fri 06/12/2019

8 Days, Sky Atlantic review - could armageddon really be this boring? | reviews, news & interviews

8 Days, Sky Atlantic review - could armageddon really be this boring?

8 Days, Sky Atlantic review - could armageddon really be this boring?

If you had eight days to live, you probably wouldn't spend them watching this

Susanne (Christiane Paul) with Murathan Muslu as Deniz

Beware the asteroid Horus! It’s 60km wide and it’s hurtling towards Earth at incalculable speed. Scientists say, with unfeasible precision, that the impact point will be La Rochelle in France, and it’s going to destroy all of western Europe.

It’s terrifying, so it’s strange that this new series from Sky Deutschland (showing on Sky Atlantic) is so flat and uninvolving. The eight days of the title is the time left until armageddon arrives, and the story concerns a group of people (whose interconnections are gradually revealed) and how they respond to imminent extinction.

The Steiner family have put their fate in the hands of a gang of people traffickers, who’ve charged them a fortune plus a bit extra to get on a freight train to Russia, which they hope will be a bit safer than Germany. But their plans fall apart when mum Susanne (Christine Paul) misses the train (duh!) and is left to make her way back home to Berlin with daughter Leonie (Lena Klenke).

Susanne’s brother Herrmann (pictured left with his partner Marion) has managed to wangle himself a flight to the promised land of the USA along with a select group of wealthy and connected people, but is wracked with guilt about his selfish rush for self-preservation. Leonie’s teenage friend Nora (Luisa Gaffron), having escaped from the bunker where her brutish father incarcerated her, is determined to go out in a blaze of orgiastic sex-and-booze euphoria. “We can sleep when we’re dead,” she tells Leonie, who isn’t entirely convinced.

Snag is, none of the characters is interesting enough for us to care about, and the way the onrushing asteroid is never discussed in detail renders it vague and abstract. It feels like a device to trigger reactions in the characters rather than a real-life event integral to the drama. Scenes of German refugees straggling hopelessly towards closed borders, and news that the USA and Canada aren’t allowing any more refugees in, may be an ironic comment on Europe’s recent immigration crisis, but why is there no European response to this Europe-threatening crisis? Not even an amusing after-dinner speech by Mr Juncker?

Instead everyone relied on the usually-hated Americans to destroy Horus with nuclear missiles, but when that failed the continent went into hysterical meltdown. There’s even a rumour that the slippery German government is being evacuated to the States. As Susanne’s father morbidly puts it, “in the end everyone is alone.” Yet somehow, you suspect there must be some sort of silver lining lurking in forthcoming episodes.

The asteroid feels like a device to trigger reactions in the characters rather than a real-life event integral to the drama

rating

Editor Rating: 
2
Average: 2 (1 vote)

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