Utopia - Series 1 2013

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Utopia is a cult graphic novel rumoured to have predicted the worst disasters of the late twentieth century. Dismissed as the fevered imaginings of a madman by most, and idolised by a handful, only one thing seems certain about Utopia: come into contact with it and you won't be safe for long. When a small group of normal people (including an IT consultant, student and child) find themselves in possession of the manuscript of Utopia, they realise they are at the centre of a nightmarish conspiracy turned real. Targeted by a shadowy organisation known only as The Network, they are left with one option if they want to stay alive: they have to run, avoiding even being caught even on CCTV. The Network is everywhere: in government, in business, in charge. A secret organisation constrained neither by borders nor common morality. Nobody knows what their plan is, just that they will stop at nothing to find the original manuscript of Utopia. Utopia asks what if the conspiracy nuts are right? What if people are trying to control our lives, doctor our food, experiment upon us, kill us? Fast, terrifying, funny and brutal, it is a massive new drama/conspiracy thriller.

Starring:
Neil Maskell, Alexandra Roach
Rental Formats:
DVD, Blu-ray

Utopia

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_18_and_over
Starring Neil Maskell, Alexandra Roach, Paul Ready, Paul Higgins, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Oliver Woollford, Michael Smiley, Adeel Akhtar, James Fox
Director Marc Munden
Genres Thriller
Studio CHANNEL 4 DVD
Rental release 11 March 2013
Main languages English
Discs
  • Feature ages_18_and_over
Starring Neil Maskell, Alexandra Roach, Paul Ready, Paul Higgins, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Oliver Woollford, Michael Smiley, Adeel Akhtar, James Fox
Director Marc Munden
Genres Thriller
Studio CHANNEL 4 DVD
Rental release 11 March 2013
Main languages English

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By steve coker herefordshire on 20 Feb 2013
Format: Blu-ray
Absolutely stunning in every way, superb cinemtography, acting, plot, and the soundtrack is beautifully crafted and sets the very dark and chilling atmosphere perfectly, there is very strong violence throughout, and the whole premise of the plot is disturbing and poignant.

Totally recommended.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By tallmanbaby TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 23 Feb 2013
Format: DVD
As ever, the less you know about the plot, the more you are likely to enjoy it. A motley group comes together, and despite the brutality and cruelty, at the end we are left with some hope for humanity, and some faith in human decency.

This is an unusual example of a distinctly niche programme delivered with confidence, conviction and a decent budget. The initial scenario relates to a missing graphic novel, which should narrow down the potential audience dramatically, the first episode includes a lot of violence, including the most sympathetic character being tortured in uncomfortable detail, though not full-on torture porn detail.

Often on screen violence is actually quite entertaining, instead here we have seemingly endless innocent bystanders murdered, sometimes interrogated first. The eventual effect is that we risk becoming as brutalised as the characters themselves. The mix of brutality with casual expediency, is convincingly unsettling and probably much closer to how the world actually operates than the far more usual dramatic heroics.

Apparently viewing figures dropped very dramatically after the first episode. However this is unfair, if you can make it to the end of the first episode, then this is definitely worth sticking with. It does drag at times, and is uncomfortably tense viewing pretty much all the time, but it gives us characters, situations and twists that engage and provoke. This probably sits with Shadow Line as demanding but rewarding fare, but with a far more satisfying conclusion.

Although billed as season one, it is not yet clear whether there will be another series, if there is, it will be hard pressed to keep up the quality of this one.
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Zzapster on 6 Feb 2013
Format: Blu-ray
Hats off to Channel 4 for airing one of the best shows I've seen in a long time on television. 'On the edge of your seat' drama which just keeps on getting better! A superb cast of characters, a compelling conspiracy and fantastic colour palette/filming. A must see series!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Macleod on 15 Feb 2013
Format: DVD
One of the best Tv shows that I have seen in a very long time.Great story and acting. Compelling viewing and at times disturbing...wierd even! I have seen five out of six episodes so far and enjoyed every single one. If you decide to watch this, you must pay attention as there is a lot going on, many twists and turns too. I highly recommend this series.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By C. S. Redford on 26 Feb 2013
Format: DVD
This is essential viewing and without doubt one of the most interesting and compelling dramas I have seen for ages. The acting was top drawer and the pace of each episode was perfect. I would strongly recommend this to anyone who enjoys good drama and excellent acting. It in no way bothered me, but some of you squeamish types may not enjoy the violence.
I think a special mention must go to the actor Neil Maskell - the character of Arby is a really interesting mix of chilling and childlike. As I said though all the acting is first class! Please, please, PLEASE give this a watch - you will not be disappointed.........
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Johnny 5 Eyes on 21 Mar 2013
Format: Blu-ray
This has gone right up there in the pantheon of 'best ever British TV dramas'. Visually stunning (how often can you say that about UK TV drama?) shocking, funny, exhilarating and very, very clever. The opening episode may lead you to believe you are watching a sensationalist-violent for the sake of it- show however stick with it and it morphs into something very different actually quite moving, the nasty characters aren't necessarily as bad as the first appear and the sympathetic ones not as white hat wearing as you may think.
It also has an 'evil masterplan' that makes you pause for thought about how evil it really is.
The real masterstroke however comes in it's final episode, quite often the 'journey' in these twisty turny things is more involving than the destination but the conclusion is almost entirely satisfying and surprising in its tone- there are a few threads left dangling, certainly enough to warrant a second series...which has just been announced.
Not for the faint hearted and some people may find its ultra stylised tone offputting but personally I cannot recommend it highly enough.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Locksheath on 6 Mar 2013
Format: DVD
I felt moved to write this review as this series kicked me sideways, and exceeded any expectations I had or any British drama, let alone anything to come from Channel 4 (a channel that since the late 80's has lost it's way somewhat).
Put simply Utopia is perfection.
The plot is highly original, fresh and engaging, and stays with you long after viewing, the acting and characterisation is perfectly observed and subtle, It's breath taking to look at and has an almost art house sensibility in it's cinematography, and it has the production value and pace of a well crafted feature film. Do yourself a favour and buy it, watch it, and share it. More television should be made like this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Hagrid's Umbrella VINE VOICE on 13 Mar 2013
Format: DVD
"Are you Jessica Hyde?" is not something you want to be asked.

A sequel to a graphic novel is to be released and it's believed to have a hidden message within it but where is it, whats the message and who's after it? We follow different side's of this pursuit and are lead on an enthralling and sobering journey as the truth as the conspiracy is unpeeled.

The style of the series is very quirky with great cinematography and a brave superb soundtrack. It's extremely violent but does have some soul and the cast of characters is superb. It will be interesting to see if they can keep the standard for the next series.
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