This Antarctic mystery doesn’t quite work.
A crew, including renowned scientist is staying through the Winter in the Antarctic research station Polaris VI when suddenly the outside world loses radio contact. When Spring comes, Summer commander Johan Berg (Alexander Willaume) comes to investigate and discovers that most of the crew are dead or missing, including his missing wife Annika (Laura Bach). The only apparent survivor is Maggie (Katharine O’Donnelly), the Winter doctor, who relays the story of the events to Johan, beginning with the finding of a decapitated corpse. Now, Johan must sort through the truth and lies as she tells him a story of people slowly turning against each other.
I once reviewed all three of the versions of The Thing, so I unfortunately was already familiar with the pinnacle story of “people stuck in a research station with a killer.” This show clearly knew people were going to draw the parallel, to the point that they actually show the film in the first episode. However, here, there is no alien (sorry if that’s a spoiler) to blame for all of the paranoia. At first, that seems like a good idea, until you realize that the story doesn’t really have the strength to keep the murderfest going.
A big problem is that you can never tell how much of the story is dependent on the unreliable narrator, since many of the events shown happen outside of any living person’s view. Later, when we get a second viewpoint that conflicts with Maggie’s, we see several scenes told from multiple perspectives where the words are the same but the tones are not, but we still get scenes that neither person could inform us about really. It makes it hard to get invested when we’re supposed to be wondering about points of view while seemingly having some third-person omniscient sections. Even when the show tries to rectify this by asking how the narrator could know it, it’s mostly just glossed over.
The worst part is that the setting does make the plot work for about an hour or two and most of the scenes are very well performed, it just is too long to hold up without more character development. It doesn’t help that most of the reveals that seem to be the big twists at the end really seem stupid in retrospect.
Overall, I would recommend watching the Thing again instead.
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