In time for some serious summer time binge watching, Netflix released a new original series available for streaming titled Sense8. This sci-fi series was created, written, and executively produced by both Michael Straczynski and the Wachowski siblings, Andy and Lana. The latter of which are most known for their work on The Matrix franchise.
The Netflix series begins with the pilot episode The Limbic Resonance. This approximate hour long episode begins in a dark scene with a woman who is seemingly in agonizing pain. We, the viewing audience, quickly experience the visions she begins having of strangers from across the world. Things start to get strange when we see that the strangers are struck with confusion as they have sudden glimpses of the very woman in their own unique surroundings. Since the show’s description tells of “eight strangers from around the globe begin having experiences that defy explanation,” it is clear that this vision of this woman shared by the strangers is the first inclination of this tie between these diverse individuals.
The first episode is mainly focused on giving us a glimpse into the individual stories of the now connected strangers. However, from the first episode it is hard to establish exactly what this connection is and who the woman at the beginning, who brought the eight people together in her mind, is and what role she will play in the plot. The only glimpse into the connection that really was shown was through some common feelings, visions, and noises shared amongst the eight.
For example, in one scene a young lady in Mumbai was confused when her father told her she did not need to look for an umbrella, as it was a perfectly sunny day. This caused confusion as the young woman explained that she swear she heard thunder and rain falling, as she was getting ready to go out. Fast track to the next scene and we see this thunder and rain that she must have been hearing, except it is not taking place in Mumbai, rather it is in Dublin at a funeral where we see another one of the connected individuals.
Another scene that demonstrated odd and possibly paranormal activity was when one of the strangers, a young Kenyan man, is given a chicken from a patron of a patron trying to ride his bus service. This particular chicken is momentarily carried on to the next scene, except it is found on the desk of a Korean business woman who is startled by its appearance and feels she has lost it as it quickly disappears and her office surroundings return to normal. Although, from these connections between the scenes, we are given a “sense” of what is to come from this sci-fi series, there are still a lot of questions that will surely be answered as the series continues.
By diving into the lives of eight different and complex strangers the pilot of this show no doubt has a lot of ground to cover. Although the pilot didn’t establish any telltale signs of where this series might be going with all of these disconnected individuals, it is not to say that it wasn’t intriguing to watch. With all of the changes in scenes and stories it was hard for the pilot not to feel dense. However the little hints of mystery and unearthliness both promise to capture audience attention.
After the first 45 minutes the show jumps to a different pace. For example we see one of the strangers, a young woman named DJ (Riley), jump instantaneously from the location of one of her fellow envisioned strangers (a policeman in Chicago) to that of another in Dublin. Much like the movie Jumper, Riley experiences being able to cross the world in a blink of an eye and is right away emerged in the action that is taking place wherever she finds herself. Unfortunately the pilot only gives you a taste of this ability and we are left with Riley’s startled face as she attempts to come to grips with her mind-boggling jump from country to country in a matter of minutes, if not seconds.
With the power to engulf its audience in the lives of eight diverse individuals, it is obvious that Sense8 is a show that one will have to invest in. From the pilot episode you do not get a lot of answers about the plot, instead you will most likely be filled with questions about what exactly these select strangers have in common.
There are a number of actors/actresses with notable resumes, but in terms of mass recognition, you may spot out Naveen Andrews who is known for his role as Sayid Jarrah in the hit series, Lost. In addition, actor Brian J. Smith, who played Max Harding on the teen drama Gossip Girl, also has a spot on the cast.
Next up for me is to binge-watch the next 11 episodes of Sense8 featured on Netflix to figure out what the driving force is behind the strange connection of these eight strangers.