From The Writers' Room Featuring ReMade

Making the Call, as the Writer and the Hero

Spoiler alert – it should be obvious now that things are different this season. In the first episode saw the return of a fan-favorite character, but in Episode 2, “Signal to Noise,” we learn that not all’s well with our surviving remades. In fact, our group split right down the middle. Why did they do it? And why did the writers make that call?

I could tell you that it was an organic culmination of tensions that had been building ever since the arrival of Inez and Teddy. That’s true, but that’s only part of the story. When I sat down to write “Signal to Noise”, I had another idea in my head. I was thinking about the hero’s call to action.

Wait, don’t go running just because I laid a little Joseph Campbell on you. I can feel your virtual eye-rolling from here, but bear with me for a moment. In the hero’s journey, the call must at some point be answered. It’s a classical trope, where the mission becomes more than personal. It becomes a quest.

It’s also, in practice, a load of shit. It’s a romantic notion that somehow you are the Chosen One, and destiny is on your side. Good luck with that.

Last season the self-aware city computer Arcadia delivered a pretty clear call to action to our teens – find a place called Sanctuary if you want to learn what became of the human race. So I asked myself, who would answer this call? Who would refuse? In the end, the writer’s room decided that about half of our group did what you and I, and most people, would do in the same situation. They said, “That’s nice, but right now we’re more concerned with not getting dissected by killer robots, so maybe another time?” Inez, May and many of the rest put the group’s survival ahead of some ancient computer’s quest.

Then there’s Holden, Loki and Nevaeh – our dreamers. Sunita, Cole and Umta have their own reasons for going along, but it’s those first three who were on my mind as I wrote this episode. They’re the ones who never got to play the hero back home and are suddenly given the chance. They’re the hobbits marching the One Ring to Mount Doom.

But ReMade isn’t epic fantasy. There’s no magical destiny to fulfill, no higher power at work. In this world playing the hero might just get you, or someone close to you, killed.

Here’s to Season 2!

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