Himesh Patel, Matilda Lawler in HBO MAX's Station Eleven

SOS, There's A Too-Close-To-Home Show Premiering On HBO Max

Ready or not, here it comes.

by Ani Bundel
Ian Watson/HBO Max

Fears of mass illness and cataclysmic events that wipe out entire swaths of the human population have been a hallmark of the turn of the century, from Stephen King’s The Stand to Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake. With adaptations of science fiction horror being some of the hottest things in prestige TV, several were already in production for various streaming services and networks long before the events of 2020. For example, HBO Max’s Station Eleven may seem like yet another miniseries inspired by current events, but the adaptation has actually been in the works since 2019 and is only finally arriving now.

Based on the 2014 novel of the same name by author Emily St. John Mandel, Station Eleven recounts the events after the fictional “Georgia Flu” sweeps through the planet, wiping out several billion people. The novel won the Arthur C. Clarke Award in 2015 and was on several end-of-year “best of” lists.

WarnerMedia announced the book was being adapted to series in October 2019 as part of the launch package for HBO Max. However, Hollywood shutdowns delayed the project by over a year. (For obvious reasons, in the interim, the book’s popularity was revived during the 2020 lockdowns.) The series is now on its way and will debut by the end of 2021. Here’s what fans should know about it.

Station Eleven Trailer

The first trailer for Station Eleven arrived on Nov. 2, 2021, giving fans their first look at the world on the day the Georgia Flu hits, as well as glimpses of the world 20 years in the future, when the survivors of this apocalypse struggle on in the new world as it has rebuilt since “Year Zero.”

Station Eleven Cast

Parrish Lewis/HBO Max

When the series was initially announced back in 2019, it came attached with actor Mackenzie Davis from HBO’s Halt and Catch Fire as series star Kirsten Raymonde. Himesh Patel, from the hit movie Yesterday, is set to play play Jeevan Chaudhary, the EMT who rescues her.

The end of 2019 saw several additions to the cast, including Matilda Lawler as young Kirsten, David Wilmot as Clark Thompson, the curator of items from the before times, and Gael García Bernal as Arthur Leander, the actor whose passing occurs the night the flu hits. Nabhaan Rizwan and Philippine Velge were also added in March 2020, as Jeevan’s brother, Frank, and Traveling Symphony member Alexandra.

Casting picked back up a year later in April 2021, with Daniel Zovatto (Penny Dreadful: City of Angels) and Lori Petty (Orange Is the New Black) as the Prophet and the Conductor, respectively along with actor Deborah Cox. As filming began in June 2021, the rest of the cast filled out with Luca Villacis, Prince Amponsah, Dylan Taylor, Joe Pingue, Maxwell McCabe-Lokos, Ajahnis Charley, Milton Barnes, and Kate Moyer.

Station Eleven Plot

Ian Watson/HBO Max

For those who have not read the novel, the story begins on the night the Georgia Flu hits, during a theatrical production of King Lear. The lead actor, Arthur Leander, has a heart attack, causing an audience member and EMT, Jeevan, to rush the stage to revive him. He fails and winds up comforting Kirsten, a child actor in the production. As they sit, he gets a call from a doctor friend who warns him about the flu hitting the city, so he grabs Kirsten and they leave. In a second timeline, it’s 20 years later, and Kristen is living as part of a traveling acting troupe, who experiences life in the after times, which intertwines with flashbacks to the fall of civilization.

The logline for the series is as follows:

Station Eleven is a post-apocalyptic saga spanning multiple timelines; this limited drama series tells the stories of survivors of a devastating flu as they attempt to rebuild and reimagine the world anew while holding on to the best of what’s been lost.

Station Eleven Release Date

Station Eleven debuts with 10 episodes on Sunday, Dec. 16, 2021.