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If you loved Westworld, you’ll be thrilled the creators of the hit dystopian show have returned in style with Prime Video’s The Peripheral.
Based on the 2014 noir novel by William Gibson, it stars Chloë Grace Moretz as gamer Flynne Fisher who tangles events in her own world in 2032 with those in a future reality.
The show is sure to be a hit with sci-fi lovers, with time travel, artificial intelligence (AI) and futuristic gaming all featuring in the plot. Scott Smith has adapted the show, while Westworld creators Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan serve as executive producers.
Here’s all you need to know about the eight-part series, including the plot, cast list, release date and more.
What's The Peripheral about?
Set initially in the year 2032 in rural America, The Peripheral centres around Flynne Fisher, an accomplished gamer who lives with her war veteran brother, Burton, and her increasingly unwell mother. Struggling financially due to medical bills, her brother is contacted by a mysterious company to trial a new game for a financial reward.
As the superior gamer, Flynne takes her brother’s place in the trial but soon realises this new simulation is more than a game when she’s transported to London in the distant future. After completing a dangerous mission, the repercussions inadvertently affect her life in her current world. She becomes wanted by multiple parties, but must seek answers in the future to save herself and her family.
Expect time-travel, heists, AI and espionage throughout this action-packed series.
“Most of the themes The Peripheral addresses come straight from William Gibson - they’re the very themes that animate his work at large,” said Scott B. Smith, creator and showrunner of The Peripheral.
“There’s the ongoing battle of control and power versus individual autonomy… and the way technology can be used both to exert and subvert societal control.
“There’s the way technology and the body are growing increasingly fused - circuits getting buried in the meat - and how this again can play into questions of control versus freedom.
“Do advances in bio-hacking represent a new form of shackles … or a doorway for one to escape through?
“There’s also the question of empathy. When so much of the world is encountered through a screen, or through virtual or augmented reality, do other people continue to feel real to us? What are the repercussions if they don’t? And what challenges and responsibilities come due when they do feel real?”
The Peripheral plot explained
Trying to earn extra cash for her mother’s medical bills as a ‘Sim Jockey’, Flynne (Moretz) finds herself in a sim that’s better, and more realistic, than any she’s played before.
In a sleek, futuristic London, she’s guided by a voice to infiltrate the Research Institute and steal a secret so valuable that people kill for it. But when Flynne completes the first stage and meets Aelita (Charlotte Riley), the inscrutable figure behind the voice, the game begins to feel a little too real. That’s because this isn’t a simulation: it's London in 2099, rebuilt in the wake of a series of global catastrophes known as the ‘Jackpot’.
Someone has opened a door from the future to Flynne’s time, potentially endangering both timeframes.
Tempted by the promise of more money, and life-saving medicine for her mother, Flynne is propelled into the crosshairs of three factions: Cherise (T’Nia Miller), the cunning head of the Research Institute, who will go to any lengths to recover what was taken from her; Lev Zubov (JJ Feild), the powerful oligarch - or 'klept' - who wants the information for himself; and the formidable Detective Inspector Ainsley Lowbeer of the Metropolitan Police (Alexandra Billings), who knows all of the players, but doesn’t yet understand the stakes.
Flynne’s best hope for navigating this deadly future is Zubov’s 'fixer' Wilf (Garry Carr), who has his own motives for solving the mystery of what happened not only to the stolen information but to Aelita.
And while Flynne can “respawn” if her avatar is killed in 2099 London, she’s confronted by a graver threat in her own time: forces sent from the future to kill Flynne, and, if necessary, everyone she knows.
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How many episodes of The Peripheral are there and when are they released?
Prime Video released the first two episodes on Friday, 21 October.
New episodes are released every Friday weekly until the finale.
The spectacular finale, episode 8, arrives on Friday, 2 December.
You can expect episodes to arrive on Prime Video at around 5am in the morning UK time.
They are timed so viewers in the US get a 9pm release time on the Thursday.
Who’s in The Peripheral cast?
Chloë Grace Moretz stars as highly competent gamer Flynne Fisher. It is Moretz’s first small-screen role since she last appeared in 30 Rock in 2013.
Moretz, 25, began her acting career at the age of eight and found fame in film roles in Kick-Ass, Carrie and Greta.
Jack Reynor (Midsommar) plays her brother Burton, a war veteran and cyber security specialist who Flynne takes the place of in early episodes within the virtual reality.
Gary Carr (Death in Paradise) plays Wilf Netherton, Flynne’s ‘Fixer’ contact in the future whilst JJ Feild (Lost in Space) plays Lev Zubov, who hires Wilf to locate and keep Flynne safe.
Full cast list
- Chloë Grace Moretz- Plays Flynne Fisher
- Jack Reynor- Plays Burton Fisher
- Gary Carr- Plays Wilf Netherton
- JJ Feild- Plays Lev Zubov
- T'Nia Miller- Plays Cherise Nuland
- Louis Herthum- Plays Corbell Pickett
- Katie Leung- Plays Ash
- Melinda Page Hamilton Ella Fisher
- Chris Coy- Plays Jasper Baker
- Alex Hernandez- Plays Tommy Constantine
- Julian Moore-Cook- Plays Ossian
- Adelind Horan- Plays Billy Ann Baker
- Austin Rising- Plays Leon
- Eli Goree- Plays Conner Penske
- Charlotte Riley- Plays Aelita West
- Amber Rose Revah- Plays Grace
- Alexandra Billings- Plays Detective Ainsley Lowbeer
Is there a trailer for The Peripheral?
Is The Peripheral based on a book?
The Peripheral is based on the 2014 novel of the same name by William Gibson. Gibson is known for his noir fiction and is widely credited for creating the subgenre ‘cyberpunk’. With Gibson’s writing style, expect a very Black Mirror-esque story which focuses on how technology may impact our lives in the near future.
Lead stars Moretz and Reynor both read and studied the book before meeting with Nolan and Joy, with Moretz telling Collider: "The original story is very dense. William really built out every intricacy of this world and the rules of the world, which I find is really important.
"Going into making the project, it was really important to have all that information. That way, we really understood the scope and the rules."
How to watch The Peripheral?
The Peripheral is available exclusively on Prime Video with new episodes released weekly on Fridays from 21 October to the 2 December.
You can add Prime Video to your BT TV package.