The Innocents is a new Sci-Fi series on Netflix and it’s looking pretty good. We’ve watched the first four episodes of the shapeshifter story ahead of its release.
However, admittedly, we’ve only seen the first four episodes of The Innocents ahead of its release on Netflix. The entire season consists of 8 episodes, so the last half of the season could change the overall experience.
From what we’ve seen so far, the shapeshifter element is both scary and fascinating. And the ending of episode 4 definitely left us wanting more!
The horror of teen love
Yes, I know, “teen love” has gotten a pretty tainted image. The whole Twilight franchise didn’t exactly help any story featuring a teen love story, but The Innocents is very different.
For one, you will be able to understand why the two 16-year olds want to run away together. June (Sorcha Groundsell) lives with her dad and brother in a home, where the dad has a lot of rules.
Clearly, he wants to protect her, but she’s living the life of a prisoner. I was immediately reminded of The Wildling – even though it’s not that bad. If you do like shapeshifter stories, you should check out our review of The Wildling here.
Harry (Percelle Ascott) on the other hand, lives with both his parents. His dad is very sick and needs help around the clock. Since Harry’s mom is still working, Harry’s life consists of going to school and being a caretaker for his dad. It’s obvious that he loves his father dearly, but he also longs for a life of his own.
When June’s father wants to take her far away, the two youngsters in love decide it’s time to leave. This is where the story in The Innocents really takes off. And it’s quite a crazy ride from the very beginning.
Fascinating characters and a great cast
There are quite a lot of characters in The Innocents. That’s not a problem since everything is explained and connected. Still, it does take a few episodes to get a handle on what is going on.
Quite a lot of the actors (and their respective characters) are from Norway or other Scandinavian countries. This does mean a bit of Norwegian is spoken as well. Even Guy Pearce speaks Norwegian on several occasions.
Two of the main supporting characters speak exclusively Norwegian when they’re in scenes together. Something I adore this production for doing. Afterall, why would two people from Norway speak English to one another when no one else is around. We’ve already seen that in The Snowman and it really didn’t work.
In The Innocents, the two Norwegian best friends characters are absolutely brilliant. They’re weird and have some very funny moments and great scenes to shed light on what’s going on. And a lot of weird stuff keeps happening.
The two characters are Steinar and Alf. They’re portrayed by Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson (Game of Thrones) and Trond Fausa (Lilyhammer) respectively. These two have some of the best scenes so far!
Shapeshifting on Netflix
I love the very concept of The Innocents and in particular, the way shapeshifting is shown. In this story, a shapeshifter isn’t someone who turns into an animal and uses it on a whim.
Instead, those with this gift (or curse) can feel some sort of seizure come on when they feel threatened or scared. A lot like it was illustrated in Thelma – check out our review of the brilliant Thelma here – even though she wasn’t a shapeshifter.
The shapeshifters in The Innocents take on the body of whoever they touch while having a seizure. At the same time, the person being “copied” end up in a coma of sorts. And the shapeshifter not only has the body of this new person, they also have memories, abilities, and feelings of the person. However, they are also still themselves.
If they look in the mirror, the original person will still appear – both to the shapeshifter and everyone else. It works really well!
Simon Duric and Hania Elkington created The Innocents series and I for one can’t wait to watch the last half of the story. The directors on season one are Farren Blackburn (Daredevil) and Jamie Donoughue (The Last Kingdom).
The Innocents season 1 consists of 8 episodes that will be released on Netflix on August 24, 2018.
Creators: Hania Elkington, Simon Duric
Directors: Farren Blackburn, Jamie Donoughue
Cast: Sorcha Groundsell, Percelle Ascott, Guy Pearce, Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson, Laura Birn, Sam Hazeldine, Arthur Hughes, Lise Risom Olsen, Ingunn Beate Øyen, Trond Fausa
When teenagers Harry and June run away from their repressive families to be together, they’re derailed by an extraordinary discovery – June’s ability to shape-shift. As the star-crossed lovers struggle to control this strange new power, a mysterious professor reveals that June is not alone: there are more shifters out there like her, and he promises to cure June and reunite her with the mother who deserted her three years ago. But as their journey becomes increasingly fraught with danger, Harry and June’s love for each other is tested to breaking point and they’re faced with a choice: keep their innocent dream alive, or embrace that their lives have changed and risk everything.