Station Eleven (miniseries)
|Created by||Patrick Somerville|
|Based on||Station Eleven|
by Emily St. John Mandel
|Music by||Dan Romer|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||10|
|Running time||44–59 minutes|
|Distributor||ViacomCBS Global Distribution|
|Original network||HBO Max|
|Original release||December 16, 2021 –|
January 13, 2022
Station Eleven is an American post-apocalyptic dystopian fiction miniseries created by Patrick Somerville based on the 2014 novel of the same name by Emily St. John Mandel. The miniseries premiered on HBO Max on December 16, 2021, and ran for ten episodes until January 13, 2022.
Twenty years after a flu pandemic resulted in the collapse of civilization, a group of survivors who make their living as traveling performers encounter a violent cult led by a man whose past is unknowingly linked to a member of the troupe.
- Mackenzie Davis as Kirsten Raymonde, a young woman who is now the star actress with the Traveling Symphony
- Himesh Patel as Jeevan Chaudhary, an audience member the night of the pandemic who takes care of Kirsten
- David Wilmot as Clark Thompson, Arthur Leander's former best friend who now leads an isolated compound at the Severn City airport
- Nabhaan Rizwan as Frank Chaudhary, Jeevan's brother, a writer who became a recluse after an injury left him disabled
- Daniel Zovatto as Tyler Leander, the son of Arthur and Elizabeth, he leads a group of rogue children.
- Julian Obradors as young Tyler
- Philippine Velge as Alexandra, a younger member of the Traveling Symphony
- Lori Petty as Sarah, the co-founder of the Traveling Symphony
- Gael García Bernal as Arthur Leander, a famous actor who dies on stage the night the pandemic began, formerly married to Miranda and Elizabeth, father to Tyler
- Danielle Deadwyler as Miranda Carroll, Arthur's first wife and the author of the graphic novel Station Eleven
- Caitlin FitzGerald as Elizabeth, Arthur's second wife and Tyler's mother, who became a famous actress in German cinema
- Andy McQueen as Sayid, a member of the Traveling Symphony
- David Cross as Gil, a founder of the Traveling Symphony and Sarah's former partner
- Enrico Colantoni as Brian, Elizabeth's associate and an agent for the Museum of Civilization
- Deborah Cox as Wendy, a member of the Traveling Symphony
- Luca Villacis as Cody
- Prince Amponsah as August, a member of the Traveling Symphony
- Dylan Taylor as Dan
- Joe Pingue as Dieter
- Maxwell McCabe-Lokos as Vlad
- Ajahnis Charley as Chrysanthemum
- Milton Barnes as Miles, an employee at the Severn City airport who forms a romantic relationship with Clark
- Kate Moyer as Haley Butterscotch
- Timothy Simons as Jim, Miranda's coworker
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original release date|
|1||"Wheel of Fire"||Hiro Murai||Patrick Somerville||December 16, 2021|
|Famous actor Arthur Leander dies on stage during a production of King Lear. Audience member Jeevan Chaudhary, who attempts to help despite not being a doctor, accompanies abandoned child actor Kirsten Raymonde home. On the way, Jeevan receives a call from his doctor sister Siya warning that a deadly virus has descended on the world. When Kirsten’s parents aren’t home, Jeevan and Kirsten buy several grocery carts’ worth of food and barricade themselves inside a Chicago apartment with Jeevan’s younger brother, former Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist-turned ghost writer Frank. From his windows they watch a plane fall from the sky and crash in a fiery explosion. Several months later, Jeevan and Kirsten leave the apartment to a snowy wasteland filled with abandoned cars. Twenty years later, adult Kirsten rehearses a play while reading a graphic novel called Station Eleven that had once belonged to Arthur Leander.|
|2||"A Hawk from a Handsaw"||Jeremy Podeswa||Patrick Somerville||December 16, 2021|
Twenty years after the outbreak of the virus, Kirsten is a member of the Travelling Symphony, a nomadic group of actors and musicians who perform Shakespearean plays. In the past, young Kirsten meets Sarah aka "The Conductor" who invites her to join the Travelling Symphony. On their travels Kirsten and fellow actor Alex, who was born after the pandemic, meet a suspicious man, David, and supposedly his teenage son Cody. They lie about their origins and David quotes Station Eleven, which Kirsten believes only she has read. When questioned, he only references a prophecy. Alex sympathizes with the two. The Symphony puts on Hamlet, during which Kirsten flashes back to the outset of the virus, when she learns her parents are deceased via text message. Afterwards, Kirsten confronts David, who threatens her friends, and she stabs him. The next morning, however, he is gone. A man from the Museum of Civilization approaches Sarah to perform at their community, but she refuses to stray from their path.
The title of this episode comes from a line from Hamlet, Act II Scene 2: "I am but mad north-north-west. When the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw."
|3||"Hurricane"||Hiro Murai||Shannon Houston||December 16, 2021|
|In the past, Arthur meets and spends time with Miranda, the author of Station Eleven who works in logistics. In 2007, they are married and living together but clash because of media attention and their different approaches: Arthur is often away but Miranda is often absent, and Miranda is unwilling to dedicate herself to her art. Arthur shows her unfinished graphic novel to costar Elizabeth, and Miranda leaves him after setting the pool house and her graphic novel on fire. In 2020, Miranda visits Arthur to deliver a published copy of the graphic novel and gives him two copies, an additional one for his son Tyler. She agrees to meet him after she returns from her work trip. Later, Miranda attempts to flee a work trip in Malaysia as the virus spreads, but is told by mutual friend Clark Thompson that Arthur died on stage that night. Miranda chooses to stay in Malaysia, taping up her hotel room door. She sees images from her graphic novel come to life.|
|4||"Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Aren't Dead"||Helen Shaver||Nick Cuse||December 23, 2021|
After her run in with David, Kirsten warns Alex to be wary of outsiders as they travel. The man from the Museum of Civilization appears again to request they perform at his community, but Sarah refuses as they never leave the Wheel, a trail of cities surrounding Lake Michigan. Alex finds a note that reads "beware of the Prophet", and shows Kirsten who recognises from the drawing that the Prophet is David. Kirsten convinces Sarah to split the group to visit Pingtree, a golf range where the former director of the Symphony and Sarah's ex, Gil, lives with a group of former professors. When they arrive, they discover the Prophet has already taken all the children of their community, prompting them to reset land mines they had dug out. Kirsten recovers the graphic novel which she had hidden in Gil's office. Alex leaves after a fight with Kirsten, who flashes back to a similar fight she had as a child with Jeevan in the cabin. The children from Pingtree return armed with mines strapped to them, killing an unsuspecting Gil and themselves while quoting Station Eleven.
The title of this episode comes from characters from Hamlet, as longtime friends Arthur and Clark refer to themselves as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.
|5||"The Severn City Airport"||Lucy Tcherniak||Cord Jefferson||December 23, 2021|
|At the outset of the pandemic, Clark is stuck at Severn City Airport with Elizabeth, Arthur’s second wife; and Tyler, Arthur and Elizabeth’s moody child. Clark rallies the people inside the airport, who set up a settlement complete with solar panels and gardens, while a plane full of travellers is left stranded on the tarmac after potential exposure to the virus. Elizabeth gives Tyler a copy of Station Eleven that Arthur sent and lies to him that Arthur also sent him many letters that she destroyed out of jealousy. Tyler finds a survivor on the plane who might have natural immunity, but the community is paranoid of infection, and in the chaos, security guard Miles shoots the survivor. Tyler and Elizabeth are forced to quarantine for a month due to exposure to the survivor, during which Tyler obsessively reads Station Eleven. Clark begins to build the Museum of Civilization. Tyler sets the plane on the tarmac aflame, faking his death. Tyler is revealed to be the Prophet.|
|6||"Survival is Insufficient"||Helen Shaver||Sarah McCarron||December 30, 2021|
|Kirsten sets off in search of Alex, who has disappeared after the attack orchestrated by The Prophet. Alex is discovered to have returned to Pingtree with the group, but Kirsten decides to go after the Prophet alone as she feels responsible for the deadly attack on Gil and the death threats against the entire Travelling Symphony. It is revealed that young Kirsten finally decided to put away Station Eleven in order to care for baby Alex. Under pressure, Sarah agrees to take the group to the Museum of Civilization to perform when she learns the other half of their group has been brought there. Upon arrival at the airport, which has running electricity, Sarah has a heart attack. In the woods, Kirsten meets with the Prophet, who is wounded, and his group of children (or "post-pans," born after the pandemic) who welcome her to their group. The Prophet convinces Kirsten the Symphony is in danger from the Museum of Civilization and she agrees to help him gain access to the community at Severn City Airport. On their journey, Kirsten and the group are attacked by the Red Bandanas, a violent group.|
|7||"Goodbye My Damaged Home"||Lucy Tcherniak||Kim Steele||December 30, 2021|
|Kirsten fights off all the Bandanas, protecting the Prophet and the other children, but Cody dies and she is poisoned. Delirious, Kirsten revisits memories from her younger self, remembering her time with Jeevan in his brother Frank’s apartment at the beginning of the virus outbreak. Prior to their arrival, Frank dumps his stash of heroin after Siya calls him. Jeevan later finds his drug paraphernalia, which leads to an argument between them. Frank and Kirsten bond over Station Eleven, while Jeevan worries about survival and deliriously calls out to Siya for guidance. As their food supply dwindles, Jeevan wants to leave the apartment, but Frank refuses, believing Jeevan cannot survive supporting both him and Kirsten due to his hip injury. Before they leave, Kirsten has them put on her play adaptation of Station Eleven. During the performance, an intruder arrives to take over the apartment, but Frank refuses to leave his home. The intruder kills Frank and Jeevan kills the intruder. Jeevan and Kirsten head east, and adult Kirsten says goodbye to Frank.|
|8||"Who's There?"||Helen Shaver||Patrick Somerville and Sarah McCarron||January 6, 2022|
Kirsten and The Prophet continue on their way to Severn City Airport, where the rest of the Travelling Symphony are being held in quarantine prior to their performance. After Miles finds the duo out in the woods, Clark welcomes Kirsten and The Prophet to the airport community, but has them perform a scene from a play to prove they are actors. The duo improvise a sequence from Station Eleven. Afterwards, Kirsten reunites with the Travelling Symphony, but is devastated to learn Sarah has suffered a heart attack and no one has seen her since. Kirsten discovers the Prophet's connection to the Museum of Civilization and the Station Eleven graphic novel. The Prophet is reunited with Clark and Elizabeth, but refuses to acknowledge them as he sets fire to the Museum of Civilization. Sarah makes Kirsten promise to not tell the troupe of her death until after the play. Prior to the outbreak, Arthur takes the sober Clark on a bender. They fight over their divergent paths in life, Clark having failed at acting and turned to business, and over Miranda. The next morning, Clark insults Arthur's parenting before realizing Tyler and Elizabeth were there.
The title of this episode references the first line of Hamlet: "Who's there?"
|9||"Dr. Chaudhary"||Jeremy Podeswa||Will Weggel and Patrick Somerville||January 6, 2022|
|Almost a year after the outset of the virus, Kirsten and Jeevan seek refuge in a lakeside cabin during winter. Kirsten is often distracted reading Station Eleven. Jeevan argues that they need to find more people, while Kirsten is mad that Jeevan made them leave Frank’s apartment. Jeevan finds a radio and lies to a stranger that he is a doctor. While searching houses for supplies, Kirsten is reading and lets Jeevan get attacked by the stranger; he escapes, and tosses Kirsten’s graphic novel as they head back. That night Kirsten finds out and the two have an argument. Jeevan goes out at night to retrieve the graphic novel only to be attacked by a wolf. Waking up to a mangled foot, he passes out just meters from the cabin and is found by the stranger, Lara, who had continued searching for him. Jeevan is forced to recover from his foot amputation amongst a group of pregnant women – synchronized by conception during the first days of virus power outages. Their only doctor, Terry, is overwhelmed by the pending births. Jeevan is devastated to learn that Kirsten has disappeared, but stays at the makeshift birth center (a bed store) and handles some of the near simultaneous births, earning the name "Doctor". In the present, Jeevan lives with Lara and their children at a lakeside cabin. Jeevan leaves for a medical house call.|
|10||"Unbroken Circle"||Jeremy Podeswa||Patrick Somerville||January 13, 2022|
|At the outset of the virus outbreak, Miranda asks Clark to care for Elizabeth and Tyler. Before her death, she calls the pilot of the plane arriving from Chicago and convinces him to keep all passengers on board when arriving at Severn City Airport to protect those inside. In the present, Kirsten and the Travelling Symphony are freed from their quarantine to perform a play for the community at the airport. Jeevan also arrives at the airport to tend to Clark's burn injuries after the museum fire and sits with Sarah as she peacefully passes away. The Travelling Symphony performs Hamlet. Kirsten reveals her connection to Arthur to Elizabeth and Clark, who agree to let Tyler perform as Hamlet, while they will play Gertrude and Claudius, with Kirsten directing. During the play, Tyler pulls a knife on Clark, who says he loved Arthur, too. Tyler forgives Clark and Elizabeth. One of The Prophet's children suddenly appears at the airport wearing a land mine, and Kirsten shows her the Station Eleven graphic novel to show her it was only a story. Jeevan finally reunites with Kirsten. Elizabeth and Tyler peacefully leave the airport with hundreds of children, including Alex, who makes up with Kirsten. Jeevan and Kirsten go their separate ways but promise to reunite next year at the airport, which Kirsten adds to the Wheel.|
In February 2015, producer Scott Steindorff acquired the TV and film rights to the novel. On June 25, 2019, the series was ordered by the streaming service HBO Max, created by Patrick Somerville with Hiro Murai attached as a director. Both are executive producing alongside Scott Delman, Dylan Russell, Scott Steindorff, Jessica Rhoades, Jeremy Podeswa, and Nate Matteson. The miniseries premiered on December 16, 2021. Podeswa, Helen Shaver, and Lucy Tcherniak also directed episodes.
Differences from novel
Somerville made several major changes from the original novel's plot, such as creating a more significant relationship between Jeevan and Kirsten. In addition, the Canadian setting of the majority of the novel is replaced with an American setting. Though much of the Year Zero setting in the original novel is St. John-Mandel's native Toronto, Somerville moved the action to his own native Chicago. Ironically, due to the COVID pandemic, shooting was moved from Chicago to Mississauga, a suburb of Toronto.
In October 2019, Mackenzie Davis, Himesh Patel and David Wilmot were cast to star in the series. Matilda Lawler would be added in November 2019. In January 2020, Gael García Bernal was cast in a recurring role. In February 2020, Danielle Deadwyler joined the cast in a recurring capacity. Nabhaan Rizwan and Philippine Velge would join as series leads in March 2020. In April 2021, Daniel Zovatto and Lori Petty joined the cast in lead roles, while Andy McQueen, David Cross, Enrico Colantoni, Julian Obradors, and Deborah Cox joined the cast in recurring roles. Luca Villacis, Prince Amponsah, Dylan Taylor, Joe Pingue, Maxwell McCabe-Lokos, Ajahnis Charley, Milton Barnes and Kate Moyer joined the cast in recurring capacities in June 2021.
Rotten Tomatoes reports a 98% approval rating with an average rating of 8.1/10, based on 53 critic reviews. The website's critics consensus reads, "Station Eleven rewards patient viewers with an insightful and thematically rich assertion that—even in the post-apocalypse—the show must go on." On the review aggregator Metacritic, the series has a weighted average score of 81 out of 100 based on 27 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".
- Andreeva, Nellie (June 25, 2019). "WarnerMedia Streamer Orders 'Station Eleven' & 'Made For Love' Series From Patrick Somerville & Paramount". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
- Siegel, Tatiana (February 10, 2015). "Best-Seller 'Station Eleven' Acquired by 'Jane Got a Gun' Producer (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 31, 2021.
- "HBO Max Releases Teaser And First Look Images From The Max Original Limited Series, STATION ELEVEN". WarnerMedia (Press release). November 2, 2021. Retrieved November 2, 2021.
- Lee, Ashley (December 16, 2021). "'Station Eleven' made major changes from the book. The series creator explains why". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 4, 2022.
- Andreeva, Nellie (October 18, 2019). "Mackenzie Davis & Himesh Patel To Star In 'Station Eleven' HBO Max Limited Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
- Petski, Denise (October 31, 2019). "David Wilmot Joins 'Station Eleven' HBO Max Limited Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
- Petski, Denise (November 22, 2019). "Matilda Lawler Joins 'Station Eleven' HBO Max Limited Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
- Andreeva, Nellie; Petski, Denise (January 13, 2020). "Gael García Bernal Joins 'Station Eleven' HBO Max Limited Series As Recurring". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
- Rico, Klaritza (February 4, 2020). "TV News Roundup: Danielle Deadwyler Joins HBO Max's 'Station Eleven' Adaptation". Variety. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
- Petski, Denise (March 10, 2020). "'Station Eleven': Nabhaan Rizwan & Philippine Velge Join HBO Max Limited Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
- Andreeva, Nellie (April 1, 2021). "'Station Eleven': Daniel Zovatto & Lori Petty Join HBO Max Limited Series, Quartet Set To Recur". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 16, 2021.
- Andreeva, Nellie (April 16, 2021). "Deborah Cox Joins HBO Max Series 'Station Eleven' As Recurring". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 16, 2021.
- Petski, Denise (June 25, 2021). "'Station Eleven': HBO Max's Post-Apocalyptic Limited Series Adds Eight To Cast". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 15, 2021.
- Steves, Ashley (January 17, 2020). "Chicago What's Filming: HBO Max's 'Station Eleven,' Starring Mackenzie Davis + Gael García Bernal". Backstage. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
- "Current Productions | IATSE 873". IATSE 873. Archived from the original on July 17, 2021. Retrieved July 28, 2021.
- "Station Eleven: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved April 1, 2022.
- "Station Eleven: Season 1". Metacritic. Red Ventures. Retrieved February 12, 2022.
- Schneider, Michael (January 26, 2022). "'Succession,' 'Ted Lasso,' 'Dopesick' Lead 2022 DGA Awards TV Nominations". Variety. Retrieved February 11, 2022.
- "The Nominees for the 33rd Annual GLAAD Media Awards". GLAAD. January 21, 2022. Retrieved January 22, 2022.
- Verhoeven, Beatrice (July 7, 2022). "'This Is Us,' 'Succession,' 'Severance' Lead 2022 HCA TV Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 8, 2022.
- "82nd Annual Peabody Nominees Announced". PeabodyAwards.com. April 13, 2022. Retrieved April 14, 2022.
- Moreau, Jordan (July 12, 2022). "Emmys 2022: Complete Nominations List". Variety. Retrieved July 12, 2022.
- Hailu, Selome (August 6, 2022). "'Abbott Elementary' Tops 2022 TCA Awards". Variety. Retrieved August 6, 2022.
- Hipes, Patrick (January 19, 2022). "USC Scripter Awards Film And TV Nominations Set; Barry Jenkins To Receive Literary Achievement Award". Deadline. Retrieved February 11, 2022.