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The Peripheral


JohnC
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https://www.thewrap.com/westworld-creators-jonathan-nolan-lisa-joy-the-peripheral-series-amazon/

 

Westworld's Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan are adapting the William Gibson book for Amazon.

 

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Gibson’s book follows Flynne Fisher, a young woman in near-future Arkansas. After playing what she’s been told is an experimental video game, Flynne finds herself in the middle of an abduction investigation that leads her into a different world.

 

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  • 4 years later...
  • 5 weeks later...

I read the book in 2012 and remember realising that William Gibson was a regular reader of Warren Ellis blog, because not only did it reference all the same things that were linked, but they were even featured in the same order!

 

”Oh right, he saw that video of the flipping cube robots, oh he saw that story about the buried diggers in London, and the one on defensive architecture that’s concealed as normal architecture”, it was like 12 in a row.

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I think Gibbo relies a lot on other people to turn up the raw material he puts into his books. In one of his older books, Zero History, the acknowledgements were basically a list crediting all the interesting ideas in the book to other people.

 

I'm quite looking forward to this series. The book had a great setup, memorable characters, and some interesting concepts, but was really quite dull. Even the action sequences were pretty inert. It didn't work as a novel, but it's wide-open for someone else to come in and use the same components to make something a bit more satisfying and better-paced.

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What's interesting with Gibbo is the density of his writing more than his ideas. You literally have to read his paragraphs over and over again. 

 

I think adaptation really needs little of what makes his writing interesting so it's not bound by the original.

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  • 2 weeks later...

There's a lot happening in the first episode but there's some real quality. The visuals in the London sections are amazing and I like the cyberpunk vibes of the broader universe. Some bits are pretty cringe though - like when they're talking about video games. 

 

Gonna keep watching for sure.

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The first episode was really good - it gets to the good stuff a LOT quicker than the book did. The only bum note was the archaic way that characters talk about games and the way that beating “level 100” is apparently some kind of amazing feat. Gibson is amazing at coming up with realistic, convincing names and terminology like haptic recon or Milagros Coldiron, you would have thought they could have done something similar for future game slang. 
 

That aside, there were some really nice details in there, like the way that Flynne sent her avatar backflipping round the hallway when she was left on her own. That’s exactly what people seem to do when they’re waiting for something to happen in a game - a neat observation. 

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38 minutes ago, K said:

 

That aside, there were some really nice details in there, like the way that Flynne sent her avatar backflipping round the hallway when she was left on her own. That’s exactly what people seem to do when they’re waiting for something to happen in a game - a neat observation. 

It would have been even more realistic if she had smashed every breakable object in the room.

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I’m not sure about this yet. There’s some stuff happening that seems off and I don’t have enough confidence in the show yet to know if it’s gonna be explained later, if I’m not understanding things or if it’s just badly handled.


 

Spoiler

Stuff like her going into the simulation at the start, was that just a tutorial for when she data time travels to the future later on? It’s not “real” as her bike dissolves after she rides it, people appear in front of her, the magic doorway stuff and road directions. All Sim stuff. But her mission was to kidnap the girl to get her eye, was all that bit with her using her bro’s avatar a sim? Why did they need to put the eye in her head, they couldn’t just hold it up to the scanner? Why is she controlling a peripheral if it’s a sim, she sees it’s robotic hand? Is there a point that they switched from sim to the future and if so how is the eye able to be from the sim? I was hungover when I watched it so maybe I’ve missed something here.

 

Another thing that seems very off. The local cop gets killed in a hit and run but the next day another local cop seemingly knows nothing about it? Driving around listing to tunes as if it didn’t happen. Maybe nobody has driven down that road? Maybe nobody liked him? Maybe the people from the future got the body hidden? 

Just not sure on this one yet, but hoping it wins me over as it sure is pretty.

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Having watched both episodes last night, I have to say I really enjoyed it.  It gave me Watchdog vibes the way the first part played out.  I found the characters likeable, intriguing and having not read the book(s) I have no idea where its going.

 

Im looking forward to the next episode, anyone know when it's out and will they be weekly?

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2 hours ago, SpagMasterSwift said:

I’m not sure about this yet. There’s some stuff happening that seems off and I don’t have enough confidence in the show yet to know if it’s gonna be explained later, if I’m not understanding things or if it’s just badly handled.


 

  Hide contents

Stuff like her going into the simulation at the start, was that just a tutorial for when she data time travels to the future later on? It’s not “real” as her bike dissolves after she rides it, people appear in front of her, the magic doorway stuff and road directions. All Sim stuff. But her mission was to kidnap the girl to get her eye, was all that bit with her using her bro’s avatar a sim? Why did they need to put the eye in her head, they couldn’t just hold it up to the scanner? Why is she controlling a peripheral if it’s a sim, she sees it’s robotic hand? Is there a point that they switched from sim to the future and if so how is the eye able to be from the sim? I was hungover when I watched it so maybe I’ve missed something here.

 

Another thing that seems very off. The local cop gets killed in a hit and run but the next day another local cop seemingly knows nothing about it? Driving around listing to tunes as if it didn’t happen. Maybe nobody has driven down that road? Maybe nobody liked him? Maybe the people from the future got the body hidden? 

Just not sure on this one yet, but hoping it wins me over as it sure is pretty.

 

The book the series is based on explains most of the things you mention. They might change stuff for the series - the details of the plot seem different - but so far the technology and the world are consistent with the novel.

 

Spoiler

The dissolving bike I think indicates its constructed from nano assemblers, rather than it being virtual. 

 

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I’ve watched most of the first ep and it seems pretty good to me so far. Broadly faithful to the novel I guess - luckily there’s loads I can’t remember so it doesn’t annoy me where it’s different.

 

Couldn’t they get a better actor for the brother though? This one has a stupid face.

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