Utopia will follow a group of people who find themselves in possession of a manuscript of a cult graphic novel. The tome is rumoured to have predicted the worst disasters of the last century and the group soon find themselves targeted by a shadowy organisation known only as The Network.
Utopia creates its own genre. If I come up with A meets B meets C, I have to go on till Z and still not capture what it does. Let me start by describing those little things that are rarely noticed in any TV series.
The opening credits generally start with a wide-angle shot with the camera in a fixed position. You start noticing some activity occurring in a tiny part of the screen. After you watch a couple of episodes you realize that this nearly inconspicuous details pretty much captures the essence of where that particular episode is heading, without giving enough details in order to keep you enticed till the end.
Color – Many of the propos in the series have simple but very gaudy color without any sort of design. Without you realizing it, you start associating these props with certain characters or certain types of situations (especially the gore that can potentially follow). In general the visual assault doesn’t just occur because of the ‘occasional’ gore but also because of the particular choice of hues accented in the editing of the videos.
Props – from chocolate covered raisin to a spoon (a non-descript type) to a comic book with a very modern artwork, multiple props become characters in their own right. At the end of season one you only need to see the prop to realize what it means.
Camera work – Still shots are introduced to create anticipation, anxiety and apprehension in our mind. POV shots with jerky movements create a dizzy sense of adrenalin rush. Low angle shots give you a sense that a particular character is completely powerless.
Music – one of the coolest music score ever given in a TV series. So apt for the general theme of the series. It is dark and sinister with an upbeat tempo!
I’ve talked about the parts that are never ever reviewed, in order to give you a sense of how different this series is. Story, Direction, Acting, Casting and Editing – watch the series to draw your own conclusion but I would consider this as the cutting edge of TV today. It is a series that will have a cult following and at the same time will be taught in visual arts schools and colleges.