Utopia (2013–2014)
9.0/10
707
2 user 15 critic

Episode #1.6 

Time is running out, the gang must find Mr Rabbit and stop The Network before they release Janus. As a daring plan is formed, only one question remains - will the true secrets of Utopia finally be revealed?

Directors:

Alex Garcia Lopez, Wayne Yip (as Wayne Che Yip)

Writers:

Dennis Kelly (creator), Dennis Kelly | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Adeel Akhtar ... Wilson Wilson
James Fox ... Assistant
Paul Higgins ... Michael Dugdale
Geraldine James ... Milner
Emilia Jones ... Alice Ward
Neil Maskell ... Arby
Simon McBurney ... Donaldson
Fiona O'Shaughnessy Fiona O'Shaughnessy ... Jessica Hyde
Alistair Petrie ... Geoff
Alexandra Roach ... Becky
Nathan Stewart-Jarrett ... Ian
Oliver Woollford Oliver Woollford ... Grant
Ruth Gemmell ... Jen Dugdale
Anna Madeley ... Anya
Alan Williams ... The Tramp
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Storyline

Grant is delivered to the Corvadt headquarters where Letts' assistant attempts to extract his knowledge of Janus from his memory. In the meantime Dugdale finds out that Anya is a member of the Network, who was used as a honey trap to secure his cooperation and so he sets fire to the shipping warehouse housing the vaccine, destroying all the samples. The other group members arrive to save Grant, who kills the assistant as they all believe that he is Mr Rabbit. Jessica, however, is forced to kill Wilson because he has grown sympathetic to the Network's aim. With the vaccine destroyed and the assassin dead the group disbands. Dugdale and his wife prepare to adopt Alice whilst Becky, Grant and Ian head for the safety of the Scottish highlands. Jessica prepares to hand over the manuscript to Ms. Milner but she is in for a double shock. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

tape over mouth | See All (1) »


Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 February 2013 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39:1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

In the scene where Milner is using a suppressed Glock pistol, we can hear her pulling the external hammer, which this gun doesn't have. See more »

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User Reviews

Season 1: Surprisingly engaging season which works due to its style, pacing and brutal belief in its own world
14 January 2016 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

Someone recommended this show to me and I really knew nothing about it other than knowing the other person generally had taste I trusted. I almost skipped it when I looked on Metacritic and saw awful reviews, but it turns out there is some reality show of the same name (which is no good it seems!). The plot is a little bit X- Files as a group who met online around their shared interest in a graphic novel which appears to be very much rooted in fact, come together in real life. It turns out there is a second volume of this, which exists as one manuscript and will reveal more than the shadowy, all-powerful The Network are willing to have out there. As the group try to comprehend how much trouble they are in, they are assisted by Jessica Hyde – herself very much wanted by The Network. Meanwhile, a Ministry for Health adviser is pressured into using his influence to cover up his discretions – only to find himself equally at risk when he tries to push back.

The narrative plays out a high level conspiracy while focusing on the group as they get drawn into the hunt for the manuscript to try to uncover the identity of the person at the very top of it. In doing this it works surprisingly well. At the top level the details are general enough to paint a shadowy organization but without getting into the practicals of that. Meanwhile at the lowest level we have the payoff for that shadowy organization by virtue of the constant danger they pose and power they wield. These two elements work together well, and it is only in the middle where they meet where the plot holes form – specifically with lots of convenient writing where sometimes they are omnipresent, and other times they are not. How much this bothers you depends on how engaged in the narrative you are – for me I was into it and enjoying the show, so happy to go with it and not linger on such issues but just enjoy the overall ride.

It helps that the tone of the season is so well set and maintained. The first episode establishes it well, even in the opening scene. Two men enter a comic book store and calmly but sinisterly incapacitate everyone in it and then kill them. The first episode also contains a surprisingly brutal torture sequence of one of the main characters. Reading about the show, I noted that the show got lots of complaints for its violence – particularly a scene of a gun massacre in a primary school (which screened just a few weeks after the Sandy Hook shooting – which does seem insensitive scheduling, but then the US politicians seemed not to act in response to this, so why should Channel 4?). There are some reservations I had about some of the adult content, but generally speaking the violence was an important part of the show, and very well done. I say this because it was actually horrific, it was shocking, and it was oppressive to watch. It was not done in such a way that you felt the show enjoyed it, but rather that it emphasized the danger and callousness of The Network. A good comparison is with the recent film Kingsman, which features a violent massacre in a church; in that case though while it is horrific in content, the presentation feels like a comedic action sequence, and I thought it was terribly judged. With Utopia the violence is done very well to produce and maintain a sense of danger and tension which is key to keeping the viewer involved.

The season is presented with style, and good use of music to create a modern but ominous tone. The cast are also a key part of it working. Although not a lead per se, Maskell brings a lot of tragic menace to his character. O'Shaughnessy is closer to being the lead and her character is played with equal emerging fragility, which is effective. Stewart-Jarrett, Roach, Woolford, Higgins all fill their roles well, while Fox and Rea add a bit of brand recognition to the cast. Comedian Akhtar is probably one of the strongest in terms of character and performance thereof.

Utopia is not a perfect show, but I was really surprised by how engaging the season was, with a satisfying tone and a convincingly brutal belief in its own created world (even if a lot of the middle ground doesn't stack up).


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