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Saturday, May 23, 2020

Snowpiercer 1.1: Promising Hybrid

With the summer heat approaching, it's always good to see a show about the cold.  Even better, in this time of Coronavirus lock down, a series in which some of the people are crowded together, and one character even yearns "to be alone for one hour," is very welcome.

But does Snowpiercer, a series about what's left of humanity on a frozen Earth hurtling around the world on a huge, myriad-car train, have what it takes aside from the summer and COVID-19?  Based on the first episode (I haven't seen the 2013 movie or read the graphic novel on which the movie and hence the series is based), I'd say: Yes!

And that's not because of the science fiction, at least thus far, which is pretty standard and thin, for a dystopian thriller: a bit of suspended animation, cars that grow lush food, and the train itself.  But Snowpiercer has promise in the detective part of its story: a "tailee" (people who weren't invited onto the train, got on by jumping on, and are kept in the back) who was a homicide detective before the Earth grew cold, called upon by the people in charge on the train to solve a murder.

In other words, the post-apocalyptic train could be a real winner, not because of the train itself, but because of the great backdrop the train provides for a murder story.  I've always been a big fan of science fiction/detective hybrids - Isaac Asimov's robot detective stories, John Stith's "Nick Naught" detective stories - which inspired me to write my own blend of the genres in The Chronology Protection Case, The Silk Code, and other stories.

So, I'm up for watching and reviewing the rest of Snowpiercer, especially after the big twist at the end of the first episode.  I'll see you back here in a few days, after the second episode airs on TNT.

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