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Peacock's Noughts + Crosses never makes the most of its provocative alt-history race-reversal premise

  • The six-episode YA drama series that originally aired on BBC based on Malorie Blackman's novel depicts a London, England that is the result of Africa -- or "Aprica" -- invading Europe 700 years ago. Noughts + Crosses "examines racial privilege and tackles prejudice and ignorance, all within the story of a star-crossed love affair in a world that’s both thematically recognizable and entirely foreign," says Tambay Obenson, adding: "But while these exceptional elements give the sense that Noughts + Crosses is striving for greatness, it doesn’t quite accomplish that. The foundation is potent, and speaks to the 'original sin' of slavery, an institution that left an indelible imprint. For Black people, many who languish in societal backwaters — like the Noughts — the struggle for racial justice continues to unfold in real time, in a society that’s increasingly divided, even as a new decade looms. In this environment, a series like Noughts + Crosses should be especially resonant, and searingly relevant in the questions it poses about equality and fairness in the world. But, while it’s at times entertaining to watch, it’s not as profound nor as distressing as it’s likely meant to be."


    TOPICS: Noughts + Crosses, BBC, Peacock