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Brave New World showing how systems cause violence is especially relevant today

  • "David Wiener’s sprawling, intermittently daring sci-fi drama makes several updates to (Alduous) Huxley’s story," says Danette Chavez. "World Controller Mustafa Mond (played coolly here by Nina Sosanya) and Helmholtz Watson (now Hannah John-Kamen’s “Helm,” an emotions-and-orgy 'conductor') are rewritten so that they are played by women of color, which adds an interesting texture to their respective storylines. But the most promising developments in this Brave New World look beyond the framework of the source material to tap into real-life challenges to the established order. Wiener ventures into new territory by keeping the locale and introducing new characters. These additions don’t just question their place in the world—they eventually come to interrogate the system that creates a paradise for some and a life of servitude for others. Comfort breeds indifference in the upper castes; even the death of an Epsilon, a member of the lowest-ranking division in New London’s social order, only briefly snaps them out of their soma stupors. This tragedy is viewed as an anomaly that’s swiftly corrected by Bernard handing out drugs. The Alphas and Betas go right on about their hedonistic day, as is their duty, their place. It’s this idea of systems and the brutality people enact through them—which can take the form of redlining, food deserts, and gerrymandering in our world—that feels most relevant today."

    TOPICS: Brave New World, Peacock