Utopia: Series 1, Episode 3 – Dork Review

Utopia: Episode ThreeIt must be a rollercoaster reading my Utopia reviews. In the first week, I declared it vague and style-over-substance, but last week, everything changed and I thought, actually this is building nicely, I am starting to get a feel for the characters, fair enough.

Now I’ve mentioned the rollercoaster analogy, you might be able to guess where I’m about to go. Some spoilers, check it out on 4OD if this offends you.

More Rabbit Please

In this week’s Utopia, everyone ran around looking for the same things they were looking for last week. A couple of them change hands, a few more minor characters died for the sake of it, and then the episode ended, leaving me faintly bored.

The direction is still lovely, good acting too, but the scavenger hunt nature of the plot wears thin. The best scenes were the ones with new character Milner, especially where she explained the origins of “Mr Rabbit” – disappointingly, not a real rabbit – and then, unusually, Milner made it to the end of the episode without having her brains blown out.

Oh, I also enjoyed the Jessica/Grant moments. But all in all, this felt like a well-made music video in which half-sketched characters about run around looking for stuff I don’t see the relevance of.

Kill The Kids, Spare The Eyes

I’m hard to offend with content, and no, I didn’t mind the scenes where kids were shot. TV shows can kill as many children as they want, as long there’s a point, but so far Utopia has just made me feel more indifferent to its deaths. Clearly everyone will be destroyed, so why get attached?

The horrible eye torture scene in episode one made me feel something, because the violence was still new. Nowadays, I’m not sure it would bother me.

Based on the standard structure of these things, the penultimate episode is where everything is explained, setting up for a huge survivor shoot-out in the finale. Which might still be good, but does that mean next week will be another session of aimless running? Hope not.

In the meantime, this is looking like a pretty but vacant effort. Will there be a series two? God, please don’t end this on a cliffhanger.

Nick Bryan

Nick learned to read and write at an early age. This has developed into an unhealthy need to either write stories or consume them for later dissection. He reviews film and TV on Dork Adore and The Digital Fix, lives in London and enjoys a nice white beer.

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