HBO’s The Last of Us looks like an early contender for one of the best and biggest TV shows of 2023, and it’s coming very soon.

Available to watch in the UK weekly on Sky Atlantic with NOW in January, the series is based on the smash hit PlayStation game developed by Naughty Dog.

Starring The Mandalorian and Game of Thrones actor Pedro Pascal and rising star Bella Ramsey (Catherine Called Birdy) as leads Joel and Ellie, fans can expect the same brutal and heartbreaking survival story that made the game one of the most acclaimed and popular of all time.

Here is everything you need to know about The Last of Us TV series...

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What channel is The Last of Us on in the UK?

Stream every episode of The Last of Us in the UK on Sky Atlantic with NOW.

It is available to stream every Monday morning on NOW and airs on the Sky Atlantic channel at 9pm.

The Last of Us episode list- UK release schedule

Following the release of episode 1, HBO has revealed a first-look at footage and events coming across the rest of season 1.

The Last of Us episode run times - How long is The Last of Us finale?

  • Episode 1: 81 minutes
  • Episode 2: 53 minutes
  • Episode 3: 75 minutes 
  • Episode 4: 45 minutes 
  • Episode 5: 59 minutes
  • Episode 6: 59 minutes 
  • Episode 7: 56 minutes 
  • Episode 8: 51 minutes 
  • Episode 9: 43 minutes

How did The Last of Us season 1 end?

Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey in The Last of Us

The Last of Us finale episode 9 reviewed - the ending explained

The Last of Us season 1 ended like the computer game with a burst of extreme violence from Joel as he removed Ellie from the hospital and Salt Lake City, killing Marlene and the Fireflies.

Joel and Ellie had spent season 1 trying to reach the hospital, but when Marlene explained to Joel that Ellie would need to die to create a cure for the virus, he refused to stand down.

After Joel massacred the soldiers and doctors at yhe hospital, he lied to Ellie that the medical team had failed to find a way to use her to create a cure.

At the end of the episode Ellie is despondant that she's failed to make a difference and also doesn't appear to entirely trust that Joel is telling her the truth.

The Last of Us episode 9 finale - First look trailer

"After all we've been through, it can't be for nothing".

The Last of Us has made us weep, scream and hug our loves ones over the last nine weeks and it's all about to reach a must-watch crescendo in the season 1 finale on 13 March.

Will Joel and Ellie get any closer to finding the fireflies, safety and figuring out how Ellie's immunity can help the world?

Who does Ashley Johnson play in the Last of Us finale?

Ashley Johnson Kathy Hutchins/Shutterstock
Ashley Johnson

Following on from a Troy Baker (Joel in the computer game) cameo in episode 8, Ashley Johnson is set to appear in the finale of the TV series.

Ashley Johnson will play Ellie's mum Anna, a character who was never seen in the computer game.

Producer and the creator of the computer game Neil Druckmann told Variety: "I had written a short story after we had shipped the game already. It was supposed to be an animated short, but it fell apart and didn’t come to be.

"There was a moment where we almost made it as DLC, but it fell apart. In our conversations, I brought it up to Craig and he was immediately excited by it, or as he would say 'activated.'

"We brought it to life in the most beautiful, poetic way, which is Ashley Johnson playing Ellie’s mom and she was the original actor for Ellie."

The Last of Us review - Rotten Tomatoes rating

The Last of Us appears to have broken the computer game adaptation curse with near universal acclaim from fans and critics.

On Rotten Tomatoes the series has a 99% rating from critics and 96% audience score.

Our review gave the show 5 stars.

And we believe the episode 3 love story for Bill (Nick Offerman) and Frank (Murray Bartlett) is one of the greatest TV episodes of all-time.

The Last of Us trailer - Soundtracked by Take on Me and first look at the Clickers

With just over a month to go until The Last of Us launches in the US and UK, the full official trailer has been released and fans of the computer game are starting to get seriously excited.

The trailer explores the emotional relationship between Ellie (Ramsay) and Joel (Pascal) and includes the A-Ha 80s pop classic Take On Me.

Take On Me is a song used in the computer game, which has a particular emotional resonance - but we won't include spoilers here.

The trailer also includes our first look at the terrifying Clickers, the infected monsters that plague the Last of Us universe.

What is The Last of Us TV show UK release date?

The Last of Us key art

Stream The Last of Us on Sky Atlantic with NOW on Mondays.

New episodes will be released weekly at 2am – the same time the show premieres in the US on HBO. 

It will also air Mondays at 9pm on Sky Atlantic.

How many episodes of The Last of Us season 1 are there?

The Last of Us season 1 will have nine episodes.

The video game's creator Neil Druckmann has promised that the TV series will stick closely to the original story - although he has told fans to expect some deviations and surprises.

Druckman said sticking closely to events in the game means the TV series will have a natural end point rather than running on indefinitely.

"We have no plans to tell any stories beyond adapting the games,” he told The Hollywood Reporter.

"We won’t run into the same issue as Game of Thrones since Part II doesn’t end on a cliffhanger."

The show's creator Craig Mazin added: "I don’t have any interest in a spinning-plates-go-on-forever show.

"When it becomes a perpetual motion machine, it just can't help but get kind of... stupid. Endings mean everything to me."

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The Last of Us trailer – First look at video game TV series

What is The Last of Us story?

The Last of Us is set 20 years after the destruction of modern civilization and follows hardened survivor Joel, who is hired to smuggle 14-year-old Ellie out of an oppressive quarantine zone.

What Joel believes to be a small job suddenly becomes a brutal and heartbreaking passage across the US, where the pair must depend on each other for survival.

The show will cover the rough plot of the original game, which follows Joel and Ellie from  a post-apocalyptic Boston to Salt Lake City. It is also expected to introduce elements of two other games in the series - The Last of Us Part II and prequel The Last of Us: Left Behind, which focused on Ellie.

Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey in The Last of Us

The Last of Us cast

The series will mix classic characters from the video game - like Joel and Ellie, played by Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey - alongside new creations for the TV series.

These new characters include ruthless revolutionary movement leader Kathleen, played by Yellowjackets stars Melanie Lynskey.

Graham Greene (Dances with Wolves) and Elaine Miles (Northern Exposure) will also play new characters Marlon and Florence, a married couple surviving alone in post-apocalyptic Wyoming.

The Last of Us: Meet the cast and characters >

Who are The Last of Us creators?

The team behind the TV series include the video game creator Neil Druckmann and Chernobyl’s Craig Mazin.

“Neil Druckmann is without question the finest storyteller working in the video game medium, and The Last of Us is his magnum opus,” said Mazin.

“Getting a chance to adapt this breathtaking work of art has been a dream of mine for years, and I’m so honored to do it in partnership with Neil.”

Druckmann was equally enthused about his new collaborator.

“From the first time I sat down to talk with Craig I was equally blown away by his approach to narrative and his love and deep understanding of The Last of Us,” he said.

“With Chernobyl, Craig and HBO created a tense, harrowing, emotional masterpiece. I couldn’t think of better partners to bring the story of The Last of Us to life as a television show.”

How will the TV series differ from the computer game?

Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey in The Last of Us

Series co-creator Craig Mazin revealed in an interview with BBC’s Must Watch that the series will include a storyline that didn’t make the final version of the computer game, which Neil Druckman revealed to him.

"He told me what it was, and I was like, 'OK, jaw-drop, that's going in. We have to do that'.

"The changes that we’re making are designed to fill things out and expand. Not to undo, but rather to enhance."

He added: "There’s no episodic nonsense here. The things that are new and enhancing of the storyline that we’re doing are connected in organic, serious ways that I think fans of the game and newcomers alike will appreciate."

In an interview with IGN, Neil Druckmann explained how the show will occasionally use some of the same dialogue he created for the game and then at other points deviate because of the different medium.

"In the game, there’' so much action you have to have to train the player about mechanics," said Druckmann.

"You have to have more violence and more spectacle to some degree than you would need on a TV show because you don’t need to train people on how to use a gun. So that’s something that's been really different, and HBO’s been great in pushing us to move away from hardcore action and focus more on the drama of the character.

"Some of my favorite episodes so far have deviated greatly from the story, and I can’t wait for people to see them."

Who is making The Last of US soundtrack?

The Last of Us soundtrack includes a number of memorable tracks from the computer game include Depeche Mode's Never Let Me Down Again and A-Ha's Take On Me.

The TV series has also included notable needledrops from The Cure, Pearl Jam and Linda Ronstadt's Long Long Time.

Neil Druckmann confirmed on Twitter that the computer game’s composer Gustavor Santaolalla would be returning to bring his atmospheric stylings to the TV series score.

Santaolalla’s TV and movies credits include Brokeback Mountain and Netflix true crime phenomenon Making a Murderer.

Why is The Last of Us computer game such a big deal?

The Last of Us was released on PlayStation and developed by Naughty Dog in 2013 and became a global phenomenon.

Games could play as Joel, who was smuggling teenager Ellie across a post-apocalyptic landscape and had to use firearms and improvised weapons to battle against humans and infected creatures.

The game won acclaim for its emotional narrative, visuals and rich characterisation. It sold over 1.3 million units in its first week and won numerous Game of the Year accolades and is generally considered one of the greatest games ever made.

It spawned a sequel, prequel, a comic book and was described by IGN as a “masterpiece”.

Stream The Last of Us on Sky Atlantic with NOW.

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