If you liked The X-Files or Fringe you’ll love Debris on NBC

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First of all, this is not a sponsored post. I just didn’t know how else to word the title for this story. I’m reporting this because I want Debris to get a second season and it’s only getting a fraction of the hype it should for what a good show it is. This is the best scifi series I’ve seen since The X-Files and I’ve heard it compared to Fringe, which I haven’t watched yet. (Showrunner J.H. Wyman was actually a producer for Fringe.) The premise is that parts of an alien spacecraft have fallen to earth and that they affect people and communities in different supernatural ways. Agents Bryan Beneventi and Finola Jones work together to help mitigate the effects of the debris, making each episode somewhat unique in that they encounter a different challenge. Of course there is an overarching mystery and mysterious forces behind the scenes to unravel too! I’m not going to give away spoilers except to say that this show impresses me every week and that it’s grown on me so much. It’s dark like X-Files and it makes you care deeply about the leads. I feel emotionally invested in them and it’s not always comfortable to watch. Episode 9 was amazing though, and I’ll leave it at that. I was looking for an article to quote about them and I think I’ll use this interview from a couple months ago in Collider with showrunner Wyman. He describes his process without giving away key plot points.

On lead Jonathan Tucker’s acting ability
I call him the American Gary Oldman. He’s so deep and just astounding, and more people should know that. The way he comes to things, I’ll get this call where he goes, “Let me ask you a question about my childhood.” And I’m like, “Yeah, go, shoot.” The detail and specificity that he’s coming at this with, there’s not a false bone in his body.

What I find so riveting about him is that, even when I’m rolling camera on him and he’s not saying anything and he’s just sitting there, he’s got the most incredibly expressive eyes. As a writer, these characters are a part of a whole and you’re always surprised when you find something that transcends what you were originally thinking, but is a perfect fit that you didn’t expect. Jonathan was exactly that for me.

On how they determine the look and properties of the debris
I’m really interested in the debris and the way it does appear. When we were designing what we wanted, there are a couple of different elements to it. There’s the actual piece, and then there’s what it does to physics around it. That’s the answer. I’ve always thought, if visitors ever came, they’re capable of intergalactic travel, so I don’t think our little plane radar and space things would be much of a match for them. If they didn’t want to be seen, I’m pretty sure that they could use physics in ways that we might not even be able to see. So, it’s a mixture between the look of the debris and what it is, but also what it’s doing to its immediate surroundings. What effect is it really having? What does it look like? Is it building certain dimensional walls that we can’t understand? How is it visually being revealed to us? Can you change perspective as you look at it and would it look a little different? I just wanted it to be something that doesn’t really belong in the physics of this world, as we understand it.

On Bryan and Finola’s relationship
Our characters are thrust into this thing and try to figure it out, and they’ll eventually realize that it’s in both of their best interests from, from the standpoint of figuring out what’s going on, but also with human connection and honesty, and discovering somebody that you can really trust and who you can go through this crazy world with. They have to try to figure out what their place is in this and where it’s going. That’s why I look at the first season as an origin story. At the end of the first season, the mythology blows wide open and everything becomes clear. That’s the journey. These people start at complete polar opposites and they’re learning to trust each other and understand that there’s a lot that they don’t know.

On his vision for the show
Going forward, the best way to describe the show is that sometimes it’s mind-bending and huge, and other times, it’s intimate. That’s the kind of mix that I think is working. I want to get into these people’s lives and have quiet moments in the world of insanity that’s going on around them. It doesn’t have to be the same big tent ideas, every single week. You can get really invested in the journey.

For me, the better the science fiction, the more about the human condition it is. There are people that do the little green men way better than me. I don’t do that. I’m really interested in human connected stories that are hopefully some small anecdotes to the cynicism that is out there right now, that I really deeply care about.

[From Collider]

It was quite a long interview and Wyman talked in depth about his vision for the show and how great Jonathan Tucker is to work with. You can tell he’s so impressed with Tucker, but I would have liked to hear more about the actress who plays Finola, Riann Steele. She’s phenomenal too. In that last section I excerpted above he really captured the appeal of this show. It’s smart and wide-reaching but it speaks to the human experience and is relatable. It’s very much like X-Files in that way. I would like to see a little more humor in it, similar to the goofy episodes of X-Files, but there’s plenty of time for that. I just hope it gets renewed as I look forward to more of Steele and Tucker on screen. Also thanks to my friend Zakia for introducing me to this show!

Here’s a cute moment!

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photos credit NBC

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24 Responses to “If you liked The X-Files or Fringe you’ll love Debris on NBC”

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  1. Becks1 says:

    I haven’t even heard of this, so thanks for the heads up.

    We’re currently watching the Nevers on HBO and I’m trying to get into Shadow and Bone on Netflix but am having a hard time, (maybe I should read the book first?) so I’ll add this into our rotation. I like having a list of TV shows to watch bc we inevitably spend a few nights in between series debating what to watch.

    (remember the days when you just watched what was on TV, one episode at a time, or random reruns, lol).

    • Anners says:

      I’d read some of the books and it still took me a while to get into Shadow and Bone. I’m not even sure I’m “into it” and I finished the season last night lol! It had some good moments. The costumes and settings are phenomenal and the characters get a bit more developed as you go along. Not the greatest of shows, but I enjoyed it and am looking forward to season 2.

    • Shoshone says:

      Both X-files and Fringe are big favorites in our household. We will definitely check out Debris.

      There are so many hidden gems that are often not pursued or renewed and fail to get the attention they merit. Currently watching The Gloaming on Starz. Supernatural, noir, detective series with a strong female lead character that is filmed in Tasmania. Tasmania is gorgeous and it is now firmly on my bucket list. Post COVID, of course! I just checked and they might give it a 2nd season so Debris might have a chance.

      • Velvetess says:

        @Shoshone Tasmania IS stunning! I live only 50ks from where The Gloaming was filmed. Hire a camper and stay at The Bay of Fires, spend a couple of nights at Cradle Mountain, go to the summit of Mount Wellington (I got married there), and see MONA. The wine and food here is sensational!

  2. Renee says:

    You had me at X-Files and Fringe!! Definitely going to check this out!! Thank you!

  3. Melissa says:

    Thanks for the recommendation! Will check it out and hope it gets renewed.

    All I could think though is that “John tucker must die” when I read his name. Doh!

    (For anyone who doesn’t know, that’s a teen movie from like 2005).

  4. Lorrie B says:

    I’ve been watching since the beginning and love this show. Something new and so different every show, and the cast is amazing.

  5. Barfly says:

    I jist finished binging “Kingdom” on Netflix and Johnathan Tucker is amazing in the show. It’s great overall but he is a shining light. I never really appreciated him before. I can’t wait to watch this show :)

  6. Jwriter says:

    I used to live Fringe, I hadn’t heard of this show so thanks for the rec!!!

  7. MerlinsMom1018 says:

    I’m a ride or die X-filer and while I have seen ads for Debris I haven’t really paid attention. I will have to check it out. Thanks!!!!

  8. Sumodo1 says:

    Is it as good as X-Files? No. The storytelling is flawed by too many flawed suppositions. There’s not enough science in it to explain key premises. The first two-three eps are interesting and beyond that, you can decide for yourself if it’s good or bad. I am indifferent.

  9. Lila says:

    I loooooved both shows. And I’ve never heard of this show! So thanks for the heads up. I’ll check it out (:

  10. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    First things first. YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED FRINGE? Stop what you’re doing right now and binge that bitch. I do like this show, but it’s lacking something. I’ll finish the season before I fully commit to any criticisms. I’ll say it has potential. The X Files had its own problems, but I loved it all the same for want it represented at that time. The Expanse is the best sci-fi show currently airing. And Battlestar Galactica was the best sci-fi prior Fringe. Watch. Fringe. And if you haven’t seen Orphan Black, watch that after Fringe.

    • detritus says:

      Is what you’re looking to describe how Jackson and Noble are incredible to watch and Torv does her job? The Spock accent. I almost died laughing but my partner couldn’t handle it.

      It’s not really fair though because Jackson and noble are such heavyweights, it’s only noticeable because they are just so good together.

      • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

        Debris is missing something lol. I haven’t finished the season yet so I’m tabling any criticisms. I have no criticisms for Fringe. It’s brilliant, silly, funny, gross, engaging, entertaining and yes, at moments cringy but in a tolerable way. The music is great. I mourned when it was over lol.

  11. DeeSea says:

    I’m thrilled to see a post about Debris here!!! I also want this show to get the attention and recognition that it deserves. I’ll be devastated if it doesn’t get renewed. It took me a couple of episodes to get into it, but I’m so glad I stuck with it because–WOW–what a great show. It’s accessible but smart, like a well-written page turner. The recent 2-episode arc was more riveting than any movie I’ve seen recently. Just a fantastic show, especially if you’re able to lean into it and suspend your disbelief a bit.

  12. Gemgirlaaa says:

    Hahahaha. I read your title and thought…sponsored post? The hubs and I are watching. He loooves TV and loved Fringe and of course, X Files. Debris is on our DVR every week.

  13. Ailsa says:

    So excited to see this post! I love Debris and really encourage people to check it out. It’s a slow beginning so you need to give it a chance. It has this lovely, measured pace that is very different from most other tv. It requires attention to what’s being said and without spoiling it, how things develop and change. The female lead, Finola (Rian Johnson) is amazing and her relationships with Bryan and with the debris are, to me, fresh/original/empowered…yeah, I really love this show! It gets better every episode. Really, really hoping it gets a second season.

  14. JillyBean says:

    I love Jonathan tucker. He is soooo good! Black Donnellys !!!

  15. TheOriginalMia says:

    Debris is great. I love it. The mystery is so vast. The only people I trust on the show are Bryan & Finola, and hearing that we’ll know what the mystery is by the finale has me so excited!!

  16. ZeeEnnui says:

    It makes me so happy to see someone actually talking about Debris! I was a massive Fringe fan back in the day so when I saw J.H. Wyman had a new show I was onboard immediately. If you love smart science fiction, shadowy organizations, and killer acting then this is the show for you. I really hope that NBC gives this show a second season.

    I’d also like to give a shout-out to one of the supporting characters whose name in real life (I’m guessing his parents didn’t actually name him this) is Scroobius Pip. That is just straight outta Dickens, right there.

  17. Kath says:

    I LOVE Fringe, it’s one of my biggest annoyances to this day that John Noble never got recognized for his amazing performance in it. He made me laugh my ass off and cry my heart out in the same episode. All that cast was amazing!
    I’ll definitely check this out

  18. Donna B. says:

    I have it in “My Stuff” on Hulu. Will definitely binge watch this.