What is this new animated show on AMC+? What is Pantheon about? Who stars in Pantheon Season 1, Episode 1?
This is a review and recap for “Pantheon” – Season 1 Episode 1, “Pantheon.”
Viewer beware – Spoilers below!
What is Pantheon?
Pantheon introduces to a world where Maddie, the audience surrogate and emotional cornerstone of the show, is subjected to an unending barrage of bullying from her class mates. You get a sense of the seriousness to the bullying when she receives an instant message saying “why are you so ugly? You should go kill yourself?” Damn, just damn.
To make matters worse, the first episode takes us through the long term trauma she is suffering after recently losing her dad to what we’re all going to assume is cancer.
After a brief scene that shows us the loving relationship between Maddie and her father (while he was still alive), Maddie returns home and enters a chat room which begins an odd relationship with an unknown user called surprise, surprise – <unknown> user. The next day while at class, Maddie witnesses the popular girls receive the same kind of messages that she received in the first scene. It becomes all too clear that someone has hacked the class bully’s phone and sent it to almost every girl in their class.
When Maddie returns home, the <unknown> user goes on to admit they hacked the popular girl’s phones at school. Unfortunately, Maddie’s celebrations are cut short when she’s interrupted by her mother and, after taking over Maddie’s computer, the <unknown> user tells Maddie’s mum something only she would know. Causing her mum to rush out, dial an unknown number and scream at them “what the hell have you done with my husband?”
Caspian and the Pantheon Conspiracy
The call that Maddie’s mother makes is reported by a shadowy organisation as we’re introduced to other main character Caspian who seems to be some quite of goth teen genius who can come to mathematical calculations without batting an eyelid. The leader of that same shadowy organisation then places a call to Caspian’s mother asking “how is our boy” which raises all sorts of questions.
Back at Maddie’s, after a brief time jump back to when her father (David) was alive, Maddie and her mother get into it over whether her father is alive or not. This updates her mum greatly and so she decides to call it quits with her boyfriend at a random Starbucks.
While all this is going on, Maddie is of course on a chat group trying to locate who <unknown > user is and the person trying to help her is Caspian. This causes the shadowy organisation monitoring Caspian to look further into their conversation.
Chanda: The Final Link in the Chain
Here we’re introduced to the third main character, Chanda, who seems to be the person who came up with the coding for this massive company. However, after a brief meeting with potential investors he’s kidnapped. This segways into Caspian looking into Chanda and the next bizarre scene in which Caspian and his dad have an argument over just how smart he really is. When his dad finally storms off he calls the woman who claims to be his mother and it’s revealed to us that this “happy couple” are really just minders.
Caspian, thinking his parents are arguing, tunes out to some music which transitions into the next day and Maddie arriving at school. While communicating with <AngryAngel> on her computer she gets an awkward look from the class bully (Tamara). I knew all Tamara’s were bad news. This caused it.
By this time, her mother turned back around to check in and apologise to Maddie. Only to find out that Tamara aka <AngryAngel> has cornered Maddie and was about to get physical with her. Only for Maddie’s mum to go full mumma bear and almost slap the crap out of her.
The System Crashes
The shadowy organisation, which we’re going to assume is Pantheon as it’s never really referred to by name, is now undergoing cyber attacks. Leaving the staff involved anxious, paranoid and frantic. The camera pans out to show a base of endless hardware and super computers in the Antarctic somewhere.
Pantheon S01E01 Review
Craig Silverstein has created a realistic animated world filled with engaging characters who walk this fine line of preoccupation with every day life and a conspiracy agenda which is gradually unfolded. With the likes of voice actors like Kevin Durand, William Hurt, Laura Pulver and Daniel Dae Kim involved – this show always had the potential to be all flash and zero substance.
However, Episode 1 of Pantheon gives us this Young Adult drama that flirts with modern light sci-fi as much as does with a criminal thriller. The animation is crisp and superb. While essentially an american anime, Pantheon doesn’t engage with the childlike tropes which a lot of anime cartoons trap themselves in. You’ll lose yourself in this episode and forget that you’re watching an animation.
Who are the Pantheon Voice Actors?
The voice actors who appear in this episode of Pantheon include:
- Laura Pulver
- Kevin Durand as Anssi
- Paul Dano as Caspian
- Maude Apatow as Justine
- William Hurt as Stephen Holstrom
- Grey Griffin as Samara
- Taylor Schilling as Renee
- Scoot Mcnairy as Cody
- Anika Noni Rose as Nicole
- Rosemarie DeWitt as Ellen
- Aaron Eckhart as Cary
- Daniel Dae Kim as David
- Corey Stoll
- Chris Dianmatopoulos as Pope
- Ron Livingston as Waxman
- Raza Jeffrey as Chanda
- Samuel Roukin as Gabe
- Katie Chang as Maddie
- SungWon Cho as Teacher
- Julian Lerner as Oliver
- Krystina Alabado as Hannah
What did you think of this Episode?
Did you enjoy this episode? What did you think of this introduction to the Pantheon world?
Let us know on social media.