British writer and director Alex Garland (“Ex Machina”, “Annihilation”) spreads his wings to the small screen with Devs, a mysterious tale of AI, quantum computing and murder…that is far more interesting than I’ve just made it sound.
Sergei, Karl Glusman (“Gypsy (TV)”, “The Neon Demon”), and his girlfriend Lily, Sonoya Mizuno (“La La Land”, “Ex Machina”) work at Amaya whose strapline is ‘Your quantum future’.
The head of Amaya is Forest, Nick Offerman (“Founder”, “Bad Times At The El Royale”), a tech entrepreneur who we see swanning around his own office estate with Katie, Alison Pill (“Star Trek: Picard”, “Vice”).
Sergei and his team have something pretty amazing to show Forest and Katie. They’ve built software that can track the movement of a living organism in real time, even predict where it will move to in the future.
Forest is impressed and offers Sergei a new position in ‘Devs’, a mysterious division within the organisation that no-one else seems to know what they do.
Forest leads Sergei into the Devs building, a huge place that looks like a swimming pool (which is pretty normal when there’s a giant doll of a little girl also in the grounds) with an internal building that floats in the air.
Whilst in there, Sergei decides to do something completely against the rules and, as Forest puts it, decides to steal some code using his James Bond watch.
That night, Sergei doesn’t make it home. Lily is worried sick and informs the security on site. They watch CCTV of Sergei leaving the site but not taking the usual way home.
Later, they find further CCTV of Sergei doing something unspeakable. It all seems out of character for him, Lily also finds something weird on his phone.
Written and directed by Alex Garland, the first episode is a wonderful, creepy, slow burn that has you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.
You want to keep watching, how can it be in more than one part, why isn’t the rest on now. You’ll be desperate to find out what else is happening and what on earth is going on.
As opening episodes go, Devs is a brilliant introduction. Fans of other Alex Garland stuff will absolutely adore it.