Y: The Last Man creator reveals the “biggest difference” between the comic and the TV show

Showrunner Eliza Clark had to update one key part of the classic graphic novel’s storyline to bring it to Disney Plus.

Ben Schnetzer as Yorick Brown in Y: The Last Man (Disney Plus)

New apocalyptic sci-fi drama Y: The Last Man has had a long road to TV, with the original comic-book series it’s based on first debuting nearly two decades ago, followed by numerous failed attempts to bring the story to the screen.

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Now, finally, fans can watch the live-action version of the story via FX or Disney Plus – but showrunner Eliza Clark has now revealed that the years of development necessitated some major changes to the story, which revolves around a mystery plague that kills all the cisgender men on Earth except one.

“Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra, who created the comic books, were incredibly generous saying ‘We made this 20 years ago and we’re excited for you to update it so please take the ball and run with it’,” Clark told RadioTimes.com and other press.

“I was really grateful to them for that. I have loved the comics, though, for ten years and I’m a huge fan so I didn’t want to stray completely from the source material. I think the series really pays homage to the comic books but it was important to me to update them.”

That most major difference? The series’ inclusion of trans men, who also survive the apocalypse and find themselves under the spotlight (compared to a more fleeting treatment in the comic), as well as a more nuanced perspective on gender as a whole.

“One of the biggest differences is that we’ve really updated the understanding of gender in the story,” Clark told us.

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Y: The Last Man — “The Day Before” — Pictured: Ben Schnetzer as Yorick Brown. CR: Rafy Winterfeld/FX

“I think we make it clear early and often in the show that Yorick is not the last man because plenty of men survived but he’s the last person with the Y chromosome.

“The diversity, variety and spectrum of gender is what makes this world so rich and interesting, and it’s part of the tragedy of what happens. Part of what the characters are trying to do is bring back that biodiversity.”

She added: “I think the show is about identity and it’s about the ways our identities are formed from internal and external forces. We’re talking a lot about how systems of oppression conspire to create identity and how things like white supremacy, patriarchy, capitalism and cis heteronormativity are all a part of the air that we breathe and a part of our identity in ways we don’t even know about.

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Y: The Last Man — “Would the World Be Kind” — Season 1, Episode 2 (Airs September 13) — Pictured: Olivia Thirlby as Hero Brown. CR: Rafy Winterfeld/FX

“So in the immediate aftermath of this event part of what we’re saying with the show is that women uphold patriarchy, women uphold white supremacy, that these systems don’t go away just because everyone with a Y chromosome dies.

“Ultimately, though, I think the show is optimistic about human beings’ ability to change and that change is necessary, messy and has peaks and valleys but ultimately it’s possible.”

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Y: The Last Man comes to Disney Plus UK from Wednesday 22nd September, with new episodes on Wednesdays thereafter. For more, check out our dedicated Sci-Fi page or our full TV Guide.