A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Origin is a science fiction series about a group of passengers on their way to a new planet who discover they are drifting alone in an empty ship in space. Language and violence will be the chief parental concerns about this show: Violence includes creepy visuals such as a man who falls a very long way and lands with a brutal thud, an unearthly threat that makes bodies contort and bend unnaturally, a man who hits another with a shovel in the head and then buries him without checking he's dead. Expect scary visuals and lots of dark menace. Language is frequent: "hell," "f--k," "goddamn," "damn," "s--t," "a--hole," "Jesus f---ing Christ," "wanker." Adults drink, and one character smokes cigarettes (on Earth, not in space). A man is seen nude (no private parts are visible) when escaping a dangerous situation. The cast is diverse in ethnicity and race, and women and characters of color have strong central roles.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
ORIGIN picks up on a future Earth, where scientists have discovered a planet, Thea, five light years away and capable of sustaining human life. The Thea Project aims to import new colonists to build on the planet, promising all who make the journey that their misdeeds at home will be wiped away and they can get a fresh start. But when Shun (Sen Mitsuji), Lana (Natalia Tena), Logan (Tom Felton), and a small group of other colonists suddenly wake inside the ship en route to Thea -- and realize that the ship is empty of other passengers and crew -- they realize something went very wrong. Now they're adrift in space and up against a deadly threat.
Is it any good?
Dark and compellingly written, this sci-fi series takes a timeworn premise and makes it fresh with brisk plotting and excellent characterizations. Stranding a bunch of strangers with complicated pasts in a dangerous situation is a clichéd notion, and making said situation a ship lost in space has been done before too. But viewers tempted to tune out once they get the lay of the land will get drawn into the show's mysteries whether they want to or not. What strange force has left this skeleton crew of passengers drifting alone through space? And does the fresh start each of them were promised even exist at their destination?
The show takes a slow-burn approach to doling out characters' stories, with each episode flashing back to delve into the past of a single character. Shun's first up in the pilot, and as we explore his down-and-dirty life in a gorgeous Blade Runner-esque future Tokyo, we slowly start to grasp the stakes for the lost passengers, each of whom were heading toward an uncertain future to escape an unbearable present. Traveling five light years to colonize a new planet would have been adventure enough -- and now this happens. Will the colonists ever reach Thea alive? And what's waiting for them when they get there? Slowly, intriguingly, Origin teases out the answers for sci-fi fans willing to delay satisfaction.
Talk to your kids about ...
Science fiction dramas like Origin are frequently set in space. Why? What types of plotlines does this setting lend itself to?
What's the difference between science fiction series and movies? What types of stories can be told in a movie vs. episodically on television? Which do you prefer?
Are the depictions of violence in Origin to service the story or make a greater point about the dangerous situation the characters find themselves in? Or does the violence feel excessive? What's the difference?
For kids who love science fiction
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