Entry updated 20 April 2021. Tagged: TV.
British animated tv series (2021-current). Cartoon Network Studios Europe. Created by Guillaume Cassuto, Mic Graves and Tony Hull. Directed by Rhys Byfield and Mikey Please. Writers include Guillaume Cassuto, Mic Graves, Tony Hull, Joe Markham, Daran Johnson and Joe Parham. Voice cast includes Noah Bentley, Samuel Faraci, Kate Harbour and Naomi McDonald. Sixteen 11-minute episodes. Colour.
Geologist Frankie (McDonald) believes the lack of a fusion crust on a rock found in 65-million-year-old sediment is proof that Aliens visited Earth at the time of the Dinosaurs, but the scientific community are dismissive. The rock turns out to be Technology, and is activated when accidentally put in the microwave instead of a cold cup of coffee: Frankie and her son, Elliot (Faraci), are transported across the Galaxy to The Centrium, a Space Habitat formed by a group of linked biospheres. On one biosphere Elliot meets and befriends Mo (Bentley), a young Stegosaurus who is friendly but – as befitting his species' cranial capacity – dim. The trio settle into life on The Centrium, with Frankie seeking a job, whilst Elliot and Mo attend a school attended by alien children (see Education in SF).
The premise gives numerous opportunities for interactions with colourful aliens such as The Hive, a Hive Mind whose constituent parts form a giant head; the infant-like Hive Director, from a species that ages in reverse ("How does that work?" "It's complicated ... and requires years of counselling."); and Nara (Harbour), a schoolfriend whose Precognitive ability renders life dull, so she grabs the opportunity to temporarily lose her powers, relishing the uncertainty. Most droids (see Robots) have a biological symbiote (see Parasitism and Symbiosis) living inside them. The diverse alien residents of The Centrium are able to communicate because of a gas emitted by Babble-frogs (see Universal Translator).
The first season's stories are mainly episodic, familiarizing the viewer with the characters and setting: but one story arc appears to concern the disappearance of the dinosaurs – it is inferrable that this was due to alien interference, begging the questions of who and why. At the season finale, having relocated the rock that transported them, Frankie and Mo are accidentally returned to Earth, leaving Elliot alone on The Centrium.
Many of the production team had previously worked on The Amazing World of Gumball (pilot 2008; 2011-2019), and this show shares much of its look and Humour – though as yet it lacks the weirder and satirical touches. At present this is a light, amusing series, with plenty of gags revolving around bizarre alien designs and behaviour. [SP]
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