If nothing else, the Covid apocalypse has forced me to watch a lot of TV: some good, some not. When a champion director offers up a series about androids, human embryos, and religious crusades…I am ready for the ride of my life. Does Raised by Wolves meet my expectations?
Raised by Wolves is Ridley Scott’s much awaited return to TV. Scott has offered us a gem that was created by Aaron Guzikowski, and echoes remnants of Blade Runner and Prometheus. Although Scott only directed the first two episodes of this fabulous sci-fi series, he is one of the executive producer and you feel his skillful input in all ten episodes. The series, which stars Amanda Collin, Abubakar Salim, Winta McGrath, Travis Fimmel, Niamh Algar and Felix Jamieson, tells the story of two androids as they escape a war-ravaged Earth with twelve human embryos aboard their space pod.
The androids, fleeing the Mithraics, the cult followers of Sol (think the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition), land on a desolate but habitable planet called Kepler-22b. The androids learn that there are predatory life forms on the planet and quickly set up a safe colony in which to raise the children.
Amanda Collin plays the part of Mother, an android that was originally built as a Necromancer by the religious Mithraics to destroy the atheist rebels. She was later reprogrammed by her creator to protect and raise the embryos. Her mate, Father, played by Abubakar Salim, does not possess the destructive powers of Mother. At first, only six of the embryos are hooked up to Mother and allowed to mature enough to achieve birth. Mother nurses back to health the weakest of the original six newborns. She forms a special bond with this boy who she names after her creator, Campion (Winta McGrath). We don’t learn until later in the series what became of the other six embryos, but for the original six, life on a hostile planet comes with consequences…and only one child survives…the favored Campion.
Although Mother and Father raise the children as atheists, they are not safe from the followers of Sol. When a Mithraic scouting party lands, Mother destroys the Mithraic mothership and captures the surviving Mithraic children.
The Mithraics are led by Marcus (Travis Fimmel) and his wife Sue (Niamh Algar) who are really atheists pretending to be followers of Sol. Their son Paul (Felix Jamieson) doesn’t know that his real parents are dead. After Mother takes the children from the downed mothership, Marcus leads the remaining Mithraics on a rescue mission. After Marcus encounters a mysterious monolith on the planet, he begins to hear voices. Who put this monolith on Kepler-22b and what does this monolith and the voices have to do with the strange creatures attacking both Mother and Marcus?
I don’t want to give away too much of the plot, but let’s say we are definitely offered a wide array of theories on religion and motherhood. Amanda Collin’s portrayal of Mother keeps you mesmerized throughout the ten episodes. It is worth the watch to find out her backstory that we get to witness via flashbacks. She is an android who is at one moment a gentle and loving mother, and in the next, a screaming, flying machine of destruction. She craves motherhood so much that she is tricked into bringing forth an enemy that might destroy all life on the tiny planet.
The season finale left me on the edge of my seat, and I can’t wait until season two. I actually binged watched Raised by Wolves twice…so yes…this show has met my expectations… and I highly recommend that you watch it on HBO MAX.