“I Committed A Crime”
Big Brother is watching you. Or as the case may be in the new Brazilian sci-fi series Omniscient – the drones are. Set in a futuristic world where surveillance is monitored for every citizen 24 hours a day, the first episode gets off to an intriguing start with a good mystery and some nice ideas. Armed with a distinct use of colour, the opening episode sets the foundations for a very interesting story to come.
The colour red dominates scenes here, (symbolically referencing danger and warnings) as we’re introduced to our protagonist Nina. As she gets into an elevator at work, we learn that only 4 homicides have been recorded in 5 years and through this nano-technology, their constant surveillance has resulted in a much safer world.
Nina happens to be a trainee at a tech company and she’s called into a meeting with the safety supervisor where it’s revealed she’s a prolific programmer. She tries to ring Inacio but fails to get through, leading her straight to voicemail. When she returns home she finds her Father lying face-down on the floor in a puddle of his own blood.
As the police arrive, they begin investigating the case, asking questions about a possible suicide, which Nina takes offence to given he was shot in the back. She questions whether the system has failed and later on the Mayor’s PA, Judite, reassures her that she’ll do her best to find her Father’s killer and encourages Nina to visit her office whenever she wants.
That evening, Nina talks with her brother Dani around just why the drones didn’t appropriately sound alarms for her Father’s murder. After a restless night, she heads back to work where she meets Carolina, one of the four founders who created Omniscient. Nina asks her to access the footage of her Father’s drone but she refuses, given it’s a violation of their laws and the Main Computer is the only place these are stored.
In a fit of rage, the drone records Nina throwing a statue on the floor – committing a level 2 crime and gives her 27 minutes to appear before court. When she turns up, Nina’s told she needs to pay 12,000 in a week otherwise she’ll face jail time. To make matters worse, her Father’s body is being hidden from her and she’s unable to see him. Something’s definitely not right here.
With nowhere else to turn, Judite encourages Nina to follow her and together they wind up in a place where the drones can’t follow, on the outskirts of the city. Without the drones buzzing around them, the pair talk about what Nina did and the scandal hanging over the company. Judite goes on to tell her the System isn’t perfect. It’s enough for Nina to question how to break into the Main Computer and figure out the truth; the first thing she needs is a stolen fingerprint from one of the creators.
As she heads back to the city, the drone buzzes around her but this time it’s much more prevalent and obvious to her, as she weeps in her room and it stares at her. Snapping, Nina decides to put her plan into motion and attempts to steal a pen belonging to one of the founders at work, as the drone zooms in on her and tries to map her behaviour. Nina manages to outsmart the drone and uses her wits to get the fingerprint. No system is perfect and as Nina begins to learn, the drones can be outsmarted which is where we leave the episode.
With the colour red dominating much of the episode and a quirky musical score that feels very reminisce of old 80’s sci-fi, there’s a distinct charm with Omniscient that make this a compelling watch. While the show is far from the pinnacle of sci-fi, it’s an enjoyable enough show and its mystery should be enough to see you dive in and watch more of this one.
To be fair, there are elements of the production that feel a little cheap but much like season 1 of 3%, if the story is good enough then it’s easy to look past these flaws. So far so good though, and quite what the rest of the season has in store for us remains to be seen.
|Omniscient is available to watch on Netflix. Feel free to click here and sign up now to check this show out!|