Scavengers Reign: The Signal
November 3, 2023 7:19 AM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

After their deep-space freighter is damaged, the stranded crew of the Demeter must fight to survive on a beautiful yet dangerous planet. (series trailer)
posted by gwint (11 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I'm just gonna say it from the get-go: This is the best scfi series I've seen in years.
posted by gwint at 7:20 AM on November 3, 2023 [2 favorites]

The animation and design is exquisite - very reminiscent of Jean Giraud's work, as well as the wild bio-punk of the rebooted Prophet comic. It's interesting that they're releasing it in three episode bursts, which lets the audience savor each individual ep as part of a three course meal each week.
posted by FatherDagon at 8:43 AM on November 3, 2023 [1 favorite]

Super good-looking.

I kind of hope it never ends though, sadly, I feel like the arc is pretty well defined.

However tv has evolved in the last dozen years, the trend of animation that is otherwise very 'niche' getting produced and finding an audience is pretty great.
posted by From Bklyn at 9:17 AM on November 3, 2023 [1 favorite]

I was also reminded of Moebius' style -- smooth, clean, rounded lines and such. The flora and fauna of the planet and their strange metamorphoses also reminded me of Studio Ghibli style animation. What a great combo!

Only watched the first episode, but very psyched to see where this goes!
posted by Saxon Kane at 9:35 AM on November 3, 2023

I've watched through episode 8 and I'm enjoying it, but the non-stop parade of new and weird lifeforms in every episode is getting tedious.

Although, it's clear that at least some of the weird lifeforms are not unknown to the survivors of the crash with their short time on Vesta - the vines used for power for the communication device, the creatures used as a respirator and the ones used as balloons to life them out of danger (or the writers were so keen on showing us the weird lifeforms that they didn't think how the survivors would already know how to take advantage of them).
posted by ShooBoo at 9:52 AM on November 4, 2023 [1 favorite]

I'm still working through this show, but I'm reminded strongly of the Worlds of Aldebaran comic series by French/Brazillian writer/artist Léo. There's plenty of diverse aliens in this series, and there's even one, the iums, which are sort of panda shaped like the bad alien from Scavengers Reign. Léo's art style is a bit like a grounded version of Jean Giraud, the stories are full of wonder, adventure and cooperation. (I'd suggest looking at the wikipedia article and searching google for sites that might have the english translations of each chapter (Aldebaran, Betelgeuse, Antaries, etc,) online to read.)

The main problem I'm having with Scavengers Reign is the whole concept that they were going too close to the sun, yet they are in orbit around a planet teeming with life. The planet had to be the destination they were headed to, right? You wouldn't plot a course to go through one solar system to get to another. You'd want to get as many biological samples to take back with you, if the Demeter isn't there to establish a colony. If that could have been better clarified I'd appreciate it. Will probably binge through the rest this weekend though, maybe it's covered.
posted by Catblack at 2:18 PM on November 4, 2023

Am up to 6 and for me the non-stop parade of new and weird lifeforms in every episode is not getting at all tedious, it's what I'm watching for!

I'm not sure enough happens plot-wise in a single episode to populate a per-episode fanfare. But I'm fully bought in on the show just on the art and vibes.
posted by BobInce at 4:57 PM on November 4, 2023 [4 favorites]

like the bad alien from Scavengers Reign

I am fully of the opinion that the alien that teamed up with Kamen isn't 'bad' on its own, but has become so specifically because of the toxic loop that comes from interacting with Kamen's psyche. Each of the individual sets of survivors' experiences are colored by how they interact with the world they find themselves stranded in - fighting it, exploring and mastering it, giving in to the wonder of it all.

The psionic aliens operate in a kind of symbiotic work-delegation for food gathering, being fed and sustained by the particular beings of their biome by way of mental coaxing and rewards. Kamen's "partner" starts off actively trying to help and protect him, but the mental pathways of their communication slotted into Kamen's memories of his fairly crap relationship with Fiona and all that he projected onto it. As Kamen continues to find food in a manner reflecting his own repressed rage and loathing, the being continues to feed off of what it's being delivered, and changes because of that. At no point does Kamen come to terms with the fact that what he provides in a relationship is not healthy to either party...
posted by FatherDagon at 12:41 PM on November 6, 2023 [2 favorites]

Great video essay from Nerdwriter: Why Scavenger's Reign Actually Feels Alien
posted by gwint at 6:47 AM on November 20, 2023

I definitely see the Moebius echoes, but it most strongly reminds of Brendon Graham’s Prophet comics. All the weird biostuff, using alien creatures as tools/accessories.
posted by rodlymight at 5:10 PM on November 25, 2023

I'm obsessed with this show. Pure nightmare fuel, and I could not look away. The only criticism I have is that the storyline became more conventional around the halfway mark of the season, but it wasn't bad, just departed from pure weirdness. I would love to see this animation style applied to VanderMeer's Borne.
posted by Rora at 5:54 PM on November 26, 2023

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