HBO Max has struck gold again with this absolute gem from director/producer Ridley Scott, Raised By Wolves. Similarly to his previous work, which is a very long and eclectic list, Raised By Wolves will leave you questioning everything and anything. It delves into faith, religion, science, artificial intelligence, and our very own humanity. In some of Scott’s previous films like Alien, Blade Runner and Prometheus, the question of “who made us” was prevalent throughout. The question rarely has an obvious answer and is seldom transparent as to being the right question to ask. Join me in this spoiler-free review of one of my new favorite shows as I ask, are we on the right path as a species?
The general story of Raised By Wolves is about two androids, Mother and Father, who are sent to a very distant planet from Earth with several frozen human embryos. Their objective is quite simple. Use Mother’s ability to grow the embryos and raise these humans in an atheistic manner. The objective is in fact simple, but it doesn’t go quite as planned. There are unforeseen complications that lead Mother to some diabolical decisions and the well-being of the children is at stake.
Of course, far into the future, these androids and children are not the only ones who made it off of planet Earth alive. There is another group of humans, traveling very far toward the same planet, in search of salvation. These humans are extremely religious and believe quite the opposite of what Mother is teaching her children. These conflicting beliefs lead to conflict itself and then begins the questioning.
To stay true to my spoiler-free promise, I will end the storyline recap there. However, if you’re a little more curious before diving into the slow-paced but rather intriguing first episode, then you can read about it here.
This show starts very slow and is very strange. I’m no stranger to strange television or films and even this show was a bit odd for me. This show absolutely deserves respect in spite of that. It unequivocally deserves a fair chance by the viewers who may not be super Sci-Fi nerds like myself. With Ridley Scott at the helm of this beautiful work, you cannot start this without finishing it. You will not get the full value of this brilliant writing without seeing how it plays out.
Noteworthy Cast Members
The lovely actress Amanda Collin plays Mother. She is without question the best in the show and will soon be a household name. Her portrayal of Mother is not only believable but incredibly emotional and taxing. You’ll hate her, love her, and feel for her all by the time the first season end-credits roll.
I got a very similar feeling toward her that I did with Jamie Lannister on Game of Thrones. It’s such an intense role and the acting is so incredibly well-done. Over the course of the first season, her character arc is so tumultuous that you’ll have nothing but emotion towards her. That defines fantastic writing.
The uber talented Abubakar Salim plays Father, and video game fans may recognize him as the voice of Bayek in Assassin’s Creed: Origins.
His raw, emotionless portrayal of Father pulls at the robotic heartstrings throughout the season. His voice and prowess in the “field” are so powerful. Not only do I enjoy his character, but I really appreciated him as an actor for staying so strong throughout.
One of the religious zealots, Marcus, is played by Travis Fimmel.
He’s best known for his role as Ragnar Lothbrok in History Channel’s hit series Vikings. He is a fantastic actor and he brings the intimidating Viking presence into the role of Marcus extremely well.
The rest of the cast is great, especially the children, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Campion, the youngest of Mother’s children played by Winta McGrath.
Winta was nominated for a best young artist award for his role as Campion and boy did he deserve it. I haven’t enjoyed a young character like Campion this much since Eleven first flipped into the upside-down in Stranger Things. Winta is a phenomenal child actor and has a very promising career ahead of him.
This show became an instant hit for me. I loved everything about it from the characters, storyline, set design, and the landscape. Within the first few minutes, I recognized the rocky terrain and immediately related it to the same location in which Prometheus was filmed. Being a Ridley Scott production, this is not surprising. The characters, specifically Mother and Marcus, have incredibly detailed backstories that are told in flashback form and add a ton of drama. Once the viewer learns what or “who” Mother really is and what her true purpose is, the show is spun in 180°.
This show is absolutely worth investing ten episodes worth of your time, Sci-Fi fan or not. It has some of the best writing and acting currently on television. Since HBO Max decided not to renew the beautifully wonderful Lovecraft Country for a second season, Raised By Wolves can surely take its place to fill the void of space left in your televised desires.