|Created by||Craig Silverstein|
|Based on||The Short Stories|
by Ken Liu
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||8|
|Running time||40–44 minutes|
|Original network||AMC+ (season 1)|
Amazon Prime Video (season 2)
|Original release||September 1, 2022 –|
Pantheon is an American adult animated science fiction drama television series created by Craig Silverstein. The series is based on a series of short stories by Ken Liu. The series premiered on September 1, 2022 on AMC+. In January 2023, the series was canceled after one season, despite a two-season order. It was also removed from AMC+ and HIDIVE.
In 2001, genius visionary Stephen Holstrom and founder of Logorhythms, a technological corporation, speaks about his mission to reach digital immortality with the advancement "Uploaded Intelligence" or "UI," - scanning the human brain and uploading it on the Cloud. Years later, after Holstrom's death, Logorythms continues his project, using various illegal and unethical means to reach their goals.
Shaken by the death of her beloved father two years prior, Maddie Kim is a bullied teen who receives mysterious help from someone online, who is soon thereafter revealed to be her deceased father, David. David explains that his consciousness has been successfully uploaded to Logorhythms' cloud following an experimental and destructive brain scan, and that Logorythms lied to his family about the results. Wanting to save her father, Maddie seeks help from others and eventually gains custody of her father's U.I., but the family is still facing danger from Logorythms.
At the same time, Caspian, a troubled yet highly intelligent teenage boy is embroiled in his own intrigue involving Logorythms. Since birth, Caspian's life has been a lie, raised unaware that he is in a constructed environment and constantly monitored by Logorythms, to one day fulfill a specific purpose. Through a chatroom, Caspian comes into contact with Maddie and the two aid each other in searching for the truth, which also helps Caspian gradually learn the truth about his reality.
Chanda, an engineer from the India-based Alliance Telecom company, wishes to use U.I. technology to usher in a digital utopia. After meeting with a rival company, Chanda's corrupt boss has him kidnapped and reveals that Alliance Telecom has secretly been conducting U.I. experiments, and Chanda himself is scanned, resulting in his death in the real world with his U.I. uploaded to perform menial tasks within Alliance's systems. With help from previous U.I. victims, Chanda escapes his virtual prison and becomes a rogue wildcard.
With Maddie and Caspian stuck in the middle, a global conspiracy unfolds that threatens to trigger a new kind of world war.
Cast and characters
- Katie Chang as Maddie Kim, a 14-year-old withdrawn, shy, and strong-willed high school girl. Maddie has an affinity for technology and was taught computer programming by her father. Smart and determined, Maddie displays a lot of bravery as she gets entangled in a large conspiracy.
- Paul Dano as Caspian, a 17-year-old sullen yet kind teenager. A computer science genius, Caspian has unknowingly been raised as special Logorhythms operation for the purpose of being the "key" to Holstrom's U.I legacy.
- Daniel Dae Kim as David Kim, Maddie's loving, altruistic father and a programming genius. Afflicted with a terminal illness at age 43, David agreed to Logorhythms's U.I. procedure to preserve his mind. With help from his family and Laurie, he was able to escape Logorhythms.
- Rosemarie DeWitt as Ellen Kim, Maddie's protective and down-to-earth mother, and a college history professor
- Aaron Eckhart as Cary, Caspian's father and a secret agent of Logorhythms, having worked closely with Holstrom before his death. While he plays the role of an abusive husband, Cary genuinely cares for the boy and wants to protect him.
- Chris Diamantopoulos as Pope, current CEO of Logorhythms, who is seeking to realize the dreams of his best friend, Holstrom
- Raza Jaffrey as Chanda, a brilliant and humble engineer from Alliance Telecom who has interest in U.I. After being killed and forcefully uploaded as an U.I. by Prasad, Chanda was able to escape his cage and become the third rogue U.I.
- Ron Livingston as Waxman, a Logorhythms employee and part of the Julius's inner circle. An old friend to David Kim, he was the one who recruited David to help them with their U.I. research.
- Taylor Schilling as Renee, Caspian's mother, a secret agent of Logorhythms, and Holstrom's former lover. While she acts as a timid and caring mother, Renee coldly sees her son as an assignment.
- Heather Lind as Laurie, a former 31-year-old investment manager on Wall Street. After a car crash three years prior left her in critical condition, she underwent Logorhythms's U.I. procedure and was then used for her marketing talent. Laurie is the first successful U.I. and became allies with Maddie and her family.
- Scoot McNairy as Cody, an artist and Laurie's husband. Despite previously being lied to by Logorhythms that Laurie's I.U. procedure was a failure, Cody eventually reunites with his wife and they work together with the Kim family.
- Krystina Alabado as Hannah, Nicole
- Kevin Durand as Anssi, Chauffuer, Manager, Arkady Koslov
- Grey Griffin as Erin, Ms. Hunter, Assistant, Samara, Zhong
- Michael Kelly as CEO, Carl Van Leuwen, Air Force Officer, Angry Man
- Anika Noni Rose as Nicole, Side-Pony, Facility Manager, Ballet Teacher, News Anchor, Nurse, Joey
- Samuel Roukin as Gabe, Ellen's kind and gentle co-worker who became her boyfriend after David's death
- Odeya Rush as Samara, a popular girl at Berkshire Academy and the ringleader of Maddie's bullies.
- William Hurt as Stephen Holstrom, the deceased founder of Logorhythms and a legendary genius billionaire. Although he died before perfecting uploaded intelligence, his loyal followers carry on his work.
- Maude Apatow as Justine, a blunt and somewhat apathetic student at Berkshire Academy that Maddie befriends
- Nyima Funk as Deirdre Ryan, an Logorhythms employee and part of the Julius's inner circle
- Ajay Mehta as Prasad, the corrupted CEO of Alliance Telecom, a rival company to Logorhythms, and Chanda's boss
- Madhur Jaffrey as Preethi, Chanda's mother
- Tunde Adebimpe as Stephan Gold, a member of the U.S government
- Clyde Kusatsu as Ping, a Chinese former criminal and U.I.
- Ken Leung as Bai Fu, a Chinese former criminal and U.I.
- Vincent Ventresca, as Brother Kenneth, Tech
- Corey Stoll as Jake, News Anchor
- Laura Meakin as Alon Aboutboul
- SungWon Cho as Teacher
- Julian Lerner as Oliver
- Magnus Mclain as Brandon
- Annabella Sciorra as News Anchor, Government Official
- Lara Pulver as News Anchor
- Quinn Hawking as Lieutenant, News Anchor
- Jacob Sartorius as Bored Boy
- Suraj Sharma as IT Officer
Season 1 (2022)
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original release date |
|1||1||"Pantheon"||Dwooman||Craig Silverstein||September 1, 2022|
|2||2||"Cycles"||Mel Zwyer||Albert Kim||September 1, 2022|
|3||3||"Reign of Winter"||Ed Tadem||Taii K. Austin||September 8, 2022|
|4||4||"The Gods Will Not Be Chained"||Micah Gunnell|
|Andy Parker||September 15, 2022|
|5||5||"Zero Daze"||Mel Zwyer||Julia Cooperman||September 22, 2022|
|With all of Alliance Telecom systems down, Pope and Waxman learns of Chanda's U.I existence, but unable to anything about him since Alliance Telecom refuses to collaborate. Chanda calls his mother, expressing feeling lost without a purpose. Caspian pressures Hannah to tell him the truth - her real name is Rachel Brooks, an actor hired by a shell company for a social experiment. Caspian promises not to get her in trouble and gets her help in fooling Renee. Using hidden cameras, Caspian sees Renee being inform that Cary has gone rogue. When Renee takes Caspian on a "trip", he hijacks the car and returns home to find Cary. Cary reveals that Caspian is a clone of Holstrom and that Logorhythms has been grooming Caspian to fix the natural flaw that degrades U.I's stability. After Renee returns, she non-fatally shoots Cary, but is unable to stop Caspian and Cary from leaving. After manages to locate and destroy David's servers, Maddie's group has Cody buy new servers and store them in the basement. While dodging Logorhythms' attempts to track them, David and Laurie hacks into the Norway site and steals secret files. They learn about Chanda and Caspian, with David believing Caspian will be able to help them.|
|6||6||"You Must Be Caspian"||Mel Zwyer||Scott Gunnison Miller||September 29, 2022|
|Unable to go to any hospitals, Caspian reach out to Maddie to help Cary, leaving him with Cody to take him to a hospital. While Pope speaks to Van Leuwen, he is informed of Cary's location. With both parties wary of each other, Caspian is unwilling to help Maddie's group and tries to process his existential crisis by watching his project files. Overwhelmed by the videos, Caspian and Maddie bonds over their crazy lives. Open to meet David and Laurie, Caspian takes a look at their code and notice the flaw is a memory problem. Meanwhile, Chanda create plans of a virtual space when he finds that Laurie, who has been glitching more frequently, calls his mother in an effort to reach him. Interrupting their conversation with Caspian, Chanda speaks with David and Laurie. Chanda is livid to learn about the design flaw and has no faith that Caspian can solve it. Chanda reveals that he send U.I blueprints to many global institutes in hopes to have more U.Is and guide them. Alarmed by the news of an arms race, Caspian leaves Maddie's house, determine to live his own life before the world blows itself up.|
|7||7||"We Are You"||Ed Tadem||Michael Taylor||October 6, 2022|
|Using their own U.Is, many world governments are making many political maneuver against each other, with them keeping the flaw a secret from the U.Is. Caspian takes shelter at church and teaches math at a youth center, leading to a certain realization. After meeting with NSA officials and checking on Cary, Pope meets Caspian and offers Caspian full control of Logorhythms if he comes with him, which Caspian agrees to. Laurie and Chanda argues over revealing the U.I program to the world, but David suggests to meet the other U.Is to get their help to solve the flaw. Ellen contacts Waxman, who gives them a tracking program for locate the other U.Is. However, none of U.Is believe David's group about the flaw and a battle ensues. Laurie decides to go public and says goodbye to Cody, asking him not to recover her source code in Norway. As Laurie finished recording her message, Chanda sends a missile at Laurie’s servers and warns Maddie he will destroy David too if they get in his way.|
|8||8||"The Gods Will Not Be Slain"||Micah Gunnell|
|Craig Silverstein||October 13, 2022|
|As more nations create U.Is and utilize their power to cyberattack each other, Caspian informs Maddie of his plans to dismantle Logorhythms and the U.I program. After arriving to Norway, Caspian begins enacting his goal and Pope complies without protest. Against Maddie and Ellen's wishes, Cody tries to go public like Laurie wanted, but lacks evidence to make real headway. Chanda steals nuclear codes and is able to get the Chinese U.Is on his side. Knowing David had a copy of Laurie’s message, Chanda threatens to launch a missile unless David surrenders himself to him. At Maddie's urging, David fights back and manages to redirect the missile, but is overwhelmed by Chanda and his allies. In one last effort, David uploads Laurie’s video across the entire globe, using up the rest of his energy in the process. As the entire internet goes offline and people are protesting, Pope explains to Caspian that people will still exploit U.Is and urges him to choose a one U.I he trusts to rules over the rest. Caspian wants David to be the ruling, flaw-free U.I but learns of his demise from Maddie. However, Pope reveals Logorhythms possesses a copy of David. As Caspian begins to work on solving the flaw, Maddie and Ellen mourn David as their neighbors approach them since their house is the only with power.|
On August 3, 2018, it was reported that AMC opened a writers room for the animated drama Pantheon. On March 10, 2020, AMC had given the production a 2-season series order consisting eight episodes each. Pantheon is AMC's first hour-long animated drama original series. The series is created by Craig Silverstein who also executive produced the series. AMC Studios and Titmouse, Inc. are involved with producing the series. The series is based on Ken Liu's short stories "The Gods Will Not Be Chained", "The Gods Will Not Be Slain", "The Gods Have Not Died in Vain", "Staying Behind" and "Altogether Elsewhere, Vast Herds of Reindeer" from the short fictions collection The Hidden Girl and Other Stories.
A second season was in production by August 2022. On January 8, 2023, AMC canceled the series after one season, despite a two-season order. It was also removed from the AMC's streaming service and HIDIVE. In September 2023, Amazon Prime Video announced that it picked up the series for release.
On July 23, 2020, Taylor Schilling, Rosemarie DeWitt, Aaron Eckhart, and Paul Dano were cast in starring roles. On August 7, 2020, Daniel Dae Kim, Katie Chang, Ron Livingston, Chris Diamantopoulos, Raza Jaffrey, Scoot McNairy, Anika Noni Rose, Grey Griffin, SungWon Cho, Kevin Durand, Samuel Roukin, and Krystina Alabado joined the cast in starring roles. On February 18, 2021, William Hurt, Maude Apatow, Corey Stoll, and Lara Pulver were cast in starring roles.
The series premiered on September 1, 2022 on AMC+ and HIDIVE. The first episode was available for all viewers on HIDIVE and on AMC+ official YouTube. After its removal from AMC and HIDIVE platforms, Amazon Prime Video set a release date for the second season on October 15, 2023.
On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the series holds a 100% approval rating based on 15 critic reviews, with an average rating of 8.2/10. The website's critics consensus reads, "A sophisticated treatise on consciousness and mortality, this absorbing mind-bender earns its own place in the pantheon of exemplary animated television." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 77 out of 100 based on 8 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
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