33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on 20 February 2013
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.
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
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.
30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on 6 February 2013
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!
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 15 February 2013
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.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 6 March 2013
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.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 26 February 2013
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.........
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 21 March 2013
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.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 28 May 2013
This is a great way to engage the brain and make you think. Part of the fun is trying to work out what is happening so I won't reveal anything. The characters, script and actors are brilliant and the colours and cinematography also brilliant. I thought Paul Higgins and Neil Maskell were particularly good as Arby and Michael Dugdale. It is violent and shocking in some parts though also tense which keeps your interest. If you like thrillers, sci fi and crime then this is up there. I am surprised it has not yet been nominated for any awards? I hope it does for a bit of recognition.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 8 March 2013
Brilliant, absolutely brilliant! Enjoyed this more than I did BBC Sherlock.
The series concerns a unique graphic novel, known as the "Utopia experiments", rumored to have predicted some of the worst viral disasters of the 20th century. And how anyone with the novel has their life crash down around them as a result of a mysterious and extremely powerful secret organization searching for it.
Particular praise to the camera work. The run down and dilapidated filming locations in contrast to sterile and clean office areas, giving the world a sense of impending doom. Performances were universally excellent, with particular praise to Neil Maskell as Arby and Fiona O'Shaughnessy as Jessica Hyd.
Fiona gave her character an otherworldly, almost alien feel...which perfectly encapsulated her character's tortured history as it was revealed to the audience. And Neil's character, right from the first scene, exuded menace and danger. Like an asthmatic personification of death. His simple screen presence made the air heavy and usually meant death for anyone sharing the scene.
Do not miss this series. Hell of a ride.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 28 August 2014
Utopia is a surreal drama set in modern Britain and is basically about a global conspriscy, as not to ruin it too much for anyone else so you'll find (NO SPOLIERS HERE). Personally i found it to be a bit slow at first but after most of characters are assembled and the roles defined it quickly got a lot more interesting. the thing that defines utopia is its creepy casual attitude towards violence, sex, and view of humanity, there some particuarly upseting sceens in this series so i would reccomend steeling yourselfs for these moments.