The Messengers: Review: Series 1 Episode 1: Awakening

MessengersAn extra-terrestrial object crashes to Earth and the wave of energy it emits affects a disparate group of people in strange ways…

The jury’s definitely out on this new series from the CW – given what’s in the throwforward to next week, in which the premise seems to be properly set out, it might well have been a sensible decision to air the first two hours in one block. It’s fair enough not to explain too much in the pilot, but at the very least an idea of what’s going on – beyond that all the characters seem to need to get to Houston – would be helpful in deciding whether to spend another hour on the show.

It doesn’t help that The Messengers mixes up some moderately clever moments with exceptionally trite ones – the two “Deep Space” researchers’ reaction to the arrival of the Army at the crash-landing site is an example of the former; the whole “bullied teen” routine at school and then the fight at the party is the latter. The impression you get is that these characters presumably have some angelic qualities now – wings can be seen in their reflections/camera images – but that angels can beat the crap out of people (or even kill them!). Then there’s a preacher whose life is going to hell – even if he doesn’t realise it – prior to his being affected, who delivers the rather clunky exposition to explain the show.

As for the “mysterious figure” who leaves the crash site? He needs to up his game. He starts off doing a Terminator routine to get clothing, and then channels Stephen King’s Andre Linoge from Storm of the Century… If The Man (as he’s credited) is truly meant to be Satan, then maybe Diogo Morgado should take some tips from Ray Wise…

Verdict: Sufficiently interesting to be worth investing another hour in, but it’s going to need to be a lot more than “stop the Devil” to make this worth more. 6/10

Paul Simpson

 

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