The Rain is an eight-part Danish series and within a few minutes we’re in disaster movie territory after a motorway pile-up could have serious consequences for everyone if they don’t shift their butts and get to safety. That’s because the rain contains a killer virus, and only the Dad of the family can save the world, but what makes his son, Rasmus, so special that apparently makes him the key to all this? That’s the question posed before the length of the show’s minutes each reach double figures.
However, a situation occurs which leads to the children being separated from their parents, so the kids hunker in their bunker, and all I’ll say about the premise beyond that is no more than what’s in the billing, since as they eventually emerge, they tag along with a group of individuals led by Martin (The Legacy‘s Mikkel Boe Følsgaard), all of whose full story will be told in due course.
If you only just a series based on the first episode, then don’t, because once the plot begins proper, it mostly focuses on those two children, Simone (Alba August) and Rasmus (Lucas Lynggaard Tønnesen), and there’s a bit of lazy writing in there, such as when Rasmus won’t eat his food while his sister bosses him to do so and he just replies, “You’re not my mum”, and you’re hoping it doesn’t turn into Hollyoaks.
However, while the first episode took too long to get to where it was going, the tension did begin to ramp up from episode 2 onwards, as the story was fleshed out some more, particularly with the back-stories of those people they come across and who tag along for the ride, but it mostly turns into a mix of part fish-out-of-water drama as the children are thrown into an alien situation that’s like the Big Brother house but with even less to do, part post-apocalyptic drama Survivors, and part post-apocalyptic videogame The Last Of Us (hey, when’s The Last Of Us Part II coming?!)
There’s one or two surprises along the way, but while the first half has some promise, it then starts to slow down, and since you can figure out where it’s going, you just want it to do so more quickly than it does, and then just call it a day. That said, the eight episodes (all of varying lengths) still only total a fairly brief 5 hours 26 minutes.
The Rain also leaves the doors open for a second season, but then you knew they would before you watched this because that’s how TV works these days – always leave the door open, even if no-one goes through it later.
The Rain is available in both the original Danish language with English subtitles, but also dubbed into English by Danish actors. It’s not the original actors doing their parts, sadly, even though a lot of Nordic actors have a much better command of speaking the English language than we do of theirs, but aside from the occasional slight change in what’s spoken compared to the subtitles, it’s a reasonable alternative, and quite handy if you’re trying to watch while doing other things.
And one slight spoiler bit I’ll hide in here, but which relates to the first episode only:
The Rain isn’t yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD, but is available now on Netflix.
Running time: 8 episodes (lengths vary, but it totals 5hrs 26mins)
Released: May 4th 2018
Overall Score: 5/10
Series Directors: Kenneth Kainz and Natasha Arthy
Creators: Jannik Tai Mosholt, Christian Potalivo, Esben Toft Jacobsen
Writers: Poul Berg, Lasse Kyed Rasmussen, Marie Østerbye, Mette Heeno
Simone: Alba August
Rasmus, aged 16: Lucas Lynggaard Tønnesen
Martin: Mikkel Boe Følsgaard
Patrick: Lukas Løkken
Lea: Jessica Dinnage
Jean: Sonny Lindberg
Beatrice: Angela Bundalovic
Frederik: Lars Simonsen
Ellen: Iben Hjejle
Young Rasmus: Bertil De Lorenzi
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.