Cyber-security and hacking are all the rage in this modern era of online technology so it was only a matter of time before someone hit the nail on the head with a series about these very topics.
Creator Sam Esmail has developed a psychological series that is as thrilling as it is intriguing. Centering around Elliot Alderson (Rami Malek), a cybersecurity engineer for E-Corp who moonlights as a do-gooder hacker, the series explores both our connection and interaction to cyberspace and humanity.
Elliot suffers from a social anxiety disorder, resorting to hardcore drugs to escape the emotional turmoil he suffers daily. He can’t bear people touching him and finds it difficult to relate to others conversationally. Outside of his day job, he hacks into the lives of people of interest, breaking child pornography rings and spying on the lives of his associates.
His skills are impressive and it isn’t long until Elliot is recruited by a team of activists lead by “Mr. Robot” (Christian Slater). The mission of Mr Robot’s hand-picked team is to attack E Corp, leaving Elliot to balance his sense of justice against his sense of duty.
Winning the 2015 Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series in the drama category, season 1 of Mr Robot is a 10-part serial that aims for intensity over action. While the pace may be too slow for some, the intrigue and character development is enough to hook most punters into the life of the protagonist.
It can be difficult to relate to a central character that is as anti-social as Elliot yet Malek presents a frustratingly likeable character that elicits our sympathy because he is so understandable. The pilot not only introduces Elliot as a hacker, but as a very troubled young man who struggles with daily life. We immediately connect with him despite his quirks and we fear for his future as he begins to step out of his comfort zone.
Already renewed for a second season, Mr Robot’s intriguing pilot episode promises a season of growing intensity that seems to have been met, if the accolades are any indication. Bonus features on the Blu-ray and DVD release include deleted scenes, a gag reel and a Making Of featurette.
Hack into Mr Robot for something different from the rest.
Reviewed by Rod Lewis
Rating out of 10: 9