Review of Misfits – Series 3, Episode 1
The orange boiler suits are out again which can only mean one thing: everyone’s favourite juvenile delinquents are back for a new series of ‘Misfits’.
The episode picked up from last year’s Christmas special where the gang all got new powers after selling their old ones, but more about that later. The starkest difference this week was the absence of the “universally popular and well-liked” Nathan (Robert Sheehan). For many Nathan was the most entertaining character on the show, with his schoolboy humour and penchant for annoying everyone but the audience. Those who may have been anxious that Sheehan’s departure would detract from the programme can put their fears to rest. Rudy (Joe Gilgun), the new kid on the block, is every bit as immature and funny as Nathan. He fulfills the role of the childish, sex-obsessed member of the group and has an endless stream of filth which he shares with the others much to their chagrin and disgust.
Yet there is more to his character, instead of simply replacing one cheeky chap with another, Rudy’s power enables him to split into two versions of himself. One is the super-cocky bad boy and the other is the timid, insecure Rudy who tried to kill himself after Alisha (Antonia Thomas) rejected him when they were at college. There is more to him than meets the eye and this promises to make him an interesting character. By introducing an acquaintance between Rudy and Alisha, Gilgun’s character was neatly brought into the fold. He fits in well with the others and is not a complete outsider, making him less of a replacement and more an addition to the ‘Misfits’ family.
This time around the gang’s powers are more psychological than physical which adds depths to the show. Creator Howard Overman has moved away from the usual superpowers such as invisibility, immortality, telepathy, etc. Kelly (Lauren Socha) is now a rocket scientist and she spends most of her time designing rockets. One thing that does not make sense though, is that her new power has not elevated her intelligence to the levels of MENSA. It is odd that she can draw complex blueprints for rockets yet she does not know what brunch is. It is early days yet and maybe her power will serve a purpose eventually. Alisha has now got the power to see things through other people’s eyes, similar to Kelly’s previous power of mind reading. Curtis (Nathan Stewart-Jarett) drew the short straw with the ability to transform into a girl yet this served him well when he was chased by the police. Finally, Simon’s (Iwan Rheon) power still seemed a bit ambiguous. He appeared to have the ability to perform superhuman acrobatics but there must be more to his power. In the last series the audience learnt that Simon is Superhoodie, the one who has saved them on several occasions and who travelled back in time to save them. The threat is approaching but as yet unknown. In the meantime Simon appears to be developing and testing the limits of his power.
The ability for the characters to their change powers is a smart move by Overman as it will ensure that the show stays fresh and allow room for growth. The first episode has allayed fears that a series without Nathan would not be a series of ‘Misfits’. The programme still has its distinct style with a slick filmic quality and the familiar Brutalist architecture but it feels quite revitalised with the addition of new characters. It will be intriguing to see where the storyline involving the “powers guy” Seth (Matthew McNulty) takes the new Asbo Five.
Episode 1 was a strong start for the series. More of the same next week, please.
‘Misfits’ is on E4, for more information about the series visit: www.e4.com/misfits
Image credit: Channel 4Tagged in: Misfits, science fiction, tv&radio
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