Series / Outcasts

Outcasts is a British SF show broadcast by The BBC in 2011, produced in collaboration with South African and German partners.

The series is about a group of colonists attempting to survive on a planet called "Carpathia", after Earth got nuked in World War III, which apparently was caused by a major confrontation between the USA and China over Taiwan. The hardness of the SF steadily decreases over the series. The initial tension develops from disputes among the humans about the best way of surviving and organising, with the majority of the colonists, led by President Tate, wanting to set up a stable community, and the military Expeditionaries, led by Mitchell Hoban, wanting to strike out further into unknown territory. But there are even more serious tensions between the standard-issue humans and the "Advanced Cultivars", genetically-engineered humans created to have a greater chance of surviving hostile environments. And there is also the question of whether the planet really is uninhabited by sentient life.

While the show has attracted some fans, it received some strongly negative responses from other SF fan commentators, and generally hostile reactions from the mainstream press reviewers. From the sixth episode on, it was moved from its original weekday primetime slot to a desultory Sunday late-evening slot, suggesting that the BBC had pretty much given up on it. A second season looks unlikely was not commissioned.

Outcasts provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Fleur, who shows no hesitation in shooting people or chasing down suspects.
  • Action Mom: Josie Hunter definitely qualifies.
    • Stella's capable of being one, as we see in episode 5, but she's really more of the cerebral sort.
  • Alien Sky: Carpathia has two giant moons, that for some reason are only visible in the day time. They are bigger than Earth's moon, or closer, or both, but do not cause very high tides in the seas.
  • All-Natural Gem Polish: Carpathia seems to be awash with perfectly cut diamonds.
  • The Atoner: Cass.
  • Benevolent Boss: Tate tries to be this. He doesn't quite succeed. Stella more or less hits it, though, as long as you don't cross her.
  • Bio-Augmentation: Of both the physical and mental kind.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Lily, right down to the sulking and stealing for attention.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Tipper, a self-described child prodigy. He's apparently the only one on Carpathia who can solve complex math formulae and equations.
  • Came Back Wrong: Josie Hunter, in episode 6, with a side of Cloning Blues.
  • Canine Companion: Pak's dog ( whatever it was).
  • Colony Drop: Possibly what's about to happen 2 seconds after the final credits roll, as a massive landing craft blindly heads straight for Forthaven.
    • More likely it was a troopship carrying an occupation force.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: PAS officers wear blue, XP's wear white/brown. You can tell Berger is evil because he tends to wear pinks and purples.
  • Cosy Catastrophe
  • Cowboy Cop: Cass, frequently. Although his lapses from the rulebook are often motivated by believing in the innocence of someone who his bosses think needs to be locked up.
    • Jack is bordering on a dangerous example of this. His ordering the assassination of Rudy just may be his Moral Event Horizon.
      • He does all right in the end, though, when he stops Berger, using his power as interim president.
  • Curse Cut Short: From the pilot-
    Tipper: I'm the voice of liberty.
    Cass: Well, I'm the voice of f-
    Stella: Deep brain visualization, have you heard of it, Tipper?
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Cass, who apparently owes Tate for something.
    • ... which is covering up his real identity: Tom Starling, convicted child murderer. He'd never have gotten on the transport if not for Tate.
  • Dead Star Walking: Jamie Bamber as Mitchell Hoban.
  • Disney Death: Marie Dougherty, when Stella chooses to give her the C-section.
  • Doppelgänger: The duplicate Josie.
    • Tate gets one in episodes 7 and 8. Apparently it's a life-form that can look like anyone.
  • Earth That Was
  • Evilutionary Biologist: Tate, for creating the ACs.
  • Fake-Out Make-Out: Cass and Fleur, in episode 8.
  • Fantastic Racism: The whole "Advanced Cultivar" situation.
  • Follow the Leader: Huge tonal, visual, and plot similarities to twenty-first century Battlestar Galactica. Someone was obviously impressed.
  • Foreshadowing: A few people have said they "know who [Cass] really is", including Mitchell. It finally comes to a head in episode 7, where it's revealed he's a former criminal, guilty of murder.
    • Richard's dead children that he's been seeing? They're not a hallucination. They're the planetary entity trying to get inside his head.
  • Genetic Engineering Is the New Nuke
  • Gold Fever: Pak deliberately causes an outbreak with his diamonds.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Jack, in episode 8. Is he on Berger's? Is he on Tate's? He flips about three times before the climax.
  • Hostage Situation
  • Hot Scientist: Stella.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: So far, Tate seems to consist entirely of this and use it as his justification in regards to his severely sketchy treatment of the AC's.
  • Inferred Holocaust: No one is likely to survive a hit from that transport ship.
  • Jurisdiction Friction: Supposedly, PAS (Protection and Security, headed by Stella and Cass) has control of everything inside Forthaven while the XP's (Expeditionary Forces, headed by Mitchell and Jack) handle everything outside. Needless to say, it doesn't work that smoothly.
  • The Main Characters Do Everything: Probably inevitable, given the small number of people on the colony.
  • Mama Bear: Josie.
  • May–December Romance: Stella and Tipper, though it may have just been a one-time thing.
  • Meaningful Name: Cassius Cromwell, who is not an innocent man, named for two of history's greatest betrayers (Cassius, murderer of Julius Caesar; Oliver Cromwell, genocidal dictator).
  • Mental Picture Projector
  • Mohs Scale of Science Fiction Hardness: May be anywhere between 3 and 5, depending on how far Carpathia is from Earth.
  • Mountain Man: Pak.
  • My Greatest Failure: Tate exiling and attempting to wipe out the A Cs after having created them in the first place. Cass working for the cartels on Earth and killing a young boy.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Stella, who seems to be a neurologist, meteorologist, medical doctor, and geneticist, and Tate, who knows biology, medicine, and agriculture, but is also called a "geneticist". Possibly a side effect of The Main Characters Do Everything.
  • Our Presidents Are Different: President Tate is President Personable on the surface, but is a Well-Intentioned Extremist underneath.
  • Parental Abandonment: Lily feels Stella abandoned her for fifteen years.
  • Pedophile Priest: Some squicky insinuations about Berger.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Tate and Stella.
  • Recycled IN SPACE: It has elements of Lost IN SPACE!.
  • Romanticism Versus Enlightenment: Tate as Enlightenment, Hoban and the Advanced Cultivars as Romanticism.
  • Sadistic Choice: In episode 6, Stella has to decide whether to save Marie when she goes into shock, or perform a C-section, which has a less than 50% chance of saving her, but will save her child.
  • Scary Black Man: Jack and Elijah.
  • Settling the Frontier: The basic premise of the show is the settlement of Carpathia.
  • Ship Tease: Cass and Fleur. Tate and Stella. Berger and Stella, though that's more one-sided and politically-motivated on Berger's part.
  • Sinister Minister: Berger, what with the delusions of grandeur, accumulating political power, and implications of pedophilia. In episode 5, it's revealed he's definitely The Mole and also The Dragon for the new transport ship.
  • Sleep Cute: Cass and Fleur while on their trip with Pak.
  • Space Western: No Stetsons, but strong overtones in the setting and the philosophical divides among the characters.
  • Stay with Me Until I Die: Pak's motivation.
  • Team Dad: Tate
  • Team Mom: Stella
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Fleur, who was genetically engineered like the AC's.
  • Used Future
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: Both Richard Tate and Julius Berger believe this, but are polar opposites on how said utopia should be run.
  • Visionary Villain: Berger.
  • What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: The duplicate Josie. All of the planetary entities.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: In regards to the AC's, and in episode 8, in regard to the Omegas, like Fleur.