SF elements: technobabble
  1. season 1 . 2008

2008 / DVD

20 x 45 min episodes

season 1 review

FBI agent Olivia Dunham is on the team investigating a flight where everyone on the plane died of some strange infection. Her investigations lead her to Dr Walter Bishop -- literally a mad scientist, incarcerated in a mental institution for the last 17 years. With his help and that of his equally genius, equally maverick, estranged son Peter, she discovers that Mysterious Things are happening, in a Pattern. They gets co-opted into a team investigating all this; maybe, or maybe not, working for the sinister Massive Dynamics corporation.

We lasted five episodes before giving up.

For the most part it's well-acted, pacey nonsense, with weird happenings, spooky are they/aren't they aliens, strange gadgets, quirky moments, and lots of running around investigating. I like this kind of nonsense: after all I watched all nine seasons of X-Files , I enjoyed all five seasons of Alias , I'm watching FlashForward . My watching nonsense credentials are well established. But here the technobabble is just so excruciatingly insufferably bad . Because actually it's not proper technobabble ; instead it appears to be an attempt at a plausible explanation. It fails. Badly. Utterly. Look, for this kind of pseudo-scientific plot-line, it's better to be mysterious and enigmatic, letting the viewer fill in their own explanations, than explicit and ridiculous, causing the viewer to snort in disgust at the preposterous gibberish. Also, the cliched scientist who knows everything about all branches of, in this case, "science", is just lazy plotting.

Sorry, I've got other better nonsense to watch...

Rating: 6
[ unmissable | great stuff | worth watching | mind candy | waste of time | unfinishable ]

reviewed 2 May 2010