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The Innocents (Netflix) (1 Viewer)

Adam Lenhardt

Senior HTF Member
Feb 16, 2001
Albany, NY
The latest atmospheric science fiction show from Netflix, The Innocents follows two British teen runaways who quickly discover that one of them possesses an immense superhuman power.

It reminded me of Midnight Special, both with cinematography (including a lot of epic landscape shots) and the permeating sense of dread. Sam Hazeldine's character, in particular, owes a big debt to Michael Shannon's character in that film.

It also reminded me of "Cloak and Dagger", the recent Marvel series on Freeform, in that it is about black boy and a white girl growing closer to one another while dealing with their own separate, very adult baggage -- which may be more closely tied together than they would suspect -- and the sudden and unplanned emergence of superpowers.

The premiere I found tiresome, with the opening scene giving away the game to the audience and then the rest of the episode spent with our protagonists catching up to us. But the show picks up steam as it goes on, and the back half of the episodes had me completely engrossed.

Barring the final five minutes, which set up a tremendous cliffhanger for a potential second season, it tells a complete story with a satisfying conclusion.

Scottish actress Sorcha Groundsell and English actor Percelle Ascott play the two teens. Guy Pearce is the biggest name, paying a psychiatrist who might be the Professor X these superhuman people need, or might be something far more insidious. Both are more than up to the task the whole way through.

The show is a strong character drama, with every action taken -- good or bad -- well grounded in their experiences, traumas, and desires. I never felt like any of the characters did anything because the plot required them to. It all seemed to flow organically from what had happened before.

The series is a British production through and through, with a significant amount of additional photography in the remote fjords of Norway. It was created and written (except for the sixth episode) by former literary agent Hania Elkington and storyboard artist Simon Duric. The fact that two people who have never been on a writing staff before, much less run a show, could achieve something this polished and sophisticated is pretty extraordinary.

Farren Blackburn ("Doctor Who", the various Marvel Netflix series) is the producing director, and the episodic director for six of the eight episodes. In conversation, his camera stays in close with the characters, capturing the nuances in their faces. But the show is also full of sweeping wide shots, first of the rural English countryside, later of the seedier parts of London, and finally the vast expanses of Norway.

Without spoiling anything, this is in some ways the reverse of "Orphan Black" while that show asked for tremendous versatility from its star, this show requires enormous versatily from everyone around its stars. The supporting cast ranges from solid to phenomenal.

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