Sense8 is a Netflix Original live-action television series created by Lana and Lilly Wachowski and J. Michael Straczynski. Season one released in June 2015, and at the time of this writeup, season two has not been released yet, but filming for it was completed in September 2016, and the season two pilot episode is anticipated to air near Christmas.

The modern science fiction narrative focuses on eight protagonists in eight different countries, sharing an involuntary psychic bond which gives them access to each other's sensory experiences, knowledge, and skills. They are called sensates, and their eight-person network is called a cluster. As the series progresses, the protagonist cluster learns that they are not the only sensates in the world, and that their human subspecies - thought by the antagonistic forces of the series to be an undesirable next stage in human evolution - is actively hunted down to be captured, destroyed, or used in medical experimentation.

The series explores what it is that makes us human, the nature of identities, relationships, gender, and the influence of one's cultural and economic origins on one's life and sense of purpose.

The eight sensates are:

  • Nomi Marks - a lesbian and hacktivist in San Francisco, who frequently pulls technological strings to help the others, but who is persecuted by her religious mother, because Nomi is transgender.
  • Riley Blue - an Icelandic club DJ living in Ireland, the emotional "mom friend" for the team, and the only one among them who offers no practical survival skills for the others to borrow.
  • Lito Rodriguez - a Mexican action movie star, deeply in the closet about being gay; he is shown to have incredible skill at lying and social engineering, frequently allowing others of the cluster to safely talk their way out of dangerous situations.
  • Sun Bak - kickboxer by night, Korean businesswoman by day, Sun regularly saves everybody else's butts, usually through efficient application of hand-to-hand combat.
  • Will Gorski - a Chicago police officer and all-around nice dude; Will is the most generically protagonistic of the group, and often the sheer variety and unfamiliarity of the other sensates' identities and experiences are overwhelming for him, drawing him into their lives and relationships until he is protective of not only everyone in the cluster, but their lovers as well.
  • Wolfgang Bogdanow - a Russian organised crime former member and current safecracker living in Berlin; Wolfgang is the one the cluster calls to do ethically dubious and downright violent actions, which sometimes puts his methods and Will's at odds.
  • Kala Dandekar - a devoutly Hindu pharmacist in Mumbai, engaged to marry a man who she does not love; Kala also happens to be something of an expert at explosives, due to her background in chemistry.
  • Capheus Onyango - a matatu bus driver living in Nairobi with his mother Shiro, who has AIDS; Capheus often lends his sunny optimism and his stunt-driver-esque skills to the cluster.

  • I greatly enjoy this series, and I strongly recommend it for fans of other psychologically complex modern science fiction shows, such as Joss Whedon's Dollhouse and Charlie Brooker's Black Mirror, both of which are also available on Netflix.

    Iron Noder 2016, 25/30

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