Culture

The Peripheral Review – Chloe Grace Moretz oscillates between two worlds in new Sci-fi Series

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A pristine, dystopian London versus the present countryside in USA – The Peripheral star Chloe Grace Moretz (as Flynne) jostles her present with the world she transcends into, battling both, natural and supernatural obstacles.

The Story

Vincenzo Natali’s employment of a calculated pace and distinctive visuals during the pilot episode allows the viewers the ability to differentiate between the two worlds without being perplexed by the constant shifts in environment and time periods. This fluid approach provides us insight into the main characters, Flynne Fisher and Burton Fisher (played by Jack Reynor), and the relatively short glimpses of the 2099 London that we are privy to keep us invested, itching to find out more.

The Peripheral Review Chloe Grace Moretz Amazon Prime Season 1
Credits: Amazon Studios

Based on William Gibson’s 2014 novel, the series surrounds a family: a witty sister, a thoughtful older brother, and an ill, blind mother. The series surrounds two siblings, who use their proficient gaming abilities to play for the wealthy in return for large paychecks. It appears that their urge to provide the pharmaceuticals for their mother makes them languid in ensuring the safety of the technology they “beta-test,” which is what entraps Flynne in a world of danger, oblivion, and sheer instability.

The Trailer

The trailer is rather chilling, as much like the pacing of the first two episodes it slowly depicts the cutting-edge technology that the siblings are testing and the quick flashes of futuristic London subtly depicts what is to ensue. However, with all the gripping fight scenes and elapsing colors used, the trailer’s composition fell short of what could have been an extremely compelling and mind-bending introduction to the series.

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The Peripheral Cast

Directed by Vincenzo Natali, the stars Chloe Grace Moretz as Flynne Fisher along with the following main cast:

  • Gary Carr as Wilf Netherton
  • Jack Reynor as Burton Fisher
  • JJ Feild as Lev Zubov
  • T’Nia Miller as Cherise Nuland
  • Louis Herthum as Corbell Pickett
  • Katie Leung as Ash
  • Melinda Page Hamilton as Ella Fisher
  • Chris Coy as Jasper Baker
  • Alex Hernandez as Tommy Constantine
  • Julian Moore-Cook as Ossian
  • Adelind Horan as Billy Ann Baker
  • Austin Rising as Leon
  • Eli Goree as Conner Penske
  • Charlotte Riley as Aelita West

Release Date and Where To Watch

The Peripheral Review Chloe Grace Moretz Amazon Prime Season 1

The Peripheral is available to stream on Amazon Prime and the first two episodes, The Pilot and Empathy Bonus were released on October 21st spurring mixed reviews. The upcoming episodes are to be released weekly within the following months keeping everyone waiting in anticipation.

Plot Review (Spoilers)

Burton is asked to “beta test” a new “cutting edge VR” for a “shit load of money” because of successfully displaying his proficiency in another game. However, it was Flynne who was the superior player behind Burton’s success in this respective game. This nuance and other glimpses provided throughout the episodes such as those of Flynne doing chores around the house, and acquiring pharmaceuticals for her ill mother establish the roundness in Flynne’s character early on: a cooperative sister, a considerate daughter, and a sharp player.

The Peripheral Review Chloe Grace Moretz Amazon Prime Season 1
Credits: Amazon Studios

During her first phase of testing the game, Flynne is mesmerized by how the events of the allegedly virtual game resonate as so real and physical. During these transitions from 2032, the Blue Ridge Mountains to the 2900 London setting the visual effects in terms of the colors and chiaroscuro are rather impressive. The settings are distinct from the countryside’s ruggedness to the gleaming and crisp future, and this cinematography makes it easier for the viewers to follow along with the events of the series.

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The Peripheral Review Chloe Grace Moretz Amazon Prime Season 1
Credits: Amazon Studios

No doubt, the production of this series is impressive, however, despite the long one-hour-plus episodes, it feels as though the series gets rather lost in creating these exceptional yet transient settings. Throughout the two episodes, we learn greatly about the family dynamics presented, however, the plot is not very well developed as it seems that the momentary fight scenes are loosely incorporated to facilitate the idea that Flynne and her family are in danger because of Flynne’s exposure to the so-called game.

The Peripheral attempts to develop suspense through its character, Wilf Netherton (played by Gary Carr). The episode fell short in this respect as whilst Flynne receives an anonymous phone call from Wilf for the first time, the viewers are immediately shown who the caller is which eliminates the suspense. Flynne later faces a strange and rather frightening encounter whilst she is closing up the 3D-printing store as a programmed voice ceaselessly begs Flynne to “sign back immediately” as she is “in grave danger.” Although this event is rather startling the horror and suspense remain dwindling as the viewers were initially exposed to whom the voice belonged.

Although the ideas projected are enthralling and substantial, it feels as though the series is intertwined in the battle between its production and the story it attempts to portray.

What to expect?

Thus far, only two episodes of the show have been released and the third, Haptic Drift, is soon to premiere on October 28th. The title of one of the episodes, “Fuck You and Eat Shit” seems rather juvenile as something to serve as a prologue into an episode. However, the show still has plenty of remaining episodes to further develop its plot and surpass all our expectations. Not releasing the entire series at once creates heightened anticipation as well as an expectation within viewers and only time will tell if the series is able to live up to it.

While interviewing for The Guardian recapping his book, this is what William Gibson had to say:

“a sort of two-headed dystopia in which it’s impossible to decide who’s got the worst deal”

The Peripheral Reviews

IMDb
Rotten Tomatoes

Our Score

The Peripheral is a thrilling series with impressive production and cinematography, however, the depiction of the plot does not live up to the same standards and could have been better.

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Reeva Faisal

First-Year Communications student at UC San Diego.

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