Having begun life as doomed to never be seen pilot ALT, this time-bending alternate-reality drama was reborn anew as Tripped, combining an all-new cast with the exact same focus. While we’ll never know if the result is an improvement on its origins, it’s clear that it isn’t as good as it could have been.
Seeing two childhood best friends, the soon-to-be-wed Danny (Blake Harrison) and stoner layabout Milo (George Webster) tumbling through time and space after accidentally laying hands on a trans-dimensional teleporter, the results are extremely hit and miss to say the least. While the buddy dynamic between Harrison and Webster is spot on, and Georgina Campbell (Murdered By My Boyfriend) is always great as Danny’s fiancé Kate, you get the feeling that the premise doesn’t get stretched as far as it could have been.
Although the final twist is a novel one, Tripped is a show that doesn’t make the most of the creativeness of its own premise. The majority of the realities that are visited aren’t particularly interesting, save for the odd alteration, and at just four episodes, there is nowhere near enough time to get to know the characters. There’s the occasional funny set piece and amusing gag, and some of the alternate versions of the protagonists are good value for money (Harrison’s insane stalker fan is memorably creepy, for one), but for the most part the writing is too often tepid and uninspired.
There are certainly all the elements of a good story here, they just fail to coalesce into a satisfying whole. There’s something inherently relatable in the personalities of Danny and Milo, two friends who have grown apart over time, a fact they can’t both accept. Moreover, it’s intriguing food for thought when considering how a past decision may or may not have impacted your life – hint, it’s not always how you imagined it.
Ultimately, Tripped is a show that doesn’t live up to the potential offered by its own premise. If it gets a second series then maybe it’ll get that chance, but for now, it’s a bit of a disappointment.