If you, like many others, had Brave New World by Aldous Huxley on your required reading list in high school, prepare to see it as you never expected. Peacock's new adaptation of the novel is a stunningly modern take on the familiar tale that feels more like a really freaky Black Mirror episode than classic literature.
"I'd say the series is based on that world and the characters from that world, but it's not the story from the book Brave New World," Joseph Morgan (The Originals), who plays a character called CJack60 in the series, told TV Guide. "There's elements of it that are used, but it's sort of a reimagining, and then obviously, it goes over nine episodes, so it's a longer, broader kind of arc."
In this reimagining, Morgan's character, CJack60, is what's known as an Epsilon, the lowest rung of the hierarchy in this dystopian city known as New London. Relegated to menial labor, Epsilons are treated almost as if they aren't even human, while the Alphas -- the highest-ranking members in New London's society -- live a life of carefree luxury. That status quo doesn't last long, however, and CJack60 is at the heart of the upheaval that could save or destroy the characters of Brave New World, depending on how you look at it.
"CJack60 is involved in a kind of horrific incident in the first episode of Brave New World," said Morgan. "And because of that, he starts to question the reality of the world that he's involved in, and he starts to feel. All the people in New London are encouraged to suppress their emotions with this drug, soma. He stops taking that soma, and he starts to wonder, 'Well, why do the Epsilons have to do all of these jobs? Why are we stuck doing all of these jobs? Why is the world like this? And why do I feel like this?'"
As you might expect, when someone who's been subjugated all their life finally realizes something is terribly wrong with the world and starts to have feelings about that subjugation... well, dystopian stories don't typically have warm and fuzzy endings, do they?
If you're looking for a trippy new series that simultaneously makes you believe in the best and worst parts of humanity, Brave New World is definitely the show for you.
Brave New World premieres Thursday, July 15 on Peacock.