Spoilers ahead for the series premiere of Debris on NBC.
Debris made its NBC debut with a series premiere that introduced viewers to the partnership between Bryan Beneventi (Jonathan Tucker) and Finola Jones (Riann Steele) as they investigate the effects of scattered pieces of a destroyed alien spacecraft that are messing with the laws of physics in very different and unpredictable ways. The very premise of Debris make it clear that there are going to be multiple layers to the plot, and the fact that Fringe executive producer Joel Wyman is on board as creator and showrunner means that viewers should be sure to pay attention to the mythology for clues along the way.
Fringe spent five seasons and 100 episodes building a complex mythology comprised of some of the weirdest mysteries outside of The X-Files and Lost, and Joel Wyman seems to be setting Debris up to tackle mysteries and build a brand new mythology with some new stars at the center of the story. At the TCA 2021 panel for Debris, star Jonathan Tucker weighed in on the prospect of keeping track of clues connected to the case at the center of everything, saying:
[O]ne of the unique parts about the show is that, week to week, a new piece of debris is discovered. And it allows us, as partners and the audience, to discover the capabilities, the unique capabilities, that this debris has to offer, how it affects people, how it affects the world, and ultimately how it affects ourselves and our own relationship and the people who discover it. So, Joel has given us this opportunity to kind of come in and discover the debris, but then it really opens it up the rest of the episode. And it's fun for us as actors, for sure, but I think it will be fun for audiences to see and speaks to the kind of cable-level sci-fi that we've become accustomed to, that you can have a bit of both. You can have a case of the week, but you can also have meaningful character development and mythological roll?out over the course of at least this first season.
The series premiere of Debris set up the format of the new series, with new partners Bryan and Finola learning to work with each other while also furthering the agendas of their respective countries, and Bryan was already keeping a major secret from Finola by the end of the hour. Together, they solved the debris case of the week, but the episode only gave glimpses of the central mystery that will seemingly drive the mythology. At the same time, as Jonathan Tucker states, Debris isn't going to be mythology from start to finish on a weekly basis, but also develop the characters and tackle the cases of the week.
The series premiere also already showed the wildly different ways that the debris can affect different people in different places, so it's probably safe to say that Debris won't be getting boring any time soon. Starting from the beginning may also mean that viewers don't need to start preparing their own flow charts to keep track of everything, but this definitely is a series to pay attention to or risk missing things. For fans of shows like Lost, The X-Files, and yes, Fringe, Debris could be the next hit show that combines mystery with mythology to create something that defies belief and some shadowy figures keeping secrets. What's not to love there?
Debris had to overcome some obstacles to make it to the airwaves, and in fact turned to another NBC series to work out the logistics of producing new TV content in 2020, when many existing shows weren't able to go into production, let alone prospective new series. Now, you can catch new episodes of Debris on Mondays at 10 p.m. ET on NBC.