The Makers of MI-5 and Life On Mars Head To Outer Space

Kudos Productions – the peoplebehind Life On Mars,Hustle (see above), and MI-5 – is possibly the mostconsistent producer of quality TV drama on the planetright now. That’s why I’m beside myself with glee atthe announcement of their latest series,Outcasts, which will be set in outer space. Like most Kudos-produced dramas, it will air on theBBC. TheStage provides a preview:

“Penned by [MI-5] writer Ben Richards, Outcasts follows a group ofsocial misfits and criminals as they are used to test living conditionson a nearby planet when the future of Earth begins to look moreprecarious.”

Off the Telly culls a bit more background info fromthe BBC press statement:

In return for their “liberty”, a group ofsocial misfits and criminals are sent to be the pioneers of a large newsettlement on a near planet.

They contain a variety of different types – from thebrilliant deviant to the petty thief. They are the “outcasts”,fascinating but ultimately dispensable who must build the conditionsfor a new life.

Outcasts is a tense and fast-paced series aboutco-operation and conflict, idealism and power, sexual competitionand love. Most of all it is about our life’s big imperatives -cheating death, seeking suitable mates, and surviving as aspecies.

OK, what I like about this is that there’s not onemention of little green men. That whole Man vs. Alien conceit is a bittired. I do hope that Outcasts doesn’t become anextraterrestrial Lost and get caught up in its own narrative. Kudos has an opportunity to do a truly exceptional ensemble drama here, but there’salways the risk with sci-fi of getting too conceptualor plot-driven. But the folks at Kudos have yet to let me down with any of theirgenre-bending series. Ba-ba-ba-ba-baby, I can’twait!

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.

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