While web series aren’t exactly the first medium that comes to mind when thinking of quality story-telling, the internet has come a long way from silly viral videos and flash animations. Serious content creators like the THAC team and Felicia Day’s Geek & Sundry have proven that the internet is as viable a source of media as television or even movie theaters. Be it the Walking Dead Webisodes or Marble Hornets, web series are on the rise, and Shaftesbury/Smokebomb’s new supernatural drama, Inhuman Condition, has potential to be one of the biggest.
Starring Stargate: Atlantis’ Torri Higginson, Inhuman Condition follows the struggles of Dr. Michelle Kessler, a therapist treating troubled supernatural patients, such as zombies and werewolves, in a mysterious institute. Most of the five-minute episodes deal with Dr. Kessler’s attempts to reach out to these unfortunate patients through their short sessions together, as many of them don’t even consider themselves humans anymore, or carry some form of debilitating guilt due to their ‘powers’.
The premise may seem simple, but the series’ biggest asset is its focus on character drama and development, only offering brief glimpses into the paranormal and horrific aspects of each patient’s past. Higginson also brings a lot of charm to the table, making Dr. Kessler a relatable and likeable person who truly wishes to help those under her care, but who is also aware of the inherent dangers of dealing with these often unstable creatures, who are considered monsters by most of the population.
Naturally, this subtlety is partially the result of a limited budget, but works quite well in the series’ favor. Merely describing the aftermath of a lycanthrope’s vicious bar fight can be just as, if not more intense than actually witnessing it on-screen. That’s not to say that there isn’t a certain slick, studio-backed quality to the production, as despite the obvious limitations, there is no amateur casting or directing present here. I’d love to see things progress in future episodes, however, as a werewolf transformation here and there would certainly help maintain viewer interest.
The extraordinary abilities possessed by these patients may not be the main focus of the series, but both the writer, RJ Lackie, and director, Jared Pelletier, do a masterful job of relating these strange occurrences to real-world issues and social dynamics. Be it Thomas Olajide’s rebellious activist Linc, or the deeply anxious yet horrifyingly powerful Tamar (played by Cara Gee), these characters feel eerily real, as does the negative reaction most of the world seems to have when dealing with them.
Only six out of a promised thirty-three episodes have been released so far, but Inhuman Condition shows no sign of slowing down. If you’re up for a strangely introspective look at how the supernatural can affect regular people, I highly recommend checking this one out. After all, it’s free, and new episodes are scheduled to be released every Monday, Wednesday and Friday on the KindaTV Youtube Channel.