Been watching Peripheral lately. It's about virtual reality which turns out to be real which sounds kinda tired but I gave it a go cos it's William Gibson and I'm enjoying it.
Well I watched all of The Peripheral and, on the whole, I really enjoyed it. I think the pragmatic way that they dealt with time travel and its consequences was one of the most satisfying I've seen.
What happens in the series is that when someone goes back in time they change the past and so a fork occurs with a new, changed timeline diverging from the one in which the person went back. Which I guess is one of the standard approaches.
But what I found believable here is that the people in the first timeline believe theirs is the sort of naturally superior one, and the others which diverge from it they denote as 'stubs' which they feel free to fuck with as they like by testing new technology, untried drugs and so on - basically anything that might bring them money. At one point they spell it out quite literally, it's a kind of colonisation of parallel dimensions rather than space with stub-inhabitants being denied any rights whatsoever cos they're not us.
There were a few plotholes, or maybe it's better to say that a lot of the time the limits of the technology of the future are left vague and so you're never sure if the characters are in danger or if they are gonna be able to teleport (or something) the problem away. And when they were/weren't able to do this felt inconsistently applied and arbitrary.
My main gripe though was the fighting scenes. Every now and again there would be these totally extraneous bits where there would suddenly be a long and pointless overly choreographed fight. Most didn't seem part of the plot, it was though they had been told that they must put one such scene in every episode. It especially grated with Flynn's 'peripheral' having the unexplained and unearned ability do all this Bruce Lee stuff out of nowhere - I just found it really uninvolving to see the hero magically gaining these powers and then fighting loads of background characters for the most tenuous of reasons at great length. I dunno if I'm explaining it properly but the fight scenes felt so wrong that I got kinda embarrassed and uncomfortable watching them and they ultimately dragged the show down a notch in my estimation.
A shame cos there was loads of good stuff with interesting plotting and ideas. Ending was a bit rushed though and seemed entirely designed to set up series 2. As usual.