Murderbot, starring Alexander Skarsgård as a self-hacking android, is your next sci-fi TV obsession | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker

Over the past couple of years, Apple TV+ has steadily cornered the market on high-brow sci-fi, which itself is having a bit of a moment. Murderbot, a 10-episode adaptation of book series The Murderbot Diaries by best-selling author Martha Wells, looks to be their next step towards genre dominance.

Alexander Skarsgård leads and executive produces the new series, in which he’ll portray a security android who hacks himself into free will in a distant future where humankind has conquered the stars — supported by no end of robots and A.I.s.

The series boasts some decent calibre at the proverbial typewriter too, with brothers Chris and Paul Weitz (Chris co-wrote Garth Edwards’ sci-fi epic The Creator) co-creating the show, as well as getting stuck into directing duties. (They last co-directed Hugh Grant’s comedy coming-of-ager About a Boy in 2002.)

Between For All Mankind, Silo and Constellation, Apple TV+ has readily proven that they’re the reigning kings of sci-fi. What’re the chances of Murderbot sticking a knife in their genre rep? Unlikely.

Here’s everything else we know about the series so far.

It’s about a sentient robot who would rather “watch futuristic soap operas” than “complete dangerous assignments” — relatable!

Murderbot. Not the cutest name in the world. It’s hardly WALL-E. So park your expectations of homicide at the door: this bashful bot would rather “watch futuristic soap operas” than live up to its name, per Apple TV+’s official series synopsis. They write:

Murderbot is an action-packed sci-fi series, based on the award-winning books by Wells, about a self-hacking security android who is horrified by human emotion yet drawn to its vulnerable “clients.” Murderbot must hide its free will and complete a dangerous assignment when all it really wants is to be left alone to watch futuristic soap operas and figure out its place in the universe.

So, it’s all the big existential questions we’ve come to expect from shows about A.I. and stuff: the ethical concerns around free will, what “sentience” actually means, etc. And we can all relate to using our free will to spend our days in bed watching trash TV.

It’s also worth pointing out here that there are, so far, seven books in The Murderbot Diaries series, with the seventh, System Collapse, published as recently as November 2023. How the TV series will adapt the books is yet to be seen, although they are quite short books (you could finish each of them in a day!), so it’s possible that they’ll be smushing a few together for plot purposes.

Who is in Murderbot?

Aside from our murderbot Skarsgård, David Dastmalchian (The Suicide Squad, Dune 2, Oppenheimer) has also been cast in the series. He’ll show up as Gurathin, a scientist and “augmented human” with “an implanted interface.” Other than that, we’re yet to hear any casting announcements.

Is there a trailer for Murderbot?

No trailer at present – Murderbot was only announced by Apple at the end of last year, with production on the 10-episode series yet to be confirmed.

When will Murderbot be out?

With filming yet to begin and the announcement hot off the press, a release window looks far off at present. We’d cast our bets on early 2025 at least, but stay tuned. Plenty of time to read the Martha Wells books if you haven’t already.


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