A mix between Westworld, Fringe and Counterpart that manages to go further and revive the genre by telling the theme of remorse: this and much more is Inverso – The Peripheral, the new unmissable Prime Video sci-fi series with Chloe Moretz, available in streaming .
She was a bit lost in the serial chaos that has crowded the platforms even more than usual these weeks, but let’s take advantage of our review of Reverse – The Peripheral to tell you that the new original series Prime Videos is absolutely to keep an eye on and could revive the sci-fi genre combined with the human component as they had already done Westworld (with which it shares the producers), Fringe And Counterpart before her. The series, not yet renewed for a second season (hopefully soon), is based on the novel of the same name by William Gibson, adapted for TV by Scott B. Smith (A Simple Plan) and borrows something from the aforementioned series of the past while building its own and fascinating narrative and visual universe.
Dystopian future which is alternate present
The plot of Inverso – The Peripheral, just like that of Westworld, seems initially complicated but as the story continues and you enter the atmosphere and narrative mechanism, you manage to get passionate about the story and the characters. We can’t honestly say if it’s a merit or a defect that we thought of it for the weekly release and not from binge watching, since it needs at least 3-4 episodes and therefore multiple weeks of programming to get going. But once you enter this dystopian future you will never want to leave it and you will want to know what will happen to the characters. A dystopian future not too distant (2032) which tells of a much more distant one (70 years later) in which humans and peripherals, android-like physical expansions into which to pour a human consciousness, which enters through a viewer and virtual reality as if it were a game. But this, as we will soon find out together with the protagonist Fynne Fisher (Chloe Moretz), is not a game but a real life projected (a word we don’t choose at random) from the future. She works in a 3D printing shop in the American rural outback, in a small town where everyone knows each other better or worse and where everyone makes ends meet as they can, always controlled by local crime. It’s not a world completely in disarray made of debris and smoke, but the situation is still not the best, you survive the day. Burton (Jack Reynor), Flynne’s older brother, has been in the war and still bears those scars, mainly internal and psychological, and has remained friends with his team, with whom he spends his time drinking beer, smoking weed, and diving into virtual realities paid by others to complete the game. The mother of the two (Melinda Page Hamilton), the only parent in the family picture, is ill and the two have to do everything to have the money to continue buying medicines to relieve her pain.
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Alternate past that is dystopian present
Everything changes for the Fisher family when, once again replacing Burton in a virtual reality game, Flynne finds herself catapulted into future London 70 years ahead. Only not a game, but the reality born from a time branch due to the so-called Jackpots, a break in space-time linked to a precise event of the past-present. Someone in London seventy years in the future has found a way to open a door to Flynne and Burton’s world and now someone else from that alternate future is trying to kill them in their present. Thus begins a fight against time through two temporal and spatial planes that bounce more and more and as the episodes progress it becomes increasingly tight, while also having to find a mysterious missing woman who seems somehow linked to many of the personalities involved. A narrative structure that initially may seem excessively complex due to the amount of information to digest but which then makes us enter the game of life of the protagonists from all points of view, gradually showing us all the pieces of the puzzle, the origin stories and the backgrounds of the characters . The fascinating aspect of the show is that there is no real villain or villain, because many have two faces to show – like Dr. Cherise (T’Nia Miller, already appreciated in The Haunting 2 And Years and Years) and Corbell Pickett (Louis Herthum) – and at the same time towards the end many of the “good guys” will have a personal revenge on those who vexed them for years, with instinctive cheering from the audience at home. Precisely because the serial is built on relationships and not only on the sci-fi aspect, great chemistry is demonstrated not only by the interpreters of the Fisher family and their friends, but also and above all by the one who ends up being Flynne’s companion in London. Wilf Netherton (Gary Carr) guides the girl with English aplomb and panache into her futuristic bildungsroman, as it were, getting ever closer to her and possibly stealing her heart. There is all the mix of elements that had made the fortune of genre series such as Westworld (with which Reverse shares the spouses Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy), Fringe and the unfortunately unpublished in Italy Counterpart, which spoke of two parallel realities from a certain point in history onwards, with each of the characters having a counterpart on the other side.
Inverso – The Peripheral is a real television viewing experience, which immerses viewers in the many worlds told just as if they were wearing the viewer too. This is also thanks to the choreographed staging ad hoc mixing powerful and philosophical dialogues with more properly action and romance scenes, in a continuous gaming experience. All of this reminds us how Reverse can be seen as a great homage and metaphor of the seventh art, a world we choose to immerse ourselves in every time we enter the room and the lights go out. A world that in our reality and in our present is becoming more and more interactive thanks to vr of which the series becomes in a certain sense a (not too) futuristic mirror, even if there is still a long way to go, especially in Italy, there is still a long way to go. The London of the future is also a world in which Flynne returns periodically, just like with TV series, thus transforming Reverse also in symbol and metaphor also of the old school weekly appointment seriality.
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Sci-fi about remorse
Reverse – The Peripheral is a sci-fi show that addresses many current issues through the genre but is above all one series about remorse and how much time is decisive on this aspect. If we could change the past, would we? And how much and what would we change to make our life different? Would we choose a particular event or period? But that small change could really radically change our life as says thebutterfly Effect? All the characters seem to fall prey to it: Flynne can’t get over his high school crush on the local deputy sheriff, despite rationally realizing the absurdity of the matter. Burton can’t help but wonder if he could have been a different guy by not going to war and making different decisions for the team once there. His legless and one-armed companion wonders what he would have been like if the accident hadn’t happened. Mama Fisher thinks how much she could have wasted in life before she got sick, and so on. A feeling as powerful as it is dangerous because she can easily make us forget what we have instead of what we have lost.
In our review of Inverso – The Peripheral we tried to explain why it is a dystopian sci-fi series that has been able to show a new and captivating side of the genre, mixing many sub-genres and bringing everything back to the relationships between the characters and their evolution on different temporal and spatial planes. A show that is a metaphor of the seventh art and the feeling of remorse. There is still something to say and we can only be happy about it.
Because we like it
- Chemistry between Chloe Moretz, Jack Reynor and Gary Carr.
- The idea of an alternative dystopian future that is also pure reality.
- Virtual reality as a metaphor for cinema and seriality.
- The theme of remorse inevitably linked to time.
- The staging not too futuristic.
- It can be overly complicated or already seen initially, if you don’t give it a few episodes to mesh and get carried away in the atmosphere and story.
Inverse – The Peripheral, the review: a sci-fi story of remorse