Noughts + Crosses | Pilot review

Premise: The series is speculative fiction describing an alternative history in which native African people had gained a technological and organisational advantage over the European people, rather than the other way around, with Africans having made Europeans their slaves. The series takes place in an alternative 21st-century Britain. At the time of the series, slavery had been abolished for some time, but segregation, similar to the Jim Crow Laws, continues to operate to keep the crosses (dark-skinned people) in control of the noughts (lighter-skinned people).

Review: I do not know how these books flew under my radar. It was by utter chance that I found the show. One image – the poster – caught my attention, then I read the premise, frowned, and decided to check out the pilot.

It was superweird to see things being flipped, seeing an alternate version of what we’d expect. The attention to details in this series is just impressive, it’s amazing to see. The sets, costumes, hairstyles, the way the actors speak, all the way down to a f-ing band-aid. It was interesting to see how the “noughts” were influenced by the “Crossers.”

This entire show could have felt gimmicky but it manages not to be.

One other thing, watching this pilot – well the first 15 minutes really – I truly realized how important the Oscars so white campaign and all the calls for diversity in entertainment are. For some reason, I thought that they weren’t that many people of color who wanted to work in the entertainment industry. I also thought that the few who wanted to should be given opportunities to do it. Noughts and Crosses made me re-evaluate the number of people of color who want to work in cinema but just don’t have many opportunities to do so. Because you would have given me the premise of the show and I would have legit thought that finding actors of color for these roles would be really hard to do, next to impossible, if you take into account the extras, the experience and talent the actors would need to make this show watchable. I know that sounds very ignorant and stupid of me but I did underestimate the amount of black, brown and Asian kids who want to act, write, direct or produce.

Let me know what you think about this show and/or the books, have you noticed something I didn’t?

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