If complex, slow-burn TV epics are your bag, but you’ve ripped through your lockdown telly watch list already, then listen up. We’ve got another binge-worthy box set for you to devour.
Based on a collection of retro-futurist paintings by Swedish artist Simon Stålenhag, Tales From The Loop fuses mundane country life with science fiction excitement. Set in a quasi-futuristic world in which beautifully shot rural landscapes are dotted with robots and strange alien craft, Amazon Prime Video’s new series fits perfectly alongside other dystopian sci-fi dramas like Westworld and Black Mirror.
Starring Rebecca Hall and Paul Schneider, the show tells the story of a group of small town residents who live above ‘The Loop’ – a machine built to unlock and explore the mysteries of the universe. As the story progresses, each character starts to experience things that were previously consigned to the world of science fiction.
We caught up with Hall and Schneider before the show’s release – and asked them why Tales From The Loop should be your next COVID-19 binge-watch.
You won’t find a more cinematic TV show
In our current golden age of television, there’s no shortage of big budget series on the box. But few of them can hold a candle to Tales From The Loop. Created by Nathaniel Halpern (Legion, The Killing) and with guest directors including Jodie Foster and Mark Romanek, TFTL has big-screen chops.
“Fans of sensual filmmaking, lush visuals and beautiful music are going to be really drawn to this,” says Paul Schneider, who plays a physicist working at ‘The Loop’. “It’s a filmmaking experience. Nathaniel has crafted these stories that don’t get in your face. Instead, they invite you to them. This is not disposable, this is crafted filmmaking. It’s like people making fine jewellery.”
‘Westworld’ fans are going to love it
Love delayed explanation and multi-layered timelines? Think Westworld is the peak of TV storytelling? Well, Rebecca Hall, who plays lead character Loretta in the show, says you’ll love Tales From The Loop.
“Westworld fans will enjoy this for sure,” she says. “It’s definitely got a sci-fi appeal and a fantastical appeal to it, but there’s always a [narrative] through-line. You have to put the puzzle pieces together, which is really enjoyable.”
“The show really encourage audience participation,” says Schneider. “It’s about family, secrets, jealousy, failure and everyone’s desire to have a meaningful life. There might be robot arms or seemingly impossible things happening but at the core of each episode lies the things that are happening to all of us every day.”
Philip Glass wrote the score
Not only does it look like an Oscar-winning arthouse flick, Tales From The Loop boasts a lush, orchestral score too, which is composed by none other than Philip Glass. The influential musician, whose collaborated with Iggy Pop, Patti Smith and Aphex Twin, has a super-fan on the cast too.
“He’s one of the 20th Century’s greatest composers,” says Schneider. “The tone of his music is a warm, but it has an otherworldly quality to it. The Tales From The Loop soundtrack sounds like it’s coming from outer space.”
It’s perfect for lockdown binge-watchers
Given how much time we all have on our hands at the moment, you might be in need of a new box set to fill your eyeballs with. Luckily, Tales From The Loop is perfectly suited for back-to-back viewing. Well, that’s what Rebecca Hall says, anyway.
“There’s something really satisfying in, once you’ve watched all of it, seeing how each episode relates to the other,” she says. But it’s also the ideal show to make you forget about being stuck indoors due to coronavirus. “It’s immersive escapism. You really feel transported away while watching it. But it’s also rooted in what it’s like to be a human. It’s a good blend of fantasy and escapism.”