Raised by Wolves (8/10) - Unsettling Sci-Fi Horror with Androids

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Raised by Wolves is a far future sci-fi series that experiments with the usual android trope of the heartless automaton bent on death and destruction. Many different subtexts are explored in raised by wolves including the nature of belief, the duality of human behavior and the nature of love.

The story follows the lives of the two androids called Mother and Father as they attempt to navigate the task of raising a group of human children on the inhospitable planet Kepler-22b. The atmosphere of the setting in Raised by Wolves is a big part of what makes this sci-fi drama stand out.

Jagged mountains jut from the earth like the teeth of ancient creatures long extinct, while Baobab-like trees grow scattered across dusty planes. Howling winds scour desert and scrub land, while strange holes that plunge deep into the earth litter the surface of the planet.

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This haunting landscape compliments the unsettling relationship between the androids and their human children. In the first half of the series there is a distinct uneasiness in how the character of mother deals with her role as career. Father seems more suited to adapting to the emotional complexity of human interaction, and the interplay between the two androids creates an atmosphere of tension. As the story progresses this feeling of unease is heightened as our initial impressions of the morality of the setting are challenged.

The first two episodes of RBW were directed by Ridley Scott, who also serves as an executive producer for the show. His influence is evident throughout the series as echoes of the psychological horror of Alien pervade the desolate landscape of Kepler-22b. A constant undercurrent of fear pervades the dust, kept alive by the mystery of random attacks by creatures of unknown origin.

I stumbled across raised by wolves when searching for TV shows staring Travis Fimmel (Ragnor of Vikings fame). Although Fimmel is great in his role as Marcus, a soldier in the Mithraic fleet, the star of this show is undoubtedly Amanda Collin as the android Mother.

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Beyond these two protagonists, the supporting cast manage to portray complex relationships, struggles and conflict. Mother and Father (played by Abubakar Salim) are at constant odds over how to raise the children, and their only surviving son Campion (played by Winta McGrath) plays the role of empath well. There is so much more great character interplay, especially between the believers of Sol, the god of the Mithraic religion. But my spoiler alarm is ringing now, so I shall leave you to discover these stories for yourself.

There is a stand out scene when Mother goes on a rampage that will not disappoint fans of blood and gore. But I found the horror element of the show to be more psychological. The story challenges preconceived notions of right and wrong, leading us to the conclusion that in the theatre of atrocity it is all a matter of perspective.

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If you are a fan of dark and unsettling sci-fi drama, raised by wolves is not to be missed. In terms of immersing you in a far future sci-fi universe, raised by wolves ranks as my favorite show in the last 10 years with Altered Carbon coming in a close second.

The final two episodes of raised by wolves expand on the history of the planet Kepler-22b, setting up for a second season and further horrors to come.


Likes:
  • Strange, unsettling and original storyline.

  • Good story progression, maintaining mystery until the very end of the series.

  • Special effects are amazing, transporting you to another world.

  • Believable, complex and psychologically fluid characters.

Dislikes:
  • I found the character of Campion to be a little annoying.

  • There are moments where subplots detract from the main storyline.


IMDB Score: 7.7/10
My score: 8/10
Available on HBO Max and Now TV

Thanks for reading 🙂

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Very true what you say about Campion; Raised By Wolves is an excellent series, not only for the science fiction part but for the family drama it deals with, we see how two species struggle with the fact of being parents, that their feelings are managed by beliefs, we see how androids can deal with marital problems such as trust between couples, that one of the people who make up a relationship believes it has more importance than the other; actually there are many details in the episodes that make up this first season and I can say that I look forward with great expectations for the continuation of this story.

hi @nameless16

we see how two species struggle with the fact of being parents, that their feelings are managed by beliefs, we see how androids can deal with marital problems such as trust between couples, that one of the people who make up a relationship believes it has more importance than the other.

I absolutely agree with all you're saying. There is so much more going on in Raised by Wolves than I expressed in the review. The storyline about Tempest that deals with sexual abuse is really heart wrenching, and I was punching the air in celebration when she finally manages to destroy her abuser. Plus all the interesting mystery around the creatures and the history of the planet... lol I better stop now in case anyone reads this who hasn't watched it yet.

I always find it is like dancing a fine line writing a review between doing the film/program justice and not putting loads of spoilers in 😂

Ha ha, and Campion... what a brat 😉

I loved this series so much, and like you, can't wait for season 2.
Thanks for reading, and your comment.

One of the best series of last year. I loved it ! Especially the female android character. The actress has jumped to fame thanks to this character. A second season is already confirmed. I found Campion's character annoying in several episodes. I think it is a universe that can be exploited for several seasons, it all depends on the audience.

Hi @jcrodriguez

I was also very impressed with Raised by Wolves. It has to be the best thing I've watched in a long time. It is a real joy when you stumble upon something that good. Like a good book you can't put down I couldn't stop watching it and ended up binge watching the whole season in two days 😂

I agree that the Mother character was amazing. I'm a writer of fiction outside of hive, as well a little here, and what impressed me about the mother character was the depth of the writing portraying her. At first I was sure she was an evil character, the villain of the story. I was expecting her to reflect a pretty simple commentary on how the programing of the androids couldn't replicate human emotion. But as it progressed she shows herself to be much more than the programing, or perhaps we are all just products of our programing, what we are taught as we grow up. Anyway, I'm getting a little philosophical here, but these are the kinds of musings that this show stirred in me. Largely due to the way the writers effectively showed an evolution of thoughts/behavior through the character of Mother and to a lesser extent Father.

I think it is a universe that can be exploited for several seasons, it all depends on the audience.

Yeah, I saw that a second season has been confirmed and I would love to see 3 or 4 in total. I think there is much more scope for them to explore the themes of belief/religion and the history of the planet that they have hinted at in season 1.

Thanks for reading, and your comment 🙂

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