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TV Series Review: The Peripheral (2022 - Prime Video) *No Spoilers*

The Peripheral Poster Season 1

It's rare these days that I come across a TV series that disappoints me at the end of each episode because I don't want it to stop. The Peripheral is exactly like that. However, now all of the first season's eight episodes are on Prime Video, you don't have to wait week to week, as I did. Binge them all in one go if you must.

My only disappointment in Season 1 is that now I have to wait and hope there is a season 2 because (minor spoiler) the story is only half way done (or less if they do a third season). At the time of writing season 2 was not yet confirmed but The Peripheral overtook The Rings of Power as Prime's top streaming show, so that is very promising for the show to return.

Based upon a William Gibson novel of the same name, which I have not read, but I am aware that Gibson is a big gun amongst influential Sci-Fi authors. I've only read his book Neuromancer many decades ago which influenced the rise of Cyberpunk in popular culture during the 1980s.

From what I understand the TV series doesn't follow the book too closely but the ideas are still there, making it compelling even if you have read the source material.

Flynne Fisher (Chloë Grace Moretz) and her brother Burton (Jack Reynor) live in small town America in 2032. They are given a VR headset that lets them explore a simulation set in post-apocalyptic future London. While Flynne uncovers the mystery of the Sim and the dangerous information it contains, she realizes that she must find a way to protect herself and her family before it’s too late.

I will admit that I tuned into this first because of Chloë Grace Moretz, who is enough of a name and great actor to hook me into giving anything she's in a try (even  Tom & Jerry - which was okay). That said, cyberpunk Sci-fi and my William Gibson knowledge pretty much sealed it for me, and I wasn't disappointed.

Even though the show itself isn't particularly screaming high tech futurism and amazing futuristic visuals, future London looks pretty much like present day London at street level, there's still enough to let you know this is far from present day. After eight episodes I still don't know what all the monolithic statues in future London's skyline are all about but they look intriguing.

While the story really drew me in what I like most is that all the key and supporting characters seem to have some depth to them. Even if we don't dive into their backstory a whole lot, nobody seems like they're there simply to be plot protection for the main players (well maybe one person but considering the threat levels someone on the good guys side was bound to buy it eventually).

A stand out character for me is Alex Hernandez's, Tommy Constantine, the local Police Constable (or is it Ranger in that part of America?). Tommy could easily have been a clueless authoritarian getting in the way of everybody but instead we get to see him piece together the mystery that we, as viewers, are all in on. It's great to watch even though we know the answers he's looking for.

As a character it's not really clear why Tommy's part of the story but he does add a level of complexity to the lives of the Fisher's in the events of their present day.

Most intriguing though is that it's hard to tell which world is real or simulation? There are definite nods towards time travel and the idea of a multi-verse - or at least parallel timelines and futures.

While the show can often be quite talkative it's no slouch on the action. Flynne and her brother, Burton (himself ex-military) are both shown to be exceptional at simulated war games, and no slouches in the real world either. This escalates their level of danger pretty quickly to the point where you're not sure if either will survive the next big threat.

I've found the show to be utterly fascinating, drawing me in more every single episode. Things are looking good for a season 2, the final episode even has a post credit scene that sets up a season 2 even more than they already set up a season 2 pre credits... soo... I'm looking forward very much to a season 2.

Can't recommend this enough.


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