4 Dec 2021
Vasilis Billy Blioumis
Panagiotis Bougiouris, Stella Fiskatori, Aristotelis Zaxarakis, Konstantinos Blioumis
Something sinister is taking place and it is causing the disappearance of children.
Kostas (Bougiouris) is a single father who works at the Hellenic Rescue Team. His only child Dingos (Blioumis) means the world to him and when he finds out that children have been vanishing under mysterious circumstances, he is deeply concerned. He spends a great deal of time with his son and has a friendly relationship with his neighbour Persefoni (Fiskatori). Then he realises that whatever is responsible for the disappearances might be after Dingo next.
This sci-fi drama is the thirty-minute long pilot episode of the TV series Paradox and it does a great job in introducing the audience to the characters, plot and atmosphere. The story is rather intriguing and apart from children going missing, there are also bizarre occurrences happening that involve the malfunctioning of electronic devices and it is indicated at the beginning that the source of all this might have originated from space. There are emotional scenes that explore the lives and struggles of Kostas and Persefoni and there are scenes that are filled with dread and tension. Withing half an hour, this pilot episode does a great deal to indicate that this is going to be an emotional and suspenseful series.
Blioumis directs well and particular praise should go to a very well executed tracking shot. This shot lasts for several minutes and the camera follows a character running through the streets, then the camera enters a car and the driver takes the viewer for a short ride, then the camera exits the vehicle and proceeds to follow another character, before elevating and filming beautiful landscapes. The creativity that was put into this long take is very admirable.
Filming took place in Thessaloniki, Greece and Blioumis directs in a way that shows many areas of the city, including terrific establishing shots.
The opening credits deserve recognition as they are quite mesmerising. They contain superimposed images that involve time and space, accompanied by a dynamic score and it is a sequence that notifies the viewer that they are about to experience an extraordinary adventure. Christos Antoniou provides the wonderful music which is sometimes tense and sometimes sentimental.
The acting is strong and Bougiouris is emotional as a single father who is worried about his son and will do anything to protect him. Fiskatori also plays a sympathetic character who cares about others and is willing to help.
This pilot episode introduces the audience to a narrative that they will most likely want to follow. There is plenty of drama and suspense and in all likelihood the heart-stopping final will make the audience look forward to the continuation.