Raised by Wolves continues, with past influencing the present, shifts to relationships and characters’ allegiances, and clear evidence that the human survivors are not alone.

Big Dumb Object and unsolved mysteries ahead.

Titles: “Nature’s Course,” “Infected Memory”

Cast and Crew

Directors: Luke Scott, Sergio Mimica-Gezzan
Writers: Aaron Guzikowski, Heather Bellson

Amanda Collin as Mother
Abubakar Salim as Father
Winta McGrath as Campion
Travis Fimmel as Marcus
Sienna Guillory as Mary
Niamh Algar as Sue
Jordan Loughran as Tempest
Ethan Hazzard as Hunter
Felix Jamieson as Paul
Aasiya Shah as Holly
Ivy Wong as Vita
Matias Varela as Lucius
Susan Danford as Justina
Litha Bam as Bartok
Clayton Evertson as Dorian
Cosmo Jarvis as Campion Sturges
Lee-Shane Booysen as VFX creature performer
Brendan Sean Murray, Adrian Schiller as Otho
Loulou Taylor as Cassia
Garth Breytenbach as Den
Steve Wall as Ambrose
Anlia van Rensburg as Kroni
Chris Fisher as Halphas
Tristan de Beer as Grigori
Tanya van Graan as Lempo
Tarryn Wyngaard as Vanth
Kabelo Bouga Chalatsane as Eligos
Ingvild Lakou as Varlac
Aaron Muchanyu as Raum
Shoko Yoshimura as Mastema
Jenna Upton as Danjal
Daniel Lasker as Furfur
Munro Lennon-Ritchie as young Campion
Isla Grace Hounsom as young Spiria
Owen de Wet as young Gabin
Grace Li as young Tally
Sienna Hurst as Ghost Child
Tye Thorne, Luke Thorne as young Caleb
Colleen Knox as Ark Attendant #1
Farouk Valley-Omar as Monk
Avumile Qongqo, Nala Khumalo as clerics
Brashaad Mayweather, Munro Lennon-Ritchie, Jenny Umbhau as soldiers

Premise

As relationships shift among both survivor communities, both also find increasing evidence that other sentient beings, human or otherwise, inhabit the planet.

“Nature’s Course” develops the change in leadership among the followers of Mithras and shows the encampment hunting a creature who may or may not be sentient. “Infected Memory” takes us into Mother’s past, though we cannot be certain to what degree it represents her actual past. Meanwhile, an unearthly child (apparently) wanders the surface and the Mithraists discover two unlikely survivors and a Big Dumb Object of unknown origin and purpose.

High Points

The backstories of both Mother and Marcus have already had a genuine and credible influence on the story-telling, and the potential implications are fascinating.

Low Points

Last time, I raised some world-building issues connected to Mother’s abilities. This issue starts to raise them in terms of story-telling. A virtual humanoid Swiss Army Knife, she seems to have a diverse and rather unusual range of abilities, to the point where I started to wonder if any physical challenge was going to be a credible issue in the future. That has not happened, but just raising the issue problematizes the storytelling, just a little.

The Scores:

Originality: 3/6 The show continues to have an original take on tropes many people will recognize. Nature’s Course features one of the most common SF premises, and resolves it in a way that reaches beyond SF—Charles G.D. Roberts’s short story, “Do Seek Their Meat From God” comes to mind.

The blend of ancient-seeming futuristic elements (Biblepunk?), artificial intelligence, and arcane theologies recalls more than a little Battlestar Galactica.

Acting: 5/6 The acting remains strong, generally. Some of the children remain hampered by, at least, their limited characterization.

Story: 6/6 The writers know how to keep the story developing in intriguing ways.

Production: 6/6

Effects: 5/6 Effects are excellent overall, and often difficult to distinguish from filmed reality. The movement of the creature looks somewhat artificial.

Emotional Response: 5/6

Overall: 5/6

In total, Raised by Wolves, Episodes 4-5, receive 35/42

Lingering Questions

Why does the prisoner’s helmet have prominent metal spikes? Sure, he might lose his life if he head-slams someone, but why give him that weapon in the first place?

It’s clear the planet has changed considerably over time. Is the Object the remnant of an earlier civilization? Have humans already visited Kepler 22-B?

Has someone else?