The Commons Review

Stan is delivering a Christmas gift next week in the form of a new  Stan Original Series The Commons.

When we begin  The Commons we are quickly drawn into the futuristic story. Told through the eyes of Eddie (Joanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey), a radical and gifted neuropsychologist, who is desperate for a child. She and her husband Lloyd (David Lyons Sea Patrol ) have tried all the usual routes with no luck.

Eddie is quickly drawn into her work with a new patient, Ben Childers (Damian Herriman Secret City), a former military man who served in the Middle East but is now working to protect the border. Ben is struggling with psychological issues and Eddie’s therapy is sure to help, provided she can bring him round.

Meanwhile, Lloyd is a vector biologist working at the cutting-edge of gene-editing technology. His special enemy in the insect world is the ‘Kissing Bug’ which carries the extremely deadly Chagas disease, the vaccine for which is decades away. Helping him is best mate Shay (Ryan Corr Bloom).

When Eddie is thrown a curveball no one sees coming, she must decide if her need for a child outweighs the risks and personal cost. Will Lloyd find a vaccine and what new challenges are just around the corner? And what part does Shay have to play in Eddie’s personal mission?

The Commons, which is set in the distant future, allows us to see what affect people displaced by bushfires, storms, rising sea levels and years of unbroken drought could possibly have on humanity if we aren’t careful.

The two episodes provided for this review were written by creator Shelley Birse (The Code) and drops us into a thought-provoking and character driven drama that grips you from the get-go.

The characters are complex and the world a scary one, and as much as I was hoping to not be hooked on this story, it was impossible not to be drawn in. Casting is top-notch with Froggatt really drawing you into this story. Meanwhile Herriman continues to choose complex character arcs and there really isn’t a bad performer here. Watch out for Rupert Penry-Jones (Spooks) who played Eddie’s brother Dominic – his character really starts to develop in episode two. Inez Currò, who plays Lloyd’s daughter Ivy, is definitely a name to watch for in the future.

The Commons is a character-driven, futuristic drama that is well-worth skipping Christmas lunch for.

4 Stars

Stan Original Series The Commons premieres Christmas Day – with all episodes streaming.