Station Eleven new HBO mini series

Vertigo

Mad Mountain Man
Supporter
Joined
Jun 29, 2010
Messages
8,250
Location
Scottish Highlands
I've only just noticed this. HBO has produced a mini series of Emily St John Mandel's post apocalyptic book Station Eleven. I'm a bit wary but I guess I'll have to see about getting it. The first 3(!) episodes aired on 16th December 2021 and then it appears to be two episodes each week since. I know one or two people here like the book (@The Judge and @williamjm ??).

 
Last edited:

williamjm

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2006
Messages
954
I've only just noticed this. HBO has produced a mini series of Emily St John Mandel's post apocalyptic book Station Eleven. I'm a bit wary but I guess I'll have to see about getting it. The first 3(!) episodes aired on 16th December 2020 and then it appears to be two episodes each week since. I know one or two people here like the book (@The Judge and @williamjm ??).

I did like the book a lot, particularly the post-apocalyptic bits of it. The show seems to have had good reviews so someday I'll probably watch it, although right at the moment I'm not sure I'm necessarily in the mood for a story about a devastating global pandemic (albeit one that's far worse than Covid).
 

Vertigo

Mad Mountain Man
Supporter
Joined
Jun 29, 2010
Messages
8,250
Location
Scottish Highlands
I did like the book a lot, particularly the post-apocalyptic bits of it. The show seems to have had good reviews so someday I'll probably watch it, although right at the moment I'm not sure I'm necessarily in the mood for a story about a devastating global pandemic (albeit one that's far worse than Covid).
I almost never watch any tv these days so I'll probably be disappointed but nonetheless I'll probably get around to watching it someday!
 

The Judge

Truth. Order. Moderation.
Staff member
Joined
Nov 10, 2008
Messages
13,434
Location
nearly the New Forest
I don't watch TV, either, and I'm pretty sure we don't have access to HBO stuff, anyway, so I'd have to wait until it comes out on dvd/blu-ray. It's something I might consider getting in due course, but only when Covid is well behind us.

I have to confess I was initially put off by the typo in your post, Vertigo -- 3 episodes in December 2020 and 2 a week thereafter suggested padding on excessive proportions! :LOL: I'm pleased to see that there are actually only 10 episodes in all -- though if it's a success, what's the betting they do a Handmaid's Tale on it with second/subsequent series?!
 

Vertigo

Mad Mountain Man
Supporter
Joined
Jun 29, 2010
Messages
8,250
Location
Scottish Highlands
Whoops! I have now corrected that date (one benefit of being a 'supporter'!). I have already seen cries for a second series online! Assuming this first series covers the whole book (which I think it does) then I suspect I'll be far less interested in a continuation. I do understand that there have been some significant changes from the exact storyline (primarily to bring a love interest storyline in).
 

Sorceress 21

Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2022
Messages
6
It's an absurd story premise. A troop of meek naïve actors and actresses would wind up as slaves to the local warlord or on his dinner table as the main dish in any actual post-apocalyptic scenario. Not running from town to town to put on shows with no guns, no combat skills and nothing but fluffy bunny slippers and rainbows on their side.

It would take at least a hundred years after a civilization destroying pandemic before something like traveling actors could go more than 5 miles before being killed for the shoes on their feet and clothes on their back.

The book is silly and series is ridiculous in my opinion.
 

Vertigo

Mad Mountain Man
Supporter
Joined
Jun 29, 2010
Messages
8,250
Location
Scottish Highlands
I think that makes the assumption that the only possible outcome in a post apocalyptic scenario would be barbarism. There would certainly be some of that but I'm not convinced that would be the only outcome. I would say the responses to contemporary catastrophes have shown elements of both barbarism and civilised humanitarianism. The question is which would be most likely to be successful and I honestly thing the latter would be more successful.
 

Droflet

I don't teach chickens how to dance.
Joined
Apr 15, 2010
Messages
3,674
Location
Australia
Struggled to episode 5 and couldn't take the tedium anymore. Dull, boring and nothing is really happening. What was the studio thinking?
 

Vertigo

Mad Mountain Man
Supporter
Joined
Jun 29, 2010
Messages
8,250
Location
Scottish Highlands
Struggled to episode 5 and couldn't take the tedium anymore. Dull, boring and nothing is really happening. What was the studio thinking?
Oh dear, I must admit I did wonder a little whether there is enough material in the book for a series, even a mini series.
 

elvet

Easily amused
Supporter
Joined
Feb 21, 2006
Messages
2,544
Location
Ontario, Canada
This is not something I would normally watch, but I have exhausted pretty much everything of interest on all my streaming services. I read some reviews first and was somewhat assured that this was not going to be a violent tribal take on a post apocalyptic world, then tentatively watched the first episode. I liked it enough to dive into the whole series. I have not read the book.
What I liked was the running of multiple timelines from the onset of the collapse through to 20 years later. The focus on how people live their lives and have relationships takes precedence over tension and drama about how they survive, though there is some of that. It may be slow and boring to some who come to this expecting action and fighting, but I appreciated the intricate weaving of plot lines and character arcs. I do wish I knew something about Shakespeare. I feel I may have missed some minor elements because of that. Thumbs up from me.
 

Parson

This world is not my home
Supporter
Joined
Oct 11, 2006
Messages
10,780
Location
Iowa
but I have exhausted pretty much everything of interest on all my streaming services.
I understand what you mean. I am getting really picky about what I spend my time on. Being able to do that seems good to me, but I think that this is the ultimate expression of the amount of choice we now have. We had many less options before streaming and cable, but we watched more television and we had more of a shared experience with our friends and acquaintances. I have a hard time saying that the before times were worse times.
 

Elckerlyc

"Philosophy will clip an angel's wings."
Supporter
Joined
Aug 27, 2019
Messages
1,285
Location
The Netherlands
Station Eleven does not depict the usual post-apocalyptic world, where barbarism and violence dominate the landscape. I usually dismiss post-apocalyptic stories because of their pessimistic (and, I'm sure, false) view. People will cling to anything that makes their world pleasant and worth striving for. Cooperation is needed to rebuild a world that will make their survival a bit more likely. Civilization is a really old, old thing - though not always as great as say the Roman Empire - and not something that is shrugged of and forgotten once a catastrophic collapse has occurred. Sure, there will be rough encounters or individuals seeking power, but they will be incidental, not the common scene.

Anyway, that is the optimistic view about humanity I wish to maintain. In stead of being depressing (and basically boring, in that the message of the usual PA-story is generally about brutal violence and little else), stories like Station Eleven are far more fascinating and entertaining. I read the book awhile ago and enjoyed it. There are some plot changes in the series compared to the book, but overall I found these changes strengthened the plot as a whole.
Yes, if you expected action, warlords and depravity, you probably found it boring. But this was about people struggling to cope with the loss of their familiar and trusted world, the traumas of losing so many loved ones, the insecurities of staying alive and facing until then unimagined challenges. You need diversion every now and then, something meaningful and captivating to have a retrieve of this new, raw every day life. Where some find the idea of a traveling theater ridiculous, I think ideas like this could be a life saver. It certainly was to the people of the Traveling Symphony.
The story follows several people, across time, which makes for a somewhat jumpy plot. It shows how the lives of several people, even after 20 years and a collapse of civilization, still were entangled. It also is a way of showing the mental state of Kirsten, the main MC, and how she is dealing with the traumatic events she endured as a 8 year old girl, mixing fantasy (the comic-book Station Eleven), Shakespearean plays and real events.
A entertaining and fascinating TV-series.

PS
I haven't seen or heard anything about prolongation of the series. Nor do I think that would be appropriate.
 

Sorceress 21

Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2022
Messages
6
I think that makes the assumption that the only possible outcome in a post apocalyptic scenario would be barbarism. There would certainly be some of that but I'm not convinced that would be the only outcome. I would say the responses to contemporary catastrophes have shown elements of both barbarism and civilised humanitarianism. The question is which would be most likely to be successful and I honestly thing the latter would be more successful.



Well if you want to look at this light hearted story as an uplifting positive post-apocalyptic fantasy then there's nothing wrong with that. However, if you truly believe that barbarism and brutality won't be the new normal after any post apocalyptic scenario then my friend, I submit you're not going to live long if an apocalypse actually occurs and you live through the initial "event." Which is probably for the best anyway because who would want to survive to see that world. While I am well prepared flexibly for a multitude of different scenarios I'd certainly prefer to be taken out by the "event" itself. Especially because I'd miss beer and air conditioning. Not to mention antibiotics and toilet paper.

Unfortunately, what would occur in a post-apocalyptic world isn't a matter or optimism. It's a matter of fact based on the fundementals of humanity's nature. The first civilizations of ancient history didn't form from fairness and civility. They formed from barbarism and we're led by tyrants who were strong enough to not only take what they wanted but keep what they took.

Sadly, humans are humans and while we are communal and social by nature, we're innately also territorial and selfish. Civility comes from civilization, it doesn't create it. Civility is also largely dependent on the presence of law and order and the enforcement mechanisms present in a functional governing body. Take that away and leave desperate people to their own devices and they'll act desperately. We're tribal and competitive. Given the fundamentals of human psychology it's really no surprise that the result of removing the rules and the social and physical infrastructure of a functional society would 100% plunge mankind into decades, if not centuries of barbarism. The strong would prey on the weak as a matter of normality. Small isolated communities might initially survive and even maintain a small semblance of civility but only as long as supplies last and then only until a stronger more aggressive group finds it. One need only look at history to understand how this would all play out. The truth is we're really no more socially evolved than we were 2000 years ago and in some ways, we have even de-volved. The only real difference between civilization of today and, say, two millennia ago is technology.

Eventually, assuming the environment is still at least partially viable enough for agriculture, feudalism would spark up and would re-form and small, organized communities would form which would eventually lead to a recovery. However that would take a very long time. The first functional "communities" of post-apocalyptic world would be dictatorships of all varieties. Most will be tyrannically governed but a few, perhaps, could governed with a small element of fairness. Eventually trade and supply lines would be re-established, new and well organized governments would form from the feudal dictatorships and slowly freedom and civility will return to the world.

That timeline depends entirely on the nature of the apocalyptic event of course. A bad enough event could set us back to the stone age.
 

Vertigo

Mad Mountain Man
Supporter
Joined
Jun 29, 2010
Messages
8,250
Location
Scottish Highlands
Well if you want to look at this light hearted story as an uplifting positive post-apocalyptic fantasy then there's nothing wrong with that. However, if you truly believe that barbarism and brutality won't be the new normal after any post apocalyptic scenario then my friend, I submit you're not going to live long if an apocalypse actually occurs and you live through the initial "event." Which is probably for the best anyway because who would want to survive to see that world. While I am well prepared flexibly for a multitude of different scenarios I'd certainly prefer to be taken out by the "event" itself. Especially because I'd miss beer and air conditioning. Not to mention antibiotics and toilet paper.

Unfortunately, what would occur in a post-apocalyptic world isn't a matter or optimism. It's a matter of fact based on the fundementals of humanity's nature. The first civilizations of ancient history didn't form from fairness and civility. They formed from barbarism and we're led by tyrants who were strong enough to not only take what they wanted but keep what they took.

Sadly, humans are humans and while we are communal and social by nature, we're innately also territorial and selfish. Civility comes from civilization, it doesn't create it. Civility is also largely dependent on the presence of law and order and the enforcement mechanisms present in a functional governing body. Take that away and leave desperate people to their own devices and they'll act desperately. We're tribal and competitive. Given the fundamentals of human psychology it's really no surprise that the result of removing the rules and the social and physical infrastructure of a functional society would 100% plunge mankind into decades, if not centuries of barbarism. The strong would prey on the weak as a matter of normality. Small isolated communities might initially survive and even maintain a small semblance of civility but only as long as supplies last and then only until a stronger more aggressive group finds it. One need only look at history to understand how this would all play out. The truth is we're really no more socially evolved than we were 2000 years ago and in some ways, we have even de-volved. The only real difference between civilization of today and, say, two millennia ago is technology.

Eventually, assuming the environment is still at least partially viable enough for agriculture, feudalism would spark up and would re-form and small, organized communities would form which would eventually lead to a recovery. However that would take a very long time. The first functional "communities" of post-apocalyptic world would be dictatorships of all varieties. Most will be tyrannically governed but a few, perhaps, could governed with a small element of fairness. Eventually trade and supply lines would be re-established, new and well organized governments would form from the feudal dictatorships and slowly freedom and civility will return to the world.

That timeline depends entirely on the nature of the apocalyptic event of course. A bad enough event could set us back to the stone age.
Well I'm clearly not going to convince such a strongly held and jaundiced few of human nature. My experience is that the majority of people are actually well intentioned and I certainly don't wish to live my life with such a pessimistic view. I believe that humans are quite resilient and capable of rebuilding. There would be a lot of stuff left that would help in that. But I'm going to leave it there. There is another thread which discuses exactly that issue. Whilst this one is about a tv series. I don't not watch something like star trek just because I know it is obviously fantasy. Any speculation about such things can only be just that - speculation. And please don't assume that just because someone has an optimistic outlook they will inevitably be the first to die.
 
Last edited:

svalbard

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Joined
Jun 28, 2007
Messages
2,502
I think that makes the assumption that the only possible outcome in a post apocalyptic scenario would be barbarism. There would certainly be some of that but I'm not convinced that would be the only outcome. I would say the responses to contemporary catastrophes have shown elements of both barbarism and civilised humanitarianism. The question is which would be most likely to be successful and I honestly thing the latter would be more successful.

Unfortunately I think it will be the first with a hope that civilization triumphs in the end. We only need to look at the rather slight touch of end of world scenarios with the recent Covid Pandemic. The emptying of supermarket shelves at a vague threat was rather telling. I work in the industry and we can only feed a city for less than a week with existing stocks. What if there was a complete collapse of technology, heating, electricity, running water etc. Barbarism is a giving. We are one blackout from a dark age.

The book left me cold, hence no rush to watch the series. Maybe it was the hyped up reviews and I thought here was another McCarthy or Cronin. It just did not work for me.
 

Similar threads


Top