Trying its hardest to stay on the fence, Netflix Series Unnatural Selection Season 1 is a real brain teaser, giving us insight into the future of gene modification.
Netflix Series Unnatural Selection Season 1 will be released on the platform on October 18, 2019.
Every time I think about gene-editing, I am torn by my love for science and my belief in nature taking its course. If someone was to tell me that defining our genetics could mean saving the ones we love, how could I argue? We are often torn by our emotional choices, which form our villains in stories — the scientist that took it too far to save his child; Walter Bishop in Fringe.
Stories always choose to attach scientific advancements to an evil outlet based on the question of “playing God”. It’s a term often used when humans try and defy the natural course of our future. In the case of Walter, he decided to cross universes to replace his son with the alternate version. It was seen as breaking the fundamental laws. Netflix series Unnatural Selection argues for and against the likes of gene editing, with opposing case studies that keep your mind conveniently on the fence.
Laying beneath the stories of those directly affected by gene editing follows biohackers, more famously the scientist Josiah Zayner, known for his lone-wolf work on genetic engineering and self-experimenting. The series offers a lot of opposition towards Mr. Zayner, but his influence and beliefs tend to shine through. He believes everyone should have a fair chance at a better life using the likes of gene-editing or therapy.
Unnatural Selection Season 1 offers some intriguing case studies; a child progressively going blind, a man suffering from spinal muscular atrophy and a company testing on someone with HIV in the hope they can find a cure. There’s a question of ethics, Big Pharma prices, and the impact it will have on the world. The Netflix series also delves into Gene Drive, tapping into changing the ecosystem of significant habitats.
The downside of Unnatural Selection is its “on-the-fence” approach in each episode, which is served over an hour in each. It rids the entertainment factor by purely keeping it safe with the interviews. It relies on the now, rather than deepening its question on the future, and with the long episodes, it can feel highly repetitive.
But regardless, Unnatural Selection Season 1 ponders the questions and gives us insight into an inevitable future.
You can read the recap of Episode 1 by clicking these words. (will go live on air date)
Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.