The System review
Production company – BBC
I feel somewhat tricked into this series. I was looking through the “recommended” list and saw a Tom Clancy Splinter Cell series so I subscribed. Not that I’m a massive Tom Clancy fan. In fact my only knowledge of his work is the Splinter Cell computer games. I figured maybe I should get to know the stories as well.
In the first episode they are talking about people with animal names. “Ah yes”, I recall. “Something ocelot wasn’t it?” About 30 seconds later I remember that “something ocelot” was “revolver ocelot”, who was from Metal Gear Solid, not Splinter Cell. Old age doesn’t come alone I tell you.
So what’s it about?
The System is a rather gripping drama series focussing on the disappearance of Jake, a disillusioned young man with no prospects, stuck in a dead end job. His half sister Maya is thrown into a dark and violent world after a mysterious phone call from Jake telling her to recover a box from his flat. Following a near miss with some shady looking individuals who also seem to want the box, Maya is determined to uncover the truth.
From there, the story is told in a series of flashbacks that follow Jake’s initiation into “The System”, and the true motivation behind it. Is it just a seemingly innocent (but very intense) self improvement club, or something else? What is the meaning of the spooky list that ends in “Judgment Day”? And just who the hell is Beau Leech?
Is it any good?
It’s very good, yes. The series is well written, and the acting is very good. You may wonder then, why I rated it rather low. Essentially, the main plot thread is not as clever as I suspect the writers thought it was. In fact from quite early on you can see how this is going to play out. Having said that, whilst I did guess the general direction it was taking, the final piece of exposition that triggered the creation of The System was truly heart rending.
The fact I guessed the twist is the only reason for the low score though. I highly recommend you give it a listen, if you don’t spot the clues, you’ll wonder why I didn’t give it a 5 brain rating.
I desperately want to expand on the plot to compare it to other podcasts I’ve heard, but that will give the game away somewhat, so I will bite my tongue. As such this review will probably be a bit shorter than usual. When I get round to reviewing those podcasts though, I’ll be linking back to this one, so you’ll eventually see what I mean.
This podcast series seems to have a diverse range of stories, the latest one being based on Splinter Cell. Each series is short enough to be binge worthy (fewer than 10 half hour episodes), and if the other stories. Rest assured I’ll be reviewing them all in due course. I may even skip to the Splinter Cell one next!
You can get The System here:
Or wherever you get your podcasts.