Override review – TV robot goes rogue in Stepford Wives meets Truman Show sci-fi

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T his is an inane hodgepodge of sci-fi, political thriller and perhaps some kind of ill-considered satire – of reality TV, venal politicians? It’s hard to divine the target when the attack is so scattershot. It is supposed to take place in the US in 2040 where everyone is obsessed with watching a daily TV show about a buxom android housewife with an English accent named Ria (Jess Impiazzi); she spends every day nearly the same way with her husband Jack, from waking up and breakfasting to winding down with an evening soap opera and then sex if Jack so wishes. In other words, it’s The Truman Show meets The Stepford Wives, except there’s just the one wife – and the twist is that “Jack” is played by a different person in each episode. The first we meet is Luke Goss, who seems to be merely passing though before being replaced the next night while a recharged Ria gets rebooted with Jack number 2 (Amar Adatia), a coarser, crueller mate for a day, who is in turn replaced by many more Jacks – some of them women.

British writer-director Richard Colton toiled as an editor for years on an assortment of B movies and episodes of The Bill and Holby City, and he handles the montage where we see a multitude of different Jacks with polish and precision. His screenwriting skills, however, leave much room for improvement. Events take a ludicrous and confusing turn when Ben (Martin Alexander), son of the US vice president (played by noted Trump supporter and one-time Superman Dean Cain), is cast as Jack and is promptly taken hostage by a hacked Ria, who is being operated remotely by someone out for revenge. The cast, clearly as confused by all this as we are, react by mugging and flailing about in a number of different registers, all out of sync. That said, Impiazzi herself holds the centre with poise as the mysterious, murderous, robotic tabula rasa on to whom everyone’s desires are projected.

Override is on digital platforms from 6 September.

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