Utopia - BBC show that draws from Grant Morrison's Invisibles

Utopia written by Dennis Kelly and starring Adeel Akhtar, Paul Higgins, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Alexandra Roach and Neil Maskell.

First episode spoiler summary:
First episode spoiler summary

When five strangers from an online comic book forum agree to meet after one of them gains possession of the original manuscript for the unpublished second volume of the cult graphic novel ‘The Utopia Experiments’, they find themselves pursued by a shadowy organisation known as ‘The Network’ who are in pursuit of the manuscript and are willing to kill to track it down. While three of the forum members – Ian, Becky, and Wilson – meet in the pub, another – Bejan, the one who acquired the manuscript – is confronted and killed by two Network henchmen. The only witness to the murder is 11-year-old Grant, the fifth forum member, and when he flees with the manuscript, the henchmen give chase. Ian and Becky soon find they’ve been set-up for crimes they haven’t committed, while Wilson’s hacking skills attract the attention of Network henchmen Arby and Lee. As the trio’s lives begin to fracture, the world of civil servant Michael Dugdale is also torn apart as he is blackmailed by The Network. Just as things are looking increasingly desperate for Ian, Becky and Wilson, they come face to face with an enigmatic stranger.

Good stuff. Probably hooked but not completely sold just yet. Watched the first episode tonight, three more episodes available. Curious to hear other Qt3 reactions.

Oh yeah. I loved The Invisibles. I didn’t understand half of it, but I still loved it.

I watched the first episode because it looked Invisibles-esquey from the ads, but I found it curiously un-thrilling.

There’s no tension in it somehow, it’s a series of arty shots which look nice, and some cool but occasionally intrusive music, and a few interesting set pieces, some suitably chilling; but there’s so much visual and aural waffle, it just makes the whole thing drag, for me.

True, I’m 2.5 episodes in and feeling the same. It isn’t weird or intense enough.

Really like the casting, cinematography and music though.

I loved The Invisibles for a while, but felt it got a little stale and forced near the end.

Really? A kid on the run from two men, one of whom seems very obviously disturbed? The whole scene with the eye? It was edge of my seat all the way through the first episode.

I felt I ought to have been on the edge of my seat, but the way it’s made I just wasn’t, the cinematography (while good in itself) was more suited to an art film with a relaxed pace, and the music (while good in itself) too often attracted attention to itself. The result for me was that the way the story was presented was hampering the tension and momentum of the story.

I respectfully disagree, gurugeorge. Did you stick it out through the final episode? I was absolutely content with the ending and hope that they don’t bring it back for a second series.

Series 2 has started on Channel 4 in the UK (it’s a Channel4 show, not BBC). The first episode is a prequel to series 1 and will both spoil series 1 and will largely be be incomprehensible to anyone who hasn’t seen series 1. Episode 2 returns to the main characters from the first series. For the record I loved the first series, in a strange way it appealed to the Deus Ex fan in me.

Edit: Interview with writer Dennis Kelly:


There are ads for this all over London at the moment. Channel 4 seem to be pushing it hard.

If you’re interested and haven’t seen the first series, I strongly recommend watching that first. It’s still available for free on 4-O-D in rhe UK.

I deliberately watched the first episode of S2 before reading up on it, including this thread, and came away deeply moved and in awe. Haven’t seen episode 2 yet. Firstly, Tom Burke, whom I’d only just recently been introduced to through The Musketeers, is a very gifted actor and portrayed a complex, broken character who is very different from Athos. I loved his Athos but suspected he was being held back by the limited writing, and Utopia proves this. Secondly, not knowing what was going on for a while because I’d avoided spoilers, gradually and naturally coming up to speed on what everything meant and, at last, how connected with the first season (and, I assume, the rest of this season) was extremely satisfying. Yes, it’s cryptic and confusing, but it works. Thirdly, the art direction and cinematography is outstanding (as it was in S1). At first you assume they’re framing things the way they are just because of their visual style, but then you notice how much archive footage they’re using, and it suddenly makes perfect sense. They’re blending. I’ve never seen that before, or at least I can’t recall any other good examples of it (in television, at any rate). Now that I write this, maybe that would make a good Qt3 3x3: best use of archive footage in movies.

Hmm. My pick for that last note would be The Limey with Terrence Stamp.

So series 2 ended with the ‘bad’ guys apparently foiled again, but I’m not sure whether the ending was setting up a future series 3 or if the moral was that nobody lives happily ever after.

Holy shit this serious is good. I am 2 episodes into season 2 after watching an episode a day of season 1 but I can’t wait to finish it.

Season 3 cancelled :(

boo! This was sooo good

edit: consolation "A US remake of Kelly’s series, directed by David Fincher, is due to arrive on HBO in 2015.

Read more: http://www.denofgeek.com/tv/utopia/32432/exclusive-c4-s-utopia-won-t-return-for-series-3#ixzz3FkleqOIn"
They better get great actors, this show was almost perfectly executed.

Wow, never heard of this show except until clicking a link on youtube after watching the new Netflix Trailer for Black Mirror Season 3 (btw that looked awesome). This is GOOD! Am near the end of Season 1.

It’s conspiracy almost done right. Pacing can be a bit off, but some of the stuff they do in this series is pretty disturbing contextually and the show knows it. Conspiracy shows like 24 were disturbing but I don’t think they realized how disturbing they were in the context of ‘normal’ people. The Utopia writers are definitely up on there conspiracy theories.

Anyway if your want a good conspiracy show, check Utopia out! Sadly I read that HBO will not be doing a remake.