Jonathan Nolan and Gary Carr on the complexity and plot of Prime Video’s The Peripheral

Jonathan, you have a lot of experience in the science fiction genre. How did everything you’ve done before impact the way you shaped “The Peripheral?”

Nolan: Over time I learned to appreciate [that] questions about the future are, in many ways, marginal. It’s one of the things that [William] Gibson intrudes on the narrative… To look back on these things and think, “There’s going to be an event that will extinguish life,” the world is much more complicated than that. It’s those little things that collide with each other. This is one of the ideas in the book that I really resonated with: it’s not just anything; it’s this cascade of smaller events coming together that creates this ripple effect.

We started developing this book a few years ago before the pandemic. There is a pandemic described in the book. We asked Gibson to tell us what will happen in the future, and he flatly refuses. But it’s this idea that the end of the world won’t be a whimper or a bang, but it will be complicated, sophisticated, subtle. This is one of the ideas in the book that attracted us.

New episodes of “The Peripheral” arrive every Friday on Prime Video through December 9.

This interview has been edited for clarity.

Sharon D. Cole