Paradox (2009)

Whether our future is unwritten or just unknown? It is a massive disadvantage that we do not know what lies ahead of us. That is often pondered writers, creating scenarios where their protagonist has the upper hand, using this knowledge for personal gain, with heavy consequences. In 2009, a British miniseries examined what would happen if we had the faintest of prior insight in the moments before disaster, and how changing the future to prevent disaster, but at what cost? In the rightly named Paradox.

Ticking clocks like these also add to the drama, as every second counts and every dead end could be fatal.

Due to some cosmic irregularity, a research lab in the U.K. receives some harrowing images of a crime/disaster that is yet to happen. The police force quickly set up a sub-unit and monitor the situations develop. The images for the slithers of clues that could help narrow down the victims, where the incident takes place, and how to stop the prophecy. But the images keep coming and this task-force must stay extra vigilant. Can they trust the scientist who has some problems with the law before?

It’s cryptic clues like these that our team has to go on…

While the description of this show does make it sound like The Minority Report with extra steps. It is a real race right down to the wire to try to decipher what the photographs are depicting and where all within the time-slot of 24 hours. Intercut through the police investigations is the everyday human side of the victims, like an episode of the hit B.B.C. show Casualty. It can help to heighten the tension seeing the unfortunate consequences in advance, meanwhile, the interpersonal drama between the team and Dr King, as well as the overarching mystery of the time-bending phenomenon will keep audiences coming back for more.

…Though in a lot of cases they lead to solutions that you’d never see coming.

Paradox does boast some impressive talent both on and off the screen, and to those that are devotees of British T.V. would likely be familiar with their prior work. In the lead, we have Tamzin Outwait leads as DI Flint, she is not alone accompanied by DS Holt played by Mark Bonnar and DC Gada played by Chiké Okonkwo. But it is the mysterious and enigmatic lead scientist Dr King played by Emun Elliott, that helps the show transcend the sci-fi procedural, with his less than accommodating attitude fostering intrigue. Together they facilitate the narrative crafted by notable writer Elizabeth Mickery.

Dr King is a fascinating character that manages to up the stakes of this intriguing drama.

Paradox is a cool little concept that certainly does not overstay its welcome, an interesting saga told over five parts. It feels quintessentially British in its execution, especially during a time when sci-fi was becoming de rigueur on television screens. Fans of the above will feel at home with this offering especially looking for an evening’s worth of binge watchable entertainment. While it may not be realised during its time, Paradox will soon find out that sometimes greatness is indeed written in the stars.

They may not like like much, but Flint & co. make a fine team

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