far is to be believed, then Arby is learning, developing a conscience, and still an exceedingly formidable opponent to anyone in his way. I, for one, would think that he wouldn't take kindly to the news that his sister has been abducted. I would love to see the team have to work alongside Arby, against a newer, adapting version of the Network (of course Wilson is with them now). This brings me to the second extremely dark aspect of the show... why would Wilson be working for the Network? What about his father? or even his eye? Ummm, maybe because they're right. I think their methods are deplorable and even horrific, but I'm sorry... that, in and of itself, does not necessarily mean that their long-term agenda is wrong. Do the ends justify the means? Sorry, I'm a pragmatist so yes, sometimes the ends do justify the means. While "Utopia" may be a fiction, the truth is ...global over-population, fuel and/or energy depletion and our collective inherent inability or unwillingness to meet the needs of the starving in a truly lasting and meaningful manner are all issues that will eventually have to be dealt with ...one way or another. The final aspect of darkness that impressed me with this show is the fact that they were brave enough to do "that scene". I hate to admit this as an American, but it is true that an American television show would most likely have cut the scene out entirely, particularly after the tragedy at Sandyhook. I commend "Utopia" for being brave enough to stand by the integrity of the story. I say this not because I enjoy violence, but because it was the major turning point/catalyst in Arby's pathway back toward humanity. I say this also because it was the single most courageous, powerful and profound moment in all of series 1 ...and I say this because looking at that scared little child hiding his eyes, well ...let's just say that Arby wasn't the only one brushing away a tear.
Thank you Utopia for making me happy, sad, curious, angry, astonished and more ...but most of all, thank you for making me think. That happens so rarely with television programs these days.
PS - BRING BACK "THE FADES" FOR SERIES 2 AND 3