Curfew is a Sky One television series. It stars Adam Brody, Billy Zane and Sean Bean. In the U.S., the series is shown officially through Charter Communications Spectrum. In the U.K. it premiered on Sky One on 22 February, 2019.
Five years before the series takes place, a virus breaks out in England. The virus transforms its victims into violently feral creatures called "mooks", but the mooks also develop a sensitivity to light and are unable to go out in the daytime. To protect its citizens, the British government institutes the titular curfew from dusk 'til dawn. By the time the series takes place, the government has become terribly oppressive. Unfortunately, the people are unable to leave.
And that's where Max Larssen comes in. He's organized a race from London to Scotland with the prize being transport to his private island where the curfew and mooks don't exist. The racers must deal with not only the mooks and government agents, but each other as well.
Participants in the race include Kaye Newman, a paramedic whose former boyfriend is the only known person to be infected with the virus and not become a mook; the Donahue family, whose son discovered how the government is keeping people in check; "The General", who's trying to get himself and his pregnant girlfriend out of the country; Team Awesome, who are basically in the race for fun; and Lou and Hanmei, a mother and daughter seeking to escape like everyone else.
Curfew offers examples of a number of tropes, including:
- Anyone Can Die: The racers are in constant danger from the infected, the trigger-happy cops and each other. Out of the twenty four initial racing teams only a handful make it to the finish line alive.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: Simon Donahue looked into the race and determined the right moves to get his family to the finish line. Unfortunately, he doesn't live to see its fruition.
- The Big Race: It travels the length of the British isle and lasts all night (and seven of the eight episodes of the first season).
- Blatant Lies: At the finish, the Donahue family claims that Hanmei is actually Meg when they talk to Max. He seems to accept this even though he knows otherwise. They also claim that Faith's baby is Simon. Max accepts this as well, even though he knows otherwise. note
- Chronically Killed Actor: "The General" (Sean Bean) is killed in the third episode.
- Cool Car: Pick your poison. The race includes a BMW i8, Jaguar XJ-S, Ferrari 360 Modena, Porsche 911, Lotus Elise, Dodge Viper, Dodge Challenger, and a Myers Manx. Team Awesome's VW Type 2 Breadloaf and the Donahues' Volvo estate achieve coolness during the race. We also have the McLaren Michael was apparently going to enter in the race.
- Crapsack World: If the oppressive government doesn't get you, you still have to contend with the mooks. We have yet to see if this extends beyond England.
- Crazy-Prepared: Lou and Hanmei enter the race with a tow truck towing a pimped out Volkswagen Golf. It seems like one of the more eccentric entries until they crash into a bog. Then it turns out the Golf is their backup car.
- Danger Takes a Backseat: After Team Awesome help Faith with her flat tire, she leaves them and later discovers Cheese in the backseat. Downplayed in that it's Cheese.
- Down to the Last Play: The final dash has the Donahue family racing with Team Awesome right up to the final stretch. They finally manage to pass them on the last turn and take victory.
- Driven to Suicide:
- A flashback reveals that Faith used to be The General's nanny. While she was taking care of the children, one was bitten by a mook and Faith locked him in with the others. The child turned into a mook himself and slaughtered his siblings, resulting in him getting killed by the police. When The General's wife found out, she took a gun and shot herself in the head.
- After he's bitten by Dr. Newman, Grieves discovers he's infected and starting to turn into a mook. So, he jumps to his death, taking out one of the curfew timers in the process.
- Enemy Mine: It quickly becomes apparent that a key element of the race is knowing when to strategically team up with the other racers and when to go at it alone.
- Fun Personified: Team Awesome. They listen to "feel good" music while they drive. They have a member who dresses in a chicken suit. They engage in crazy stunts and make occasional use of psychedelic drugs. Oh yeah, and one of them is named Cheese.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: The General has a very nasty temper that he tries to keep in check because he promised Faith that he will do nothing to endanger their baby. He is particularly triggered by people calling him "a piece of shit". No one actually says this to him but he starts to misinterpret what people say to make it seems like they called him shit to his face. It is clear that he is simply looking for an excuse to release his pent up rage in a massive display of violence. A flashback shows him massacring a bank-full of hostages during a robbery because he deemed one of the hostages to be rude to him.
- He Knows Too Much: Roman Donahue finds out some unsettling things about the "mook" virus that's already caused something terrible to happen to his friend. This is why his father enters them in the race: to get them to safety.
- How We Got Here: Variation. Episode seven ends with Kaye and Michael coming upon Zane stumbling down the road dying from a gunshot wound. They later come upon the cars ahead of them at a gas station where they're hurredly ushered inside by the attendant. Inside, they find Meg Donahue dead of another gunshot wound, Faith in labor, the other racers looking scared, and Max among them. Episode eight opens with the racers, including Max, arriving at the gas station where Cheese tries to pour soda into the Donahues' gas tank. He's caught and a Mexican Standoff occurs. Cheese opens the soda bottle and a shootout occurs. Meg and Zane are hit as is Lou. The gunshots attract the mooks, so Lou and Hanmei leave while the gas station attendant herds everyone else inside.
- I Will Only Slow You Down: Why seriously wounded Lou asks Hanmei to leave her behind after their Golf gets stuck.
- Laser-Guided Karma: A flashback reveals that Faith was watching over "The General's" kids when one of them gets bitten by a mook. She locks him in the basement with the other kids while trying to defend them. The boy turns into a mook himself and slaughters his siblings. This in turn drives "The General's" wife to kill herself. A later flashback reveals that "The General" was Michael's accomplice in the bank robbery that led to Michael's accident and the outbreak.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: When Lou and Ruby go to the Browns' farm to get a new fuel line for the Volvo, Mr. Brown refuses to help while one of his daughters secretly gives them assistance. During this, she gets attacked by a mook and the others get into the house to attack her sister. We don't see the aftermath.
- Pregnant Badass: Faith is nine months pregnant and nothing will stop her from getting her baby to sanctuary. She proves herself deadlier and more ruthless than the General. She does not hesitate to kill the General when she deems him to be a threat to her and the baby.
- Professor Guinea Pig: Kaye's and Ruby's mother was a scientist working on the mook virus. After the test subjects start to go feral, she injects herself with the virus to further research it. She claims that the virus spreads too rapidly to get a new test subject.
- Sacrificial Lamb:
- Simon Donahue in the first episode. He goes out after dark to stop his daughter from running off with her boyfriend and gets killed by a mook.
- Roadkill Jim in the second episode. Just after he takes the lead in the race, he's shot by Kovacks and crashes.
- Sequel Hook: The finishers who didn't win are given a communicator to alert them to a future race. Also, Kaye and Michael are given Roman's information on the virus to create a cure.
- Staking the Loved One: After Ruby is bitten by a mook, it's Kaye who performs the Mercy Kill.
- Tragic Keepsake: After Kaye fails to save the mother shot by Kovacks in episode one, she keeps the daughter's bloodstained stuffed animal. She later gives it to Faith's baby.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom:
- In episode seven, it's revealed that Kaye killed several potential patient zeroes to keep the virus from escaping their lab. However, one of them had already escaped and Kaye points a gun at him. She doesn't fire and he runs off to cause everything.
- "The General" robs a bank with Michael in a flashback to before the mook virus broke out. After he shoots several witnesses, Michael gets scared and takes off. He gets into the car wreck that paralyzes him and sets him up for the treatment that leads to the outbreak.
- Vanity License Plate: Roadkill Jim has one on his Viper that reads "ROADKILL". It's thrown clear after he crashes.
- The Virus: There's one going around that transforms its victims into feral monsters who are sensitive to sunlight. Fortunately, it can only be transmitted through a bite...Jenny.
- Wacky Racing: The race takes place in a dystopian England with both an opressive government and monsters running loose at night, violence against the army and other racers is okay, and the list of vehicles seems more in line with Twisted Metal than Gran Turismo. Sure sounds like Wacky Racing.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Roadkill Jim appears just long enough to talk with Roman Donahue about their dogs, argue with Michael, and take first in the race. Then he gets shot by Kovacks and crashes.
- Wham Shot: At the end of episode two, the Donahues give Kaye the information she needs to get out of the city. How hard can this be? The camera pulls back to reveal the massive wall surrounding London.
- X Meets Y: The show has been described as The Purge meets The Fast and the Furious. (However, given the fact that the government took control due to a viral outbreak and the race runs the length of the country, a more apt description would be Land of the Dead meets The Cannonball Run.)
- Zombie Infectee: Jenny Donahue tells her family to leave her behind after she gets scratched by a mook. After she's picked up by Team Awesome, Joker Jones tells her that the virus is only transmitted through bites and if she'd been infected, she'd have turned by then.