Friday, 29 January 2010

10 Reasons to Watch: Alice

If there was ever a network that truly commits to its show’s, it’s   Sy-Fy and with Alice it is no different. I discovered Alice a couple of snapshot(14)months back when I was wondering what Matt Frewer was doing with himself, instead of being in Eureka.

I have to say, Alice is not perfect but as this is a “ten reasons to watch” post I wont be focusing on the negatives, I will be giving reasons, that in my opinion, make this show worth watching.

So… Was it worth not having Taggart for a whole season? Let’s find out as we go through the Looking Glass and find ten reasons to watch Alice…

  1. It’s Bonkers – What else did we expect from the channel that brought us Farscape? Possibly the best and yet most deranged Sci Fi ever envisioned. Everything from the Mad Hatter to the White Rabbit finds its place on this psychedelic canvas.
  2. It’s Stunning – If Tin Man can be seen as a precursor to Alice, then take the visual spectacle that it was and quadruple it and then add some just to be on the safe side. Unlike Tin Man that was almost apocalyptic in it’s grey-brown world of bleak disaster, Alice is bright and vibrant. Even the city, which is little more than a decimated husk of a world is visually splendorous.
  3. The Story – Even if you don’t know the Lewis Carroll original like me, you can still enjoy the way that Alice twists the story elements. This is not a retelling of the Alice in Wonderland story, it is more of a Return to Wonderland and everything is a very different and yet strangely the same. All the original characters are there, but, for example, The Mad March Hare is now an assassin.
  4. The Actors – I’ve already mentioned Matt Frewer, who plays the terrified White Knight. He reminded me quite a lot of Brave Brave Sir Robin from “That Monty Python Film”. But add to that Colm Meaney and Kathy Bates as the King and Queen of Hearts and the terrific Andrew Lee Potts as Hatter and the show really comes to life. Alice herself is portrayed by Caterina Scorsone and, although occasionally shaky, her beauty and charm should be enough to win over even the harshest of critics.
  5. A Tale for Modern Times – Whether or not Alice sets out to be a moral tale about a society built on instant gratification or not it certainly succeeds in being one. Although the issues that Alice deals with are dark, such as abandonment, addiction and revolution, the show itself remains vibrant and colourful.
  6. Straight into the Action – Unlike other Sci-fi miniseries, for example BSG, Alice draws the viewer through the looking glass and into the meat and gristle of the story, almost instantly. Although Battlestar as an entity is brilliant, the original miniseries takes it’s own sweet time getting going, Alice however goes down the Rabbit Hole after just 10 minutes and its all action from that point on.
  7. And What Action! – The locations for the action sequences are stupendous. The old library for example is an epic mix of fantasy and post-apocalyptic sci-fi that you just don't see everyday. The roof-top battle with the Queen’s agents feels like something from the matrix and chase sequence with the Jabberwock… I could go on!
  8. Nick Willing – The director who brought us Tin Man, is not only the brains behind the look and feel of this epic tale, but he is also the words and the creative genius. For a writer without that much experience Willing spins an excellent yarn, that coupled with his creative vision helps Alice to feel like a cohesive story, with rich characters and interesting plots. 
  9. Flying Pink Mopeds that look like Flamingos – Where else will you find that?
  10. One Off or Back Door Pilot? – I can list at least two shows that started on the Sci-Fi channel as just one offs and neither of them remained that way for long… Yes I am talking about Battlestar and Caprica. Will Alice too get itself a regular slot on the Sy-Fy channel? I don’t know… Admittedly Sci-Fi’s last venture into the literary remakes “TinMan” was never taken any further. On the other hand there is nothing else like Alice on any network that I’ve ever heard of, but can Sy-Fy really afford another big cast, special fx show when they already have Caprica and Stargate: Universe?

Whatever Sy-fy decide to do, Alice is certainly a brilliant reenvisioning of the classic for the modern age and while it has numerous problems, it scratches an itch we didn’t even know we had…snapshot(15)

This has been My Two Cents, until next time…


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