Particles Evaluation: NBC’s Quick-Paced Alien Drama Spins a Tantalizing Thriller


NBC’s new sci-fi drama Debris opens with a reasonably normal motion scene, with federal brokers chasing black-market crooks via a luxurious resort. However the crooks aren’t promoting weapons or diamonds; they’re promoting fragments of a destroyed alien spaceship which can be scattered throughout the globe. And when a resort maid innocently touches a kind of fragments, it immediately teleports her and sends her falling a number of tales to her demise. Sure, Particles — premiering subsequent Monday, March 1 at 10/9c; I’ve seen the collection premiere — is something however normal.

Community TV has a decidedly spotty observe file with science fiction, however after that premiere, I’ve formally acquired my hopes up for Particles, which will get off to an important begin and is full of potential. The premise is a juicy one: British MI6 agent Finola (The Magicians‘ Riann Steele) and American FBI agent Bryan (Kingdom‘s Jonathan Tucker) crew as much as observe down these mysterious spaceship fragments — which, when recovered, are being meticulously pieced collectively by authorities scientists — and clear up the thriller of the place they got here from and what they’re able to. Plus, in fact, there’s a human conspiracy brewing, with the priceless fragments typically falling into the unsuitable fingers.

Debris NBC Jonathan Tucker BryanParticles springs from the thoughts of Fringe author J.H. Wyman, and it briskly chugs together with the identical geeky, goofy power that beloved present had. (Bryan refers to 1 triangular spaceship fragment as a “nacho.”) We’re dropped proper in the course of the story, with the characters tossing round plenty of indecipherable jargon and not likely ready for us to catch up. (My evaluation notes had been stuffed with query marks.) However there are moments of pure awe, too, like when the brokers comply with a girl’s physique because it levitates throughout the bottom and right into a whirling twister of unexplained power. And by preserving its tales on a human stage, it manages to floor itself in actual emotion amid all of the technobabble.

Tucker is an underrated actor and a welcome presence on any TV present, from terrifying killer Matthew Brown on Hannibal to MMA bruiser Jay Kulina on Kingdom to gangster Frankie Ryan on Metropolis on a Hill. It’s good to see him get the highlight right here, and he brings a sly, rough-hewn attraction to Bryan. Steele is terrific, too, as Finola, who’s the extra by-the-book of the 2, they usually have a energetic, lighthearted banter between them; I’m curious to see how that bond develops within the weeks and years to return.

The particular results are top-notch, with chillingly convincing shards of alien tech turning up within the least seemingly of locations. And the tone is surprisingly creepy, backed by an ominous, bass-heavy rating. (The premiere facilities on what seems to be an alien possessing the physique of a small boy, together with his victims bleeding out of their eyes.) We don’t even get an opportunity to catch our breath because the plot hurtles ahead and one WTF twist is piled up on high of one other. In some unspecified time in the future, you simply should determine to sit down again and embrace the confusion.

It’s onerous to get too excited, although. I’ve solely seen one episode, in spite of everything, and we’ve all been down this street earlier than, with sci-fi dramas organising intriguing mysteries, solely to be cancelled earlier than we get any solutions. (ABC appears to launch a brand new one annually like clockwork.) As intriguing as Particles‘ central thriller is now, it may simply put on skinny if the producers run out of concepts too shortly; I can’t actually envision but how this may be sustained throughout a number of seasons. However for now, not less than, it’s a helluva enjoyable trip. It’s uncommon for a community to hit us with one thing as sensible and unusual and bold as this. So let’s get pleasure from it whereas we are able to.

THE TVLINE BOTTOM LINE: Good, bizarre and surprisingly creepy, NBC’s sci-fi drama Particles hits the bottom operating and doesn’t look again.

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