I have a new favorite Spanish tv show! Move over Aguila Roja, El Barco is the new hot show to watch these days!
My roommate Vero introduced me to this show. The concept is pretty simple: When the new particle accelerator in Geneva explodes, it causes most of the world’s continents to sink into the water, meaning that everybody on land dies except for the lucky few who just so happened to find themselves on a boat. The show chronicles the adventures of a group of survivors from the “vessel school” Estrella Polar. The crew’s goal is to try to find the small sliver of land that (hopefully) still exists somewhere on the planet. However, it’s going to take awhile to find since the boat has run out of gas so it sails around instead. Therefore, the action is restricted to the boat and hence the show’s name “El Barco.”
The show does borrow a lot of concepts from Lost (another show I was a huge fan of though I never fully understood the finale)–the survivor element, science fiction plot twists that usually involve the safety of the crew, and some of the characters as well–the brooding evil guy who may not be that evil (Sawyer, in Spanish his name is Gamboa), the token pregnant girl (Claire, in Spanish her name is Vilma), the brother and sister nobody knows about (Claire/Jack, Burbuja/Salome). However the leader on El Barco is not a doctor who is constantly beating himself up over choosing science over faith (Jack got really annoying as the show went on). No, in El Barco’s case, the “leader” is actually the ship’s captain, which makes sense. In fact, there is no doctor aboard this boat–the pseudo doctor is actually a scientist so that changes things up I suppose.
There were also flashbacks in the last episode I watched which is something Lost heavily relied on for the first couple of seasons. So there’s another similarity.
However, the setting for El Barco is more restricted than Lost’s. All the action on El Barco takes aboard the ship–and sometimes we see the characters go out on deck so I suppose the ocean also counts. Lost took mostly place on an island (apart from the flashbacks) but honestly, that damn island just seemed to grow and grow. We never did find out how big it was and later on we randomly were told there was also a “second island” nearby. At least with El Barco, the setting is more contained (though “secret rooms” have been discovered in the boat). The only way the setting can change is if more boats are added… or if the crew finally finds land.
Anyways I’m not about to describe all the characters, but the majority of the characters are young and seem to be in their twenties. The reason for this is because the boat is supposed to be some kind of educational “school vessel” which is where I guess people who want to work on boats for the rest of their lives go to learn how to live on a boat? Something like that. I think the captain is actually the oldest character aboard the ship.
And of course there are love triangles, secrets, betrayals etc. It’s maybe not the best show I’ve ever seen and it might not win any awards, but the concept is rather original and it’s entertaining, just like Aguila Roja.
Also, the Barco’s logo is rather similar to Lost’s. I personally don’t care–imitation is the best form of flattery, just remember that and tv shows/movies are constantly copying or borrowing storylines from each other.
El Barco logo:
Here is the preview of the last episode I watched. I have to say this episode kept me on the edge of my seat because the general storyline is that the boat has come across a huge waterfall (yes in the middle of the ocean but remember a scientific experiment gone wrong is what caused the continents to sink underwater in the first place) and well, the crew has to figure out how they’re going to deal with that. And that’s as much as I can tell without giving away too many spoilers.
Also I have a feeling the crew of El Barco probably don’t feel as cool to be on a boat as Andy Sambergh from SNL does:
But they totally should because the Estrella Polar definitely can outboat any fancy yacht any day.