Preview: Brave New World

Harriet Metcalfe previews the TV adaptation of Aldous Huxley's dystopian classic Brave New World.

Harriet Metcalfe
24th April 2020
Credit: @RegardNews, Twitter
Another day in lockdown… another new show announced? Apparently that’s how the world works now. Oh yes, because Universal is going to be making a nine-episode series (according to IMDB) adaptation of Aldous Huxley’s 1932 dystopian novel Brave New World.
Credit: IMDb

Whilst the other adaptations of the classic novel I managed to find seem, well, less promising (the poster for the 1998 film with Leonard Nemroy seems to say enough alone, but it has got 5.2/10 on IMDB I suppose), I’ve got expectations for this one. Given Steven Spielberg’s production company Amblin Television are also producing, it’s gotta be somewhere near good at the very least. I mean, the teaser trailer is stunning visually, but it’s a question of whether they can keep this up in the series itself. According to log line on Den of Geek the show will see:

“Bernard Max [Harry Lloyd] and Lenina Crowe [as citizens of New London, who] have only ever known a rigid social order, a perfect pharmaceutical called Soma, and a culture of instant gratification and ubiquitous sex. Curious to explore life beyond the structures of their society, the two New Wonders embark on a vacation to the Savage Lands, where they become embroiled in a harrowing and violent rebellion. Bernard and Lenina are rescued by John the Savage [Alden Enrenreich], who escapes with them back to New London. John’s arrival in the New World soon threatens to disrupt its utopian harmony, leaving Bernard and Lenina to grapple with the repercussions. The three become entwined in a fraught relationship that awakens them to the dangers of their own conditioning.”

Credit: Lucasfilm Ltd, IMDb

Sounds like heavy stuff. But casting wise, I think they might’ve chosen the right people to pull it off: Alden Ehrenreich has probably some of the best sci-fi experience you can get as my favourite scruffy-looking nerf-herder in 2018’s Solo: A Star Wars Story, whilst Harry Lloyd's more serious undertones as Brian in The Theory of Everything (2014) should help him grapple with these “repercussions”. Who am I most excited about? Only blumin’ Jessica Brown Findlay, a.k.a. Lady Sybil Crawley in Downton Abbey… yes, I know, I’m an old soul (will someone put the kettle on while I find my cardigan, please?). She’ll be taking the role of Lenina Crowne, so fingers crossed some of that Crawly attitude comes through, and she doesn't become another side-lined female sci-fi character.

The only problem? NBC Universal is making us all get another streaming service if we want to watch it

With David Weiner (Leonie (2010) and Holly (2016)), Grant Morrison (Happy! (2017-19) and Brian Taylor (Mom and Dad (2017) – yes that one with Nicholas Cage) on board to shape Huxley’s text into the series, it’s not a bad line-up at all. The only problem? NBC Universal is making us all get another streaming service if we want to watch it. Because there aren’t enough of them to go round at the minute, apparently. This one’s called Peacock and although it’s not available in the UK yet, it looks like it should be here by the 15th of July. But since it’s being distributed in Europe by Sky, it looks like it’ll pretty much depend on whether you have that or not – and if you do, you lucky chaps, it’ll be free.

For my count, Brave New World isn’t exactly the text I want to see adapted right now. Sure, it’s sci-fi element is sure to take us to another universe, but it’s always these dystopian worlds that bring it closer to home. Given the novel has been often been compared to George Orwell’s 1984… I just think I’d rather have something a bit less nihilistic on my screen at the minute, and probably for a while after all this is over.

You can watch the teaser trailer here.

Credit: IGN, YouTube
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AUTHOR: Harriet Metcalfe
English Literature BA student. Loves film, TV, books and coffee. Thinks "Thor: The Dark World" gets too much hate. Twitter: @hattiemetcalfe

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