Broadcast this Monday, ‘Blackout’ was an innovative feature length fictional ‘Docu-Drama’, that followed several characters stories as they attempted to cope in a Britain without power. Now personally I believe that in recent years Channel 4 has proved themselves to be the masters of Hard Hitting Drama on British Television, with great Shows like Utopia and Black Mirror already under their belt I had high hopes for Blackout. Now I feel bad saying that to a certain extent I was disappointed because ‘Blackout’ truly was phenomenal, it was well made, the characters were interesting and it’s use of the POV or ‘Found Footage’ style of filming was interesting. Sadly though it was just too depressing, I know it’s supposed to be hard hitting but I feel ‘Blackout’ might of done better as a film production rather than a Tv Drama. I found ‘Blackout’ extremely uncomfortable to watch, seeing characters put through horrific situations and then being giving facts about how this could really happen. As a film shown at film festivals I think it could be a Masterpiece, but as prime time viewing I think it was just too upsetting. It may be an odd opinion but it’s how I felt.
The programme begins by detailing how much power Britain uses daily, and introduces us to our main characters. There is a mother and her young Daughter, a young girl and her brother, a family with a father who takes some pride in the fact that he has prepared himself for this sort of situation and two grown men with some...questionable morals. In between their stories we see bits of footage from real Blackout situations, the London Riots all fused together seamlessly to create a horrific picture of the downfall of British society during a Blackout.
The ‘Found footage’ idea was interesting (although I did find it unbelievable that people managed to keep this cameras up and running) and gave the programme more of a gritty realistic edge. However To begin with I did struggle to follow who were going to be the main characters and who were just there for a few minutes. For example, a few times we cut back to a boy and girl stuck in a lift but then we don’t see them again. Personally I liked that, it had this uncertain feel to it, we saw how to different characters escaped a similar situation but these two characters fate was left to our imagination. However there were other characters who popped up several times but then suddenly vanished, I did wonder how vital to the story they were and it did appear to be padding. The various characters who were vital were interesting though and their various arcs were sufficiently different not to feature much repetition, after all certain experiences in a Blackout are likely to be similar. I especially liked the addition of the man who believes that he is totally prepared for this situation, indeed taking some enjoyment out of the fact that others seem to be suffering whilst he is surviving. However, he soon understands that no one can be totally prepared and at the end he ends up becoming what he spent the rest of the programme hating.
Now to return to my opening argument about how I thought that ‘Blackout’ was a little too upsetting to be an entertaining piece of TV Drama. Now of course there is the argument that you can just change the channel, indeed it’s testament to ‘Blackout’s dramatic power that myself and many of my friends despite finding it depressing and difficult to watch saw it through to the end. However I cannot help the feeling that if Channel 4 was to do similar Dramas than they may not do as well. Whilst Blackout is indeed a brilliant work of art and should defiantly be seen should you get the chance, I do think it may been more suited to the film festival circuit. However this my personal opinion and who knows, maybye it has shaped the way for a whole new type of TV Drama.
Welcome one and all- Please leave sanity at the door
A Teenage boy with a passion for all things nerdy! Expect a lot of Doctor Who, Cult/Horror Movies, Literature and Novels, History, Comic Books and random thoughts. Posts published weekly on a Friday evening. DISCLAIMER: I do not own any of the items reviewed on this site and i also do not own of the pictures (unless stated so). If you own one of the photos and wish for it to be removed contact me at this adress: Super.firstname.lastname@example.org. However all of the written work is my own and is protected under copyright law.