What is the story about?
In a futuristic world, Ash Harper is an upstanding cop and galactic pilot. But her gliterring career is snatched away from her when she is framed for a crime she didn't commit. Exiled to a distant prison colony in another planet, she is caught in a dangerous mutiny when mobster Tula Quik leads other convicts on an attack against the crew of the prison transfer ship, and takes charge of the ship itself. Now, with Tula and her gang hell-bent on reaching Arcadia, the free world, Ash is the one person who can take them there. But can Ash save herself?
A futuristic world where everything is proper and under 24-hour surveillance all the time. An underground resistance that wants to overturn the existing order and "set the people free". A universe where a distant planet is considered as a prison, and there's pirates and black marketeers of all kinds, promising the location coordinates to a utopian world called "Arcadia". If the above statements sound familiar, that's because you've seen dozens of sci-fi films and shows recycling the same tropes over and over again. Intergalactic is the latest addition to this jaded oeuvre, and it doesn't even try to reinvent the wheel. Refreshingly, it has strong female characters at the centre of the narrative, but that's the only novelty in a screenplay that ticks every reference box in the sci-fi list from Minority Report to Avatar to Firefly. The action sequences are clumsily staged; the VFX looks cartoonish at times; the screenplay is forcibly packed with multiple threats such as space pirates, bounty-hounters and (surprise, surprise!) an organ-eating virus; and the principal cast is reduced to hamming and whimpering without any reason whatsoever. There are one or two scenes where the writing had potential, such as when Emma tells Tula she is a manipulative mother, but the rest of the show is content swimming in its own mediocrity. The finale teases a second season, but honestly, I wouldn't hold my breath for it.
Honestly, it's disappointing to see the talents of an eclectic cast go to waste in this series. Savannah Steyn tries hard, but her Ash Harper is inconsistently written. Imogen Daines huffs and puffs and glowers, but as Verona, the tech head of the mutineers, she is a damp squib. An unhealthy mother-daughter dynamic is all that you take home from Sharon Duncan-Brewster and Diany Samba-Bandza's turns as Tula and Genevieve. It's only Parminder Nagra who keeps your interest from completely flagging, portraying the chameleon-like Arch-Marshall Rebecca Harper who can switch from vulnerability to megalomania in the blink of an eye. The rest of the cast offers little else.
Music & Other Departments
The VFX is a real sore point, with the "fakeness" of certain visuals jumping out at times. The set design is all right.
Nagra's scenery-chewing performance is the only highlight.
The plot is nothing original and liberally borrows a lot of cliches from various hits of the sci-fi genre such as Avatar, Black Mirror, Mad Max: Fury Road and even Dune. In spite of trying to subvert these cliches through a feminist lens, the ennui is clearly visible in the tired screenplay. The shoddy VFX only makes matters worse.
Did I enjoy it?
I was laughing most of the time, so....no.
Do I recommend it?
It's best to stay away and watch Black Mirror instead.