In the not too distant future a cataclysmic explosion occurs in the center of a UK city on New Years Eve. A month later 5 square miles surrounding the explosion has been quarantined and the citizens are left gripped by fear of the possible toxicity and the lack of information the government supplies. As a few survivors start gathering information on their own, it becomes clear that something paranormal has risen from the ashes of the devastation. Something dark and evil has started to cause disturbing chaos among the denizens. This is the premise behind the 2015 three episode pilot series of ‘Residue’, now on Netflix.
It’s a shame the series only has three episodes. Writer John Harrison and director Alex Garcia Lopez weave a dark and twisted tale that pulls you in and keeps you wanting more. Well written it contains enough creeps to make you pull the blanket tighter, while unable to turn your eyes away. How the government handles the aftermath is rather believable, especially in light of the chaos of today’s world.
The characters the viewers get to follow are intriguing enough to help take the story deeper. Right from the beginning the main characters are introduced and with in five minutes the viewers have enough info about them so the action can jump right in. Performances by the actors keep you in emotional ties with the characters and you feel as if you are with them in their pursuit for the truth, no matter how horrifying it may be. Natalia Tena, most notable for her role as Nymphadora in the Harry Potter Series, leads the truth seekers. As Jennifer Preston she brings determination and strength to the photojournalist who seems to have no fear of walking the dark streets at night. Jennifer is the first to discover something sinister happening to the city’s citizens since the explosion. Her boyfriend Jonas, played brilliantly by Iwan Rheon, is trapped at the center of the chaos as the Government’s liaison who’s job requires him to put a spin on any information that is chosen to be released. Even he knows something doesn’t add up, and eventually he too decides to find out exactly what the government is hiding. Lastly, Jamie Draven plays troubled addict cop Levi who struggles with his own personal heartache from the explosion. Draven showcases real talent as the cop on the edge, willing to break a few rules to get to the truth. Even the city itself is presented as a character, dark, dangerous, and mysterious. It’s a perfect setting for the dark tale.
The show does have it’s faults. We are never really given the name of the city. There are crime lords and hoods that officer Levi goes through in his own search for truth. It seems out of place. Why would the government need to team up with the local crime boss to help keep things quiet? What exactly does the explosion have to do with the crime boss? It is possible that these answers would have come in future episodes, but as we only get three we may never get to know. The last episode builds up so much that when the cliff hanger arrives, it almost covers too many items too soon.
Residue is a fun watch full of creepiness and drama. Unfortunately there just isn’t enough of it. It makes you wonder why it has even been released on Netflix. There is a rumor that Netflix may pick up the series and when you watch the only three episodes available you will wish that rumor flourishes. Residue’s dark story is worth checking out. The writing and acting won’t leave you disappointed. The lack of conclusion will.