Brave New World: everything you need to know about Sky One’s dystopian TV series

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Brave New World – based on Aldous Huxley’s novel of the same name – couldn’t feel more timely. 

Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World was first published in 1932, but there’s no denying that the chilling dystopian novel feels all the more relevant in 2020 than ever before.

Is it any wonder, then, that Sky One is bringing us a star-studded TV adaptation of the book this autumn?

Here’s everything you need to know about their reimagining of the classic text.

What’s the plot of Brave New World?

As citizens of New London, Bernard Marx and Lenina Crowne have only ever known a rigid social order, a soothing, happiness-producing drug called Soma, and a culture of instant gratification and ubiquitous sex.

Curious to explore life beyond the strictures of their society, the two New Worlders embark on a vacation to the Savage Lands, where they observe natural-born people, disease, the ageing process, other languages, and religious lifestyles for the first time. 

However, it’s not long before they become embroiled in a harrowing and violent rebellion. 

Brave New World: Jessica Brown Findlay as Lenina Crowne & Kylie Bunbury as Frannie
Brave New World: Jessica Brown Findlay as Lenina Crowne & Kylie Bunbury as Frannie

Bernard and Lenina are rescued by a “savage” named John, who escapes with them back to New London. 

However, John’s arrival in the New World soon threatens to disrupt its utopian harmony, leaving Bernard and Lenina to grapple with the repercussions.

When the three become entwined in a fraught relationship, it awakens them to the dangers of their own conditioning – and forces them to reconcile themselves to the reality of their ‘Brave New World’.

Is there a trailer for Brave New World?

The original Peacock trailer for Brave New World – perfectly scored by I Monster’s Daydream In Blue – dropped earlier this summer, and immediately piqued viewers’ interest.

Check it out:

To quote one avid fan?

“The timing for this is perfect.”

Who makes up the cast of Brave New World?

Trust us when we say it’s a star-studded roster for Brave New World, boasting the talents of Downton Abbey’s Jessica Brown Findlay, When They See Us’ Kylie Bunbury, Star Wars’ Alden Ehrenreich, and many more.

Here’s a glimpse at the casting list, just to whet your appetite:

  • Alden Ehrenreich as John the Savage
  • Jessica Brown Findlay as Lenina Crowne
  • Harry Lloyd as Bernard Marx
  • Kylie Bunbury as Frannie Crowne
  • Nina Sosanya as Mustafa Mond
  • Joseph Morgan as CJack60/Elliot
  • Sen Mitsuji as Henry Foster
  • Hannah John-Kamen as Wilhelmina “Helm” Watson
  • Lara Peake as Madysun
  • Joe Anderson as Kyle
  • Demi Moore as Linda, John’s mother
  • Ed Stoppard as the Director of Hatcheries and Conditioning

What have the cast said about Brave New World?

There’s no denying that Brave New World makes for uncomfortable viewing, especially considering the state of the world today. 

And that’s why Jessica Brown Findlay, during an interview with The Mary Sue, has urged viewers to treat the drama as a cautionary tale.

Brave New World: Demi Moore as Linda
Brave New World: Demi Moore as Linda

“There’s so much, I guess, focused on technology in our world and there are advances that we immediately see in this world,” Findlay says. 

“But it’s sort of…I think the really interesting question is the technology of humans, our own wiring, and why it is we behave and think and desire and feel the way that we do.

“I guess, posing the question: How much can you unravel that? Through design and through a numbing and telling people they’re happy. And, you know, people are going to slip past that and question things and I think we’re always going to be fascinated in that because that’s how we function.”

Alden Ehrenreich, meanwhile, tells Variety: “George Orwell was a student of Aldous Huxley, and Aldous Huxley wrote him a letter after [Orwell] wrote 1984 saying basically, ‘Great job with the book – it’s a great book – but my concern for the future is not that there’s going to be an overtly totalitarian Big Brother that takes us and controls us, I’m concerned that we’re going to be so lazy and unaware and our servitude is going to be made so comfortable and convenient for us that we are going to happily and willingly recline into their hands.’

“And that resonates way more to me every time I click “yes” to some [online] permission I’m being asked to click to – that I don’t read at all because I don’t have the time or patience to read through the thing. 

“That’s a vision of the world to me that feels very dangerous.”

Brave New World: Alden Ehrenreich as John the Savage
Brave New World: Alden Ehrenreich as John the Savage

And Kylie Bunbury touches upon a similar theme during her interview with TVLine, in which she explains: “[My character Frannie’s] personality is very big and she’s mischievous. She loves disturbances, she loves attention, and she loves the world that she lives in. 

“What you really see is that she’s hiding behind those things because of fear. So for me, I thought that was a really interesting character for me to play, because I’ve never really played anything like that – such a character that’s basically deeply unconscious and wants to stay that way.

“In life, I feel like we encounter a lot of people who would rather stay unconscious and not wake up to the truth of themselves or the truth of the world.”

Brave New World: Kylie Bunbury as Frannie
Brave New World: Kylie Bunbury as Frannie

What are critics saying about Brave New World?

Not much, just yet: remember, Brave New World isn’t out yet in the UK.

However, Sonia Saraiya of Vanity Fair has given it a positive review, writing: “The new series is a clever modern adaptation, engaging deeply with the source material while dispensing with Huxley’s glaringly racist themes and some of the misogyny, too.”

Judy Berman of Time, meanwhile, has promised that the series looks gorgeous and the performances are solid. 

When does Brave New World air on Sky One and NOW TV?

The series debuted in the US on 15 July via NBC’s streaming service Peacock. 

An official UK release date has not yet been given – although we do know that it will air at some point in October 2020.

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Images: Sky One

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.

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