The Hidden Gem of Utopia


Gabriel Davidson, Reporter

Imagine a mysterious virus hit, made people sterile, and was created in a lab for the sole goal of destroying the human race. Yeah, it sounds like a conspiracy theory that gets peddled by QAnon wackos, but it’s actually the plot of one of the most underrated TV series straight from the United Kingdom. Utopia UK, not to be confused with the U.S. version on Amazon Prime, follows a wide set of protagonists as they battle a mysterious organization bent on massive population reduction. It’s a 2013 conspiracy thriller that’s begun to see a revival in interest, notably after a couple of big-name movie reviewers and YouTubers began to repopularize it. The immaculate soundtrack is by none other than Cristobal Tapia de Veer, notable for his work on Black Mirror and The Girl With All the Gifts, incorporating avant-garde sound design techniques to create a nigh-hallucinogenic experience.

Utopia is similar to Black Mirror in that it incorporates a healthy dose of black comedy, although it never becomes too pervasive, which maintains the atmosphere of the show. The actors perfectly execute their roles, with even minor characters being able to deliver powerful monologues. In fact, it is through often one-shot characters that moral dilemmas, often in the form of speech, are presented. There is no filler, everything is utilized to its full extent, and the arcs that carry our protagonists from everyday day-to-day people into fugitives working, with due hesitation, to bring down a vast and enigmatic network leave you wishing for more.

Utopia was intended to have spanned at least three seasons, though only two were produced, the show being left unrenewed by its network. A more recent, aforementioned U.S. version, produced by Amazon Prime, has received lackluster reviews and especially hostile disdain from fans of the original, who find it dumbied down and condescending. As it appears now, Utopia is in network purgatory, with its fate uncertain, though renewed interest and a cult following offer optimists hope that it might again be renewed.