A Netflix original, Sense8 takes what might seem like a familiar sci-fi trope — ordinary people discovering they are mysteriously connected through supernatural powers — but uses it to explore progressive and topical issues like gender, sexuality and religion.
Created by the Wachowskis (The Matrix, V for Vendetta), who are also trans women, alongside J Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5), the series built a small but extremely passionate fanbase when it first aired in 2015.
How to watch Sense8 online
Sense8 is available to watch on Netflix.
When the series was cancelled it caused an uproar with fans signing petitions and starting social campaigns to get it back – Netflix’s exec ending up explaining why they felt Sense8 had to be cancelled. Eventually, Netflix agreed to air a Sense8 special to bring things to an end, and Freema Agyeman came out as saying she felt it would give fans closure.
What is Sense8 about?
Eight strangers, living in seven different countries, begin to discover they are ‘sensates’—linked through their ability to feel the others’ feelings and think their thoughts. Meanwhile, another sensate, working for a mysterious organisation called the BPO, is determined to capture the group. As they work to figure out how they are connected and why they’re being targeted, the strangers begin to influence—and sometimes save—each other’s lives.
Sense8 is action-packed, but with a twisting, carefully paced plot that challenges viewers to piece together clues as the narrative unfolds.
How many Sense8 seasons and episodes are there?
There are two 12-episode long seasons of Sense 8, plus a one-off two-hour special released after the second season.
Who is in the cast of Sense8?
Designated Survivor star Jamie Clayton plays Nomi Marks, a trans activist and blogger living in San Francisco.
The other American sensate, Chicago cop Will Gorski, is played by Stargate Universe actor Brian J. Smith.
German actor Max Riemelt plays Berlin-based jewel thief Wolfgang.
Tuppence Middleton (Dickensian) plays Riley “Blue” Gunnarsdóttir, an Icelandic DJ living in London.
Nairobi minibus driver Capheus “Van Damn” Onyango is played by Aml Ameen (The Bill) in season one. Ameen left the show after season one and was replaced by Toby Onwumere in season two.
Korean actor Doona Bae, who previously starred in Cloud Atlas and Jupiter Ascending — also by the Wachowskis — plays underground kickboxer Sun Bak.
Tina Desai (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) stars as intelligent Indian pharmacist Kala Dandekar.
Fictional actor Lito Rodriguez is played by real-life actor Miguel Ángel Silvestre, who also plays Franklin Jurado in Narcos.
Why was Sense8 cancelled?
According to Netflix executive Ted Sarandos, Sense 8’s audience wasn’t big enough to sustain its production costs and the show was cancelled after two seasons, ending on a major cliffhanger.
A massive, fan-driven campaign resulted in the release of a two-hour finale special that wrapped up the loose plot-lines and answered some of the series’ most pressing questions.
Where was Sense8 set and filmed?
The series was set—and filmed—in cities all around the world, no doubt one of the reasons production costs were so high. Locations for the first series included nine cities in eight countries, including Berlin, Mumbai, Nairobi and Seoul. The second series was even more ambitious, filming in 16 cities and 11 countries including Malta, Brazil, Italy and Scotland.
Some filming was scheduled with major events and festivals in mind, including the Dyke March in San Francisco and Christmas in Berlin.