Just what is going on in the series premiere of BBC America’s new series “Intruders”? That’s a question that many viewers will likely find themselves asking if they tune in. But thanks to some brilliant directing and great acting, those questions shouldn’t scare potential fans away from becoming obsessed with the mystery series.
Like “Orphan Black” before it, “Intruders” asks its viewers to be patient. This isn’t a show that’s meant to be straightforward, for better or worse. Much like the novel on which its based on, “Intruders'” structure unfolds at its own pace, which will likely frustrate your average TV viewer.
But the television landscape is moving farther and farther away from that traditional TV show experience. Instead of your average procedural, more and more dramas are coming out along the lines of “The Leftovers” and “Fargo,” which present an engaging set of circumstances and ask the audience to come along for the ride instead of to come along for a payoff.
One big criticism of “Intruders” is that it doesn’t offer a lot of room for entry. The series throws the viewer into a strange version of our own world, replete with secret societies and possessions, and asks them to go with the flow. That might be too much to ask for a show that doesn’t tease its hand to the audience early on, but perhaps it is the sort of challenging series that viewers will flock to in the post-“Lost” era of modern television.
The creator of the show, Glen Morgan, tells Zap2it he knew exactly how he wanted “Intruders” Season 1 to end when he pitched his vision for it, and he stuck with that through to the finale in episode 8. That should offer some relief to fans used to mystery series setting up an interesting premise but that ultimately doesn’t pay off. “Intruders” knows what it wants to be and, based on what its cast and showrunner have said, sticks to that.
Led by the talented Mira Sorvino, John Simm and James Frain, “Intruders” weaves an interesting tapestry of deception, mystery and the paranormal for a promising premiere. It offers a more dramatic take on science fiction than BBC America’s pulpy, fun “Doctor Who” and cult-favorite “Orphan Black,” and that could be just what the network needs to be the new go-to sci-fi destination.
“Intruders” premieres Saturday, Aug. 23 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on BBC America.