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Paradox (TV series)

Genre Sci-fi crime drama
Created by Lizzie Mickery
Directed by Simon Cellan Jones
Omar Madha
Starring Tamzin Outhwaite
Mark Bonnar
Emun Elliott
Chiké Okonkwo
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 1
No. of episodes 5 (List of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Murray Ferguson
Patrick Spence
Producer(s) Marcus Wilson
Location(s) Manchester, England
Running time 60 minutes
Production companies Clerkenwell Films
Original channel BBC One, BBC HD
Original run 24 November 2009 (2009-11-24) – 22 December 2009 (2009-12-22)
External links

Paradox is a 2009 British science fiction police drama, starring Tamzin Outhwaite as Detective Inspector Rebecca Flint. Written by Lizzie Mickery and produced by Clerkenwell Films for the BBC, it was filmed and set in Manchester, England.

Flint heads a police team played by Mark Bonnar and Chiké Okonkwo, working with a scientist played by Emun Elliott, as they attempt to prevent disasters foretold by images being sent from the future.

A first series aired on BBC One and BBC HD during November and December in five hour-long episodes. It received mostly negative reviews from critics, and it has been reported that there will be no second series.


Murray Ferguson, chief executive of Clerkenwell Films, said that they were looking for something "different from the traditional formula of investigating a crime that has already taken place" and premise for the series, the police having knowledge of future incidents, was developed. Lizzie Mickery (The 39 Steps, The State Within) was chosen to write the series and she said she has "always been interested in the decisions you're not aware you are making" and the series was based on the "moral and emotional implications of having the ability to change the future". The series was then commissioned by Ben Stephenson and Jay Hunt for BBC One with executive producers Patrick Spence, for BBC Northern Ireland, and Ferguson. The series was produced by Marcus Wilson and directed by Simon Cellan Jones and Omar Madha.[1] Filming began in Greater Manchester, England in June 2009,[2] with the majority of filming in the Northern Quarter district of the City of Manchester. The Imperial War Museum North is used as the backdrop for Dr King's place of employment, Prometheus Labs.

Filming was completed over 13 weeks and Fergison said: "Each episode is set within a very short time period so the changeable weather caused havoc."[1]


Detective Inspector Rebecca Flint (Tamzin Outhwaite), Detective Sergeant Ben Holt (Mark Bonnar) and Detective Constable Callum Gada (Chiké Okonkwo) investigate images being broadcast to an eminent astrophysicist Dr Christian King's (Emun Elliott) laboratory, which appear to show catastrophic events in the future.[2][3]


# Episode Directed by Written by Original airdate Viewers[4]
1 "Episode 1" Simon Cellan JonesLizzie Mickery24 November 2009 (2009-11-24)4.81 million
The team cannot stop an explosion caused by a road tanker hitting a low railway bridge 
2 "Episode 2" Simon Cellan JonesLizzie Mickery1 December 2009 (2009-12-01)2.94 million
The team save the life of kidnapped boy locked in a flooding garage basement, and the life of DS Holt in the same incident 
3 "Episode 3" Simon Cellan JonesLizzie Mickery8 December 2009 (2009-12-08)3.32 million
The team apparently prevent a sex-attacker from killing a woman outside a nightlcub, but cannot prevent him from being free to attack again 
4 "Episode 4" Omar MadhaLizzie Mickery15 December 2009 (2009-12-15)3.12 million
The team are apparently able to save a woman from being burned in an arson attack, but cannot stop a man falling to his death after his abseiling rig breaks 
5 "Episode 5" Omar MadhaLizzie Mickery22 December 2009 (2009-12-22)3.11 million
The team save a group of teenagers from being shot, but Christian is shot 


The series peaked at 4.81 million viewers for the first episode.

In The Daily Telegraph, James Walton said that despite the "exciting" climactic scenes, "[s]adly, by then the show's complete absence of internal logic (or, if you prefer, its overwhelming silliness) meant that it was beyond help."[5] Comparing with American series FlashForward and ITV1's Collision, Alex Hardy from The Times said that the former "is currently doing a much better job at such space-time contemplation" and that the "'working back from an accident' format unfolded much more deliciously" in the latter.[6] Following the second episode, The Times' Andrew Billen said that although the last 10 minutes were exciting, "[t]he difficulty lay in the 50 minutes of scratchy dialogue, robotic acting and general misery that it took to get there."[7] Jeremy Clay from the Leicester Mercury also liked the climax but said "the rest was utterly daft",[8] the programme tried the patience of The Observer's Phil Hogan[9] and Tom Sutcliffe from The Independent said that "the Prometheus Innovation Satellite Downlink offers a perfect acronym for the state you'd have to be in to take this kind of thing seriously".[10]


On 1 January 2010, The Sun reported that the BBC had cancelled the show due to disappointing ratings.[11] On 25 February 2010, David Bentley of the Coventry Telegraph writing in their Geek Files blog, quoted an unnamed BBC spokesman: "In spite of a great cast and production team, Paradox did not find its audience in the way that we had hoped".[12]


External links

  • BBC Programmes
  • Internet Movie Database
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