With such a wide array of streaming services available these days, it’s easy to miss out on a good new show – few if any of us are subscribed to all of these services at once, after all, and our time has to be divided between the ones we have. BluRay releases are a great alternative, and we recently watched Season 1 of Raised by Wolves, which previously aired on HBO Max. Here’s what we thought.
Two of the main draws for the series were Ridley Scott’s involvement and the fact that it was sci-fi themed. And while those two things together immediately have fans thinking of the Alien franchise, Raised by Wolves is an entirely new IP, and it’s all the better for it – it doesn’t feel like it’s trying to shoehorn origin story content for the Alien franchise into something new, like Scott’s most recent films.
You can approach Raised by Wolves with an open mind, and all you need to be drawn in is its engaging premise. In it, Earth is left in ruins after an epic scale war, and remnants of humanity head into dead space to try and forge a new life for themselves on a remote planet. The journey is far, so to help them they’re sending two androids – Mother and Father – along for the trip. Their job is to nurture the six embryos they have with them to adulthood, in the hope of springing a new source of life for mankind.
At the same time, similar missions have been undertaken, with the same planet as their destination. Some have landed in remote areas, but it doesn’t take long for our survivors to come into contact with others – presenting challenges not unlike those that have shaped the history of the planet they left behind. Religion and strife tear this new world apart, and that’s not even factoring in the dangers that naturally occur, like diseases and the planet’s indigenous predators.
While many of these issues unfold on a large planet-wide scale, Raised by Wolves also has its fair share of interpersonal relationships and characters to explore. Mother and Father aren’t just the automated machines that make it through each day by feeding and nurturing the children they’re supposed to help, but start making their own judgment calls once elements that aren’t part of their primary mission come into view. With their lack of a moral compass, the decisions they make aren’t black and white or even along the lines we’d decide on things, and this makes for an intriguing watch with tons of surprises and twists. When your primary concern is the survival of six young humans, which concerns do you have for the rest of mankind?
It makes the ten episodes of Season 1 extremely interesting to watch, and the nature of not knowing where the story will go next is a great fit for the episodic format it’s presented in. Even though it’s a continuous story, we never knew what the next episode would bring, and this made sure the story never started to drag.
And while lead actors Amanda Collin and Abubakar Salim aren’t established names, they do great in their roles as Mother and Father. With a wide array of subplots and supporting actors, they carry the series through its ten episode premiere, and make us hungry for more, even after watching over 500 minutes of Raised by Wolves in a Blu Ray binge. If you didn’t manage to catch this through streaming, then this can be picked up right now on disc, which with a good setup is a fantastic way of watching it as the visual design and special effects are right up there with Ridley Scott’s best feature film work – and that should definitely please the fans. We know it pleased us.