Pilot Perception: Containment

Containment

Welcome to Pilot Perception, our feature in which we break down the first episode of each new show – today, Containment – in order to help you decide whether it’s worth your time.

The Show: Containment, the CW in the U.S., Tuesdays at 9/8c, and Global TV in Canada, premiering Monday April 25th at 8/7c

The Pedigree: Containment is based on Belgian series Cordon by Carl Joos and developed for American TV by Julie Plec (The Vampire Diaries), who also wrote this episode. David Nutter (Game of Thrones) directed the pilot.

The Cast & How You Know Them: The show stars David Gyasi (White Heat), Christina Moses (How We Met), Chris Wood (The Vampire Diaries), Kristen Gutoskie (Republic of Doyle), Claudia Black (The Originals, Farscape), George Young (Grace), Hannah Mangan Lawrence (Spartacus), and Trevor St. John (One Life to Live).

The Premise: An epidemic breaks out at a hospital in Atlanta, leaving part of the city quarantined and desperate.

A Taste:

 

What Works: Containment has real, scary stakes right from the beginning, which did a good job of grabbing my attention even as I had trouble following some of the individual plot threads (see below). The show is filmed in its setting of Atlanta, which makes the world of the show very vibrant and adds realism to the stakes. I was interested in at least several of the many characters right off the bat, and I’m genuinely concerned for their fates. And while I was initially wary of the use of a Syrian patient zero, I was glad that the idea was interrogated right within the episode.

What Doesn’t: The pilot tries to set up so many characters and situations that it can be hard to follow the characters’ individual stories as well as the overall timeline of the outbreak. Of course, confusion stemming from having too much to establish is a very common issue with pilots, and one that the show will hopefully overcome quickly. The writing was adequate but not particularly noteworthy; everything is Very Serious (of course) and could use some moments of levity.

Our Favorite Line: “If we blow this, it’s not just a hospital in your little corner of Atlanta that’s in jeopardy.”

You Might Like This if you like disaster dramas; this isn’t a zombie show but has some things in common with other outbreak fiction like that. And the pilot definitely reminded me of the first few chapters of Station Eleven.

If You’re Interested: In the U.S., check out the pilot on Friday at 9/8c, or catch it on demand or on the CW site or app. Then set your DVR for Tuesday at 9/8c. In Canada, the show premieres on Global TV on Monday, April 25th, at 8/7c.

(Photo courtesy of the CW.)

About Kate

Kate Linnea Welsh is a New Hampshire-based writer and taxonomist. (No, that doesn't involve dead animals.) She keeps us up to date on TV news in her weekly column "Caffeine." She writes about other TV shows, books, and more at her blog and her site Read the Screen. She'd love to talk to you on Twitter: @katelinnea