After the success of Dark, it was always going to be difficult for Germany to follow up with an equally compelling sci-fi offering. Biohackers is certainly not the next Dark. Nor is it a particularly good series.
Instead, this logic-defying drama mixes scientific gene splicing with a pacey 6 episodes that are as quick as they are forgettable. With little character depth and some tired tropes and cliches along the way, Biohackers is unlikely to be a show remembered for long.
However, the cliffhanger ending certainly teases the possibility of a second season so this may not be the last we see of this show.
The story itself begins with a teasing prologue involving a bio-attack on a train. It’s a pacey, intriguing opener but one that takes a good 5 episodes to actually catch up to in real-time.
Instead, most of the season revolves around a University campus fronted by the brilliant Dr Tanja Lorenz. With her equally brainy assistant Jasper by her side, she plans to further her secret research and heal thousands of people.
At the centre of this lies new girl Mia, who arrives on campus and immediately makes a name for herself. Catching the eyes of both Lorenz and Jasper, she manages to talk her way into becoming Lorenz’s assistant for the upcoming clinical trials.
However, all is not what it seems. It turns out Mia has her own motivations for joining the program and across the 6 episodes we learn a lot more about exactly what this entails.
Fragmented flashbacks sandwich their way between the scenes, although by the finale this dissipates and leaves us with a simple real-time sci-fi drama.
Despite the sheer amount of scientific language used, you really need to go into this with an open mind and switch off to any sort of logical rationale.
Character motivations are shaky to say the least, and Mia’s “stealth” skills are at times laughable. Whether it be dropping a coffee cup as a distraction or the constant shifty eyes and erratic outbursts to simple questions, it’s a wonder that she’s not found out for her antics.
That’s to say nothing of the supporting characters either who have very little to do unless the script calls for it. Ole is a guy obsessed with body hacks but instead of diving into the reasoning for his obsession or a possible dark past around this, he’s used as comic relief instead.
Chen-Lu is incredibly brainy but she’s only called upon when Mia needs her. That’s to say nothing of Lotta either, who looks to be an important character early on but is quickly forgotten toward the end.
In fact, a lot of the early work done with characters are completely thrown away in favour of illogical scenarios to push the story forward. There’s even a loose love triangle trope thrown in that honestly makes zero sense in the context of the series.
Despite its problems, Biohackers is a light, easy show to watch. The episodes clock in at around 35 minutes or so (with a whopping 8 minutes of credits at the end) and there is a steady amount of tension built up through that time.
That tension never gives a satisfying pay-off though and instead, we’re greeted with a forced and contrived cliffhanger ending for a possible second season.
Whether we’ll actually get that though remains to be seen. Biohackers has very little originality to offer and fails to stand out from the dozens of other sci-fi series out there.