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DVD Review

DVD cover

Series One


Starring: Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Lauren Socha, Antonia Thomas, Iwan Rheon and Robert Sheehan
RRP: £19.99
Certificate: 18
Available 28 December 2009

Five teenagers are thrown together when they are forced to work on a ‘Community Payback’ scheme at a local community centre, where they spend their days scrubbing off graffiti and picking up litter. When the 18 year olds get caught in a freak storm they miraculously develop strange superpowers which change their lives forever...

Misfits is a six-part TV series first screened on E4 between 12 November and 17 December. The show follows five young offenders who are thrown together when they are forced to work in the community on a payback scheme. All are there for very different reasons. But, when they are trapped in a bizarre storm they all gain their own unique powers.

Party-girl Alisha (Antonia Thomas) can send people into a sexual frenzy with just one touch, lovable chav Kelly (Lauren Socha) can hear peoples’ thoughts, while one-time sporting hero Curtis (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett) discovers he has the power to turn back time. Simon (Iwan Rheon), the clever but shy one, discovers he can turn invisible - which is what he has always felt. Smart-alec and Irish charmer Nathan (Robert Sheehan) is furious to discover that he is the only one of the gang apparently unaffected by the storm. The biggest mystery about him remains how he got his community service order in the first place - all anyone knows is there was a mysterious incident involving some pick-n-mix... Bound by a deadly secret, the rest of the gang try to get their heads round their new abilities, while Nathan is left trying to find out what his power might be.

The powers that everyone gains seem to either heighten something all ready inside them, or fulfills a desire they've always wished for. So, for example, the social worker who is with them is unable to control his rage - which sees him attacking anyone near him - and killing them. Later we discover he has a bit of a temper and that it's possible that the storm just enhanced the demon lurking within. And Simon has always felt invisible - so it's only natural his power should be just that.

As the series unfolds we discover that our young misfits are not the only people affected by the storm. This, sadly, manifests itself as the series almost slips into a monster-of-the-week format.

The first episode introduces us to the main cast, shows the ice storm which gives them their powers, and then slowly starts to introduce everyone to their power. When their social worker Tony goes crazy and kills Gary, another young offender, Kelly kills him accidentally while trying to defend everyone from him, and they have to dispose of the bodies of both Tony and Gary, as there is no way anyone will believe what happened.

Episode two sees the misfits get a new social worker, Sally. They also receive a warning that someone knows that they killed Tony. The gang spend this episode volunteering to look after the elderly residents who are attending an OAP disco. Nathan falls in love with a beautiful young woman who is also helping out. This is an enjoyable episode, even if the twist is clearly signposted a million miles before it arrives. Also it's odd how some things are acceptable. Would this episode have worked quite so well if it had depicted Alisha falling in love with a handsome young man?

Episode three sees our heroes having to dig up Tony and Gary's bodies when their original grave seems to have been chosen for an environmental monitoring station - meaning that the ground will be dug up to lay the foundations.

Episode four is probably the strongest, and certainly the most satisfying episode. This revolves around Curtis, who wakes up one morning and then ends up zipping back through time to before he committed his crime. By simply stopping his girlfriend from buying the drugs, he hopes to avert his future self from being banned from athletics and booted out of representing Great Britain in the next Olympic Games. But, as he soon discovers, changing the past can lead to greater problems in the future.

Episode five sees Sally, convinced that the misfits known something about Tony's disappearance, deciding to get closer to Simon in order to find out what they really know.

Episode six sees a strange cult using the community centre for a meeting. It soon transpires that their leader is capable of brainwashing anyone just by talking to them.

It could be argued that Misfits is not a million miles away from the movie The Breakfast Club. Five stereotypes are thrown together and eventually open up to each other about how they really think they fit into society.

While this DVD release is being issued as "Series One" it's very unlikely that a second series can follow. Everything concludes quite neatly. Of course, Curtis could go back in time and change events so that a second series won't feel forced, but personally I can't really see this show continuing.

While the twist in the ending has already been witnessed in Heroes that didn't really detract from a satisfying conclusion.

Extras include four The Making of Misfits featurettes: Ice Storm (7 min, 24 sec look at setting up the effects for the ice storm scene); Finding Our Misfits (14 min, 49 sec look at the different cast members); Roof Stunt (10 min, 04 sec behind the scenes footage of the roof stunt from the final episode); and OAP Disco (7 min, 59 sec raw footage from the OAP disco scene).

Misfits is a satisfying, amusing and well produced series that is well worth checking out.


Darren Rea

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