In a new sci-fi production from the producers of “Westworld,” past and present seem to collide all thanks to the next generation of virtual reality technology.
|Aired (Prime Video)||10/21/2022|
|Created or Developed By||Scott B. Smith|
|Based On||The Novel “The Peripheral” By William Gibson|
|Executive Produced By||Steven Hoban, James W. Skotchdopole, Greg Plageman, Athena Wickham, Vicenzo Natali, Scott B. Smith, Lisa Joy, Jonathan Nolan|
|Writer(s)||Scott B. Smith|
|Genre||Action, Crime, Drama, Sci-Fi, Young Adult|
|Introduced This Episode|
|Ella||Melinda Page Hamilton|
|Flynne||Chloë Grace Moretz|
|Billy Ann||Adelind Horan|
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In 2032, in the Blue Ridge Mountains, somewhere within the mid to southern part of the east coast, we’re introduced to the Fisher family. The mother, Ella, and brother, Burton, are mostly homebound due to injuries, sickness, or choice, but Flynne, our lead, has a job at a 3D printing shop, and every now and then will hop on a virtual reality game, where she often uses her brother’s profile to avoid the harassment that, even ten years from now, is prevalent for female gamers.
But, with two people not working, and just Flynne’s income, that isn’t enough, especially since Burton and Ella need medication that, for one pill, on the black market, can cost $1,000. Which makes Flynne lucky that Burton gets recruited to test this new immersive game that takes you to 2099 London, where you have to kidnap, kill, fight, and try to survive.
However, while the game is exhilarating, it has physical effects both after immediately playing the game, alongside in Flynne’s world. Which, considering on top of money issues she has Billy Ann, her best friend and town gossip, to deal with, alongside a crush that has been ongoing since 7th grade, it makes the idea of mercenaries hunting Flynne and her family down, with a multi-million bounty on her head, a lot to deal with.
Things To Note
Question(s) Left Unanswered
- Who discovered the technology to have such immersive virtual reality, and how?
- How is the jumping back and forth through the past possible?
- Where is Flynne’s father?
What Could Happen Next
- Flynne meeting Wilf and explaining what Aelita got her into
- Flynne’s crush catching onto what is happening and becoming injured by all the hooplah
There Isn’t A Overreliance On Tech Or Visual Effects
Sci-Fi is a genre that has faltered in the last few decades because of the use of CGI and other computer effects taking away the magic of the genre. More often than not, most films and shows lean heavily on the visuals and lack any notable substance. “The Peripheral” doesn’t fit into that criticism. While the visual effects on the robot servants are interesting, they don’t dominate any scenes, even if they are fighting in them. They are like seeing a nice microwave or someone with a cell phone. It’s normalized and not pushed to be a fancy thing to consume the moment.
Rather, what it wants you to do is ask questions. Not in terms of the tech you see but the relationships, who is that, why is Flynne called upon to kidnap a woman named Mariel, and whether she is a good or bad person. What you’re given is a reason to invest far beyond the stupor caused by a future world that could remind you of “Watch_Dogs” or a video game.
How Curious The Future Is Painted
It isn’t clear why 2099 London needs someone like Flynne, from 2032, to handle some level of espionage. Also, what exactly are Wilf and Aelita are fighting, and whether they are the good guys or bad guys is up for question. Naturally, they appear to be the rebel force, so we’re led to assume they are the good guys, but what if that isn’t the case?
Also, regarding “The R.I.,” what makes them bad guys worth hating? We’re dropped in the middle of what can be potentially see a war, even if only one side knows it exists and, again, there are so many questions that make you want and need to know more.
A Sense Of Danger Established By The End Of Episode One – And It’s Formidable
With mercs from the future apparently hunting Flynne and her family, this isn’t like recent fantasy shows *cough* “House of the Dragon” *cough* where you are promised, down the road, some sense of danger or need to take every single interaction seriously. From the start “The Peripheral” makes it clear that the leads are on notice, in danger, and because of them flirting with a situation they didn’t belong in, they will now be dragged into something so much bigger.
All of which, again, makes you want to know and see more to get a grasp on what’s going on.