French sci-fi web series NAMAKA has a fascinating alt-history premise similar to the scenario of Philip K. Dick's The Man In The High Castle.
Written by Gaetan Selle and produced by his independent studio The Flares, NAMAKA tells the story of Angélique (Isabelle Vary), a member of the World War II French resistance who awakens in a hospital bed with amnesia.
After she wakes, she is confronted by French government Agent Calvin (Philippe Ohrel) who informs the amnesiac woman she was discovered unconscious in a mysterious machine - and that the current year is 2016.
Stunned, Angélique is also informed she is from an alternate reality in which the Nazis and Allies were forced to join forces in order to combat an alien invasion of earth.
She journeyed to our reality through a wormhole inside an extraterrestrial machine. Evidence of the wormhole was discovered by the Hubble telescope near a celestial body named Namaka.
Reeling, Angélique must grapple with the enormity of her new circumstances, as well as the revelation the aliens are now aware of our reality via the wormhole.
NAMAKA is a six-episode web series, with each installment being an average of three minutes in length.
What is impressive about the series is how effectively the heady premise is conveyed.
Selle has written a compelling script that doesn't waste time with superfluous side plots or characters. Right from the opening scene, viewers are immediately immersed into the action.
Due to Angélique's amnesia, the character of Agent Calvin is used to deliver most of the exposition vital to the series plot in a way that feels very organic.
The viewer learns what is going on at the same time as the main protagonist. This gives the series a palpable sense of intimacy and urgency.
However, without Vary's dynamic performance as Angélique, the entire project would fall apart. The success of the series rests on her reactions to her character's unimaginable plight - and she nails it.
The series overall production value is also worthy of note.
The cinematography is electric, and the use of chilling archival footage of Hitler and the Third Reich is masterfully interwoven into the narrative of the series.
Watch the complete first episode of NAMAKA here ...
The rest of the series is available for viewing on Vimeo.
NAMAKA ends on a cliffhanger, and with far more questions raised than answered - leaving much of the mythology left unexplored.
My hope is we get to see more of this intriguing alternate history-alien invasion saga.
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