Apple TV Plus space thriller Constellation divides opinion — 'Slow', 'obvious' and boring? Or a 'slick' 'heir to Gravity'?

Apple Constellation
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple this week celebrated the global premier of its brand new sci-fi space thriller Constellation, and early reviews indicate it might be one of Apple’s most divisive shows ever. 

Constellation, starring Noomi Rapace, tells the story of Jo, an astronaut who returns to Earth after surviving a major disaster in space. However, upon her arrival back on the planet “key pieces of her life seem to be missing.”

Constellation debuted on Apple TV Plus on February 21 with its first three episodes, and the remaining five are set to air weekly through March 27. If you’re wondering whether it’s worth your time watching it, however, I’m afraid the reviews are probably just going to confuse you. 

Bearing in mind the show has only been out for a day, the show has a commendable 73% score on Rotten Tomatoes. Even the RT critic scores are fiercely divided, with as many “rotten” green splats as “fresh” red tomatoes, while the audience reviews (although few in number) give it a massive 92% score. So what are these critics saying, and why is the camp so divided?

Constellation reviews

The reviews for Constellation published this week are contrasting, to say the least. Our friends at Space.com called it a must-see and reckon “fans will be riveted to this wild mystery-box series.” Likewise, The Guardian called it a “slick space thriller” that’s the “heir to Gravity,” (although it only scored ⅗ stars). WSJ says Constellation is “compellingly twisty” but also uneven and TIME Magazine branded it a “stellar Sci-Fi thriller.”

Plenty of outlets were less impressed, however. Comic Book Resources slammed it as “slow and obvious” and “plodding and monotonous,” and Rolling Stone ran with the headline “In space, no one can hear you snore.” Screen Rant says the show is caught between compelling sci-fi and unsettling psychological horror, but “falters on both fronts”

To sum up, the reviews can be described, in a word, as “unhelpful,” and as is often the case with these things you’re probably just better off tuning in yourself to see if Constellation is up your street. At first glance, however, Constellation doesn’t sound like a bona fide smash hit like Ted Lasso or the acclaimed Slow Horses. Apple TV Plus is available on all of the best TVs for Apple TV, as well as iPhone, iPad, Mac, and the web. It costs $9.99 a month or can be found in the Apple One subscription bundle — unless you can score yourself a free trial. 

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Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9