Snowpiercer explained: Where does Netflix’s sci fi thriller fit?

Anthony O'Connor
·Contributor
·3-min read

Science fiction telly has been getting so good of late. We’ve had deadset masterpieces like The Expanse, sexy, violent delights like Westworld and amazing alternate history classics like For All Mankind. Hell, even the deeply uneven Star Trek: Discovery has its moments (when it can make its mind up about what it wants to be).

So, it’s kinda hard for a new sci-fi show to make a proper impact.

Snowpiercer, however, manages to break through, so let’s sit down, grab a cup of tea and have a little chinny about it then, shall we?

Melanie Cavill (Jennifer Connelly) in Snowpiercer
Netflix's Snowpiecer is smart sci fi served ice cold. Photo: Netflix

Wait, wasn’t there a movie called Snowpiercer?

There was! You’re thinking of Korean director Bong Joon-Ho’s 2013 film, starring Chris Evans and Tilda Swinton.

So, is this a continuation of the movie? Or a prequel?

Neither. It’s kind of a reboot of the movie’s continuity and also takes inspiration from the 1982 French graphic novel, Le Transperceneige. So, we’re probably not going to eventually run into Chris Evans or anything like that.

Aw man. Chris Evans goes alright, hey.

They don’t call him “America’s ass” for nothing.

So, what’s this show all about then?

Snowpiercer is a post-apocalyptic dystopian sci-fi tale in which the world has become a frozen wasteland and what’s left of humanity has crammed itself onto a technologically advanced train that perpetually circles the globe.

Crikey, how big is this train?

Daveed Diggs plays Andre Layton and Jennifer Connelly in Netflix Sci Fi film snowpiercer
Andre Layton (Daveed Diggs) and Melanie Cavill (Jennifer Connelly) ride a supertrain somehow even more fancy than a Tangara in Snowpiercer. Photo: Netflix

The train is flippin huge, consisting of 1,001 carriages! Some of them are luxurious and delightful, others - in the Tail part of the train - are shonky as hell. This represents the class divide between the haves and have-nots, which is the basis for much of the great drama throughout.

So, it’s not a comedy then?

It’s actually not as grim as it sounds, there’s a lot of heart here, along with some great social commentary. Plus the main story of season one revolves a murder on the train and former detective Andre Layton (Daveed Diggs) is brought from the Tail section to help solve it.

Daveed Diggs from Hamilton? He goes alright too…

Andre Layon (Daveed Diggs) in train in Netflix's Snowpiercer
The Tail of the train in Snowpiercer is where Andre Layon (Daveed Diggs) calls home and yes he's alright on the eyes. Photo: Netflix

You’re being super thirsty right now, hey.

Who else is in it?

Academy Award winner and luminous screen presence, Jennifer Connelly, plays Melanie Cavill, the Head of Hospitality and the Voice of the Train. Other than Daveed, she’s basically the main character and she’s incredible in the role.

There’s also Mickey Summer (Marriage Story), Alison Wright (The Americans) and Steven Ogg (Grand Theft Auto V, Better Call Saul).

That’s a hell of a cast!

Snowpiercer is a hell of a show. Clever, tense and very bingable, the entire first season is on Netflix, with season 2 currently airing weekly and season 3 confirmed!

If you dig imaginative stories of humanity’s near future, and great performances from A-list actors, you’re going to want to book a ticket on this train ride. Just don’t go expecting a quiet carriage.

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