A global flu virus artificially created as a bioweapon. A billionaire madman eager to rush out a vaccine for a pandemic he deliberately created. Children trafficked to be used by this exploitative oligarch. Amazon Prime's new series Utopia, which premiered on Friday, September 25, hits all the hottest topics and potential conspiracies in one fell swoop.
The premise of Utopia, adapted from the original cult British hit, had a lot of potential. It stars heavyweight talent, including the legendary John Cusack and the seasoned actor Rainn Wilson (formerly of The Office). Unfortunately, it wastes all that potential with excessive violence and an unsympathetic heroine, Jessica Hyde (Sasha Lane). Hyde shoots an innocent young woman in cold blood just to establish her dominance. It is hard to root for her after that.
Hyde is the heroine of a comic book series that turns out to be chronicling real events. A group of fans of the comics get caught up in the quest to stop the global conspiracy it reveals.
Utopia's gratuitous violence includes a dragged-out torture scene involving bleach, salt and a gouged-out eye. Many scenes are barely watchable and two child characters on the run with Hyde and her group routinely witness horrifying violence that would scar them for life in the real world.
When the show is not ruining its potential with bad writing and excessive gore, it manages to have some intriguing moments. One of these moments is when billionaire villain Kevin Christie (John Cusack) reveals why he wants to give the world his company's untested and unsafe vaccine. His goal is population control: "Global warming, mass extinctions, food, water shortages, all these problems can be boiled down to one thing: overpopulation." The vaccine deliberately causes sterilization.
Christie: We intend to stop human reproduction for three generations. The busy, endless, global assembly line of babies will grind to a halt.
Wilson: You're sterilizing people.
Christie: Uh-huh. In the first five years, we'll start to see major birth rate declines as teenagers vaccinated today hit their childbearing years.
Ian: You're controlling the future of human civilization?
Christie: Is that what they're calling it? It's a very nice euphemism for a species that has replicated like a contagion across the planet, killing all other species in its wake. Except things that are cute, like puppies or koalas.
Christie: Never in history has there been a creature begging for extinction more than the fucking panda...Except us.
Later in the episode, Christie says, "I've got five kids, four adopted and I love 'em dearly. But, man, oh man, they take up a lot of energy. Imagine human beings freed from that drain."
Christie's attitude toward babies and the human race in general encapsulates the Malthusian beliefs of the population control movement. These debunked beliefs have been popular among the left since before Paul Ehrlich wrote The Population Bomb in 1968. This attitude continues today in climate hysteria movements like the U.K.'s Extinction Rebellion. The late Ruth Bader Ginsburg captured such dehumanization when she said of Roe v. Wade, “Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of.”
The fact that a major Hollywood series places these ideas in the mouth of the villain is surprising. It would have helped if other characters had questioned Christie's assertion that too many humans ruin the planet, but we can only hope for so much from corporate entertainment.
Christie is also a child trafficker. He uses children for different purposes. Some are sexually exploited. As he blithely explains, "So many impoverished countries and so many parents unfortunately willing to sell off their children."
In one scene told through dark comic book images, the children are delivered in crates by two figures, one of whom appears to be Baphomet, the goat-headed, winged-symbol of the Church of Satan.
Christie sees children as mere objects and humanity as a blight upon the earth. He also is fine with the sexual degradation of children. In many ways, his character is a perfect encapsulation of the darkest ideas of radical leftism from the increasing normalization of pedophilia to the encouragement of sterilization and abortion across the globe.
Unfortunately, Cusack's excellent performance, along with Rainn Wilson's, are about the only redeeming qualities of this otherwise awful series. Sadly, in 2020, few in the entertainment industry know how to write a decent script, even when presented with potentially compelling material.