Netflix – 8 Episodes
Created by Jim Mickle, Beth Schwartz
Starring: Christian Convery, Nonso Anozie, Stefania LaVie Owen +
Sam Hawksmoor review
The best show on Netflix this year
This vision of post-apocalypse through a child's eye is a visual treat as well as totally engrossing drama.
The babies are a shock. Just when you think you’ve started an another post-apocalyptic pandemic series (The Stand also started with a lab leak I seem to recall, as did Covid 19 some say) but when you get to the newborn babies in episode one you know you are into something very different and totally original.
Christian Convery as Gus is just about perfect. He’s a boy and has all the optimism in the world and can’t believe that people ‘out there’ would want to kill him and mount his head on a wall. His ‘father’ has protected him from birth to age 9, taking him to a remote woodland and training him to hide from ‘humans’. Did I mention Gus has deer DNA and sports real antlers and deer ears. He has a keen sense of smell and is charming, loveable and optimistic. He's a hybrid. They started appearing at the same time as the virus broke loose. At first Gus believes a baby deer is his mother - the need for a complete family is very strong in him. The father recreates all his favourite childrens' books for Gus and educates him as best he can. Gus is lucky, other hybrids don't always get to learn to speak.
Outside in the real world, apocalypse is working it’s wonders and most people died and any baby that sports strange hybrid features is either abandoned or hunted and killed. Outside is not a nice place at all. Don’t go there.
But Gus’ father dies of the virus after leaving the woods one day and Gus is left to fend for himself. He’s ten. He’s probably not going to make it. He discovers a photo of someone he thinks is his ‘mother’. She lives in Colorado. He aims to go there, somehow.
Enter the crazies looking to make money out of hunting hybrids and the 'Big Man' who defends Gus.
I’m saying nothing more except this is the most bingeable series of 2021 and it’s full of surprises as well as all the apocalyptic tropes of armed militia hunting hybrids, communities burning anyone who shows symptoms of the virus and a weak doctor searching for the 'cure'. (Phew, we got lucky with Covid the burning didn’t catch on).
It's aimed at a DC Comic audience, there is violence but somehow the whole show is life affirming and visually stunning as you would expect for a series filmed in New Zealand. Nonso Anonzie as the ‘Big Man’ and Gus’ reluctant protector is magnificent in the Outlaw Josey Wales’ part. Is he a bad guy or good guy? There are other protectors out there but can they be trusted? Who will save the hybrids? I loved this series. I hope you will too.
Here's the trailer:
© Sam Hawksmoor June 16th 2021
Author of Mission Longshot download or order the print version