TV review by
Kari Croop, Common Sense Media
Intruders TV Poster Image
Moody sci-fi mystery has moments of unsettling violence.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

A sinister cloud hangs over most scenes, and the general mood is ominous. Bad forces seem to win out over good more often than not.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The central character is on a heartfelt quest to find his wife, but others' motives are far less certain. Characters can "turn" and suddenly go from being positive to negative role models.


Violent acts range from shootings and beatings to a teen suicide. Some blood and gruesome imagery.


Sex is simulated and suggestive, but no sensitive parts are shown.


Gateway terms such as "damn" and "hell" are typical.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some social drinking. Some characters smoke cigarettes.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Intruders centers on a series of violent murders and mysterious disappearances that involve children and adults alike. Violent acts can be bloody and seriously unsettling, from a teen committing suicide to a young girl intentionally drowning a cat. There's sex, too, although no sensitive parts are shown, and some characters drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes. You'll also hear gateway terms such as "damn" and "hell" but nothing stronger.

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What's the story?

After moving to the Pacific Northwest to leave his past behind him, a former LAPD cop (John Simm) sees his quiet life turned upside down when his wife (Mira Sorvino) disappears without a trace. But the plot thickens when an old friend (Troy Kittles) turns up on his doorstep seeking help with a mysterious murder case, prompting Jack to get involved despite his skepticism. What he finds is a mesmerizing web of clues with sinister overtones and surprising INTRUDERS.

Is it any good?

Sprung from the mind of X-Files writer Glen Morgan, Intruders makes a concerted effort to be creepy, and, in many ways, that thoughtfulness pays off. The series' initial moments are both artful and awful, and the first episode concludes with a well-timed sense of dread. But everything in between is less compelling -- and needlessly confusing -- taking Intruders from a "must-see" to a "maybe."

Simm, a British actor, is more or less believable as an American cop (albeit bearing a nagging resemblance to fellow English actor Martin Freeman), and you instantly relate to him as a likable hero. But the "villains" elicit a far less visceral response, mainly because the series wants to keep their motivations as murky as possible.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Intruders' depiction of violent acts -- particularly those that involve children -- and the series' intended audience. Is the show appropriate for older teens, and was it even meant for them? How can you tell who's being targeted?

  • How does the fact that Intruders is an eight-part series (as opposed to traditional U.S. series with much longer runs) affect its structure and pacing? What series length do you prefer?

  • How does Intruders relate to British author Michael Marshall Smith's The Intruders, the novel upon which it's based? How many creative liberties does the series take with its source material -- and does it matter?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love thrills

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