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As I just finished watching the second season of “Utopia”, it is worth reminding myself of how great a show this is. Especially season 1 starts with a bang and then tortures the audience (and the characters) with a slow but ruthless chase by a group of people that all are after a graphic novel. That book is kept by a bunch of misfits of one sort or the other, a fan club that has been secretly discussing that lost manuscript for a long time, but their fandom clouding the fact that this book is actually something very dangerous to have, with potential impact on the civilisation as we know it.

The atmosphere of slightly decrepit, but occasionally also wonderfully stylish Britain, with a “killer squad” that could not look more odd and could not be more cruel, with a bunch of weirdos who only slowly start realising what form of trouble they got themselves into, and with a Neo-like figure (you might initially think) who is a very bad-ass leader of their personal little resistance, this is just fantastic television. Music, production design, title design all fits together to create a really uncomfortable look into a maybe near future.

Season 2 lacks the novelty of season 1, is more straightforward plotwise, decides to grow in scale instead. That is still entertaining, but less atmospheric and more straightforward. Still worth your while, though, and still much better than most things you can see on a tv or movie screen these days. “Not for the faint of heart” alarm, but you will find out whether this is for you about 10 minutes into episode 1 of season 1, or at the latest when explanations are provided as to the possible application of sand, pepper and spoon. Application to an eye, that is.

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