Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Why the best SciFi show of 2016 is from Spain.

A year ago on my blog I reviewed a new Spanish TV series called El Ministerio del Tiempo  or The Ministery of Time. The premise is that during Queen Isabella of Spain’s rule she found out about a series of doors that transports people throughout Spanish history. Naturally, she dedicated a ministry to it and only a select few persons including the Spanish PM know of it.  In the first season we met three new recruits, Amelia a brainy university student from the 1880s, Alonso, a soldier from the 1500s and Julian, a medic who’s wife was killed by a car in 2012. The series followed their adventures in trying to steer history in the right direction if the doors have been breached by others. At the end of the series, Amelia met her granddaughter and found out that she and Julian may or may not have had a daughter together. Julian tried to go back to save his wife and ended up facilitating her death instead.

The second series opens with Julian returning to the Ministry after months of therapy and instead of returning to his group, he is relegated to being in charge of the infirmary. Amelia and Alonso are assigned to go back in the time of El Cid to see why there are two sets of bones supposedly of El Cid.

The reasons why I love this show are below:

-The mixture of drama and humor. While there is a history lesson in every show, the second series shows enough humor to let you know this is not to be taken seriously. The plot is tightly written and understandable.

-The characters feel three dimensional. Rather than being stereotypes, most of the characters feel real-like you can meet them on the street. That is in no small part to the quality of actors from the veteran Nacho Fresnado who plays Alonso to Aura Garrido, who seems more sure of her character Amelia and has emerged as a wonderful female role model able to be smart but not play into the quippy, flirtatious River Song ideal of SciFi women. I enjoyed her character immensely and am interested in how she evolves.

-It’s a great way to learn modern Castillian. The RTVE website for the show includes Spanish subtitles so you can follow along easier. 

With the void left from a Doctor Who-less 2016, Javier Olvidares and the other writers of  MdT have written a top notch time travel show. I can only hope that an English speaking network buys the show and translates it into English so others around the globe can enjoy it as much as I.

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