Reviewed By: Eiphel
Review Date: 8/3/12 7:40 pm
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.
The Sphere was a decent introductory story. It demonstrated all the key points of the series - the innocence, the power, the atmosphere of lurking corruption, the hidden dangers in the world and in the girls. I felt it could have more organically worked in the backstory than simply having an expository narration open the episode, but I can understand a desire to clear the decks so the episode can focus on pushing the girls onwards, not revisiting their past. The series only had three stories to work with, after all, and the theme of onward movement and development is fairly defining.
The corrupt leisure world setting isn't anything new to sci-fi, but like the above, I think that helped by throwing out a backdrop which immediately hits key themes of the series without crowding the narrative space. Certainly I thought the setting was well realised - the universe of the series in general seems to be - and really the focus is more on character drama than high-concept SF. That's where the Sphere is succesful: It's a stage for some really good characters. Marek feels like a character who could easily have gone wrong, being too sleasy or too annoying or too cute, and hanging around undermining the sisters' scenes. He's not, though; he's very good. There's a careful balance of caring, sympathetic, and victimised with selfish, unpleasant and manipulative. Fraser James has particularly good rapport with the leads. Meanwhile Colin Spaull's Uncle Lindsay is a delicious 'villain'. Not that he's really a villain, that's just the role he's playing in these circumstance, this context... That's a recurring theme across all of these stories. No villains and no heroes. The Graceless universe isn't that simple. There's people being antagonistic, and people being honourable. Sometimes there's people being downright monstrous. But it's always a matter of circumstance, and it's never the whole of their nature. I love that. 7/10