Station Eleven Season 1 Review – A beautifully flawed post-apocalyptic series

Season 1

Episode Guide

Episode 1 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 2 – | Review Score – 2.5/5
Episode 3 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 4 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 5 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 6 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 7 – | Review Score – 4.5/5
Episode 8 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 9 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 10– | Review Score – 3.5/5



What would happen if a deadly virus ravaged the planet and left only a fraction of the population alive? Would you hoard resources? Form a faction? Or would you travel from town to town performing plays and singing songs to spread joy? If you chose the third option, Station Eleven may just be the perfect post-apocalyptic romp for you.

Jokes aside, Station Eleven is a beautifully poetic and undeniably artistic series, albeit one that requires you to go into this without thinking about the wider world and a realistic survival situation. Instead, Station Eleven tackles some pretty big themes and ultimately relies on its characters and their story to do the heavy lifting. For those after a realistic slice of post-apocalyptic fiction, you won’t find that here. There’s absolutely nothing realistic about the premise or wider world mechanics, which does threaten to tumble the entire premise at almost every moment.

It’s not helped either by the story beginning with a rather erratic and haphazard opening episode. Erratic flashbacks flit back and forth between the future (where we spend most of our time) and the present (which ultimately becomes the past in later episode flashbacks).

A deadly flu has started to spread across the world and it’s fatal. It wipes out most of the population, leaving fragments of humanity to try and survive in this new world. At the center of this is the most important part of this apocalypse… the arts?

For Kirsten, she’s had a rough upbringing. Left alone at the theatre as a 10 year old girl, she’s walked home by anxious Jeevan, but the pair soon form a band and brave this new world together. This storyline of the pair together, and their tumultuous time in the wild, is then sprinkled across 10 episodes, serving as a long-running flashback to show exactly what’s happened to these two over time.

The post-apocalypse story with the Traveling Symphony – a motley band of theatre-lovers who perform shows at different towns – is where we spend the majority of our time. Instead of farming or scavenging resources, the future is dependent on the arts continuing, with Kirsten a part of this enthusiastic (and ever-so-slightly naïve) group. As they move between cities and towns, a looming threat known as The Prophet lurks in the shadows but ultimately this falls flat. There’s not an awful lot of conflict here, at least externally, as most of the trauma comes from the past, where we only see this drama play out in flashbacks.

The way the past and present weave together is, admittedly, one of the best parts of the show. When Station Eleven focuses on its theatre group shenanigans and their mission to spread joy to people presumably starving and desperate for resources (which they don’t ever steal from this troupe I may add) it’s nowhere near as strong as these past flashbacks. The flashbacks are incredibly well done though and credit where credit’s due – Station Eleven has some excellent stand-alone moments. A few episodes that focus exclusively on Jeevan and Kirsten are outstanding. Their tale is shocking, heartbreaking and utterly enthralling.

When it comes to character development and thematic relevance, Station Eleven does a great job. The characters are really well written, and aside from a little bit of contrivance in the final episode to tie everything together, is wholly satisfying. If you can go into this one knowing the show will not even try to make sense of its post-apocalyptic world (which admittedly falls apart when you even start to think of the mechanics of this one), you’ll be gripped by what’s here.

Station Eleven is ultimately a beautiful, fantastical and utterly unrealistic look at a reimagined world where art reigns supreme. As a thematic think piece and artistic showpiece, you won’t find anything better that what’s presented here. With well-written characters and a few outstanding flashback episodes, this is certainly worth checking out. If, however, you’re looking for a more bleak and realistic slice of post-apocalyptic action, you certainly won’t find that here.

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  • Verdict - 6/10

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