Jump to content
ApathyMonger

Utopia (UK)

Recommended Posts

Editor's Note:

Discuss Utopia (UK) here!

 

Original post:
 

Quote

In 1974, young scientific genius Philip Carvel meets an idealistic security services agent, Milner, at a secret forum of political, industrial, financial and academic leaders. Milner is in charge of a powerful shadowy organisation known only as The Network. Together they hatch a radical plan they believe will save the human race from the horrific ramifications of over-population...

Five years later, in the 1979 winter of discontent Carvel is tormented by his love for his daughter Jessica and his guilt over what he has done to his son, and is beginning to lose his mind. He has made an adjustment to Janus and is refusing to release it to Milner. But a determined Milner refuses to let either political events or Carvel's impending breakdown get in the way of their goal.

 

Edited by kariyaki

Share this post


Link to post

Ok, I'll say it: You know nothing, Philip Carvel! Fucking show though, enough with the rabbits! 

 

Milner is Mr. Rabbit, right? She's the one that shot Jessica Hyde in the leg at the end of the first series? Because no one else knows that Janus was injected into her. 

 

She drowned her husband in the bath too, or did I not get that right?

Edited by ganesh

Share this post


Link to post

Milner is Mr. Rabbit, right? She's the one that shot Jessica Hyde in the leg at the end of the first series? Because no one else knows that Janus was injected into her. 

 

She drowned her husband in the bath too, or did I not get that right?

 

Yes, Milner is Mr. Rabbit. Jessica Hyde figured it out when she was in Milner's office at the end of series 1. And it looked like she drowned her husband!

Rose Leslie was excellent. Totally bought her as young Milner. She had the mannerism of Geraldine James' Milner without trying too hard. 

 

Great first episode, and while it was wonderful to learn all the "how's" I'm looking forward even more to tonight when we're back in the present. I'm glad we learned why the older man in The Network who questioned and threathened Grant in series 1 had the Mr. Rabbit scars. That was one thing that took me aback when I rewatched ("Wait, is he Mr. Rabbit? I thought Milner was? No, Milner is Mr. Rabbit. Okay. But...?") He was Milner's henchman! I don't think we learned that specifically before. I loved how they framed the episode as seen through a big, clunky 70's television set. Soundtrack still great but I gotta say I missed the Utopia theme music. Listen to it on my headphones all the time, heh.

 

Mad props for the casting and acting of young Arby and young Jessica. Dead ringers.

 

Still love the moral ambiguity of it all. I mean, The Network's not wrong in their reasoning. What do you guys think?

Edited by joelene

Share this post


Link to post

That scene when Roscoe/RB tore that bunny to pieces was disturbing.  And to find out it wasn't the Network that made him that way, but his own father experimenting on him (though the Network did torture him when he was growing up, according to the graphic novels, and then turned him into an assassin).

 

I'm still curious how people so young (like Milner and the blonde guy) came to power in the Network.  They don't seem to be reporting to anyone.  Who's financing the Network since they have facilities all over the place by 1979 ?

Share this post


Link to post
Rose Leslie was excellent.

 

She was stone fucking cold! 

 

The torture guy was creepy too. I actually was putting my hand in front of the scene with the fingernails.

Share this post


Link to post

I'm still curious how people so young (like Milner and the blonde guy) came to power in the Network.  They don't seem to be reporting to anyone. Who's financing the Network since they have facilities all over the place by 1979 ?

 

Good point, I didn't even think about that! I imagine they'll dig deeper into the Network this series. How old was Milner supposed to be? 25-30? Anyone remember when she supposedly killed all those people who had tortured and even seen her on the street in Asia (don't remember the country)? I'd love to see that in a flashback!

Share this post


Link to post

 

In the present day, Jessica has been held captive by Milner who has tortured her in a desperate attempt to find out just what adjustment Carvel made to Janus.  Ian and Grant are desperately searching for Becky. The Network is planning V Day - a strategy to vaccinate the whole world from Russian flu and Geoff  is being forced to sell the idea to the nation.

When Lee  turns up at Arby's new house, no one is more surprised to discover he's alive. But can he force Arby back to his old ways?  Ian finally finds Becky, but she's with Donaldson and a mysterious hostage named Anton.  When they're suddenly targeted, a lone gunman is close by to save them - but they are shocked to discover who their rescuer is.

 

Share this post


Link to post

It's on again?! I don't think I can handle two nights in a row.

 

Yeah, two night premiere. I think it's only Tuesdays from here on though.

Share this post


Link to post
Jessica Hyde is one bad mother fucker.

 

I like that Milner has no clue what the hell Jessica (don't call me Jess) Hide is up to -- and I'm curious what's going to happen with that pen.

 

Wilson Wilson has drunk the Kool-aid and is fully onboard with Milner to proceed with wiping out most of the planet's population -- and help bring VDay to fruition.

 

RB was nearly unrecognizable with the beard -- at least they have given us a timeframe since the finale from Series 1 (4 months) and seeing that Lee survived was surprising, but I like that he actually has consequences from being shot (loss of use of his left arm and lingering lung problems).

 

I'm curious what Dugdale's plan is and what happened to Alice ?

 

Ian, Grant and Becky are finally back together -- Grant's acting like a twat, Ian is bored at work and Becky is borderline suicidal --  it should be interesting.  Plus they have the crazy guy with all the information about Deels and we know that the introduction of Deels was part of the plan to deploy Janus (to introduce a new hereditary disease).  Where will that take them ?

Share this post


Link to post

I'm assuming she's going to use the spring to pick the lock and break out, but knowing her she'll make it into some sword or some shit. The bible totally fooled me because I had no idea why she was ripping out the pages. Then I was like, 'why is her voice so soft and fucked up?' Until she belted out the "I'm in yours." That was stone fucking cold. 

 

I'm mildly surprised that Arby turned on Milner and ran off with the rest of them because they're really out of options. Plus Becky needs her pills, so they can't go too far.

 

I don't blame Ian being so bored. How can you come back from that?

 

Orphan Black deserves all its accolades for sure. But seriously, if you don't know Utopia, you don't know. 

Share this post


Link to post

 

Wilson Wilson has drunk the Kool-aid and is fully onboard with Milner to proceed with wiping out most of the planet's population -- and help bring VDay to fruition.

 

Plus they have the crazy guy with all the information about Deels and we know that the introduction of Deels was part of the plan to deploy Janus (to introduce a new hereditary disease).  Where will that take them ?

 

Except their not trying to wipe out most of the population, they're trying to prevent overpopulation and all the horror that would bring. Huge difference. I don't see these people as evil, even if they do evil things to reach their goal (though some people, like the head of Corvat, seem to be doing it purely for financial gain which is dispicable). They're being pragmatic. Milner, at least. Who knows what other high ranking members of this organization truly want out of this. I really liked that Milner pointed out that they didn't want to wipe out a certain race and for the virus to be random. 

 

You bring up a good point about Deels though. I gotta admit I've totally forgotten what part that has in the whole plan. Is Deels something they purposefully want spread to speed up the shrinking of the human race? Because that would certainly add to the moral side of things. Or is it just a side effect, something the Network doesn't want? Do we know and I've forgotten?

 

I'm assuming she's going to use the spring to pick the lock and break out, but knowing her she'll make it into some sword or some shit. The bible totally fooled me because I had no idea why she was ripping out the pages. Then I was like, 'why is her voice so soft and fucked up?' Until she belted out the "I'm in yours." That was stone fucking cold. 

 

Hee, she probably will! I must have missed when she ripped up the pages. I thought she slung her t-shirt at the interrogator?

 

I loved the re-introduction of Grant, swinging on that pole listening to Katy Perry or whatever pop chart music that was. I thought he had discovered his inner gay, but then he just thought that was goth!

 

Becky was hilarious. I had trouble adjusting to her manner in series 1, with Jessica in particular, overjealous and a tad too bitchy (I warmed to her more on rewatch though) but I loved everything about her in this episode.

Edited by joelene

Share this post


Link to post

I think she flung the shirt, but had the rope hidden in her shirt and needed to get it wet to strengthen it. 

 

I liked how Milner just hit the button on the gate with no remorse and killed off the torturer. The guard was like, "damn". 

Share this post


Link to post
Except their not trying to wipe out most of the population, they're trying to prevent overpopulation and all the horror that would bring. Huge difference.

 

Agreed, @joelene, I could have worded that better.  The Network aren't mass murderers committing genocide, they're just regular murderers (when it suits them) trying to massively reduce the planet's population -- eventually.

 

From what I was able to grasp from the first series (I did a quick bingewatch of Series a couple of weekends ago as a refresher), the Janus-like chemical the Network had created required two parts -- one part introduced via the food supply and the other part introduced by the Russian flu vaccinations. You receive both components, and any offspring produced after that point would be sterile.  Since a small portion of the global population would be naturally immune, you would have a drastic reduction in population after two generations (once the current generation dies off and there's a lot fewer children to replace them).

 

I think that the introduction of Deels Syndrome was just a test to see if they could give someone a manufactured disease that could then be passed on to their offspring (Becky's dad wasn't just the carrier since he had the symptoms too, and Deels was passed onto Becky), as that was a requirement for the Network's version of Janus to do its job.

 

As for what Philip Carvel tweaked in the version of Janus that he injected into Jessica Hyde, who knows ??  Did he increase the efficacy so that instead of sterilizing 80% of the population's offspring, Janus would instead significantly increase that percentage to 90% or 95%.  Or did he add some sort of random mutation that would spur off some sort of unexpected pandemic.  Or there's always monster-ism. :)  Since the Network is reproducing Janus from Jessica Hyde's blood, they probably don't need the two part solution anymore and that's why they are proceeding with full global vaccination on VDay -- one shot will give everyone Janus and not rely on the randomness of the laced food component.

 

YMMV.

Share this post


Link to post
I think she flung the shirt, but had the rope hidden in her shirt and needed to get it wet to strengthen it.

 

I thought that she soaked the shirt so that when she threw it at her interogator it short circuited the taser device he was holding and the resulting electric shock incapacitated him long enough for Jessica to get the jump on him.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

When the ending v/o said that the next episode would bring us back to the present, I was kind of bummed. I was loving the period story and look.

Share this post


Link to post

Agreed, @joelene, I could have worded that better.  The Network aren't mass murderers committing genocide, they're just regular murderers (when it suits them) trying to massively reduce the planet's population -- eventually.

 

From what I was able to grasp from the first series (I did a quick bingewatch of Series a couple of weekends ago as a refresher), the Janus-like chemical the Network had created required two parts -- one part introduced via the food supply and the other part introduced by the Russian flu vaccinations. You receive both components, and any offspring produced after that point would be sterile.  Since a small portion of the global population would be naturally immune, you would have a drastic reduction in population after two generations (once the current generation dies off and there's a lot fewer children to replace them).

 

I think that the introduction of Deels Syndrome was just a test to see if they could give someone a manufactured disease that could then be passed on to their offspring (Becky's dad wasn't just the carrier since he had the symptoms too, and Deels was passed onto Becky), as that was a requirement for the Network's version of Janus to do its job.

 

As for what Philip Carvel tweaked in the version of Janus that he injected into Jessica Hyde, who knows ??  Did he increase the efficacy so that instead of sterilizing 80% of the population's offspring, Janus would instead significantly increase that percentage to 90% or 95%.  Or did he add some sort of random mutation that would spur off some sort of unexpected pandemic.  Or there's always monster-ism. :)  Since the Network is reproducing Janus from Jessica Hyde's blood, they probably don't need the two part solution anymore and that's why they are proceeding with full global vaccination on VDay -- one shot will give everyone Janus and not rely on the randomness of the laced food component.

 

YMMV.

 

Thanks for the explanation! I think you've got it down, now that you say it it's very familiar. Monsterism, heh.

 

A bit odd that they recast Donaldson. I guess Simon McBurney was busy?

Also, this is fun, if a little creepy: http://www.thenetworkiswatching.com/

 

I think I'm paying attention but clearly I'm not... I was looking for Simon but forgot the characters name was Donaldson so I didn't see he was in it/had been replaced. What did Donaldson do in the episode? 

 

Aahahaa I just went on that website. That was amazingly freaky! I gotta do it again and take of photo of "the event" with my camera.

Edited by joelene

Share this post


Link to post

The gang are on the run and find a precocious young hacker, who uncovers the key to The Network's new plan: a real global outbreak of weaponised Russian flu that will prompt the entire world to take up their vaccine on V Day.

 

Share this post


Link to post

Never underestimate Jessica Hyde -- she pulls an Andy Dufresne-quality escape from the Network facilities.  I wonder how long she was in that biohazard disposal bin before it was picked up and she escaped ?

 

I loved Lee's demeanor talking on the phone with someone from the Network when he was asking for a cleanup team after slitting the throat of Ian's co-worker, and then hitting him on the head with the fire extinguisher after the guy wandered all over the office bleeding profusely -- "Yeah, suicide's not going to work".

 

Wilson Wilson and Lee as partners -- you just knew they were never going to let bygones be bygones.

 

The Network is planning to release the real Russian flu worldwide which is potentially more fatal than the Spanish flu -- taking things up a notch.  And even cool calm Milner is starting to lose it a bit because they don't know what Philip Carvel did to tweak Janus.  

 

Did the gang really have Phlip Carvel with them all along ?

 

Felt bad for Dugdale's research co-worker -- she was very plucky and enthusiastic in doing her job.  Doing her job too well as it turned out and it probably cost her life. I'm still trying to figure out why Dugdale's still working with Corvadt (what's he really up to) -- and what happened to Alice.

Share this post


Link to post

Jessica Hyde plays it cool. Again. I'm yelling "Hurry Jessica Hyde!" But no, she plays it cool. I liked that they needed to show us having her blow snot rockets out of bio-waste in the bathroom.

 

I was dying when she made the guy piggyback her out the stairs. 

 

If Milner is getting frayed then you know shit is bad. 

 

All episode, it was gnawing at me, "who is the actor playing the old crazy guy?" Then it crashes down on me like 2 seconds before the reveal. "Is that Palpatine?! He's fucking Philip Carvel! Shiiiiiittttt!!!"

 

All right, it's been 3 episodes. It's time for Jessica Hyde to Get Shit Done. 

 

I felt bad for Dugdale's co-worker. But damn, she has some teeth. This is why some shows just don't work in the USA. I thought she was cute, but honestly, she's homely. Perfect for that role. You don't get USA actors with a look beyond some very narrow constraints. 

 

This is one dense show. I don't know what the hell the gang is going to do next or where they're going to go for that matter. I assume Jessica Hyde wants to stop the outbreak. 

Share this post


Link to post
I assume Jessica Hyde wants to stop the outbreak.

 

With probably just an teensy dash of revenge tossed in for good measure.  You just know Milner et all are not going to get away scot-free for what they did to her.

Edited by ottoDbusdriver

Share this post


Link to post

I felt bad for Dugdale's co-worker. But damn, she has some teeth. This is why some shows just don't work in the USA. I thought she was cute, but honestly, she's homely. Perfect for that role. You don't get USA actors with a look beyond some very narrow constraints. 

 

I felt sooo bad for her, too! Especially since she was played by the always lovely Juliet Cowan (who's been in some really great shows like This Life, Pulling, Skins) and I was hoping she would play a bigger part in the show. But she's gotta be toast. As for the remake HBO is giving me hope. They've cast "non traditional looking" actors plenty of times in the past, and considering the small part... Makes me think of Fargo, I loved how FX cast Alison Tohlman. I thought for sure that Marge lite would be thin and pretty when the show was announced. Anyway.

 

I don't think so. I think the dad will talk her down in the end. 

 

I hope not. Such a cliché, and this show is anything but cliché.

Edited by joelene

Share this post


Link to post

I don't want her to kill Milner though. 

 

Knowing this show, they'll release Janus and next series will have 10 people in the world total. 

Share this post


Link to post

I love Milner so also hope Jessica won't kill her. Hey, maybe they will work out their differences!?

How bad are the ratings? I get that this isn't a show for the masses but how are more people not watching this? I hope Channel 4 chooses quality over viewership.

Share this post


Link to post

When the ending v/o said that the next episode would bring us back to the present, I was kind of bummed. I was loving the period story and look.

You might enjoy The Americans which is set in the US in the same time period (early 80s). Very good, but not quite as dark as Utopia

Still love the moral ambiguity of it all. I mean, The Network's not wrong in their reasoning. What do you guys think?

Overpopulation is a legitimate concern, and more of a concern in the 70's actually, because of unforeseen demographic factors that tend to slow population growth (e.g., urbanization). But it's not that simple, in that a typical American uses many more resources than a typical Haitian, or a typical Nigerian, etc.

 

In any case, "the ends don't justify the means" is a pretty important moral principle. Many people want and expect to have descendants, and being deprived of that against their will (involuntary sterilization) is viewed as a criminal act for good reasons. So we're talking about a very serious, very personal crime on an unprecedented scale.

 

I did enjoy the irony of their position that the people remaining fertile should be random, because otherwise it would be an unconscionable act of racism.

Edited by Latverian Diplomat

Share this post


Link to post

Please help me, I'm so confused! After watching S02E01, I went back to rewatch Series 1 as a refresher. But in S01E02, Jessica says that Philip Carvel founded the Network. Indeed, looking at the Guardian's recap of that episode, it says:

"The Network was established during the cold war as a black-ops unit run by geneticist Philip Carvel and "Mr Rabbit""

That hardly seems to match up with what we see of Carvel in S02E01, where he's clearly recruited into the Network by Milner in the 1970s. 

Can anyone help me? All explanations very gratefully received!

Share this post


Link to post

Carvel did run the lab, and made the decisions leading to Janus. He was running the science part of the network. 

Share this post


Link to post
A shocked Dugdale reluctantly agrees to harbour Jessica, but who should be scared of who? When Dugdale visits Jen and Alice in a secret prison it's clear he will do whatever The Network asks in order to keep his family alive. Jessica is searching for Ian, as is Milner who is convinced he will lead her to Carvel.

 

Share this post


Link to post

What the fuck Ian? Go fuck Jessica Hyde and go back like no big deal. I thought his rejection of Becky was pretty harsh.

 

Also, the sleeper cell, release virus, kill yourself is fuck all. This fucking show. 

 

The whole punch line is that the modified Janus is race-based? There's 5 'families'. 

 

There's so much less Jessica Hyde, and everyone is floundering that the shit has got to hit the fan. Which seems like, since Hyde and Milner just faced off. 

 

I have never seen any show that blows people's heads off in such a cinematic way. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I was wondering how they were going to get 100% compliance with the vaccine. Turns out they will release a real plague that scares everyone (still wouldn't get the truly paranoid about vaccines, but it would help with the apathetic).

 

But...the flu deployment plan requires some combination of fanaticism and brainwashing, the first of which isn't 100% reliable (especially in people with families), and the second of which is just a myth. I preferred it when the conspiracy was an elaborate network of small pieces where people complied because they couldn't see the whole picture, with just a tiny group of people in the know at the top.

 

"Five families" wasn't about the race Anton/Carville chose, he wouldn't answer about that. It was his response to the headline crawl about the guy at the beginning of the episode. That was the clue that Becky and Ian used to figure out the plan to spread the flu. (They connected the dots there awfully easily)

 

BTW, at best races are bioligically discernable only as allele frequencies in a population, and some scientists feel even that doesn't really hold up. There's a lot of messiness and overlap. Hard to believe that a single protein could sort through all that. I liked it as a brief mention that the Network rejected because they're not racists. Now that it's a major plot point, well it bugs me. Maybe further details will relieve that, i.e., it targets a specific trait that's just much more common in a specific group of people.

 

Somewhere along the way, Wilson became a really good shot. 

Edited by Latverian Diplomat

Share this post


Link to post

It's seems the purpose of the sleeper cells is to make the plague seem random. Nowadays clearly one would think terrorism. 

 

I thought the Five Families on the news triggered Carville to say that he modified Janus to include five races or something like that. But that's fine. Or maybe it's genetically modified based on five chromosome combinations or something.

Share this post


Link to post

About that cold open... What in the actual Fuck. I mean seriously this show. I cannot for the life of me figure out how an American remake will work and it's scenes like that which have me stumped.

Share this post


Link to post

I do like the show, but I find the violence as in the cold open a bit too much for me. I know it's a personal taste thing - I'm just weak :). But to mean it always feels like an effort to be 'edgy' when I prefer it when they focus on wit and character interaction. 

Share this post


Link to post

Yeah, but it's a television graphic novel. It's a stylized violence that you'd see in one of those. Look at the way the blood bursts out when someone is shot. I could almost see the two page panel of Wilson shooting the other two people. It's still violence, but there's some deliberate choices to how they're doing it. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

 

In the penultimate episode, following the revelation that her father is alive, Jessica sets off to find him, with hostage Milner in tow. Meanwhile, Wilson and Leah analyse their information and discover the far darker and more terrifying secret it holds.

 

Share this post


Link to post

Yeah, like 100 million or so. If Milner is the only one who can call it off, then I don't know what they're going to do to stop it.

Share this post


Link to post

It's not looking good for Pietr/RB -- that bullet didn't seem to go that deep if Jessica was able to dig it out with her fingers, but he seems to be on his way out as well.

 

Glad that Dugdale was able to spring Alice and his wife.

Wilson Wilson always seems to be one step behind no matter which side he is playing for. Can't believe that he fell for Milner's lies.

 

Since none of them know about who Burger Station guy is, how will they stop him from spreading the Russian flu once he does his job at each of the 5 locations ?

Edited by ottoDbusdriver

Share this post


Link to post

If Jessica Hyde can stop the bleeding then Arby might be ok. Because the bullet didn't go so deep, so it probably didn't hit anything vital. He may have lost too much blood though. 

 

I don't know how they're going to end the series. I would be surprised if they actually didn't stop the russian flu.

Share this post


Link to post

In the final episode the race is on to find out who is going to release the flu. The gang track down Dobri Gorski to a police cell, where he tells them the names of the three people he trained to release the flu. A process of elimination leaves them with Terrence, but they still have to find him. Wilson's new ruthlessness is unnerving - can he be trusted? And what will happen when Becky runs out of Thoraxin?

The End, probably.

Share this post


Link to post

It never ends well for our intrepid little group in their attempts to stop the world from being purged of people.

 

Terrence's little chat at the bus station was frakking creepy.

 

Wilson Wilson has gone all in on the side of the Network with Leah to the point of carving the Chinese symbol for rabbit into his own stomach.  And while the Russian flu deployment was stopped and the canisters are in the possession of the Network, Wilson has plans not for a real pandemic, but the fear of a real pandemic by releasing the Russian flu in isolated areas where it can be controlled.  And Wilson killed Lee out of pure vengeance.

 

Dugdale thought he was out, but is back under the Network's control (under threat of execution of his family, including Alice and Grant), but he will probably move up a rung or two in the Health Service now that Geoff is dead (via faked suicide from poisoned money).

 

Donaldson was feeding Becky opiates instead of Thoraxcin, so that all her symptoms were from withdrawal and overmedication (including the hallucinations of Marius), not from the onset of Deel's syndrome.  Ian manages to bring her back to life after her suicide attempt, only to be taken away moments later.

 

Who has taken Carvel, Jessica, Ian and Becky ?  Is it the Network or someone else ?

 

And RB/Pietr finally woke up from his coma after getting a clean shave from Jessica -- so he looks like he's going to make it, and he looks like his old self from Series 1.

 

Overall, Series 2 was pretty good, but not as good as Series 1.  And they have left it open for a Series 3 if they get renewed.

Share this post


Link to post

Yeah, it was a great season but somehow lacked the oomph of the first season. But it was a difficult task the outdo the first A+ season. My expectations were skyhigh. Still loved it. How are the ratings? Is anyone watching (besides the Network)? I'd be gutted if there weren't a third series conclusion.

Jessica and her longing for love with Ian broke my heart. That poor girl. I thought she was going to kill Becky. Happily surprised the gang all survived. Wilson becoming Mr. Rabbit was very effective and creepy.

Share this post


Link to post

I think Wilson gave the order to get Jessica Hyde et al. I wouldn't put it past him to try to recruit them, but he knows they're probably the only people who would stop him. 

 

I did like his killing of Lee though. And all the "this is not you" was just making him more crazy.

 

If there is another series, I don't know how they end it on a good note. Everything just gets worse and worse.

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×