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The Peripherial Season 1 – William Gibson’s Twisted and Complex Sci-fi in a Great Adaptation

SERIES REVIEW – Amazon Prime’s series The Peripherial is about time travel and people electronically connected across multiple timelines, about super soldiers and invisible cars, androids and an inter-dimensional conspiracy.

 

 

On the surface, it may seem too gobbledygook and make no sense for The Peripherial, but with William Gibson we’ve known for a long time that you just have to pay close attention and you’re looking at a first-rate sci-fi. Chloë Grace Moretz stars in this brilliant adaptation of the cyberpunk forefather’s novel, which is hugely satisfying even if you have no idea what’s going on…

 

 

Based on Gibson’s 2014 novel

 

Prime Video’s new sci-fi series The Peripheral is based on William Gibson’s 2014 novel of the same name. Considered one of the founding fathers of the cyberpunk genre, Gibson’s writing has influenced countless other books, films and TV shows, but has rarely been adapted directly to the screen. Novels like Neuromancer, written before the public internet existed, seem prophetic decades later. Gibson gave up writing science fiction in the 2000s in favour of realistic fiction because reality had caught up with his fictions. Periphery was his return to inventing new visions of the future, and eight years later, watching the streaming version, his vision seems all too plausible.

I say “futures” plural because The Peripherial is primarily set in two different locations: 2032 North Carolina and 2099 London. The former is a recognizable extrapolation of present-day America, where virtual reality and 3D printing are on the rise – and poverty, healthcare costs and the drug crisis are worsening. The protagonist, Flynne Fisher (Chloë Grace Moretz, in the biggest role of her adult career), lives with her terminally ill mother, Ella (Melinda Page Hamilton), and her brother, Burton (Jack Reynor), a veteran who has been subjected to technological experiments and now makes his living working in hyper-realistic video games.

 

 

Two different, unique worlds, exciting, original characters

 

Breathtaking, imaginative and visually dazzling sci-fi without being overwhelming, this adaptation of William Gibson’s novel by Academy Award nominee Scott B. Smith (“Simple Plan”) is refreshingly clean and thoroughly enjoyable.

Moreover, it divides time between these two realities – the southern United States in 2032 and London circa 2090. So we get the best of both worlds, with a wide range of colourful characters, time-travelling hackers, Elon Musk-like aggressive corporate executives, veteran soldiers using special combat technology, grumpy old gangsters and human and android assassins, and more.

Much of the fighting is fought by Flynne, who works in a 3D printing and photocopying shop and cares for his ailing mother, while his ex-soldier brother Burton (Jack Reynor) lives in a trailer on their estate. Burton plays virtual reality games by profession, but Flynne is actually even better than him.

As a result, he tries on a new headset that transports him to a future London. Except it’s the real future London, where Flynne is recruited into a corporate espionage operation that he thinks is a game. By the time he realises that this reality is not virtual, various people in London and back home are trying to kill Flynne.

 

 

A must for Gibson fans

 

The Peripherial is a great sci-fi series despite the fact that it contains a lot of pseudo-cyberpunk gibberish. Smith keeps the momentum going and Gibson’s individual style really comes through thanks to him. Moretz had recently been in another sci-fi, the rather dreadful Mother/Android, so that didn’t bode well, but fortunately that horror didn’t affect this great series and her equally first-rate performance. In short, fans of the genre and William Gibson should not miss this series.

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SERIES REVIEW - Amazon Prime's series The Peripherial is about time travel and people electronically connected across multiple timelines, about super soldiers and invisible cars, androids and an inter-dimensional conspiracy.     On the surface, it may seem too gobbledygook and make no sense for The Peripherial, but with William Gibson we've known for a long time that you just have to pay close attention and you're looking at a first-rate sci-fi. Chloë Grace Moretz stars in this brilliant adaptation of the cyberpunk forefather's novel, which is hugely satisfying even if you have no idea what's going on...    …
The Peripherial is a great sci-fi series despite the fact that it contains a lot of pseudo-cyberpunk gibberish. Smith keeps the momentum going and Gibson's individual style really comes through thanks to him. Moretz had recently been in another sci-fi, the rather dreadful Mother/Android, so that didn't bode well, but fortunately that horror didn't affect this great series and her equally first-rate performance. In short, fans of the genre and William Gibson should not miss this series.

The Peripherial Season 1

Direction - 8.2
Actors - 7.8
Story - 8.5
Visuals/Music/Sounds/Action - 8.6
Ambience - 8.4

8.3

EXCELLENT

The Peripherial is a great sci-fi series despite the fact that it contains a lot of pseudo-cyberpunk gibberish. Smith keeps the momentum going and Gibson's individual style really comes through thanks to him. Moretz had recently been in another sci-fi, the rather dreadful Mother/Android, so that didn't bode well, but fortunately that horror didn't affect this great series and her equally first-rate performance. In short, fans of the genre and William Gibson should not miss this series.

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