Stuck in a small Appalachian town, a young woman’s only escape from the daily grind is playing advanced video games. She is such a good player that a company sends her a new video game system to test but it has a surprise in store. It unlocks all of her dreams of finding a purpose, romance, and glamour in what seems like a game but also puts her and her family in danger.
Rotten Tomatoes: 76%
It’s Review Time: 7
Set in a vast timeline, The Peripheral is set in 2032 and 2099 while giving us a few glimpses of moments that occurred in past.
We see Flynne Fisher (Chloe Grace Moretz) taking care of her recently got blind mother, Ella Fisher (Melinda Page Hamilton) who is having a tumor in her brain. Fylnne checks up on her brother, Burton Fisher (Jack Reynor) who happens to be playing a VR Game, and asks her to take her place for some time, and in the game, we see how talented Flynne is in the gaming virtual reality world.
This leads up to Burton getting a different kind of VR Device that transfers the consciousness and neural feedback from the future, 2099 back to 2032 of the person wearing the headset. What seems like a game to the Fisher siblings soon turns into reality from the future coming back in the past to kill them and trying again and again to end the Fisher family.
As Flynne agrees to help the people from the future, Flynne gets to know that there is an ‘Apocalypse’ that is going to occur soon in her real world and will be called as ‘Jackpot’ in the year 2032. The event will lead to destroying the atmosphere of the Earth and many pandemics occurring after that causing many diseases to spread throughout the world and leading to decaying the immunity of humans, which causes even more deaths. Each time Flynne or Burton fail in their attempt, a new timeline is created.
“You won’t get anywhere in life if you don’t have the courage to be cruel now and then, just for the pure animal joy of it.”
-Corbell Pickett (Louis Herthum)
The Peripheral is not something that one might not have seen before. We have all watched movies and shows that have a story of time travel or the apocalypse that happens in the future and the person from the past gets to know about it and changes the events in his current time.
The place where ‘The Peripheral’ is completely different from other futuristic science-fiction shows and movies is considering the current technology and whatever the upcoming technology could be.
The show develops the stories of Burton and his friends really well and only the amount that is required for the viewers to know about. The role of Conner Penske (Eli Goore) was really well established by the show writers, and good enough to connect with what Conner has been through in his past.
Although the constant movement of time periods in the show makes it hard for the viewers to keep a track of the events that happened in exactly which year.
Initially, Flynne pairs with Lev Zubov (JJ Feild) and his team members which consist of Wilf Netherton (Gary Carr), Ash (Katie Leung), and Tommy (Alex Hernandez). Even though we see Lev and Wilf helping Flynne and Burton with everything they need, the show gives the suspense away as Lev belongs to the Russian ethnicity, and a Russian person has to be the antagonist in an American show or a movie.
Although the series finale is confusing as it does not make it clear what exactly happened.
“You aren’t playing a sim, Ms. Fisher. You’re inside what we call a Peripheral Telepresent.”
5 things I liked about The Peripheral:
Peripheral is a show that looks similar to ‘Westworld‘ but is less confusing than it. Although, The Peripheral is confusing as well but it takes a bit of time to understand the timeline and events as the writers and director do not explain much of whatever is occurring in the show. Still, here are the things I liked about The Peripheral.
- The show brings in something new and makes a connection between the current technology and the practical inventions we could see in the future. The writers do not show us any such invention or idea for a technology that might seem too far-fetched according to the rate of inventions that are made in today’s world.
- Even though the show doesn’t have any standout cast except Chloe Grace Mortez and ‘T’Nia Miller‘ who plays the role of antagonist in the series, the rest of the cast does really well to deliver according to the requirements of the show.
- The action sequence in the series is amazing to watch. The use of futuristic technology along with the presence of mind the characters use is one of the best things to watch out for in the series. Also, the implants Burton and his friends from the military have to connect with each other are used really well. Especially the scene where, Burton takes the help of his friend, Leon (Austin Rising) to connect with his dead friend Reece (Moe Bar-El) to spot Bob (Ned Dennehy) who has taken Burton’s and Flynne’s mother hostage inside a clinic.
- The CGI used to build the future worlds is amazing. Even technology like cloaking cars, making up of synthetic bodies, and futuristic shockwave guns were very visually appealing. The best part was how the writers of the series show us a completely different London, built with many different statues of Greek Gods and some holographic buildings.
- Whichever character we get to see in the series, the writers make sure to show us their backstory as well. No matter what importance a character brings in for the continuity of the series, if the character is interacting with the main cast, we are mostly getting to see their backstories as well.
“When there were the need of the creation of the Sun, the Moon, the Planets, and the Earth, there was only Darkness, and everything was created from the Darkness.”
-Aelita West (Charolette Riley)
5 things I disliked about The Peripheral:
It is surely not a perfect show. There are many better shows compared to The Peripheral that explore the similar topics in much better way, but they go too ahead with the technological part where The Peripheral handles themselves pretty well. But here I will discuss some points where the series could have been better.
- The pacing of the series makes the entire plot completely boring. As a viewer, it feels like it is taking an eternity for the episode to come to its main point. The average length of an episode is 65 minutes including the credits. The episodes could have been a bit shorter and the stretch of episodes could have decreased.
- Writers should have explained the timeline in a better way. After a point, when the backstories of characters are given to us, it gets really confusing to understand the chronology of how the storyline is progressing.
- After a couple of episodes, the show becomes predictable and a viewer can predict what will happen next whenever the main lead happens to find themselves in any sort of trouble.
- There are many events in the series that are completely ignored. We see a cop discovering a cloaked car in the middle of the road and we don’t see any reaction from the police department, or anyone else, later we find that it is towed into the police department investigation parking.
- If the show’s budget was big to have such visual effects in it, the casting should have been better. Chloe does a good job in her role, but there are many roles in the series that could have had a better actor portraying them.
“Before you accept any cash from someone, always ask what they might want in exchange.”
Future for The Peripheral:
The writer and director of the show, Scott B. Smith and Jonathan Nolan said that he has plans for Season 2 as we see in the ending that Flynne asks to get killed and request Burton and Conner to kill themselves in the simulation so that they can continue their missions in another timeline.
Stay tuned to It’s Review Time as we will let you know whenever Amazon Prime announces and renews the new season of The Peripheral.