With the success of Stranger Things on Netflix, networks are searching for the next fantasy series that sate those fans until season 2 drops. Freeform’s attempt is commendable and may even develop some fans of its own. Beyond is a new series that introduces The Realm, where the unconscious mind travels and tries to survive it’s savagery. Those that survive will be changed not only in The Realm but also in the physical world.
We are introduced to Holden Matthews (Burkely Duffield), a 13 year old space enthusiast who falls into a coma only to wake 12 years later confused and out of place in this new foreign world. He becomes a local celebrity with news of his meteoric recovery spreading. Holden is a troubled character as he tries to understand what has happened since his coma began. During this recovery, Holden begins to have visions of people, Willa (Dilan Gwyn) and Arthur (Alex Diakun), and places that he doesn’t remember but seems all too real. To further complicate his life, Holden also discovers that he has latent powers that seem to manifest when he loses control. And to top it all off, a secret society is seeking to capture Holden to unlock the knowledge that is hidden deep in Holden’s memories.
Beyond is a ten episode series that is available weekly on Freeform or all ten episodes are available on the app and also on Hulu. Since this is a spoiler free review, I won’t get into specific plot points or specific interactions between the characters. Unfortunately, most of the episodes seem to rush into the storyline, forcing the audience to make numerous leaps. As characters are introduced into the series, the audience is left to itself to figure out his or her importance to the overall plot. Most characters are forgettable and very little relationship is established with the audience. Unfortunately, this lack of development makes it difficult to care about tragedies that occur to central characters. In addition, Holden and other characters display powers that are developed due to their time in The Realm. How these powers are received, developed, or decided are vaguely explained to the audience and causes even more confusion. Furthermore, the audience needs a venn diagram to understand the relationships between the characters and how they relate to one another. Some of those relationships are obvious while most seem forced. Beyond does excel at displaying the powers that Holden has as the visual effects are great.
Beyond is not a series that needs to be binged watched. If you are looking for a show as you wait for season 2 of Stanger Things, then this is an okay place holder. Unfortunately, it’s lack of development, it’s numerous plot jumps, and mostly forgettable characters make this series one that you can wait on. It gets a 5/10 stars for me.