The science-fiction elements do not bear close inspection; it may be more appropriate to regard them simply as supernatural. In several instances, characters swallow pills for no explained reason. It doesn't add up to anything that I could tell, but it seems worth mentioning.
The fact is, mass extinction is already here; people (the engine of that extinction) are just not on the menu yet. Scientists, meanwhile, project a less hospitable planet, and many of us don't believe them, and most who do can't be persuaded to trade immediate convenience for long-term good. It's possible, I suppose, that Cross is trying to make a point about this, but if so, it is buried in blood and fire and middle-school conversations about the absence of God.
What "Hard Sun" does have going for it is Deyn, who is deep and mesmerizing throughout. (Sturgess, for his part, is perhaps more off-putting than his part requires him to be.) Much as "Luther," which has a fifth season coming, benefits from the dignifying charisma of Idris Elba, Deyn lifts "Hard Sun" out of the muck. She's always worth watching, however absurd the situations or melodramatic her role.
A successful model turned actress, she wears her hair cropped close like Maria Falconetti in "The Passion of Joan of Arc," an impression strengthened whenever a tear rolls down her cheek in loving close-up, and which suits her character, who starts the series being stabbed and nearly burned to death. She suffers nobly, but does not let suffering define her. (She also resembles what Millie Bobby Brown, Eleven from "Stranger Things," might look like at 35; that also feels apt.)
"Five years, what's the point?" frets Hicks.
"What's the point?" Renko replies. "The point is everything you love is here now. That is all that matters."
It could matter a little more to the series itself. But at least it gets said.
When: Any time, Wednesday
Rating: TV-MA (may be unsuitable for children under the age of 17)
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