Review The Silent Sea, a series that promises us the moon

Has the Korean series succeeded in putting stars in our eyes, to the point of becoming a reference in science fiction? Critical.

From Squid Game, or even Alice in Borderland, Korean series are experiencing unprecedented popularity in the rest of the world, where they enjoy fairly good representation, in part thanks to Netflix. Indeed, the platform seems to want to invest in this regional market by multiplying the productions, of which The Silent Sea.

This time, the firm works in the field of science fiction, with a series that transports us to the lunar crust for a very special mission. Between biological hypotheses, natural disaster and panic in space, does the series succeed in landing the moon? Answer in this review of The Silent Sea.

the silent sea review
Credits: Netflix

A slow advance into unknown lands

In The Silent Sea, we follow the misadventures of an atypical team of astronauts, requisitioned to recover mysterious samples in a lunar base. These are extremely valuable for the survival of the Earth population, which suffers cruelly from the lack of water as the blue planet has turned yellow and arid. Only then, the lunar base which was to be empty following an inexplicable incident which occurred 5 years earlier, shelters more secrets than the crew would have thought.

The Silent Sea therefore lays the groundwork for what could be an ambitious sci-fi plot… at least on the narrative level. In fact, we note from the outset the big weak point of the series: its special effects. Obviously, the Korean production is not subject to the same budget as the series from Hollywood studios, but the questionable use of CGI and green screens was still enough to confuse us.

the silent sea review
Credits: Netflix

If we thought to catch up on the script, it was without counting on a few first episodes at a very slow pace, and with a disjointed timeline. Overall, if we manage to locate the main plot, The Silent Sea, which centers its story around that of Doctor Song Ji-an, makes us relive several of his memories through flashbacks, important for the plot, but which are difficult to decipher at first sight.

The narration therefore takes some time to set up, and this is also the case when we enter more active phases. Indeed, the series has trouble getting rid of these moments of heaviness, which are also reflected in the movements of the characters, their way of speaking, even if it never reaches their speed of reasoning (fortunately).

This feeling has the effect of making us question the temporality of the narration, which seems to last an eternity for only 24 hours of action. It also has the knack of forcing us to feel a fake suspense, artificially created by the fact that it takes time to give us the information, rather than by the urgency or the gravity of the situation. Nevertheless, once we get rid of this apparent amateurism, we find ourselves faced with a fundamentally interesting plot.

A completely lunar scientific theory

The silent sea review
Credits: Netflix

Without going into details, far be it from us to spoil you, the intrigue around the samples, the deadly incident at the Balhae lunar station and the scientific discovery of the biologist, still remain the best part of the series. , which has the luxury of affording itself some credibility on that side, despite a not really convincing start to the season.

Indeed, this one is theorized and explained in a logical way, with enough details so that it is probable without risking big enormities or scientific inconsistencies as gross as the use of special effects. In addition, it also offers us a good dose of suspense, with an open end (and many questions) that simply make us want to discover the sequel in a season 2.

The Silent Sea benefits from a mix of genres that manages, towards the middle of the series, to pick up the pace, just enough to keep us going. We then find ourselves in the middle of a successful triangle, between action, science, and personal conflicts, in opposition to a large-scale crisis.

The scientific intrigue is the one that will be remembered, more than the ethical or individual issues, although this has the merit of differing according to what the viewer identifies with. It’s a bit of what also makes the success of the series, although it does not bring anything particularly innovative in the genre. A mastered copy but which remains in the nails.

A cast in the stars

This is also felt in the writing of the characters, all more or less predictable in the role assigned to them. The captain, camped by Gong Yoo (Squid Game) for example has difficulty getting rid of his role as an inflexible leader, present to say “no” without any valid justification, the very incarnation of (masculine) authority. Wanting too much to be limited, this one even comes to pass for an antagonist in the eyes of the spectator who has only one desire: that things move forward.

However, this is not the case with the scientific crew, played by Bae Doo-na (Sense 8) and Kim Sun-young, particularly convincing in their respective roles. It is clear that the actors are quite good at what they do, for the most part.

Around this, the score would have deserved to be more grandiose, which would have had the double effect of raising the suspense other than with the slowness of events, but also of underlining the fact that it is all the same of a space epic with high stakes. Finally, the absence of a soundtrack in line with this idea tends to minimize the narration. This still has the merit of not going into overplay or exaggeration, a criterion generally present in Korean productions and which we do not find here.

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