Synopsis: The Lyons family gather in 2019, but what will the future hold for them?
Review: A new six-part drama from the pen of Russell T. Davies follows the fortunes of the Lyons family as they navigate the years between 2019 and 2034.
Beginning in the present day. This first episode introduces us to the Lyons family as they progress through the years from 2019 to 2024, which sees Donald Trump get a second term and begin a war with China, which of course the UK gets sucked into.
The drama follows the Lyons through their complicated intwined personal lives with lots of focus on siblings Stephen who is a financial advisor and Daniel who is a housing officer that is working hard to house refugees.
This first episode sees Daniel realizing that his husband Ralph is not the man he should have married, a fact brought home to him by Ralph’s rather funny and ill-informed views about the earth potentially being flat. Despite years and years of evidence proving otherwise. I thought the comment about Apple Computers being flat and not necessarily being made of apples particularly amusing.
Added to this we see Stephen and his wife Celeste having to deal with the fact that their eldest daughter who communicates using a filter that projects a holographic emoji over her face wants to be trans. Not transexual as they think, but transhuman. Which means that she wants to give up her body and have her brain uploaded to a cloud server in Switzerland.
Along the way, we also meet Rosie Lyons who is a fun loving single mum with Spina bifida. She has a fun scene where she meets up with a guy and finds out that he has been using sexual attachments on a robot to amuse himself, which sees her wheeling herself out of that mans bed faster than an Olympic wheelchair sprinter.
And the final member of the Lyons family that we meet is Edith who is a political activist working in Vietnam. Who happens to be there toward the end of the episode when a nuclear missile is fired on a nearby synthetic island that is owned by China.
Tying all of this together are various situations that happen through the years due to the populist right in UK politics within the context of a post-Brexit world. Articulating the voice of these politics is right-wing political figure Vivienne Rook who is played with absolute glee by Emma Thompson. Rook is a cross between Brexit Party Leader Nigel Farage and Katy Hopkins and her views throughout the series are just as far right as both those people. In a nutshell, she doesn’t give a F### hence her political party, which is known as the four-star party.
I also loved the grandmothers comment about how great Woolworths was and Tsunamis being a modern day thing were hilarious.
Russell T. Davies has managed to pull together a brilliant cast for this series so it’s really difficult to pick one standout performance because there were a few fun performances.
First off Emma Thompson is absolutely fantastic as Viv Rook the no-nonsense politician that makes Nigel Farage look positively wet. She is a character that very established when she says she doesn’t give an F### about Israel on a live panel show.
I also have to give Russell Tovey a thumbs up for his monologue in which he says that in 2008 politics was boring and adds that he is really worried now. I think Daniels monologue in this particular part of the show is very true to the uncertainty and fear that most people have about the future. I also thought the scene where Daniel and his husband Ralph have a brief argument on whether the earth is flat was really funny and very true. I’ve actually met people that think the earth is flat.
I also thought T’Nia Miller was brilliant as Celeste. The very busy and loving wife of Stephen who becomes exasperated by her oldest daughter wanted to become transhuman. I love how the calm veneer shattered when she was shouting up the stairs to refuse her daughters wishes.
Russell T. Davies manages to hit the zeitgeist of modern society in this drama, which even predicts the death of Doris Day at 97 years old, which only happened a couple of days ago.
This is definitely appointment television, which satirizes modern politics and the stupidity of people in general but also manages to poke fun at some rather bleak situations.
I can’t wait to see what happens next week.
- Incidental Music9.6