A recommendation from horror master Stephen King goes a long way. One of the things I like most about him is his willingness to champion movies and TV shows regardless of what the critical consensus about them is. I was particularly pleased when he named the Child’s Play remake as one of his favorite horror titles of 2019, thus giving it a well-deserved boost in popularity.
Now, he’s named an extremely obscure British show that’s over a decade old as his pick of the summer. Here’s what he tweeted:
“The show I’ve had the most pure fun with this summer is PARADOX (HULU). Maybe a plot hole here and there, but the central situation is intriguing, the pace is relentless, and the cast is winning.”
You’d be forgiven for not having heard of Paradox, a five-part miniseries that aired in 2009 on BBC One in the United Kingdom. The show follows a team of police detectives investigating images beamed into an astrophysicist’s laboratory that apparently come from the future. These depict huge disasters, with the characters struggling to decipher the messages and avert tragedy. The aim was, according to creator Lizzie Mickery, to explore the “moral and emotional implications of having the ability to change the future.”
Sounds fun, right? Well, critics savaged it, claiming that it was “overwhelmingly silly,” that the acting was “robotic” and that it was just plain “daft.” After reviews like that, the show failed to pick up an audience and a planned second season was quickly cancelled.
Since then, it’s been all quiet on Paradox and most people forgot about it. At some point, though, it was added to streaming services with little fanfare and somehow it ended up before Stephen King. Perhaps his praise will result in a critical reappraisal of the show, and who knows, there have been stranger cancelled series brought back from the dead.
Paradox is currently available to stream on Hulu and Amazon Prime.