Brave New World: New adaptation of Aldous Huxley's dystopian novel starring Jessica Brown Findlay is a dark, dazzling delight

The full Box Set of Brave New World - the adaptation of Aldous Huxley's dystopian novel - is on Sky One with NOW TV, and it’s stunning. Here are our top reasons to watch...

By Alex Fletcher Published: 9 October 2020 - 1.17pm
Drama NOW TV

Brave New World

Watch the Brave New World Box Set on Sky One with NOW TV

Aldous Huxley’s novel Brave New World is approaching its 90th anniversary, but despite the passing decades, the novel feels timely for a remake in 2020.

Dark dystopian dramas are very much on trend in recent years, so it makes sense that a shiny big-budget adaptation of Huxley’s classic should reach the screen.

Writing in 2017, Margaret Atwood argued that Huxley’s story remained “as vibrant, fresh and somehow shocking” as it ever has.

This new update on the story, which features an A-list cast including Jessica Brown Findlay, Harry Lloyd, Alden Ehrenreich and Demi Moore, has switched the gender and race of some of the characters, so although the central horrors and Huxley's striking messages remain, this feels like a new vision for the 21st century.

The updated story follows citizens of New London, Bernard Marx (Harry Lloyd – Game of Thrones) and Lenina Crowne (Jessica Brown Findlay – Downton Abbey) and resident of the Savage Lands, John the Savage (Alden Ehrenreich - Solo: A Star Wars Story).

New London has a rigid social order, a perfect pharmaceutical called Soma, and a culture of instant gratification and ubiquitous sex. So when Bernard and Lenina cross paths with John in the Savage Lands, all their lives, structures and beliefs are disrupted.

Here are three reasons you won’t want to miss this twist-filled drama…

1. Aldous Huxley's book feels as relevant as ever in 2020

Hannah John-Kamen in Brave New World

“They want the new thing because with every new thing there’s a chance it could be the big thing,” explains Hannah John-Kamen’s Wilhelmina midway through the series.

“So, we give them a new thing: bigger, hotter, harder, faster — we have to give it to them like that because, if we don’t, they might realise that the new thing isn’t new at all. It’s really just the old thing but more of it.

“And if it’s old, it’s boring, and if it’s boring, they will turn it off. And then they’ll be alone with their thoughts.”

It’s a deliciously delivered groups of lines, grappling with the vapidity of consumerism and how we’re all growing numb to technology and world around us

Shows like Brave New World

The Handmaid’s Tale (Channel 4)

Westworld (NOW TV)

Snowpiercer (Netflix)

Altered Carbon (Netflix)

The Expanse (Amazon Prime Video)

Dark (Netflix)

George Orwell’s 1984 is often quoted as the world unravels under the pressure of distressing societal and political events, but Huxley’s warnings in Brave New World feel just as pertinent.

The fear that we’re becoming lazy and unaware of the world around us, taking comfort and convenience ahead of criticism and clear heads, feels more relevant in an age of information overload.

Alden Ehrenreich told Variety: “[It] resonates way more to me every time I click ‘Yes' to some [online] permission I’m being asked to click to – that I don’t read at all because I don’t have the time or patience to read through the thing. 

“That’s a vision of the world to me that feels very dangerous.”

2. Demi Moore, Harry Lloyd, Jessica Brown Findlay and that envy-inducing cast

Demi Moore in Brave New World

Lloyd, Findlay and Ehrenreich are the central trio in the story, but Brave New World has a cast that would be the envy of any TV drama in 2020.

Hannah John-Kamen, star of Killjoys, Black Mirror and Netflix’s twist-filled The Stranger, along with the always remarkable Nina Sosanya (Little Birds, W1A) are two of the show’s secret weapons.

But perhaps the biggest and most surprising star in the series is Demi Moore, who delivers a wonderful performance as John’s mother Linda, bringing pain and beauty to a character who has been broken by the dark world.

3. It looks - and sounds - incredible

New London in Sky One's Brave New World

From the futuristic world of New London, filled with pill-popping orgies and techno parties to the trashy, junk-filled Savage Lands, no expense was spared on bringing Brave New World onto the screen.

And the show’s soundtrack lives up the beauty of the cinematography with some brilliantly positioned twists and cliffhangers, accompanied by musical moments that will have you straight on Spotify.

From the closing shots of episode 1 that are accompanied by Radiohead classic Fake Plastic Trees to songs by Goldfrapp, Maps, Stevie Nicks, Justice, Neil Young and Lou Reed, the show’s musical team are on point every single time.

How to watch Brave New World

Harry Lloyd in Brave New World

Brave New World star Joseph Morgan, who plays CJack60, told CinemaBlend: “For me, I'm watching these two at a time. I know there's only nine, but I just feel like you immerse yourself in that world. You can't resist it.

“You know when the show's really good, you know when it finishes you want to put the next episode on straight away.

“They leave you with a bloody cliffhanger at the end of each episode, so you can't help but watch the next one. So, definitely binge-watch it.”

Watch the Brave New World Box Set on Sky One with the NOW TV Entertainment Pass.