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The first episode of the first series of the British thriller-drama action, Utopia, was first broadcast on 15 January 2013. The episode was produced by Kudos Film and Television for Channel 4.

Episode One
Utopiaone
Lee and Wilson from Utopia Series 1 Episode 1.
Season 1, Episode 1
Vital statistics
Air date 12 January 2013
Written by Dennis Kelly
Directed by Marc Munden
Episode guide
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Unknown Episode Two

Synopsis Edit

Five strangers from an online comic book forum agree to meet after one of them gains possession of the original manuscript for the unpublished second volume of the cult graphic novel 'The Utopia Experiments'. They find themselves pursued by a shadowy organisation known as 'The Network', who are in pursuit of the manuscript and a person named Jessica Hyde and are willing to kill to track them both down. While three of the forum members – Ian, Becky, and Wilson – meet in the pub, another – Bejan, the one who acquired the manuscript – is confronted and killed by two Network henchmen. The only witness to the murder is 11-year-old Grant, the fifth forum member, and when he flees with the manuscript, the henchmen give chase. Ian and Becky soon find they've been set up for crimes they haven't committed, while Wilson's hacking skills attract the attention of Network henchmen Arby and Lee. As the trio's lives begin to fracture, the world of civil servant Michael Dugdale is also torn apart as he is blackmailed by The Network. Just as things are looking increasingly desperate for Ian, Becky and Wilson, they come face to face with an enigmatic stranger – Jessica Hyde.

Plot Edit

Arby and Lee enter a comic book store that is preparing to close for the night, containing three men, one clerk and two shoppers, and a fourth, a boy, hidden under a table. The clerk asks them to leave several times as they enter but the duo refuse. Lee removes a piece of a pipe from a yellow duffel bag and strikes one of the shoppers on the back of his head, killing him. Meanwhile, Arby confronts the clerk, asking him where The Utopia Experiments are. The clerk explains that he has sold it, but offers some form of identification of the buyer to Arby. Lee approaches the second shopper with a canister of gas, who asks to leave. Lee insists the gas will make him sleep and lets him inhale it, which kills him. Arby then asks the clerk three times, "Where is Jessica Hyde?", but the clerk is unable to answer. After confirmation from Arby, Lee offers the canister of the gas, reassuring him it will just make him sleep. However, as he inhales and slips to the ground, the clerk sees the body of the second shopper and realises the gas is fatal. Lee detaches a pipe to make it look as if a gas leak has occurred before leaving to smoke. Arby discovers the boy cowering beneath the table. Arby smiles and offers him some chocolate raisins, and after the boy accepts, Arby tells Lee, "Don't put the gas away yet."

Becky is helplessly trying to convince two publishers to fund The Utopia Experiments. They remain sceptical that the 'comic' will prove popular. Becky, growing angry, explains that she was training as a medical student until her father died from Deel's Syndrome. After an outburst, she returns home to search through her house, finding pills that are presumably for Deels and ingesting them.

Ian works in an office, completely bored and finding refuge on an online forum called The Utopia Experiment, but his boss, Joe, catches him and the two argue, ending in Joe insulting Ian over him living with his mother at the age of twenty-eight, which stumps Ian.

Bejan Chervo looks through a collection of pages from The Utopia Experiments Part Two. He logs onto The Utopia Experiment forum and enters the live chat, asking who is present. Wilson Wilson, Becky, Ian and Grant reveal they are online. Bejan proposes that the five of them meet up together, but Grant is hesitant. Bejan tells the group that he has The Utopia Experiments Part Two, revealing that although it was never published, it's in his possession. He asks the four to meet him at his house the following day, and although the rest agree to meet, Grant refuses, bragging that he lives in the city, drives a Porsche and "shags supermodels", leading the group to believe he is at least in his twenties, but after the meet-up is rearranged to a meeting in the pub (the group encouraged to wear blue for recognition) and Grant agrees, he is revealed to be eleven years old.

Grant is bedraggled, wearing a tracksuit, and lives in a cluttered, filthy house with his mother, who sleeps on the sofa. An array of beer bottles can be seen cluttering the tables. Grant sits as his table and draws pictures from The Utopia Experiments Part One as he eats a self-prepared sandwich.

Michael Dugdale sits in a shabby hotel room, looking at a document containing an image of an ultrasound scan. The words, 'Your Russian whore is pregnant' are scrawled on the paper with a number to call. His phone rings and he answers to his wife, Jen, who asks him where he is. Michael lies, saying he's running late and revealing he works in the Department of Health. Jen mentions going to the clinic on a Friday, suggesting that they are trying for a baby. Michael then phones the number on the paper, and a Russian voice threatens to tell everyone that he got his prostitute pregnant. To avoid this, Michael is told to complete a mission or the man will ruin his life.

In a meeting in the Department of Health, Michael is distant as the subject of meeting Conran Letts with Corvadt is brought up. Ian leaves work to attend the meet-up.

In the meeting with Conran Letts, when the Minister for Health, Greg Ashby, leaves the room, Michael is told by Conran Letts and his assistant that his mission, referring to the Russian man's threat, is to convince Greg to order the Russian Flu vaccine.

Grant attempts to break into a car but it caught by the owner who is enraged. After at first shouting back, hoping to initiate a fight with the man, Grant thinks better of his decision and sits on the pavement, visibly upset, degrading himself. The man reluctantly calms himself and gives Grant some comfort, but Grant wipes dog faeces on his hand when offering a handshake and takes off, laughing. He then breaks into Bejan's apartment.

Michael attempts to convince Greg to order the Russian flu vaccine, but Greg immediately refuses, angry at the suggestion.

Ian arrives at the pub, seating himself across from Wilson Wilson, who he attempts to ignore as he is not dressed in blue. However, when Becky arrives, Wilson reveals his identity.

Grant is walking around Bejan's apartment but runs to hide when he hears someone enter. Lee enters, carrying the yellow duffel bag, followed by Arby, who is moving Bejan forwards with a gun pressed against his forehead. Grant watches as Lee picks up The Utopia Experiments Part Two. Arby interrogates Bejan, asking who he talked to in regards to the manuscript, as Lee drops the manuscript into the bag.

The trio in the pub are puzzled as to why Grant and Bejan haven't turned up yet. Becky reveals she's applying for a PhD and Ian reveals he works in IT and that he lives with his mother, making the group laugh, breaking the ice.

Arby asks Bejan, "Where is Jessica Hyde?" as he forces him onto his balcony as Bejan insists he doesn't know and pleads for his life, offering money. When asked the third and final time on Jessica's whereabouts, Bejan is unable to tell Arby. Grant, meanwhile, whilst keeping an eye on the scene, transfers the manuscript to his drawstring bag. Arby removes the gun from Bejan's head but instead pushes him over the balcony, allowing him to fall to his death. At the sight of this, Grant lets out a gasp, alerting Arby and Lee of his presence. Lee chases Grant to a window, which Grant jumps from and runs, unharmed, away. Lee takes a swab of Grant's blood which is left on the side of a doorframe. The duo discover the manuscript is missing.

Michael trims down a document for the Russian flu vaccine so a label can cover the title, hoping to trick Greg into signing a document he thinks is for something else. Michael manages to get Greg to sign it, whilst distracting him about how he and his wife are trying IVF.

It's grown late in the pub and Wilson, Becky and Ian are settled, visibly drunk, bantering about a conspiracy theory Wilson has brought up. Wilson thinks that The Utopia Experiments reveal some truth into some theories and although Ian disagrees and enjoys the manuscript purely for appreciation of artwork, Becky thinks there are some things in it that are "odd". Wilson suggests the trio retire to his house to continue drinking as the pub prepares to close. Wilson lives with his humorously offensive father, Milton Wilson. In his room, Wilson shows Becky and Ian the equipment he uses to cover up his tracks when using the Internet, claiming to be completely "invisible" and telling them how he can lower his heart rate, pick locks and, if he were handcuffed to a radiator, dislocate his thumbs, allowing him to escape. It is revealed, however, that Wilson Wilson, the name he used on the forum, is his real name, but Wilson defends it as unlikely to be believed. The trio visit Wilson's nuclear fall-out shelter, but Wilson passes out, leaving a drunk Ian and Becky alone. At first struggling to kiss without bumping into each other's noses and then having trouble with undressing, the two engage in sex. When Ian wakes up, however, he finds himself alone, Wilson leaving a note to tell him he's gone to find Bejan whilst Becky has left.

Wilson arrives at Bejan's apartment to discover it is a crime scene after Bejan's body was found. The detective, Detective Reynolds, Wilson talks to implies that Bejan has most likely committed suicide, but Wilson grows suspicious when he finds no note has been left, confused as to why he would have killed himself after arranging a meet-up. When asked why he thinks Bejan committed suicide, Reynolds insists that Bejan had a history of depression that stretched back years, which Wilson objects to, insisting he knew Bejan and that Bejan never had depression, but Reynolds tells him medical records don't lie.

Whilst Arby and Lee watch the scene unfold from their car, the man who owned the car that Grant tried to break into seizes Grant. Struggling to free himself, Grant resorts to stabbing the man in the leg with his screwdriver and making an escape.

One of Michael's coworkers, Bev, questions him on the decision to order Russian flu vaccines, confused. She suggests that he double checks the order is correct, but tiredly, Michael tells her to go through with it.

Grant turns up at his school, looking at a lesson from the doorway as the schoolchildren stare back. The teacher is unsure as to who he is (told, by a student, that he's Grant Leetham) suggesting that he regularly skips school. Grant then finds himself in the headmaster's office. The headmaster informs Grant, who refuses to meet his gaze, that the police are in the school regarding the incident when he stabbed the man. Grant refuses to expand on the subject, saying nothing when the headmaster offers to help him if he's troubled. The headmaster gives up and calls the 'police' in, who turns out to be Arby and Lee. Immediately, Grant rushes to a window but hesitates, seeing the height, as Lee tells him they've checked to see if he could jump or not. The headmaster tries to excuse Grant due to his age and circumstances at home, but is ignored. Arby offers Grant some chocolate raisins, but Grant slaps them from Arby's hand and goes through with leaping from the window anyway, much to the headmaster's shock. Grant lands in a bush and runs away, visibly limping.

Ian greets his colleagues but receives cold reception. A pair of detectives arrest him for assault and rape of a child under the age of thirteen and inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent. Ian is stunned, silent as he hands in his items at the police station. He's told a guilty plea, first offence and not on the register will give him six to eight years in prison, and he'll serve four of them. Ian insists he's innocent but is told they have his DNA and the chance of error is miniscule.

Meanwhile, Wilson Wilson has hacked into patient records and searches for Bejan. He views the code the records are written them and appears visibly horrified.

After spending the night in a cell, Ian is released and embraces his brother, who is angry that Ian is still a suspect as they were both at a wedding when the 'assault' occurred. He calls Becky, who tells him she was arrested yesterday and spent the night in a cell for a child porn scandal. Becky asks Ian to visit her, telling him Bejan killed himself.

Wilson confronts Reynolds as he is about to enter the police station. He first begs the detective to not write up his following words, and Reynolds reluctantly gives him his word. Wilson explains that he looked at the code Bejan's records were written in. Bejan's records, which go back into the 90s, reveal he was on Mirtzapine in August and that there was a new patch released for the code twelve days ago, revealing his entire medical history was written in the last two weeks. Reynolds, meanwhile, is flabbergasted, telling Wilson he's committed a crime. Wilson begs once more for Reynolds to not write up his words, but Reynolds sends him home, irritated. Reynolds is then seen at his computer, deciding whether to write up a report on Wilson. In the end, he decides to do so.

Ian has arrived at Becky's house, who appears disturbed. She tells him that a researcher who looked into Deels syndrome, a supposedly hereditary disease, found that it suddenly appeared into existence and so, therefore, the researched thought it must be man-made. The researcher found that all those affected by Deels at some point worked for Corvadt. She reveals she discovered this after viewing a drawing of the genetic mutation in Deels found in The Utopia Experiments, saying that the disease only came into existence in 1989 and the manuscript was published in 1985. Ian becomes distressed. Becky lets Ian sleep in her chair overnight.

Meanwhile, Grant is hidden away in an abandoned area, reading and sketching from the manuscript.

Reynolds walks home through an alley late at night when he comes face-to-face with Arby. He asks him what he wants, and, in response, Arby stabs Reynolds in the throat with a knife, pulling his body to his knees and pulling his head back to let the wound bleed out.

Ian wakes Becky, telling her he's discovered that Bejan bought the manuscript from Doomsday Comics.

Wilson Wilson opens his front door to find Arby and Lee at his doorstep, silent. When he asks them what they want, Arby raises his gun and tells him, "You".

In the Department of Health, employees are gathered around a television, viewing the news, whilst the anchor deems the decision to order Russian flu vaccine "controversial" and "beyond madness". Bev clears the room and confronts Michael, who tells her Greg signed the contract and he didn't know what it meant, but Bev exclaims that Greg is losing his job and leaves, furious.

Wilson is in his nuclear fall-out shelter on a chair, his hands handcuffed behind his back. Arby knows that grant has the manuscript, not Wilson, but thinks Wilson must know something, what with all his equipment. As Lee locks Wilson in place with a head vice, Wilson insists he will cooperate. Lee places a selection of tools, his gun, bleach, sand and chillies on the table, telling Wilson that his favourite area of the body to torture is this eyes, and explaining that he will rub chillies, sand and bleach into his eyes before using the spoon, implying he will pull Wilson's eye out. Meanwhile, Wilson asks if they're referring to the manuscript, insisting he never knew Bejan. Arby asks Wilson, "Where is Jessica Hyde?" After answering that he does not know, Lee proceeds to rub chillies into Wilson's eyes. Arby repeats his question to Wilson, who is agonised and distraught, insisting that he still has no idea. Lee rubs the sand into Wilson's eyes, causing Wilson's pain to intensify. Again, Arby repeats his question, and, desperate to avoid the bleach and the spoon, Wilson lies that he has Jessica's address, and so Lee promptly rubs the bleach into his eyes. Delirious with pain and mostly blinded, Wilson calms himself enough to create a sincere tone and expression as he lies to them that Jessica was in an accident and she died. This throws Lee off, who looks to Arby, unsure, but Arby nods, and so Lee proceeds to pull out Wilson's right eye. Blood covers Wilson and Lee's gloves as Arby says, defeated, that Wilson doesn't know anything, concluding Wilson's extensive equipment is there just because he likes it. Arby leaves the shelter.

Geoff introduces himself to the Department of Health, revealing Greg has lost his job. After the meeting, he congratulates Michael on completing his mission, which stuns Michael.

Wilson is alone in his shelter, waking from having passed out. He manages to dislocated this thumbs and remove himself from the handcuffs.

Becky and Ian wait outside Doomsday Comics, and after wondering why it hasn't opened, Ian enters the shop.

Lee returns to the shelter and stops dead in his tracks, wide-eyed. Wilson, who is blind, points a gun in Lee's direction, then moves it, unsure as to where Lee is. Lee paces from side to side, gradually moving closer and avoiding being in the way of the gun, until Wilson aims and shoots wildly, hitting Lee in the chest. Lee falls, blood on his shirt.

Ian exists the shop, informing Becky that there was a gas leak in the shop which killed four people. Becky gets a call from her mobile and answers it, falling silent as she listens, visibly horrified.

Becky sits in her car as Ian helps Wilson leave his house, Wilson's eyes bandaged, a gun in his hand. Becky becomes hysterical but Wilson makes her drive, refusing any hospitals or police stations, and then beginning to worry about his father.

Michael has returned to the hotel room he sat in previously, appearing upset, his shirt unbuttoned. Anya, the sex worker Michael impregnated, walks over to him and sits by his side, dressed only in her underwear. She leans into him and sobs, apologising.

The trio are back at Becky's house. Becky tells Ian, whilst they kneel in another room, that Wilson desperately needs a doctor. A knock on the door disturbs them, and a shape can be seen standing outside the house. Wilson stumbles into the hallway, holding a gun, telling Becky and Ian not to answer. Becky prises the gun from Wilson and hands it to Ian before approaching the door, frightened. Ian cocks the gun and Becky pulls open the door, stepping out of firing range. They find a small, slight woman instead, who tells them her name is Jessica Hyde.

Cast Edit

Music Edit

  • "Utopia Overture" - Cristobal Tapia De Veer
  • "Becky On Pills Part 2" - Cristobal Tapia De Veer
  • "The Network" - Cristobal Tapia De Veer
  • "Mr Rabbit's Game" - Cristobal Tapia De Veer
  • "Utopia Descent" - Cristobal Tapia De Veer
  • "Slivovitz" - Cristobal Tapia De Veer
  • "Conspiracy Part 1" - Cristobal Tapia De Veer
  • "Becky On Pills Part 1" - Cristobal Tapia De Veer
  • "Conspiracy Part 2" - Cristobal Tapia De Veer
  • "Where is Jessica Hyde? Part 1" - Cristobal Tapia De Veer
  • "Meditative Chaos" - Cristobal Tapia De Veer
  • "Utopia Finale" - Cristobal Tapia De Veer

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