In an alternative world, one that looks like Victorian London, Rycroft Philostrate, Orlando bloom (“The Shanghai Job“, “Pirates Of The Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge“), is a detective, a nice friendly detective though.
Whilst the rest of the city of Burgue don’t want the Fae or any other immigrants in the city, blaming them for drinking and debauchery, Philo is on their side, having fought in the war on the Fae’s homeland, which is now a living hell thanks to man.
As Philo investigates a series of brutal attacks on the immigrants of Carnival Row, the hatred intensifies and Stonemoss discovers Philo isn’t dead after all.
When Philo finds the man who has been attacking the immigrants, a man they call Jack (presumably as in ‘The Ripper’), Philo finds that it’s perhaps not this man he should be looking for after all. As he reveals there’s something far more sinister beneath their feet, something the immigrants have unwittingly brought with them from their home world.
There’s nothing subtle about Carnival Row, nothing at all. It wears its points on its sleeve, chest, forehead, everywhere. It’s about immigration, lack of empathy towards the migrants and the gatherings of those that will do anything to “take back their city”.
This is an obvious nod to the Trump-era we live in today, as well as the migrant crisis across Europe, migrants fleeing by any means necessary to escape war, famine and brutal regimes.
That’s all fine, it’s good that it’s out in the open and being talked about, but there still needs to be a story, something to get stuck into, some other interest. Otherwise you may as well have made a documentary.
From the first episode alone it’s difficult to ascertain whether the story will be more than just immigration, there’s nine episodes in total, if we’re to be beaten to death with how unjust it all is, there are documentaries and the like that will tell it far better.
It’s a decent start for Carnival Row, let’s hope the pace can quicken from here on out.