Sun. Oct 2nd, 2022

An adaptation of the classic novel by Aldous Huxley brave new world tops the offerings on NBC’s Peacock streaming service, which launches next month.

NBC’s Peacock streaming service launches next month and the jewel in the crown of its first offering is undoubtedly brave new worldan ambitious adaptation of Aldous Huxley’s classic 1932 dystopian novel. The full trailer for this original Peacock series is finally here, starring Alden Ehrenreich as Huxley’s antihero, John the Savage, who struggles to adapt when he being pushed into a utopian society.

(Some spoilers for the book below.)

As we reported in April, brave new world Set in the year 2540, in the World State city of London, where humans are born in artificial wombs and indoctrinated through ‘sleep learning’ to fit into their assigned, predetermined caste. Citizens regularly consume a drug called soma (part antidepressant, part hallucinogen) to keep them docile and help them adhere to strict social laws. Promiscuity is encouraged, but pregnancy (for women) is a disgrace. It goes without saying that both art and science are viewed with suspicion (albeit to a lesser degree).

“Any discovery in pure science is potentially subversive,” tells Mustapha Mond, the protagonist of the novel’s antihero, John the Savage. ‘Science is dangerous; we must chain and muzzle them as carefully as possible.’

John is the illegitimate son of a high-ranking government official, born and raised on the Savage Reservation, where people still give birth, age naturally and generally represent the opposite of the carefully controlled ideals of the World State. His only training is the complete works of Shakespeare. (The title of the novel refers to a line by Miranda in the storm.) When John and his mother, Linda, make their way back to the World State, he initially becomes a cause célèbre, but struggles to adapt to the new social mores. In particular, he falls in love with a young woman named Lenina Crowne, but cannot cope with her promiscuity and sexual frankness. Ultimately, he isolates himself from society in the hope of purging himself of “sin.” It doesn’t end well for anyone.

In the April teaser, we met Beta-Plus Lenina (Jessica Brown Findlay), who was popping a soma tab and partying with various potential sexual partners, while an occasional lover Bernard Marx (Henry Lloyd) looked on enviously. And we got a glimpse of Savageland, when Linda (Demi Moore) urged her son John (Ehrenreich) to return to New London with her. We also saw authoritarian Mustapha Mond (Nina Sosanya) gender-swapped as he lectured a group of acolytes about the danger of asking questions or welcoming new ideas: “A virus enters a cell. That’s how it starts.” Also changed gender: Bernard’s friend Helmholtz Watson, a professor at the College of Emotional Engineering, is now Wilhelmina “Helm” Watson, played by Hannah John-Kamen.

The new trailer gives us some more details and hints of what’s to come. It starts with Lenina dropping a little soma, while Bernard’s voice introduces us to the supposed utopia that is New London. Everyone is happy, everyone knows their place, there is no hunger or violence or pain – you get the idea. “That’s what I’ve always wanted for you,” John’s mother Linda tells him. Much of the remaining trailer is devoted to John’s reaction as he struggles to adjust to New London. “You just need to connect,” he’s told, which resembles a special kind of contact lens inserted into your eyeball.

Everyone is always connected, meaning no one is ever truly alone, which doesn’t seem to fit John at all. He is present but separate, observes but uninteresting, and does not seem to like what he sees. “You know I’ve been watching you folks,” he says at one point. “If this place is so perfect, why is everything upside down?” We see Bernard leaning over a corpse in this otherwise ideal city, so John has a point. The only bright spot is Lenina, who is attracted to the savage, and he to her. John clearly has a disruptive influence on New London, something that has not gone unnoticed by those in power. “We need to stop this before it goes too far,” Mond says.

In April, I wrote that “although Peacock is relatively late in the streaming scene, the series looks like it could be a winner for the fledgling service.” I stick with that impression. Visually striking, the series has a great cast, and showrunner David Wiener looks like he’s imaginatively updated the technological details of Huxley’s novel for the 21st century. brave new world debuts on July 15, 2020 as part of the Peacock streaming service launch.

List image by YouTube/NBC Peacock

By akfire1

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