In Space, No One Can Hear You Scream
When it comes to memorable episodes, Beyond The Aquila Rift is one of my personal favourites in Love, Death & Robots. Not only is it well written and perfectly paced, the twist at the end, accompanied by a final lingering shot, are enough to provoke some serious chills and a desire to see this turned into a motion picture.
The story has echoes of other classic sci-fi stories at work here but predominantly revolves around a crew, captained by a man named Thom. When he awakens from his stasis chamber after jumping through a portal into the void of space, he’s greeted by a face he long presumed dead, a woman by the name of Greta. As the two reconvene and discuss the ship and what’s happened, some of Thom’s crew aren’t convinced she is who she says she is.
After much deliberation and an intimate scene between the two, Greta’s true identity is revealed as Thom wakes up in the real statis chamber, surrounding by angry, red spider webs and a ship largely destroyed. With both of his other crew members still asleep, a monstrous spider-like creature reveals itself to Thom and the two share a moment before fading to black. The scene then plays out the opening segment again as the true horror is revealed and we’re left with one final flash of the exterior of the ship, surrounded by thick webs and under the spell of this spider-like creature.
Visually, the episode looks absolutely breathtaking. While its obvious that motion capture and CGI were both used to create this episode, there’s enough here to make for a stunning visual treat nonetheless. On top of that, it’s also the one episode where the nudity actually makes sense, given the context of the episode. Seeing Greta “in the flesh” is something that echoes the ultimate reveal of her true form and reflecting back on this moment really makes for eerie viewing after finding out the truth.
There’s certainly enough here to ponder over and although the episode does feel a little too rigid in its storytelling at times, there’s enough here to make it feel like a homage to classic sci-fi. Beyond The Aquila Rift is a highly enjoyable episode and one of the best on this anthology series.