Review: Raised By Wolves Season 1 (2020)

A futuristic, post apocalyptic series with similarities to shows like Westworld and The Handmaid’s Tale.

PLOT AND STORY 

Earth has become uninhabitable and the two warring factions the Atheist’s and the Mithraic escape into space to find a new home. Both end up at the same planet Kepler-22b looking for a new start. The atheistic androids start a settlement to raise a new family with human embryos while the Mithraic live on their arc type spaceship.

Throughout the ten episodes we take quite a journey between the two factions as we learn about their past and see how they conflict in the present. What I enjoyed about the way this show has been written is that neither faction is portrayed as the good or the bad. They are different and both have good and bad qualities and it is very much down to the viewer to decide who they see as right or wrong.

There are two sets of characters we follow as the main characters in the series. Firstly the Atheistic androids called Mother and Father who raise human children in a new settlement. Even though they are androids the show takes us through a whole range of emotions as they deal with the trials and tribulations raising children whilst learning about social and emotional feelings.

The second set of characters we follow are the Mithraic, mainly husband and wife Marcus and Sue who struggle to deal with the loss of their son. Living within a religion they never quite believed in makes their journey even harder as they are constantly on their toes worrying about the threat from the Androids and also from the deep believers within their own religion. 

Series creator and writer Aaron Guzikowski has built a very interesting universe which I’m very keen to explore further. I found the first 8 episodes to be excellent. They were brilliantly well paced, layered with gripping plots. Unfortunately the last 2 episodes seemed to lose their way a little and create what felt like a disappointing ending. The series builds and builds throughout and although some questions get answered, by the end I felt as though I still had more questions than answers. 

PRODUCTION AND DIRECTION 

Raised by Wolves has the same production value of shows like Game of Thrones and Westworld. With Producer and Director Ridley Scott involved you can see his style throughout with many similarities to movies like Aliens, Prometheus and The Martian. A science fiction show which gives a view of the possible future steeped in war and destruction. This isn’t a new concept but it’s executed in a way that feels like a big budget Hollywood blockbuster which makes me happy to see TV networks investing in shows like this.

The visuals on this show are incredible with vast alien settings and futuristic technology whilst embroidered with a very biblical tone. The vast majority of the show is set during the day which makes a nice change as it means everything is clear and present. Very often shows or movies like this spend most of the time in the dark making it hard to see what’s going on, so I give major credit to the cinematography and lighting team on making these decisions. 

CAST

I have nothing but praise for a cast filled with experienced yet mostly unknown actors. Amanda Collin plays the part of Mother, an android who is programmed to raise and protect human children and is brilliant. Portraying an android who is learning to feel and deal with emotions is no easy task but Collin gives a very convincing performance as does her on screen partner Abubakar Salim, who plays Father. Salim was my MVP for the series who I thought had a flawless performance. He creates an android character who you shouldn’t care about but by the end became the one I was most concerned for.

On the Mithraic side our two main characters are Sue and Marcus played by Niamh Algar and the biggest name on the show Travis Fimmel. Algar I found to be well cast but didn’t get as much opportunity to stretch her performance like the other actors. She really comes to the forefront towards the end of the series and has some emotional scenes with Amanda Collin which for me were her best scenes in the series. I have been a fan of Travis Fimmel since I discovered him on the show Vikings and often wonder why he hasn’t made the leap to movie star yet. He again delivers a mesmerising and varied performance but if like me you have watched the show Vikings you will see this role very similar to his character Ragnor. I read a review before watching this series which said “Fimmel is just Ragnor in space” and I would agree with that assessment. 

FINAL THOUGHTS 

This is a story about Religion and Parenting told through the lives of Androids and soldiers in space and although the ending might feel a little disappointing it leaves you wanting to see more.

I watched this via Sky Atlantic and received no incentive to review this show.

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