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Brave New World Ep. 1: Pilot

Brave New World is an adaptation of the 1932 novel by Aldous Huxley, rather than a straight adaption this version seems to be a modern retelling which keeps Huxley’s vision at heart. The addition of an artificial intelligence system named Indra that connects people via a wireless network is the best example of this. As the show opens the premiss is set out for us with this society achieving peace and stability through the prohibition of monogamy, privacy, money, family, and history itself.

This world socially ranks people, and soon we meet B+ Lenina Crowne (played by Jessica Brown Findlay), a technician who works at the Hatchery. Lenina is told by A+ Bernard Marx (played by Harry Lloyd ) that her sexual relationship with another A+ Henry Foster (Sen Mitsuji) is beginning to appear anti-social for its seeming exclusivity. She is advised to ensure her monogamy ends before jealously sets in.

Later, Marx visits a group of Epsilons (E’s) and finds out that one of them has committed suicide, something he can’t quite comprehend. This leads him to think that the “soma” pills people take to feel happy might not work on every feeling of pain.

The introduction of The Savage Lands (basically North America!) via a holiday park commercial is a nice touch and our peek behind the curtain of it later with the introduction of John the Savage (Alden Ehrenreich) helps set out what is to come from this series, especially when John receives a single bullet from a woman named Madysun (Lara Peake), and is told that he’s “being given a chance.”

The contrast of New London and The Savage Lands is more than just a metaphor of society. Like Huxley’s initial vision it is what hides under the obvious that is more ominous and I feel it is this that we will experience as the series unfolds.

Verdict: 7/10. A solid opening that I hope steers clear of the tropes shows like Westworld hide behind to cover up their even thinning plot. I think Huxley would approve of this modernisation at this point. Where it leads is the big question though, in more ways than one.

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