Potential Prequel Series For ‘The 100’ Tackles Timely Issues
As the backdoor pilot for the potential prequel series for The 100 airs on Wednesday, the show will take on a timely and even prophetic feel. When the showrunner Jason Rothenberg first began developing this week’s episode, “Anaconda” he had no idea the storyline would directly resemble what was happening in real life.
In the episode, fans watched as stories on TV reveal that a viral pandemic from Russia is spreading throughout the overpopulated world. The protagonist, Callie (played by Iola Evans), and her friend will have just returned from a violent protest and the two have to be bandaged themselves due to police-inflicted wounds.
When asked whether her predicted these events as he began writing the episode a few months ago, Rothenberg responded, “God no, of course not. And Callie has just returned from a protest march against some government abuses and they were attacked on some level by the overaggressive police; the fact that the show is now unfolding in the wake from everything that’s happening in the world with regard to George Floyd and Black Lives Matter, [it’s] just weird coincidences that of course we could not have predicted.”
While “Anaconda” coincidentally turned out to parallel events from real life, The 100 prequel series will intentionally continue to tell more socially relevant stories.
“It is much more timely now than it was when we were making it,” Rothenberg said. “We’re talking about people who come from before the apocalypse; they all are from our world, essentially, so they’re much more like us than the group of kids and adults that came down from the Ark and met the Grounders. And because of that, we’re going to tackle issues in ways that we never really did with this show because those issues are relevant to them, whether it’s issues of race or sexual orientation or whatever the case may be. It’s much different than Clarke and the gang who came down from space, and that’ll be very different.”
Rothenberg continued, “Science fiction holds a mirror up to us, to our lives, to our world, and it makes us look at ourselves sometimes at the ugly truth about the human race. And it lets you do that in ways that aren’t on-the-nose or preaching because it isn’t our world, it’s another world. This is definitely a story that has an added resonance now. [With] survivors who are holed up in bunkers… it’s an almost perfect allegory for the times we’re living through.”
While the prequel series has not yet been ordered by the CW, Rothenberg is hopeful that “Anaconda” will make the project a reality. “We’re talking about a show that we don’t know if the series has been ordered yet, so we need to make some noise and make people want to pick the show up,” he said. “I’m so proud of this episode, I’m so proud of the cast; Iola Evans is just a superstar waiting to happen. It would be really exciting to get to work on it, and it’d be a bummer if the journey stops here but I feel like it could happen. You never know. It’s been an amazing ride if it ends here, I’ll tell you that.”
The 100 airs on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on the CW.