Fans of the The OA (a mystery/sci fi show that ran from 2016-2019) will want to check out A Murder at the End of the World, a miniseries created by Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij. The two shows are not related, though, so you can watch the new one without having seen The OA.
This review won’t be too thorough as I’m writing this in the middle of the season. I may add to it after I’ve watched all the episodes.
Darby Hart (Emma Corrin) is a young hacker and amateur sleuth who learned from being the daughter of a forensic investigator. The first episode begins as she does a book signing recounting her experiences investigating a murder. She is surprised to be invited to an elite conference in Iceland run by a tech guru named Andy (Clive Owen), where she meets a host of brilliant (and potentially suspicious) characters, including her ex partner (both romantic and in sleuthing) Bill (Harris Dickinson), Andy’s wife Lee (Marling) who is also a hacker, and Lu Mei (Joan Chen), a designer of smart cities.
The action alternates between the present and past, as Darby remembers how she and Bill followed cold case clues to track a serial killer.
The stark landscape of Iceland creates an intense atmosphere as the conference attendees are trapped in Andy’s luxury compound with an unknown killer on the loose. What begins as a luxurious getaway for the world’s tech elite becomes a struggle for survival.So
At this point in the series, Andy is an ambiguous character who may be working for the good of humanity or have a more self-centered motive. There are signs that the site of the conference is more of a survivalist compound than a luxury hotel. This idea can be found in actual recent headlines such as:
A Murder at the End of the World isn’t a conventional murder mystery set in an exotic location. The story is also deeply concerned with bigger issues such as the role of technology (AI in particular), economics, and the possibility of imminent environmental catastrophe. A nearly sentient AI that can project a human form on a screen hovers in the background as a kind of super-Alexa/Siri. As in movies such as Ex Machina and Her, we’re made aware of how such advanced AI can pose dangers as well as benefits.
No matter how the program ends (I’m not sure if there will be future seasons), it raises some important questions. I found an insightful Salon Talks interview with Brit Marling, where she expresses a preference for posing questions over giving definitive answers.