Debris – Season 1 Episode 1 Recap & Review


Debris feels like a mash-up of The X-Files, Manifest, Fringe and The Tunnel. The result is a show that could be a big sci-fi hit if it can nail its writing and mystery box elements. It’s far too early to tell yet but so far, Debris gets off to a promising start.

Episode 1 of Debris wastes absolutely no time throwing us right into the muck of it. Three years before this show takes place a wrecked alien spacecraft ended up moving through our solar system. Fast forward to six months ago and parts of that very same spacecraft have broken off and begun falling to Earth.

These parts seem to be sold on the black market, as we pick up with a deal about to go down. CIA agents show up and begin tracking them down, with guns pointing down the hallways. As a chase ensues, the men touch these strange black parts of the spacecraft and teleport to their doom. Among them is a chambermaid, who touches a piece of the ship and falls 14 storeys into a table below.

Investigators arrive at the scene as MI6 agent Finola Jones chimes in with her agency. She’s warned to be careful and that the Americans will always have their own interests at heart.

Meanwhile, agent Bryan Beneventi rings Langley and updates them on Finola who’s apparently new to the team. He’s not sure she has the stomach for this but decides to keep a close eye on her for now.

In Kansas, a woman begins driving with her son but she begins uncontrollably coughing, followed by her eyes bleeding. The young boy slowly pulls her out the car, as she begins floating across the ground.

Up in the air, Finola receives a new debris incident report which happens to be the earlier scene we saw involving the floating woman. That woman happens to be Amy Morrison and as Finola and Bryan show up on the scene, they marvel at the way she’s floating and defying gravity. They deduce that she may well have taken on traits of the debris itself. Interestingly, she’s not moving in the same direction as the wind.

Freeing her hand from a barbed wire fence, the pair begin following Amy as she drifts to a mini-tornado of sorts where numerous people are swirling around.

With all the bodies together, they call in Dr. Sharon Bhandari to check out each of the deceased. Well, it turns out they’re not exactly deceased as their brain activity is still working and they can still control their eye movements.

Among those victims is Vandeberg, whose wife happens to be affected by this strange phenomena. She’s out in the woods floating just like everyone else.

When Bryan arrives at the scene, he notices a strange metal shape; another chunk of the spaceship. As they ring through to Isla and ask where her brother Kieran is (the young curly-haired boy from the car) it turns out he died 7 months before – and he was cremated too. Alas, the plot thickens.

Isla returns to the house as she talks about her experiences. Bryan suddenly takes off, unable to control his emotions as he tries to hold back tears in the corridor. After, he apologizes to Finola for his sudden outburst, telling her he apparently recognizes aspects of someone from the past in the young girl.

Finola believes the debris could be connected to grief, exemplified by her brief stint in the woods when she came in contact with the piece. Her Mother’s name is Jenny and the bodies with Sharon all inexplicably begin whispering her name. This brings more urgency to Bryan and Finola’s plight as they head off to investigate.

However, things take an even stranger turn when a couple of men swallow something (a piece of the debris maybe?) and wind up under the bridge. In fact, they manifest directly inside the foundation of the concrete, with half their body sticking out like a contorted mannequin. It seems like this could be a rogue group working outside the agencies.

Finola and Bryan have bigger fish to fry though in the form of Kieran. It seems like he’s intentionally coercing people out onto the road, brainwashing them into believing he’s their child before casting this grief-stricken spell over them to do his bidding.

Well, the pair manage to stop the car but it’s too late. Bryan brings in Isla to try and talk to her Mother, believing that her pain and grief is connected to all this. Isla pleads with her to wake up as Kieran brainwashes Finola and uses her to drive up that same stretch of road.

Thankfully the plan works and Isla’s Mother wakes up, freeing these different men and women from their strange debris-consumed hypnosis.

Bryan receives a call from Langley about a man called George Jones. Apparently he’s arrived at JFK Airport from Heathrow but is now going under a new alias. Bryan is under strict instructions to keep this from Finola and tackle it himself. Only, this is easier said than done given the man happens to be Finola’s father.

As the episode closes out, those at Langley seem to be collecting up parts of the ship as the basic shape of a spaceship begins to take shape.

The Episode Review

As far as pilot episodes go, Debris gets off to a pretty compelling start but this is the sort of show that will almost certainly slow down in the weeks to come. There’s definitely some solid foundations to build up a more episodic-driven show, complete with different mysteries each week around an overarching conspiracy and mystery.

Bryan clearly has some emotional baggage he’s carrying around with him too, explaining why he started crying in the house. The death of a child maybe? This is just a theory of course but right now that’s all we’ve got to work on.

Debris is the sort of show that lives or dies on its theories and ideas, which forms the core for most of the best mystery box sci-fi series. Much like Emergence and K-drama Alice last year, there’s always a danger that this bright start can completely implode and undo any good work done early on. Let’s hope this doesn’t follow suit.

The characters are pretty good so far, although the lack of introduction from either of our agents does see us sort of scrambling to catch up early on to understand their relationship and what’s driven them together.

As a massive sci-fi geek myself, this one definitely has some promise for the future. Let’s wait and see if these pieces of debris can come together to form a compelling slice of sci-fi!

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