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Whoever came up with this plan, we also know that it wasn’t
the dogs. Bill’s kitchen table poking this week revealed that their neural
density’s about as packed as a leaky beanbag, Those fools don’t even have an
optic nerve, let alone the acuity to come up with something of this magnitude. They’re
just the (terrifying, machine-gun-faced) monkeys, Bill surmises. Somewhere out
there, is an organ grinder.

Durrand reaches a similar conclusion in her investigation of
the crash site. There, the dogs are stumbling around like autumn wasps,
purposeless and insensible. Once as terrifying as the aliens in Aliens, with their crunchy mechanics and
custom bayonet expansion packs, these sad-sack mutts are almost… sympathetic.
It’s a triumph of VFX animation that makes them such. It’s cleverly done; no
faces, no voices, just a bunch of articulated joints, but still they seem
pitiable.

More pitiable, at least, than the “organic material” Durrand
and Mokrani discover at the crash site – less organ grinders than ground
organs. If humanity’s been scourged by what looks to the untrained eye like a
side of rancid bacon jammed into a melted vacuum cleaner, it’s a sad state of
affairs.  

It is a sad state
of affairs. Still. The corpses are beginning to rot. Characters are wondering
out loud if they’ll be lucky enough to die of cancer. Chloe thinks the best she
can hope for is a quick death. Ash is crying in the nursery over a little blue
hat. It’s not great timing for a series this filled with woe to have finally
arrived in the UK. If we want to see deserted streets and desolate, unpeopled
landscapes at the moment, there are windows for that. Comfort and nostalgia are
the TV escapism people want right now, not incrementally moving, elegantly
austere sci-fi.

It is slow-moving, this series – atmospheric and tastefully
composed with all its cool blues and chilly greys, but creeping along in terms
of story. We’re over halfway and it seems we’ve yet to meet the real enemy. Appreciating
that some things have to be saved for
season two
, it makes for frustrating viewing. Plot points like Emily and
Sacha’s psychic connection to the aliens are unexplored while Chloe and Noah’s
baffling incest-assault (and now, muscular dystrophy) storyline plays out.

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