Review of "The 100 Season 1 (DVD)"

published 24/03/2015 | PerpetualMotion
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Excellent
Pro Great special effects, brilliant plots, totally engaging characters
Cons Grating opening sequence, weak pilot
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"100, 99, 98..."

Clarke Griffin

Clarke Griffin

The 100


The 100 is an American television drama which began in March 2014, on The CW station in the States.

It begins on a space station (called The Ark) 97 years after a nuclear apocalypse on Earth, where the last remaining members of the human race must ration their supplies and survive as best they can in the hope of one day returning to Earth and repopulating the planet.

The series is based on the young adult novel of the same name by American author Kass Morgan.

Opening sequence


We open the pilot with our main character in a jail cell, about to be led away (she thinks) to a worse fate, although she hasn't turned 18 yet.

After the pilot, The CW would use her in the same jail cell, with her saying the following as a voice-over: "I was born in Space. I've never felt the sun on my face or breathed real air or floated in the water. None of us have. For 3 generations, The Ark has kept what's left of the human race alive, but now our home is dying, and we are the last hope of mankind. 100 prisoners sent on a desperate mission to the ground. Each of us is here because we broke the law. On the ground there is no law. All we have to do is survive. But we will be tested, by the Earth, by the secrets it hides, and most all by each other."

This opening sequence sums up the show quite well, but it did get a bit draining especially as there was an actual title sequence a few minutes into the show in each episode. Thankfully though after 9 episodes they removed this and opened with a recap of previous episodes to keep the viewer up to speed with the series.

The Ark


The Ark is an aging space station orbiting the now abandoned planet Earth *see picture 1*, and inhabited by the best and brightest including some outstanding engineers. On the Ark there is a limited supply of both food and Oxygen so in order to maintain these levels for as long as possible an elected "chancellor" has the power to "float" anyone who has committed crimes such as stealing supplies or other supposedly 'petty' crimes unless the person is under the age of 18. I actually jokingly described The Ark as being like Stargate set in North Korea; the more I think about it, the apter it seems.

The Chancellor


At the beginning of season 1, the chancellor is a man named Thelonious Jaha, played by Isaiah Washington (who is perhaps best known as Preston Burke in Grey's Anatomy). *See picture 2* He rules with an iron fist, and even 'floated' our lead character Clarke's father. I love the character of Jaha in season 1, and the writers build him up brilliantly to be a leader that you love to hate. When he is in charge you want anyone but him to have power, but when that changes you soon wish he was back in charge!

Clarke Griffin


Clarke is the archetypal female teen heroine who rebels against almost everything her mother Abby tells her. Australian actress Eliza Taylor *see picture 3* has taken this role almost effortlessly to being one of the most entertaining science fiction dramas that have been seen in years. I'm glad that I didn't give up after a fairly shaky pilot episode which I can understand why many people switched off at this point. You can tell that Taylor has many years of experience in television acting despite her character being under 18 in the show (she is currently 25), having been in over 300 episodes of Aussie soap Neighbours.

Return to the ground


After only 8 minutes of the pilot, 100 young 'criminals' are chosen to be sent to Earth to see if the planet is habitable. They are sent with trackers so that the people back on The Ark can see if they are surviving being back on their home planet. This part of the show starts to feel like Battle Royale, mixed with the teen angst of The Hunger Games; but somehow it has been done in a good way that allows the later to be seen violence not to upset the balance of the drama.

Sadly for the 100, they would find that they were not along on Earth. In fact there were 3 other groups, factions one might call them, battling for supremacy of the area with them. The groups were the grounders *see picture 4*, the reapers (grounders who have become cannibals; we will find out in season 2 as to why), the mountain men (who live at Mount Weather army base where the 100 were sent to go) and themselves, now Christened the "sky people".

Main cast


Abby - Paige Turco
Bellamy - Bob Morley
Clarke - Eliza Taylor
Jasper - Devon Bostick
Marcus - Henry Ian Cusick
Monty - Christopher Larkin
Octavia - Marie Avgeropoulos
Thelonious - Isaiah Washington

Created by Jason Rothenberg (whose only previous credit was for the TV drama movie Body Politic in 2009).

Although there have been numerous directors used in the making of The 100, the man with the most credits was Dean White who directed 4 episodes in season 1.

Awards and ratings


Sadly the viewing figures for The 100 have been fairly terrible, with the average numbers in the United States being around 2.5 million. This is very disappointing as it really is a wonderful series that should get much more exposure. Note: that is only double what it's pilot received in the United Kingdom when it premiered on E4 in July 2014.

The final episode of season 1 was nominated for a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Special and Visual Effects. It lost out to Game of Thrones episode, "The Children".

I don't watch that show, so can't fairly comment, but it must be spectacular as The CW have done a great job with the effects on this show on what I have to assume is a much smaller budget than that of HBO!

The score


Marc Dauer and Evan Frankfort deserve a lot of credit for creating a very atmospheric score which sets the scene for a lot of very tense moments between The 100 and the grounders. Hard to believe that they worked together on quite a lot of episodes of the awful 90210...

Cost


You can order season 1 from Amazon.co.uk for £11 on DVD, or £15.63 on region free Blu-Ray. The first season is available in its entirety on Amazon Instant Video, with season 2 also available up to episode 11 (episode 16 was shown on television in the US last week).

Would I recommend The 100 Season 1?


Damn right I would, there aren't many shows that have gripped me from the beginning recently. The only ones I can think of have been Gotham, Bates Motel and The Walking Dead... in fact I might review those at some point!

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Comments on this review

  • justarube published 18/01/2017
    Great x
  • euphie published 19/04/2015
    vh :o)
  • jackjohn11 published 13/04/2015
    fantastic review.
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Product Information : The 100 Season 1 (DVD)

Manufacturer's product description

Product Details

EAN: 5051892181778

Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy

Franchise Name: The 100

DVD Region: DVD

Actor: Eliza Taylor; Paige Turco; Thomas McDonell

Title: 1

Classification: 18 years and over

Production Year: 2014

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Listed on Ciao since: 23/10/2014