Brave New World (TV series)
Brave New World (2020) is an SCI-FI that was released on peacock in the USA and on Netflix for countries including India. It is based on Aldous Huxley ‘s classic book of the same name, which came in 1932. Even with a story that was intriguing, visuals that were stunning, a convincing performance from the lead pair, the show doesn’t get you engaged as it proceeds mostly on expected lines. I like the genre so I completed the nine-episode series in two days, but most may not find it interesting enough and so the show gets a ‘Raw’ rating.
The story is about New London, a world on earth where the population is prosperous, healthy, always happy, governed by an all-knowing Artificial-Intelligent system called Indra. Places outside the new world are called the “savage lands” where people are poor, dying and without modern-day comforts, as they had preferred to live ‘freely’ than to be controlled by Indra. When one young man from the savage lands gets allowed inside New London, there are unimaginable consequences.
Harry Lloyd has done the role of Bernard Marx, a counsellor in New London, very well. He brings the different shades of the character who find it hard to balance his conditioning to be happy and to maintain the stability of the social body, while unable to suppress his fear of self-doubt, jealousy and shame. Joining him are the seductive Jessica Brown Findlay as Lenina Crowne and Alden Ehrenreich as John the Savage.
There are references to Indian mythology like ‘soma’, a happiness drug used by everyone in New London; Indra, the Vedic deity being the name of the A.I.; the population divided into classes: Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Epsilon, reminding us of the Hindu caste system. I haven’t read Huxley ‘s book, but the Wikipedia summary shows the series seems to be following the book a lot.
There are quite a few interesting ideas but they have been strewn everywhere, and that makes it unable to cohesively portray a community. The show is not for kids, there is a lot of nudity, blood and violence, just like in Westworld (TV series) which was based on Michael Crichton’s 1973 film.
Originally published at https://venkatarangan.com on October 20, 2021.