Based on the novel by Nick Clark Windo and developed by Channing Powell (The Walking Dead), new sci-fi drama The Feed is part-Black Mirror, part-Succession.
Set in London in the near future, the series centres on the highly influential and powerful Hatfield family whose patriarch Lawrence (David Thewlis) invented an omnipresent technology called ‘The Feed’. Implanted into nearly everyone’s brain, it enables people to share information, emotions and memories instantly. The way we stare at our phones for casual browsing, working on the go or even for companionship, is all encompassed in The Feed, except instead of starring at a screen you are just looking into the distance and can see it all before your eyes.
Tom (Guy Burnet) the son of The Feed’s inventor, has a complicated relationship with his family and also with the technology they've sold to the world, while his mother, Meredith (Michelle Fairley), is the public face of the company. Although estranged from him, Lawrence favours Tom, much to the dismay of the younger Ben.
When an issue arises within the company, Lawrence naturally bypasses the loyal Ben and reaches out to Tom for help. He asks Tom to go to Russia to investigate the disappearance of Dimitri, the Head of The Feed’s Moscow Hub. When Tom speaks to Dimitri’s son, Anton (Anson Boon), he is alarmed to find that he has gouged his own eye out and has little memory of the previous day when his father went missing. To try and figure out what has happened Tom needs to convince Anton to let him have access to his Feed.
Meanwhile, back at home Tom’s wife, Kate (Nina Toussaint-White), is struggling with the pregnancy of their first child, but Meredith explains how The Feed could help. Previously wary of it, Kate starts to heavily rely on it, finding the ability to connect to her unborn child invaluable. This reliance could not have come at a worse time, as there is an unexpected security breach of The Feed and Kate gets the feeling something (or someone) is in her head.
As the system starts to go wrong and users become violent and even murderous, the Hatfields are quickly driven apart as they struggle to control the monster they have unleashed. The futuristic elements represented in the show are not too implausible, the production design is modern, sleek and minimal, and the idea that people would willingly connect to a network controlled by one multinational company through an under-the-skin implant isn’t too far-fetched and something we’ve seen represented more recently in shows like Years and Years as well as Black Mirror. These types of sci-fi shows represent a society that doesn't look too different from our current one and makes us question our reliance on technology and where we could be headed in the future. The Feed asks a big question for us to consider: if everything you are is connected to the system, what do you become when that system goes down?
The Feed is now streaming at SBS On Demand.