Would you be willing to give up privacy, family and monogamy for a shot at happiness? If so, have we got a Brave New World for you.
Peacock’s adaptation of Aldous Huxley’s 1932 novel — now available to stream in full — transports viewers to a vivid dystopia where impulses and emotions are suppressed, where humans are divided into tiers, and where “everyone belongs to everyone else.” All of this is made painfully clear in the sci-fi drama’s premiere as we see scientist Lenina (Downton Abbey‘s Jessica Brown Findlay) chastised by her superior for participating in what appears to be a monogamous sexual relationship with one of her co-workers. As Bernard (Game of Thrones‘ Harry Lloyd) reminds Lenina, her colleagues have “just as much of a right” to him as she does. Party.
Lenina intends to party all of this drama away by hitting up the Pleasure Garden with her colleague and friend Frannie (Pitch‘s Kylie Bunbury), but not even a full-blown drug orgy can distract her once she catches a glimpse of Bernard, who is practically forced into a night on the town after daring to question whether there’s a form of pain that their mind-altering drugs can’t adequately treat.
To be fair, you can hardly blame Bernard for wondering. Earlier that day, the so-called “alpha-plus” discovered the corpse of a low-level epsilon, one who accidentally fell from a higher platform. Or did he fall? According to an epsilon known as CJack60 (The Originals‘ Joseph Morgan), the poor guy jumped to his demise — an action deemed unthinkable by fellow alpha Helm (Killjoys‘ Hannah John-Kamen).
If you’re looking for slightly more relatable characters, look no further than the Savage Lands, an impoverished area outside of New London where real people — with all of their original thoughts and emotions intact — attempt to make a life for themselves. Here, we meet John (Solo: A Star Wars Story‘s Alden Ehrenreich) and his mother Linda (Empire‘s Demi Moore), neither of whom quite realize the large role they’ll end up playing in this unfolding story.
Described as a “primitive world of greed, superstition and pain,” the Savage Lands are treated like an amusement park by the citizens of New London, a place where you can gawk at “all the misery of the old world with all the comforts of home.” But there’s a group of “savages” who don’t appreciate being laughed at, and they intend to use John to “tear it all down” and take back what’s theirs.
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