TV - The Leftovers Season 1, Episode 1

The Leftovers

People go missing? Time to grab Steve Taylor-Bryant, but not for questioning, for reviewing purposes...


Sky Atlantic channel here in the United Kingdom. 9pm on a Tuesday.  Watch it!

What? Why do I have to explain? What do you mean folk don’t do as I say yet? What kind of ship are we running here?

After a professional discussion with TeamCultDen apparently you need more than just a start time. Think Flash Forward, bits of Donnie Darko, the kind of show you would expect HBO to make and every actor under the 'A' List you can think of and you are pretty much there. On October 14th, just over 2% of the world’s population disappear in the blink of an eye. The Leftovers starts three years later with a town still coming to terms with the loss over 100 people from their community. Police Chief Kevin Garvey (Justin Theroux) tries his best to keep law and order but has lost his own family in the form of his wife and daughter.  His wife has joined the strange Cult on the edge of town called The Guilty Remnants who work in complete silence and are all victims of the disappearance, while his daughter Jill (Margaret Qualley) is coming apart at the seams, causing trouble at school and involving herself in parties and teen sex.

The local Mayor is hosting a Heroes Day, a celebration of those that have been lost. Garvey thinks this is idiotic and will bring out the idiots and, at the event, we see an almost anti-preacher in Matt Jamison (Christopher Eccleston) who declares that it wasn’t the rapture, as not all those taken were worthy, cue jokes about Gary Busey and the Pope both disappearing. The locals see the Guilty Remnants, including Garvey's wife Laurie (Amy Brennerman), come to the event with their placards and a confrontation occurs. Meg (Liv Tyler) finds all the stress of living through the disappearance too much to deal with and goes to join the Guilty Remnants.

This pilot episode was a character introduction and, if you don’t like your television complicated then maybe give it a miss, but those willing to commit to the various storylines that are beginning to unravel will witness some epic storytelling. Created by the guy behind Lost (Damon Lindeolf) some may just see the basic premise and think of a rehash, but this is deeper, more complex and better cast than Lost was and, if the tale to unfold keeps up to the very high standard, it will better Lost that drifted into the realms of not very good after the first season.

Just from the great performances, Amy Brennerman is as good silent with a pen as when she speaks, and, with the quality of the writing, I am hoping for magnificent things and this first special gets full marks.


Image - Sky Atlantic