Race yourself free….
- Originally posted on April 18, 2019
The Sky network has produced some brilliant and original production over the last few years. I was a big fan of Fortitude (even if it made little sense for most of it) and decided to watch the first episode of their neon-drenched, race-to-the-end thriller series. With zombies.
I watched to the end, absolutely exhilarated. It’s hard to believe that the main section of the show took place across one night, considering the amount that happened. There was a wonderful cast, full of stars, yet the slightly lesser known names made their mark and shone. (Special shoutout to Sean Bean for being a wonderful villain). A full cast list is at the bottom.
Whether it was Roman, losing various family members and having one of the hardest battles to the finish, or Faith, pregnant with a gangster’s baby, ready to give birth at any second. Kaye, who had a complicated relationship with Ruby because of her past misdemeanours with her boyfriend, Michael. Or indeed, Michael himself, who may be the only potential cure for the virus which has bought about the curfew (for reasons explained), or Lou, who only wants to do the right thing but is determined to win for her and her daughter. You start to feel for the characters, and it is so well written that you see both good and bad from all of them.
The plot is excellent. The use of flashbacks is usually rendered to the occasional moment where a character has a remembrance from the past that effects their current actions. Not here. They are used relentlessly to tell the story of why all of the main cast got to be taking part in the illegal car race, and it is even explained excellently through multiple characters why there were even zombies in the first place. (Trust me, the reason is a surprise). Certain scenes are told through multiple perspectives at different points, and this even counts for events during the race.
As would be expected from a race, there are lots of twists and turns, but not just from the driving. There are many crazy situations in the series which are navigated shockingly, glamorously and humorously. And all of the characters left at the end get the endings they wanted / deserved. But no character is safe from the chills of death.
There have been no updates from Sky as to whether we should expect a second series. As much as I loved this show, I don’t want one. The story is perfect as it is. There is no need to turn it into a yearly event, similar to the Purge. The ending could have been longer, but there is not enough loose ends to warrant season 2. What would be nice is a special 9th episode, maybe released later in the year, to update us on the two plots remaining at the end as a follow up. While everything that is needed to be explained is done so, there is some details which could be explored.
I would recommend this show as a thrill ride. Great soundtrack, great directing, and wonderful acting. Six hours of the most entertaining TV you will see this year.
Sean Bean as Errol “The General” Chambers
Ike Bennett as Roman Donahue
Michael Biehn as Roadkill Jim
Adam Brody as Max Larssen
Aimee-Ffion Edwards as Ruby Newman
Rosie Fellner as Sylvie Chambers
Phoebe Fox as Kaye Newman
Robert Glenister as Jared Grieves
Thaddea Graham as Hanmei Collins
Guz Khan as Cheese
Malachi Kirby as Michael Garwick
Adrian Lester as Simon Donahue
Andi Osho as Jenny Donahue
Chris Reilly as Clarence
Miranda Richardson as Lou Collins
Richard Riddell as Kovacks
Jessye Romeo as Meg Donahue
Elijah Rowen as Zane
Clive Russell as Mac
Peter Sullivan as Sebastian Underhill
Jason Thorpe as El Capitano
Harriet Walter as Helen Newman
Rose Williams as Faith Palladino
Billy Zane as Joker Jones