The premiere of Pantheon on Sept. 1 on AMC+ gave life to the short stories of celebrated author Ken Liu. The show starring Daniel Dae Kim is the first hour-long animated drama series on the streaming platform.
It has received positive reviews from critics and audience alike. In March of this year, the series had already received a two-season order from AMC Network. Pantheon’s story does not only revolve around uploaded human consciousness and technology, but it is also a story of family, grief, and love.
Created by Craig Silverstein, Pantheon casts big questions for its viewers about the relationship between science and humanity. The eight-episode tale posits the intriguing query of whether people can be “human” if we don’t have physical bodies, and other big ideas about time and consciousness.
With a fresh take on graphics and hyperrealism, the series’ visual art and style used modern technology to create a traditional 2D series. Variety calls this an “angular, occasionally surreal animation” from production house Titmouse. According to The Daily Beast, the first season showcases the characters’ experiences which cause a gradual draw toward each other, eventually intertwining their lives in a crazy encounter.
Katie Chang stars as Maddie Kim, “a high-school freshman who’s just relocated to a new town, and both she and her mom Ellen (Rosemarie DeWitt) are mourning the death of their genius dad/husband David (Daniel Dae Kim).” It also features the voices of Paul Dano, Maude Apatow, William Hurt, Aaron Eckhart, Ron Livingston, and many more.
Like any other teenager, browsing online is part of Maddie’s daily routine, and this habit is even more amplified because she is a victim of bullying. Maddie receives mysterious help from a stranger online, which is soon revealed to be her father, David. His consciousness, as it turns out, has been uploaded to the cloud following an experimental brain scan. Deadline describes David’s character in the show as “the first of a new kind of being: an “Uploaded Intelligence” or “UI,” but he will not be the last.” As a global conspiracy unfolds throughout the show’s first season, David’s existence threatens to trigger a new kind of world war.
Amazing visual art, great story line and profoundly human performances by the cast will in no doubt continue to contribute to the success of the show. With a second season already in the works and with the demand of the ever-curious minds of its viewers, Pantheon’s progress and victory has nowhere else to go but up.
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