Last Night’s TV – Paradox

by Lynn Connolly


Paradox, paradoxically, was indeed a paradox. Synonyms for paradox include ‘inconsistency’, ‘absurdity’ and ‘incongruity’ and I’m afraid for me, Paradox could be defined using most of those words.

It was FlashForward, Minority Report, Life On Mars and – in the back-stories – Casualty all rolled into one, and it was rather clumsily done. It had a definite feel of take-shows-that-did-well-and-bastardise-them. And it did.

It all felt rather p**s takeish to me; even in the acronym for the computermabob that’s responsible for gathering images from the future accident – PISD. It stands for Prometheus Innovation Satellite Downlink, a name which I’m convinced was conceived precisely for the acronym it produces.

Perhaps the suggestion is the writer was PISD when he wrote it, or that we viewers should be to actually enjoy it. I think I’d have to be.

In case you missed it – and if you did, I’d have to say ‘well done’ – the concept is that PISD has beamed images of a major accident between traffic and a train, hours ahead of the incident happening. Tamzin Outhwaite plays Detective Inspector Rebecca Flint who, on seeing the images and the fact they’re in the future, has those few hours to stop the whole shebang happening.

She was alerted by Dr Christian King – the geek/psycho splendidly played by Emun Elliott – who managed to get a fairly high ranking police officer to come round simply by saying he needed “a clever police officer at once.” Yeah, ‘cos that’d happen.

Tamzin Outhwaite of course put in a good performance too; she always does, but despite these two main protagonists being convincing, I’m afraid that simply wasn’t enough to retain my interest, nor suspend my disbelief.

I started out with this show just as I started out with FlashForward – wanting to enjoy it and quite prepared to overlook some incongruities and big questions about time not being fully expounded upon. But as with FlashForward, despite willing it to be entertaining, it just wasn’t and I rapidly lost interest.

That said, at least FF kept my attention for the first episode, but I’m afraid Paradox didn’t.

If there were any enjoyable parts, it was in seeing the Casualty-like back-stories of those about to be involved in the crash. The bloke driving the lorry full of propane gas who was tired – o oh – was interesting, and the guy on the train who, had fate been less mean spirited, would’ve been long past that bridge had his day gone to plan.

But other than that factor – which wasn’t sufficient to make me tune in again – there was little here that hasn’t been done, to death, before. Pretty people, good acting, but the concept has been used to within an inch of its life and it’s just plain boring now.

What did you think of it?

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.