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Movies & TV

06th Jul 2024

Netflix’s new superhero drama has us missing its 6-year-old beloved sci-fi show

Stephen Porzio

The series hailed from the creators of The Matrix.

Netflix’s new British superhero drama Supacell has been major success, topping the service’s TV charts in the UK and scoring a perfect 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes.

And having watched all of its six episodes, we’d say the show’s inventive ground-level superhero storytelling, its great performances and its group of likeable characters finding strength through adversity make it well worth seeking out.

That being said, the series’ story – which revolves a group of five strangers who become inextricably linked through their burgeoning supernatural abilities – recalls an earlier Netflix cult favourite show: Sense8.

For those not aware, Sense8 ran between 2015 and 2018 and comprised of two seasons, a Christmas special and a feature-length finale.

Created by Lana and Lilly Wachowski (The Matrix), alongside J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5), it tells the story of eight strangers around the globe who find themselves able to connect mentally and to access one another’s knowledge, language and skills.

These eight people are a bus driver in Kenya (played by Aml Ameen in season one and Toby Onwumere in season two), a South Korean kickboxer (Bae Doona), a trans woman hacktivist in San Francisco (Jamie Clayton), a pharmacist in India (Tina Desai), an Icelandic DJ (Tuppence Middleton), a Berlin safecracker (Max Riemelt), an actor in Mexico (Miguel Ángel Silvestre) and a Chicago cop (Brian J. Smith).

The group is forced to band together when a mysterious organisation begins hunting them down, intent on destroying them.

Sense8 is a truly unique show, essentially telling eight different stories focused around each of its lead characters – all of which alternate in genre from drama to comedy to crime thriller.

While at first these stories feel fragmented from one another, as Sense8 goes on they become intertwined.

This is not just due to this overarching threat mentioned above. One of the real delights of the programme is watching its lead characters’ become more and more used to their blossoming abilities to the extent that they begin using one another’s distinct skills to overcome difficult situations.

For example, when the Berlin safecracker has to act tough while navigating the city’s crime scene, he draws upon his new friend from Mexico’s acting abilities.

Also incredibly impressive about Sense8 is the fact that it was filmed almost entirely on location around the world, which really creates a sense of place and adds to the series’ global scope.

On top of all this ambition, Sense8 ultimately succeeds for similar reasons to Supacell: its extremely likeable characters you want to follow and its deeper societal themes – with the former exploring issues related to identity, sexuality, gender and politics with a true sense of empathy.

Having attracted a devout cult following during its run, Sense8 holds an 86% score on Rotten Tomatoes.

You can read a sample of some of the positive reviews for its first season right here:

Boston Herald: “Not since Lost or the early seasons of The Walking Dead have I been this wrapped up in a group of characters’ survival and well-being.”

Collider: “One of the most ambitious science fiction projects of the past decade.”

Den of Geek: “The 12-episode nominally science fiction series new on Netflix is without a doubt one of the most artistic, cerebral, and well-written offerings this year.”

The Stake: “The Wachowskis are known for their visuals and kinetic storytelling, which is on full display in Sense8. Each establishing shot lavishes attention on the details of each location, and the colors are spectacular.”

Vox: “In its best moments, Sense8 expands the visual grammar of what television is capable of.”

The entirety of Sense8 is streaming on Netflix now.

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