Netflix has gone from being a postal DVD loaning service to a television and film producer of some note. This offering from their catalogue is a Scandinavian post apocalyptic drama.
Set in Demark the basic plot revolves around a deadly virus carried by Rain. If you get touched by rain or infected animals you die very very quickly, there is no incubation period no time for a cure, you die and die horribly. Our lead heroes are a brother and sister Simone and Rasmus who are left in a bunker by their father. Simone is told Rasmus is the key to it all and she must protect them. They emerge after 6 years to find a devastated world. The rain is still a risk and they must travel from bunker to bunker whilst searching for their scientist father who knows a lot more about the virus than he lets on. They join up with a small team of similar aged individuals Martin, a soldier, Beautrice a messed up wild child, Patrick a waster, Jean the uncomfortable nerd and Lea the religious one.
Things are not easy in the wild, its a dog eat world out there with strange cults, people struggling to survive and a paramilitary organisation which is rounding up people in their effort to find Rasmus.
The Danish setting is refreshing and the English dubbing is particularly good meaning you can really enjoy the series without concentrating on subtitles. There are a whole range of moral and social questions raised in this series some handled better than others. As most are in their early teens and twenties the usual emotional angst of growing up collides with their struggle for survival.
The rain is made to be a very effective and scary antagonist and you quickly realise the terror they live in for every rain drop and the trouble you need to go to to find clean drinkable water. The science overall is rather shaky but the virus is just a mechanism to isolate them and force them to make decisions.
The first season is particularly strong as the backstory of each character is explored and the group go from distrustful outsiders to a group of friends who support and to some extent trust each other.
The second season struggles as most core concept shows do. Its hard to keep the pace and interest up season after season. The problem was the same with Lost and Threshold etc. Once the threat is personalised or defeated in some way you need to alter the parameters of the show to keep it going. The second season does this by explaining much of the unknown of the first but establishing a clear direction and a new dynamic. The friendship group is challenged in ways it hasn’t been before and new characters are introduced to mix things up.
Overall it is an entertaining series which like most modern post apocalyptic challenges you to think what would you do? How far would you go?