It’s been a while since I have watched a web series, even longer since I watched a British web series. I have started quite a few, but just not made it past the first few episodes!
So when I stumbled across Horizon on Twitter, I popped along to have a look without much in the way of anticipation. I am pleased to say, I was rather pleasantly surprised! Horizon is a very watchable piece of work indeed!
The Premise: “The lives of five people are forever changed when a mysterious alien ship appears on the skyline over Bristol. It’s intentions unclear, the disparate group attempt to flee the city and reach loved ones, but their efforts are impeded by a city in panic, looters, and the threat of military attack. As they battle to stick together, loyalties and relationships are tested, and an even larger question remains: who are these mysterious visitors and why are they here?” (taken from http://horizonwebseries.com)
The series which consists of 10 episodes (it is also available as one 52 minute film, which is how I found it links are all included below, if you fancy a watch), follows 5 people over a relatively short period of time as they work out what the heck you do when a space ship appears over Bristol!
Good quality production values? TICK, this is where so many small independently made web series’ fall down, often with good reason – lack of funds! – but Horizon stands out because it is fairly slickly made, very well edited and without a wobbly handheld camera in sight! There are even some decent special effects with the spaceship etc. There is a gun fight, which is a little bit on the dodge side, but honestly I have seen worse on CBS!!
Good, impassioned acting? TICK, phew there really are folks in Horizon who can act! Again, far too often someone who is convinced they are truly the world’s best actor makes and stars in their own web series and it’s awful, because actually they can’t act for toffee. But these guys can. All five of the main characters nail it pretty much, and I was really impressed in particular with main guy Paul Tonkin. Throughout he keeps it all anchored, his reactions are spot on and he manages to appear credible in a very incredible situation!
Alicia Ancel as Chloe suffers a little with her character being the annoying, screaming, crying female which seems to be necessary in any kind of disaster scenario. As the series goes on Chloe becomes a little less “smack round the face”, Ancel’s timing is good and she delivers a solid performance.
Simon Pearce as Dan is very Bristol, (as are Ancel and Kessie Bartlett who plays Katie, and from whom I think there is more to see I hope in series 2), I thought Pearce alongside Tonkin made a great double act with a good chemistry, he is a talented young man who I hope sticks with acting!
I initially thought that Kate Davies was going to be the weak link, Nicole to start with is too shallow and appears as a caricature of the other type of woman needed in a disaster, the vapid, selfish bitch. But actually Kate pulled it round, and after the first few episodes, Nicole improves as does Kate.
Jason Allen apparently hasn’t been in the acting game for long, but I thought his performance was mature and well thought through, he brings a level of maturity which I am interested to see develop into the second series.
Any criticisms would be leveled a little at timing, and actually over timing some lines are delivered too slowly, pausing and breathing yes, but its possible apocalypse !!! I also found the empty roads annoying – I am guessing in that situation the roads would be rammed but I also guess budgets only stretch so far! And I doubt I am the only one who wondered who has a farm that swish and lives in a semi in Bristol! On the Bristol theme, that’s an accent and it appears a lot! But Horizon delivers on all fronts as far as a web series goes! Don’t expect a laugh, but do expect to go “oooo ok” a few times as the tale takes a twist!!
Series One of course ends on a cliff-hanger!! And there is a crowd funding campaign going and I believe that Series Two is currently being filmed (link below if you would like to donate). I am definitely going to be tuning into Series Two!!
Series Website: http://horizonwebseries.com (Links to crowdfunding found here)
Watch Series One: https://vimeo.com/user33821203