Is there hope at the end of the world? Station Eleven says “YES” (series trailer)

(cover image courtesy Pan Macmillan Australia)

A post-apocalyptic saga spanning multiple timelines, this limited drama series tells the stories of survivors of a devastating flu as they attempt to rebuild and re-imagine the world anew while holding on to the best of what’s been lost. Created for television and showrun by TV filmmaker Patrick Somerville (also of The Bridge, The Leftovers, Maniac, Made for Love previously). Featuring episodes directed by Hiro Murai, Jeremy Podeswa, Helen Shaver, Lucy Tcherniak. Produced by Paramount Television Studios. The series is executive produced by Patrick Somerville, Scott Steindorff, Scott Delman, Dylan Russell, Jessica Rhoades, Hiro Murai, Jeremy Podeswa, and Nate Matteson. Station Eleven is based on the international bestseller of the same name written by Emily St. John Mandel. (synopsis courtesy First Showing)

We have been conditioned to believe, ‘lo these many blighted, dark and disillusioned years (full of zombies and aliens and climate change, oh my!), that there is no coming back from apocalypse.

The world ends, everything goes royally to the proverbial, and that, my once-hopeful friends, is that.

But what if, wondered author Emily St. John Mandel back in 2014 in her engrossing novel Station Eleven, if the end of all things wasn’t quite as final we thought and humanity could come back from the brink (in this case, a virulent flu that wipes about 99% of people)?

“St. John Mandel manages to be both unrelentingly honest and austere about where we might end up – this is a world mind you in which small scratches can kill, food must be found and scrounged for, not bought, and things like security and peace of mind cannot be taken for granted – and yet hopeful that we will find a way through even a future this bleak and broken down future.” (Read my full review)

She was one of the first, in a gathering trend of writers and filmmakers and TV producers to muse about whether there is space for hope in the apocalypse – is it a fool’s errand or a sign of the kind of tenacity that has got humanity through more than a few near-miss evolutionary scrapes?

No surprise that Mandel settles on the latter idea, an optimistic though realistically-based theme that seems to be equally well-evident in this trailer for the small-screen adaptation of her story which reassures us that the end doesn’t always have to be The End.

Station Eleven starts on HBO max on 16 December 2021.

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