BBC Amer­ica’s ‘Out­casts’ ex­plores a brave new sci-fi world

The Daily Herald - TV Week - - FRONT PAGE - BY JOHN CROOK

For most Amer­i­can view­ers, Eric Mabius is best known as Daniel Meade, the feck­less mag­a­zine pub­lisher he played for four years on ABC’s “Ugly Betty.” The ac­tor is lit­er­ally a world away from the fic­tional of­fices of Mode mag­a­zine, how­ever, in “Out­casts,” a pow­er­ful new sci-fi se­ries pre­mier­ing Satur­day on BBC Amer­ica.

Set in the near fu­ture on a dis­tant planet a coura­geous band of hu­mans is try­ing to col­o­nize, the se­ries from Ben Richards (“MI-5”) fore­sees a grim fu­ture for Earth, which, as the story opens, has be­come vir­tu­ally un­in­hab­it­able due to pol­lu­tion, cli­mate change, crit­i­cal short­ages of food and wa­ter, and nu­clear war.

In a move to en­sure a fu­ture for hu­man­ity, Earth’s best and the bright­est have been dis­patched to the planet Carpathia, which is blessed with Earth-like at­mos­phere and liv­ing con­di­tions. Trag­i­cally, not that many of the pi­o­neers make it in one piece to the planet’s sur­face, where Pres­i­dent Richard Tate (Liam Cun­ning­ham) and his core team are try­ing to lay the foun­da­tion for a new civ­i­liza­tion in Forthaven, their home base.

Build­ing a new civ­i­liza­tion, how­ever, is a com­pli­cated propo­si­tion, and Tate soon finds his own philoso­phies chal­lenged at ev­ery turn by the ar­rival of Julius Berger (Mabius), a slip­pery char­ac­ter who was one of the peo­ple placed in charge of se­lect­ing who would be given seats on the lim­ited num­ber of rocket trans­ports to Carpathia.

“We pick up the story,” says Mabius, “as the last shut­tle in the past five years has ar­rived, and he has some very def­i­nite ideas about how things should have gone on when they took on Carpathia, but as the sea­son goes on there is such weight and mo­men­tum that picks up that by the fi­nal episode it is ab­so­lutely elec­tric.”

Page 19 TV Cross­word an­swer: Ty Bur­rell

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