As any high schooler knows, Aldous Huxley’s dystopian novel Brave New World has a pretty definitive — and pretty grim — ending. Not so Peacock’s lavish TV adaptation. On top of stretching the story out over nine episodes, it concluded not so much with a happy ending as one that left things open for a second season. Ironically, the new streamer’s take has met with its own downer ending: As per Deadline, the second season, which didn’t necessarily need to happen, is now definitely not happening.
Like Huxley’s novel, the Peacock Brave New World is set centuries in the future, in an overly orderly, supposedly utopian London, whose genetically engineered inhabitants are separated at birth into classes, and whose most well-off tend to be so bored they need a drug, called soma, to feel happy. When citizens played by Jessica Brown Findlay and Harry Lloyd happen upon a “savage” from the outside world, played by Alden Ehrenreich, they find their perfect bubble on the verge of popping.
Though Brave New World has never been turned into a major motion picture — a version with Leonardo Di Caprio from Ridley Scott died a decade-plus ago — it’s had a better time with TV. (The last adaptation, a mere TV movie from 1998, featured Leonard Nimoy as nefarious Mustapha Mond.) This latest stab received some warm notices. But it never really entered the pop culture mainframe, despite being one of a major new streamer’s first and costliest gambles. Maybe they can try again and turn George Orwell’s 1984 into a 15-episode miniseries…with the option of catching up with Winston and Julia after they’ve been re-educated.