The Feed has a solid sci-fi premise – but one which doesn’t sound so far from what’s happening in the real world.
Set just a few years into the future, this is a world where everyone has access to “The Feed” and can connect to the internet directly with their brains.
Here’s what you need to know about Virgin Media’s flagship psychological drama…
When is The Feed on TV?
In the UK, The Feed arrived on Monday 16th September on Virgin TV Ultra HD (channel 999).
It will air on Amazon Prime Video in Canada, the US and Latin America.
What is The Feed about?
Created and written by The Walking Dead’s Channing Powell, this 10-part drama is adapted from the novel by Nick Clark Windo.
This sci-fi psychological thriller is set a few years into the future, when everyone is “on” The Feed.
Via an implant into nearly everyone’s brain, The Feed enables people to share information, emotions, and memories – instantly. Reality can be augmented in real-time; you can watch a video in the corner of your eye while you’re chopping vegetables, or record a clip and re-live it over and over directly within your brain.
The technology was invented by a man named Lawrence Hatfield, and is owned and developed by the mega-wealthy Hatfield family from their HQ in London.
But then The Feed is hijacked – with serious implications.
According to production company Studio Lambert, “When things start to go wrong, and users become murderous, the family is driven apart as they struggle to control the monster they have unleashed.”
And right at the centre of all this are Lawrence’s son Tom Hatfield and his wife Kate, and their newborn baby daughter…
Who is in the cast of The Feed?
The drama stars Harry Potter actor David Thewlis as Lawrence Hatfield, the man who invented an in-brain technology called The Feed.
Michelle Fairley plays his wife Meredith, who is also the CEO of the powerful international family company which runs The Feed.
Her son Tom Hatfield is played by Guy Burnet. He was the subject of his father’s early experiments on inserting the neural mesh that connects people into The Feed, and being used as a guinea pig has come at a cost to his relationship with his parents. Tom has decided not to join the family business, instead making his own way in the world.
At his brother’s wedding, he meets Kate – played by Nina Toussaint-White. Like him, she is wary of The Feed.
On the other hand there is Tom’s younger brother Ben Hatfield, played by Jeremy Neumark Jones. He has gone in the opposite direction from his brother, throwing himself into his work at the company and seeking his father’s approval.
Chris Reilly plays a character called Gil Tomine, and Claire-Hope Ashitey plays Evelyn.
Review: is The Feed worth watching?
By the looks of episode one, this drama is “Westworld meets Black Mirror” – and if you like both of those shows, it’s definitely worth giving this a watch!
Because so many people in the Western world are “on” The Feed, when The Feed is hijacked there are Westworld-style consequences. What happens when a Feed user suddenly becomes violent? When they start acting out?
But the concept is also quite Black Mirror-ish. The inhabitants of this future world have exchanged privacy for convenience, and The Feed is so enmeshed within society that you can barely exist offline. Is the future truly dystopic – and what will be the ultimate fallout?
How does The Feed compare to Black Mirror?
“I am definitely a big fan of Black Mirror,” Powell said. “I wasn’t thinking about it specifically when I was doing this because it does feel so different and it’s a much more concentrated story. We obviously are following our characters all the way through the season and not just doing one-offs, but a lot of the bigger picture – how does technology affect us – a lot of that just happens to be similar to Black Mirror. I find it very, very different.”
Executive Producer Susan Hogg added: “The canvas is bigger, because we take longer to develop a canvas. So with Black Mirror often you know you get those really scary jags which is very visceral and it’s brilliant because it’s a one off and it’s done. But we went to delve into a much bigger canvas and see what the ramifications are of this for lots of different areas in society.”
How similar is The Feed to the original novel?
The drama is adapted from The Feed, Nick Clark Windo’s debut novel.
But showrunner Channing Powell explained: “It’s the first chapter of the book, really – the first season.” That means there is plenty more material left to cover.
“The book is very different to what we’re actually showing in the first season because The Feed goes down very, very early on in the book and they jump six years to what has happened after it’s gone down,” she said.
“There are flashbacks in the book that I thought make a season, so I kind of pulled information from all of those flashbacks and the first chapter, and created the first season of the story – so that you could actually get to know The Feed, love The Feed but hate The Feed – so you understand what the repercussions are when The Feed goes down.”
She added: “It’s all very, very inspired in the book and everything is kind of hinted at in the book. I just went in and I took those flashbacks and I pulled out those little nuggets of information and threw together a story from that.”
Will there be a second season of The Feed?
Speaking during the show’s production, Powell said: “So this one is commissioned, and we’re waiting on season two. Actually we have three or four seasons already planned, with 10 episodes a season.”