'Raised by Wolves': a hypnotic series that recovers the best science fiction of Ridley Scott from 'Alien' and 'Blade Runner'

Created by the writer of 'Prisoners' (Prisoners, 2013), Aaron Guzikowski, and supervised for the screen by the legendary director Sir Ridley Scott, the new HBO Max series, broadcast in Spain by TNT from September 10, combines science fiction with mythology and body horror to create a wild vision of the future of humanity with androids that could be inside the film universe of the British director.

During the 21st century, Ridley Scott has alternated his historical epics like 'Gladiator' (2000), political thrillers like 'Network of Lies' (Body of Lies, 2008) or space films like 'Mars' (The Martian, 2015), but At the time of returning to the universe of 'Alien, the eighth passenger' (Alien, 1979) stumbled upon two prequels that, although they are appreciable, lack the violent and strange magic of the Scott who made a combo of xenomorphs and replicants with 'Alien 'and' Blade Runner' (1982). Well, 'Raised by Wolves' has largely recovered that author.

Ridley's return

For at least the first two episodes, the series plays on the humanity of the androids and the inevitability of a bleak and dangerous future with a tone that seems to connect with Ripley's universe, although the timeline excludes that possibility. 

However, the direction shines as in his best works, embodying the fantastic, bringing it closer to a comfortable reality in a fabled world, but with a resounding physicality that makes the story of space robots believable trying to seek the survival of their children in a strange and inhospitable world.

The basic concept of 'Raised by Wolves' is pretty simple by science fiction standards. Two androids named Father (Abubakar Salim) and Mother (Amanda Collin) arrive on an alien planet after a crash landing. His mission is to save humanity by raising a new generation of atheists, searching children for a blank slate for a world from scratch. 

The rearing process ranges from housework, to hooking frozen embryos to the mother, caring for them in external incubators for months with scenes of breastfed fetuses typical of genetic horrors in the cinema.

The story is narrated by one of the children, Campion ( Winta McGrath ) named in honor of the creator of the androids, on which most of the hopes of his robot parents rests, as pure speculation, the title of the series “raised by wolves ”seems to refer to those children, perhaps to Campion specifically, which would give rise to a reference to the Capitoline wolf of the Roman Empire in a not strange analogy in a Scottish fiction. The conflict appears when the believers arrive, nothing in agreement in that education.

'Alien' and 'Blade Runner' under the filter of classical mythology

The Mithraic church is the other counterpart of the story, although it is difficult to define whether they are "the good guys" or the villains of fiction, since the motivations of both parties are quite understandable. 

Let's say that, as far as we know, atheist androids are guilty of a 'Terminator' universe cleanup of humans. When the ark of noah of the believers are attacked and their mission will be to recover their children. 

Travis Fimmel plays a high-ranking soldier in the Church, but he and his wife Sue (Niamh Algar) have secrets of their own.


If the replicating faction could have left the worlds of 'Blade Runner' - although the liquid they have as blood seems like the synthetics of Alien -, with war scenes that fit the narrations of great stellar deeds of that one, the religious half.

It looks like a galactic version of the Knights Templar, so we are in a territory under many perspectives of Scott's different passions. 

Scott is able to treat the everyday human dysfunctionality of a family dinner of androids and human children and alternate it with the great show, resuming his obsession with the classical world, as if he were shooting a mythological scene of the wrath of the gods, with strangers, sculptural angels that only leave ruins in their wake. In addition, the narration does not hesitate to show the passage of time and events take place in a totally cinematic rhythm.

A discovery named Amanda Collin

There are flashbacks and interludes that develop the story and create a mythology that seems to be just the beginning of a great epic story that is gradually revealed, thanks to a patient script and with a great Guzikowski frame.

'Raised by Wolves' explains many things in a few lines of dialogue that make clear everything you need to know about a character's past and recontextualize everything they have done up to that point. Everything is filmed and presented in a cool way, from the sidelines, without showing the cards too early.

It seems as if the creators have thrown the characters into a strange landscape and retreated to allow things to unfold as they occur, watching from a distance as if they were filming a nature documentary. 

For this reason, the revelations are not excessively dramatic but they are discovering a fascinating mythology of their own, with the problem that it seems to expand so much that it is to be expected that the end of the season will leave things pending for a second batch of episodes.

Travis Fimmel might be the only cast member recognizable at first glance, but the lack of big names is secondary when we witness the absorbing work of Danish actress Amanda Collin as a mother, a tempestuous android wolf who amazes with her wild-moving body language, depicted terrifying anger and compassionate vulnerability. A being as tragic as it is terrifying, a true horror movie monster, which he accompanies with his explosive powers with ultraviolent and very gore results.

The path of great science fiction

Blood explosions, transformations into tumorous masses, amphibian creatures… 'Raised by wolves' is a real feast not only for fans of fantasy and science fiction, but for fans of the 'Alien' genre. The spare parts of Mother, some operations on replicants and the sample of the aftermath of the war on some automatons leave a collection of Body Horror no less disturbing and brutal for being automatons.

Furthermore, the style is so strange and esoteric that it sometimes touches on the experimental and is a whole container for Ridley Scott's darker ideas. In its first three episodes it has proven to have the potential for the first great science fiction series of the 1920s. 

Visually dazzling, technically accurate, it seems as though the time has come to adapt the great maladjusted literary authors like 'Foundation' Isaac Asimov and his robotic epics or other classics from the Ultramar pocket science fiction collection.

Apple's ambitious plan to adapt 'Foundation' has found a new scale in this template of what the genre could give itself in this century. 'Raised by Wolves' is, at the moment, a must-see for the must-see devotees of science fiction carried by the most influential name of the last decades in an unheard of return to form.

Puzzling in its twists and turns. Confident in its own eccentricity, full of questions about humanity, technology and subversive in its religious approach, the series belongs to a rare line of fictions that do not seek to resemble others, that takes its time but does not bore, a fantastic, violent opera Hypnotic and surprising that should not be passed off as a cult rarity.

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