Raised by Wolves

Ridley Scott's new sci-fi is a polarising slow burn about humans raised by androids.

No two ways about it… Raised by Wolves is a polarising slow burn.

There will be those hypnotised by its bold and cold take and others climbing the walls waiting for something resembling a story with characters to care for.

Ridley Scott directs this sci-fi created by Aaron Guzikowski (Prisoners, The Red Road) in which two androids marooned on a planet raise human children, only one of which survives.

Mother (Amanda Collin) and Father (Abubakar Salim) raise their multicultural clan on a barren planet in a kind of high-tech igloo. Clad in body-hugging teal lycra, there’s no expression as they bring up young human babies, ripped from a hybrid womb. One infant is brought back from the brink, dubbed Campion (Aussie Winta McGrath), whose fighting spirit is quelled by such motherly directives as, “We will never advance unless we resist the urge to seek solace in fantasy.” Mum is a party-pooper, for sure.

As billowing clouds repeatedly indicate the passage of time, their numbers dwindle and an SOS is sent. A rescue party led by war-torn human Marcus (Aussie Travis Fimmel) arrives, but not all goes as planned. Mother is also bit of a fighter…

The opening chapter takes too long to reach its points of conflict and the cold android demeanour sucks the life out of it all (rich colours are also drained from the visuals). Amanda Collin is certainly forthright as the detached Mother while the striking green eyes of Abubakar Salim are at risk of betraying his listless Father. An android domestic will go down as one of 2020’s most bizarre scenes.

This was such a chore I kept waiting for actual wolves to arrive on the scene and provide some peril. Or a bit of Romulus & Remus to spice things up…?

I could hope that the whole thing is a set-up for a future with young Campion as a prophet but this would require me to leave the foetal position and invest enough.

To be fair, Ridley Scott brings high concept to the table. This is a universe in which androids try to control our thinking. I can’t predict such things will come to pass, but in 2020 audiences still decide for themselves.

Raised by Wolves airs 8:30pm Thursday on Foxtel / Binge.

16 Responses

  1. I wasn’t going to continue after episode one (which was pretty slow, but then I waded my way through the whole of Devs!), but then I started ep two, and boy it got interesting really fast. I’m right into it now.

  2. It’s very interesting that in the circles I travel, this is well liked, while ‘Lovecraft Country’ is being despised and left within the first 3 or 4 episodes.

    I haven’t seen either yet, so cannot comment myself. But percentages tell me that I won’t make it to the end of 1 of them.

  3. I only watched episode one so far and liked the plot about future AI Androids as future protectors of the human genome, but I think that Ridley Scott has been suffering from a creative block in recent years, he is better off acting as a producer of other directors productions allowing creativity to flow.
    I shall as a sci-fi fan persevere with Raised with Wolves, I’m sure it will improve in later episodes especially with Travis Fimmel, who hopefully will remain alive.

  4. I watched the first three episodes (Foxtel On Demand) and it definitely gets better, I was disappointed when I realised I had to wait til next week for more.

    1. That’s good to hear, as I like the story idea. I just checked and IMDB it has a 8.7 score for it, which is very high, so many others seem to like it. Sounds like a show that grows with each episode perhaps.

  5. Children being raised by machines is becoming a popular meme. Aussie film “I am Mother” is an example of this which also has elements of “Logan’s Run” in a dramatic and apocalyptic scenario. A happy ending depends on your point of view.

  6. Ouch, one and a half stars. I was looking forward to getting into this slow burn, as ( I hate shoot em up syfy ) but seems it may be lacking. Guess time will tell. Thanks for review.

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