Utopia // Channel 4’s Cinematic Epic


“How long before they find you?”

So it was this time last week that I first saw Channel 4’s new boundary crossing drama Utopia and where I was at first left to wonder what really to think about it by the end of episode one I was drawn in completely into this mysterious world. Anyone who knows me would probably say the show is very ‘me’ – it’s astonishingly pretty to look at which is refreshing for a tv-show on British TV with only a few dramas really crossing that glossy barrier that can export well abroad and as for the context, even though tonight’s episode (Episode 2)was less on the shock/gory side the plot seems to be so confusing and twisted at the moment you can’t help but get wrapped up in it.

In a weird way it reminded me of Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror with the opening episodes seeming to set up a lot of weird theories that will, I hope, get concluded now in the following episodes. I think maybe I associate the two because of the context and style they share. It also makes me think back to how Misfits was when it started and refreshed that whole teen drama. TV seems to be full these days of costume dramas and same old same old kind of series that when something like Utopia comes along it really does make you want to watch it.

I honestly can not say I know where the plot is going however. Everything in it at the moment is so confusing and very little has been given away that it would be impossible to predict but the series has a clear direction and I think it is about time we had something like this on English TV that looks this impressive, it is easily comparable to that gloss Sherlock has on BBC1.

Something interesting I have read about the series is that it’s set in London but shot entirely in Liverpool. I was surprised to see Nathan Stewart-Jarrett starring in the serial though as I would never have thought he’d go on to much else after ending up as ‘the boring one’ on Misfits. His character, Ian, here however is very modern and again, fresh and different. My favourite character at the moment though has to be Grant, the schoolboy. In a way he reminds me of Shawn from This is England and I like the attitude he brings to the show that reflects the no mercy kind of themes.

The show seems to have a big role online with an ARG on the main site that (after answering a series of questions) will tell you how long you’d have before ‘they find you’ – I love stuff like this where the story continues with yourself and I hope with more episodes we get more stuff like it. The idea of being tracked is scary and already I am looking forward to the rest of the series, hopefully next week clears some stuff up!!!


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