the Commons, a multifaceted story of environmental disaster, disease, love, hope and immigration, is set in the near future. There are some excellent performances from the cast and a devilishly good storyline. This is an immersive series.
the Commons with Joanne Froggatt as Dr. Eadie Boulay. All the characters (and there are many) revolve around her. Eadie and her husband Lloyd (David Lyons) have used IVF to have a child, without success. When Eadie reaches age 38, her chance of having a child to full term is cut off due to her age and her shaky immune system. But they still have one embryo in storage.
To use that last embryo, they would have to go to an illegal clinic and Eadie would have to take dangerous immunosuppressants during pregnancy. Lloyd is against it. Eadie does it in secret. Lloyd has a teenage daughter, Ivy (Inez Currõ) from a previous relationship that is pivotal in the entire story.
Eadie is a brilliant neuropsychologist who can heal patients from trauma. And she’s great with other issues too.
Lloyd and his good friend Shay (Ryan Corr) are scientists looking into a deadly disease transmitted by biting insects. These insects are taking over in areas where they did not exist before due to an overheated planet. They discover something that could be a vaccine. After a big announcement about it, they realize that the vaccine causes infertility. Their boss, Herman (John Waters), wants to release it right away. They say no, it needs to be changed. A group of drug makers manage to get their hands on their information and start administering the vaccine. There was some blackmail involved.
They only give the vaccine to immigrants applying for residency status in Australia. That makes for a whole storyline about the immigrant family led by Israel (Dominic Ona-Ariki) and Rima (Ilaisaane Green). The ethics of sterilizing immigrants is a problem.
The last characters involved in the story are Eadie’s brother Dom Boulay (Rupert Henry-Jones) and his family. He’s rich. He lives in a posh safe place and knows the people in power. He and his wife have four children, the main one being Cosmo (Bede Warnock), who appears to be on the autism spectrum.
Each of these story threads is well developed and intertwined in a tight, suspenseful thriller of a story. There are frequent scenes of the scorching sun, horrific storms, and other effects of an overly hot planet.
With such a large cast, many problems can be solved. How can you maintain hope in the face of a particular environmental disaster? How can you bring a child into a world without hope? How can you protect your family? How can you keep those you love safe? What right do immigrants have to share your space? What are you willing to do for money, for freedom, for refuge?
This excellent series was created and largely written by Shelley Birse, who also wrote on The code and Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. Shelley Birse has earned a place on my “writers to follow” list with this well-executed story.
The series originated on Stan in Australia, then moved to Sundance Now and is currently airing on AMC+.
This isn’t a great preview, but it was the best I could find.
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