The Outpost--new fantasy series

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Greg Cox, Jul 11, 2018.

  1. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Anyone else catch the premiere of THE OUTPOST last night? It struck me as a fun throwback to the syndicated fantasy-adventures shows of the nineties: XENA, SINBAD, etc. I'm curious to see where it goes.

    They're rerunning the first ep tonight on the CW and Thursday on Syfy.
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    The one thing it really has going for it is a gorgeous female lead. Otherwise, I find the characters pretty unappealing, the acting weak, and the story a fairly standard melange of high fantasy tropes. Even as stunning as Talon is, and even with her tragic backstory we're supposed to sympathize with, she's a rather unlikeable character, cold and angry and aloof, and I've never been a fan of revenge narratives. The soldier guy who's obviously meant to be the Tracy to her Hepburn is trying too hard to be the cool, funny male lead. And nobody else is all that interesting.

    The action doesn't engage me that much either, since it seems to be focused more on a rather straightforward and prosaic use of weapons than on the more stylized stunt work of the Hercules/Xena-era shows, which were drawing on the same wuxia martial-arts genre that inspired The Matrix and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. This is just cut, stab, shoot, blood, pain, death. It stresses the violence, which is the part I don't like, more than the stunt choreography, which is the part I do like. The fight choreography doesn't even seem very competent or coherent; there were two or three moments where I could've sworn that Talon was supposed to have stabbed someone with her dagger or sliced them with her sword and they just kept on fighting.

    The most '90s thing of all was the electronic music, which sounded surprisingly cheap and cheesy. I mean, the composition per se wasn't bad -- it sounded like it might've been Joseph LoDuca, which is possible given that this is a Dean Devlin-produced show -- but the synth it was performed on sounded really cheap. Moreover, I think the video may have been slightly accelerated, since the music had an unpleasant, warbling distortion to it.
     
  3. Jedi Marso

    Jedi Marso Commodore Commodore

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    Just watched the trailer and it looked truly horrible to me. I'm out on this one.
     
  4. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    I was trying to figure out where it was filmed: New Zealand, Ireland, somewhere else?
     
  5. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Robyn Malcolm is in it, and she is a Kiwi, who sometimes works in Australia.

    There are other actors in there from the UK.

    Google is not helpful.

    Could not make my way the whole way through.

    This show is a turd.
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    IMDb says Utah, of all places, though its info is sketchy enough that I don't entirely trust it. Although the lead actress is from Tasmania.
     
  7. Enterprise is Great

    Enterprise is Great Vice Admiral Admiral

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  8. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I was kind of meh from the trailers, and then when I saw the horrible reviews I decided to skip it. I'm already struggling to keep up with everything else I'm watching, and this just didn't appeal to me enough to make it worth adding into the mix.
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I read one horrible review, but it said it was a throwback to the cheesy '90s action shows like Xena, and for me that sounds more like a feature than a bug. That, along with the lead actress's gorgeousness, is why I decided to check it out. However, I don't think it had any of the sense of fun of those shows. I may grudgingly give it one more week, but I'm not sure.
     
  10. Morpheus 02

    Morpheus 02 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Ok so that is twice in a very short span...any feeling a #Me too vibe, or check him on that. Aren't we supposed to be beyond just the superficial? Especially as a main Descriptor of a woman?
     
  11. dodge

    dodge Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Saw the first episode, it was enjoyably shlocky. Will check out the second one.
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, sometimes giving a show one more chance pays off. I didn't like the pilot, but the second episode actually engaged me, with some interesting character dynamics and worldbuilding. It felt a lot deeper this time. Andrew Howard's Marshal Withers is particularly interesting and well-played, a harsh man who's nonetheless principled in his own way and trying to do what he thinks is best for the Outpost.

    However, a large part of the reason this episode worked better for me is because it focused more on characters besides Talon, who's still a rather unappealing lead aside from her looks. She's obstinate, unreasonable, and really rather stupid and irresponsible, reading that scroll aloud despite being warned not to and then doing nothing about the deadly danger she's unleashed. Oh, and she's a drug user too. There's not much to like about her, and she feels more like a catalyst/Macguffin for the other characters than an effectively drawn protagonist in her own right. Still, if the show maintains this week's ensemble flavor, it might work out okay.

    By the way, I caught enough of the composer credit this time to know it isn't Joseph LoDuca, though the score sounds very similar to his work. I don't remember what the name was, though. The music sounded better this time around.
     
  13. ATimson

    ATimson Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Composer on 1x01 was James Schafer.
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Yeah, that was the name. Thanks.
     
  15. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Episode 2: Still enjoying the show, but, yeah, I was getting a bit impatient with Talon. I get what they're going for here: Because of her tragic past, Talon has a chip on her soldier and is slow to trust people. But, yes, it did seem like, scene after scene, she kept ignoring good advice and pushing away people who were trying to help her. Still, the final shot of her helping Garrett to his feet implies that she's starting to figure out who she can trust at the Outpost.

    Speculation/theories:

    "The Wolf": It seems pretty obvious that the old blacksmith is "the Wolf," the mercenary who spared her as a child. Can't really blame him for not dropping that truth on her just yet.

    Gwen: Again, it seems clear that she's not really the General's daughter, but actually the rightful heir to the throne--and probably the last surviving member of the Royal Family disposed by the Prime Order years ago. (Think Anastasia.) Her "father" is presumably an old loyalist who hopes to one day restore the monarchy.

    So are the Prime Order and the Covenant the same thing? They seem to be using the terms interchangeably, but maybe there's some subtle distinction here?
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2018
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I get the impression that the Covenant is the military elite of the Prime Order, the partisans who helped put the Order in power and preserve its dictatorship, sort of like the Gestapo. So they're distinct from the regular soldiers on the borders of the Realm, the folks who don't necessarily believe in the Prime Order's politics but ended up having to follow its orders when it overthrew the old regime.
     
  17. Morpheus 02

    Morpheus 02 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    What is it with you and women's outer appearances? Ever hear of #metoo???
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Talon was somewhat more likeable this week, since we got to see more of her in a good mood at last. Conversely, Withers was less likeable. I'd gotten the impression that he was a harsh but principled lawman trying to do what he thought was right, but now it turns out he's a willing party to corruption.

    Overall, though, not a great episode. I could've done without Janzo's subplot here, and this is the second time in 4 weeks that an episode has ended with Talon run through and left for dead, which doesn't exactly help her come off as an effective heroine.
     
  19. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    On other hand, I kinda liked that Talon failed to dispel the demon the first time out. The blacksmith warned her she wasn't ready and, sure enough, she wasn't. :)

    As opposed to all the times in other stories when the hero is warned they're not ready, but end up succeeding anyway. Honestly, I was expecting Talon to dig deep and find the inner calm to defeat the demon at the last minute. This was much less predictable.

    As for Withers, I think he's mostly still harsh but just. I mean, the Worm did cut off somebody's head . . .

    And I can't really blame him for wanting to exile Talon from the Outpost. She has stirred up a lot of trouble since she arrived, along with confessing to at least one murder.
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I'd be more inclined to agree with you if it weren't the second time in a month that an episode has ended the exact same way for her.

    But Withers isn't really punishing him for that, he's just using the pretense of enforcing the law to help his lover advance her drug dealing. If he were really an honest lawman, he'd be shutting her down, not executing people on her whims.