Omniscient (Onisciente) is a Brazilian sci-fi series streaming on Netflix. I thought it was one of the best TV series I’ve seen in weeks. It’s set in a not-too-distant future where everyone in the city has a personal drone observing them 24/7. The main character is a female computer programmer. It’s exciting, geeky, beautifully written and plotted, and simply outstanding.
Omniscient (Onisciente) stars Carla Salle as Nina. She works for the company selling “not privacy or safety, but privacy and safety” through the drone observers. No human ever sees what the drones see. But if the drone sees something illegal it reports it immediately and the person is fined or jailed, etc. The drone alerts at the tiniest infraction – putting trash in the wrong bin or touching the zipper on another person’s backpack. Crime is almost nonexistent.
People who live outside the city are not followed by drones. Outside is where all the criminals and freedom lovers live.
Nina and her brother Daniel (Guilherme Prates) grew up in the city and have never known life without the drones. Their father (Marco Antônio Pâmio) retired as a custodian for the company that Nina now hopes to land a full time job with. Her trial period for the job is almost over.
I couldn’t find many screen captures to use, so let me describe the characters using this poster image. That’s Nina, of course. From the top left around her is her brother Daniel. Vinícius (Jonathan Haagensen), her boss and lover, is next. Under him is Olivia (Luana Tanaka), a coworker competing for the same job. At the bottom is Judite (Sandra Corveloni), who worked for the city government. Finally you see a drone. The drones were about the size of a fly.
The Story in Omniscient (Onisciente)
One day Nina arrives home to find her father murdered – shot in the back – on the kitchen floor. The authorities tell her there is no way to see his drone footage of what happened. They also say that no crime was reported by his drone and the drone system never fails.
The authorities don’t want news of a murder to get out so they tell Nina and Daniel to keep quiet about it and report the death as by natural causes.
Judite contacts Nina and says although the city can do nothing to help, she is sympathetic. She wants to help personally if she can.
Nina embarks on a dangerous, complicated plan to hack into the main computer and get the footage of her father’s murder. The way she approaches the problem, the courage it takes, and the methods she uses to outsmart her drone are brilliantly plotted. Judite helps her with a crucial step.
In 6 episodes, Nina takes more and more dangerous risks to get that drone footage and find out who killed her father. When she finally does figure it out, that isn’t the end of the story. It’s just the beginning, and a lead-in to what I hope will be a season 2 of Omniscient (Onisciente).
The tech gadgets used and the sets were gorgeous and believable, especially the set of the main computer. The series used bright primary colors and plenty of light. Everything was sleek and attractive.
The series was directed by Júlia Pacheco Jordão and Isabel Valiante. I don’t know the names of many Brazilian directors, but these two women are going to the top of my list of favorites. The series was created by Pedro Aguilera. The show does have a Facebook page, but there isn’t much there yet. It might be a place to find news if a second season is announced, however.
Enjoy another poster.
This trailer doesn’t have subtitles. Sorry, but you can see it subtitled on Netflix. In the meantime, how’s your Brazilian Portuguese?
Have you seen this series? Did it make you as happy as it did geeky, sci-fi loving me?
4 responses to “Review: Omniscient (Onisciente)”
I am really enjoying it! One thing I can’t figure out is whether they have their little drones over their heads at the office? Seems like we don’t often see them when they are at the office.
As I recall, they were always watched.
This is a good series but has so many flaws. The bee drones watch everything but seem to be missing a lot of the time and analyze almost nothing. Makes absolutely no sense. Nina fluctuates between being extremely smart and an idiot. Her brother Daniel is always and idiot. If any of them played poker, they would go broke after the first hand.
It’s been a while since I’ve seen it. I particularly remember being fascinated by the high tech aspects of it.