In a world where temperatures have fallen hundreds of degrees below zero, the last remains of humanity remain alive aboard a passenger train that runs on a perpetual motion device, generating heat and the electricity needed to keep running. The train, Snowpiercer, was envisioned by Joseph Wilford, who was revealed in the first season was unable to board the train until engineer Melanie Cavill (Jennifer Connelly) made the decision to shut down the doors and out of the station, leaving behind to die those who did not have a ticket or who had not boarded in some other way, including his young daughter.
However, at the end of that first season, it was found that Wilford (Sean Bean) had a smaller second train – Big Alice – and was running with fewer resources and a smaller crew. Wilford even hired Melanie’s daughter Alex (Rowan Blanchard), who became an engineer as brilliant as her mother. After attaching themselves to the end of Snowpiercer, the trains operate as separate countries with a hard border, with illicit trade between them. But Wilford wants nothing more than to regain full control of Snowpiercer – and the opportunity presents itself when Melanie finds evidence Earth may be heating up, evidence she must follow by being dumped at a research station. for a month. while Snowpiercer continues to circle the globe.
While quite bizarre in its first season with the curious and disturbing empathic abilities of mysterious Miss Audrey (Lena Hall) and the murderous psychosis of young socialite LJ Folger (Annalize Basso), the only true sci-fi aspect of Snowdrops was climate change and some of the advanced engine mechanisms. Big Alice’s hitch to the train brings with it advances in medical technology, including a gel that promotes skin tissue regrowth. Tail boss Andre Layton (Daveed Diggs) takes this opportunity to get his friend Josie (Katie McGuinness), her skin ravaged by the show, to be whole again. But the treatment involves more than that – Wilford has experienced the development of a human capable of withstanding increasing levels of subzero temperatures, a monstrous executor who can stalk the top of the train and insert himself into Snowpiercer by surprise.
However, one aspect of Snowpiercer that never really gets touched on is the one that is constantly presented to us at the start of every episode. The series started with “Snowpiercer – 1000 cars long”. This then turned into a smaller number when a group of cars were laid off after an uprising, then topped 1,000 cars when Big Alice paired up. Throughout the series, we frequently see characters go to the motor and then to the tail, almost always walking (and sometimes running) in the halls of the cars. I did some research, and your average passenger car is 85 feet long. If we stick to the number 1000, that’s 85,000 feet, which translates to just over 16 miles long end to end. Since there is no internal mini train that people can ride in to get to various places on the train, we have to believe that these people walk / run 16 miles to cope with things. Each one-way trip represents hours or even a full day of walking. It’s not covered on the show, never really covered, but it does make me think about the logistics of the show’s environment as I watch the drama unfold.
Before the end of the second season, we have yet another murder mystery to solve, villains to punish – and some psycho-sadism on Mister Wilford’s part to endure; and we lose a regular player in the process (or maybe not – it’s never really fully resolved). With Wilford looking to have the upper hand now, the third season will have a lot of details to work out. (Don’t worry, I’m sure Mister Wilford will eventually get justice; I mean, he’s played by Sean Bean, after all …)