‘Station Eleven’: First Look at the HBO Max Series About a Fictional Flu Pandemic, Which Halted Production Amid the Pandemic

HBO has yet to disappoint when it comes to its original series. Station 11 doesn’t seem like it will be an exception either. The new mini-series is coming soon, and fans are itching for another heady drama.

After the success of shows like The Flight Attendantit’s clear that HBO quality hasn’t declined during the rise of HBO Max. Station 11‘s first look is up on YouTube. Now, fans are counting down the days until December 16. 

‘Station 11’ is based on a novel by Emily St. John Mandel 

According to VarietyStation 11 is based on Emily St. John Mandel’s book by the same name. Knopf Doubleday published the novel in 2014; plans to adapt it to the screen came soon after. Station 11‘s showrunner Patrick Somerville is hot off other successful projects, like Made for Love, according to IMDB. Although Made for Love is also on HBO Max, it is quite different from Somerville’s current project. 

Station 11 is and isn’t the feel-good miniseries audiences need it to be. The show follows a young actress as an influenza pandemic destroys the world she knows. The girl, Kristen (played by Matilda Lawler) grows into a woman (Mackenzie Davis) before the viewer’s eyes.

Kristen learns to live in the new world this pandemic created. It sounds bleak, but don’t count on it being totally depressing. According to Somerville, he and his team “always wanted to make a post-apocalyptic show about joy.”

‘Station 11’ has a star cast 

Mackenzie Davis stars in HBO's Station Eleven
HBO’s Station Eleven stars Mackenzie Davis | HBO via Youtube

On November 2, HBO Max released a teaser for Station 11. Somerville’s vision is clear. The work is at once heart-wrenchingly sad and immensely hopeful. Fans get a look at Kristen as portrayed by both Lawler and Davis, as well as the other stars in the new miniseries. 

Gael García Bernal stars as Kristen’s costar. He becomes one of the first victims of the deadly influenza that decimates the world’s population. Himesh Patel’s character forms a powerful bond with Kristen. It’s clear from the trailer that these two have a complicated relationship. Patel’s character is a lot older than Kristen’s, but their bond is powerful, even in the trailer. 

In addition to the relationships, viewers are treated to some of the visual splendor of Station 11. Desolate, snow-covered, apocalyptic scenes flit across the screen as poetic voiceovers introduce the show’s concept. It is clear that despite the pain it displays, Station 11 is hopeful. Maybe that’s just what the world needs right now. 

Ironically, the coronavirus pandemic stalled ‘Station 11’ production 

It has not escaped people that Somerville and HBO Max are releasing a show about a fictional pandemic during an actual pandemic. In fact, Station 11 production was delayed thanks to COVID-19. The show began filming back in June 2019 when its concept was hypothetical. 

As Somerville says, returning after lockdown gave the project new meaning to everyone involved. He told Variety that experiencing an actual pandemic may have influenced the show’s trajectory. “As we began to live it, we began to feel feelings we didn’t expect to know about, and they influence things, but I think we did what we were always going to do,” he said.

Seeing scenes from the beginning of a pandemic so soon after experiencing it is jarring, but perhaps necessary. Somerville and his crew were aware of the importance of this work. He wants to show both sides of global tragedy with Station 11. 

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