The new series of Misfits has a lot to deal with, after the deaths of Simon and Alisha at the end of the third season, and the off-screen departure of Kelly. It leaves just Curtis from the original line-up, with Rudy and Seth both playing a larger part in the episode to counter-balance the introductions of the new team members. It’s equally worth noting that of all the current British SF shows (including Primeval, since New World is very much series 6 of that show), only Merlin has kept the same line up from the start, and that’s because of the nature of its story (and even then, Lancelot was written out early).
If this opening episode is anything to go by, Howard Overman and the team have decided to go a much darker route. There have been plenty of dark moments in Misfits before, but this is almost unremitting, as Get Carter meets Saw meets The Long Good Friday. Even the two coda scenes promise further darkness ahead!
It’s well played, though, with the usual toe-curling scenes, and one particular moment that will probably get a lot more flack than it deserves, given that no one could have predicted some of the current headlines. The two new characters are thrown in at the deep end and, as the final scenes and throwforward indicate, there’s a lot more about both to be revealed, so a snap judgement would be unwise.
Verdict: A very different start to the year will hopefully intrigue fans enough to keep them watching despite the many changes. 7/10