Raised By Wolves returns for an epic second season that is already promising major revelations following that unbelievable first season finale.
The series is like nothing else on television. Set 100 years in the future, the first season introduced us to androids Mother and Father–played by Amanda Collin and Abubakar Salim–who are trying to raise children on a distant planet after Earth suffered a disastrous war between Mithraic zealots, and atheists.
Even Kepler-22b isn’t safe from the war though, and Mother ends up in the middle of more strife, trying to protect her children, while they also plan to leave the home they made in the dessert and head to the more hospitable tropical zone.
At the same time, atheists Marcus and Sue–played by Travis Fimmel and Niamh Algar–arrived in disguise among the Mithraics, and through wild twists of fate, Marcus is drawn to their god, Sol, through a voice in his head, and Sue finds her way to Mother, Father, and the kids.
Season 2 kicks off with the androids, their kids, and Sue joining a camp of atheists at the tropical zone, but they’re still facing repercussions after the events with Mother’s other “child” is now threatening the group. We’re also introduced to another force running things, the organic computer running The Collective of atheists known as The Trust.
Series stars Abubakar Salim, Amanda Collin, and Niamh Algar sat down together to talk about the second season, how the androids and the relationships have changed, how they relate to the concepts, and what they admire about their characters. Read the interview below.
Raised by Wolves is produced by Ridley Scott’s Scott Free Productions, and was created by Aaron Guzikowski.
Talking about Father and Mother what’s the mood and the relationship like now, because they’ve been through a lot in the first season. And in terms of Sue, how would you describe her role in the community of atheists and how she sees herself there?
Amanda Collin: “Oh, well, Abu’s [Abubakar] more relaxed and I’m more tense. Isn’t that how it goes in every marriage? Abu’s got a second chance. Father’s got a second chance. He didn’t die. He’s all excited. And Mother’s just trying to regain control and fix things.”
“She’s scared shitless of what’s going on in this new tropical zone, and also her kids are growing up and doing stuff that she can’t control and moving in every little direction that they can; they’re evolving. And I think that scares her a lot while it comforts Father, cuz they’re growing up, it’s going the right way.”
Abubakar Salim: “I think the line as well that I say, I think it’s like, ‘love, it will be the death of us all’ or something. And I think that kind of resonates where Father’s headspace is at in regards to Mother as well, so it’s that whole thing of, there’s a second chance. What can you do in that second chance? What can you do when you have that chance to ask questions that you wished you asked before you went on a suicide mission to take out a snake, essentially?”
Niamh Algar: “Season two, Sue is very lonely. She’s very isolated on this side of the planet, cuz she’s surrounded by atheists who hate her because she’s seen as a traitor against her own people. So she’s struggling to find purpose. And in doing that, she’s trying to ultimately find the source of the voice that drove Marcus insane and drove Paul to shooting her.”
“So her focus is, you know, everything has been taken away from her. She’s got no friends, no family. She’s a woman on a mission to figure out the reason behind this voice or what it is. She’s someone who’s medically trained and has a scientific outlook on everything. So she’s asking a lot of questions in season two and she’s hell bent on finding it.”
Coming into season two, has your approach to Mother changed in any way regarding, especially with themes like creation, love, instinct, and emotional intelligence?
Collin: “Yeah. There’s one big, big change, which is failure, right? She’s scarred now as a real grown up with traumas.”
“I love the open and naive sort of Mother in the beginning, just thinking that this was the mission and everything was gonna be fine. And ‘this is love.’ And ‘I can’t believe that someone loved me,’ like it was a very teenage approach, I call it. And now I feel like Mother has moved into her twenties and is experiencing that life isn’t what she thought it was.”
“So how do you deal with that? So it’s much closer to being human and to seeing things, but not dealing with them and to suppress things and suppress feelings and keep things on the inside because yeah, you have personal stuff. That’s a filter on your outlet, which is extremely interesting, I think.”
“And I mean, this character is just such a spider web of exploration I feel in terms of learning about humanity while diving into an Android. Ironic, actually.”
What metaphors and messages resonate in today’s society the most for you?
Collin: “I think for me, obviously you dive mostly into your own character and I think the control and the overview of what’s going on in your own world, but also in the world of your kids or the society as a whole.”
“I think it’s just so interesting to compare that to how I look at my own life and, you know, have plans and instead of just being more in the now and experience every day as it comes, because I think in a privileged world, it’s easy to think about what you wanna obtain, like what you wanna go to the tropical zone. And everyone has a different tropical zone, but yeah, it’s never what it seemed and you changed on the way there, so it doesn’t really matter, you know? I think it’s just such an exciting topic in today’s world.”
“I think a massive thing for this show [is that] religion obviously plays such a huge role in everything. You’ve got atheism and Mithraics, and I suppose it’s like what I find so interesting is these characters are their faith, or where they lie on faith, is always tested. And it’s interesting to see when characters who are atheists and don’t believe in, I suppose, anything outside of science and facts, when they’re forced to call upon something outside of themselves to try and, you know, look for answers.”
“It’s always interesting to see those themes being explored, especially in a show like this, because it’s like a recurring thing. We look for answers outside of ourselves to try and help us understand ourselves a lot more and others in the world.”
Salim: “Yeah, I think they’ve kind of all said it, right. It’s quite deep. It’s quite a deep question. And I think, for me anyway, that I’ve taken up or taken out of it, that you haven’t any idea what life is gonna throw at you and what you’re gonna gain from it, or as you said, like you don’t have the answers to everything.”
“I think that it’s really interesting and a fascinating space to be dancing in, because I think we are always told how we should feel and how we should think, but when you have a world like this, where you have all these different opinions and different characters and even, you know, different opinions within the same faction of the house with all these atheists.”
“I think it’s like, again, it’s what makes us human. It’s what makes the show quite human. And that to me is really, really enticing and, and exciting to delve and dabble in. And look, it’s gonna just keep evolving, like I think from season one and taking in this journey and story of that season to what happens in season two, Lord knows what three, four, and five of what Aaron’s [Guzikowski] got planned and the lessons that we’re gonna take from that. I’m sure it will evolve as well.”
Collin: “Yeah, and also, if I just may add, Niamh said our big need for someone to tell us what is happening, right. For someone to give an explanation and for the atheists in this case, it’s The Trust. We have to trust The Trust.”
“Like, where do you place your trust? Is it in astrology? Is it in religion? Is it in not believing anything, but really it’s so exciting that there’s a big need in humanity to place the responsibility outside of yourself, which is a crazy, interesting subject to dive into, I think because I have a four year old daughter and she told me the other day, like, ‘mom, just stop. I know how to live life,’ and you know, maybe she’s right. [laughs] And I’m so excited for the generations to come, cuz I’m sure they’re much more advanced than we are.”
What qualities do you admire most in your characters and what did you learn from exploring their journeys in the second season?
Salim: “I really like Father’s patience and sort of methodological way of handling situations. I think there’s something really cool about that.
“[And] I mean this season goes in a direction, which I mean, it’s great. I mean, it’s like season one and in the sense that you do have your ‘what the hell’ moments. But again, I think there’s the journey is that exploration and it’s that diving into something and not really knowing what’s at the end, but giving it your all.”
“I think that’s something that, especially what Father does through the journey of season two, is that he throws himself into almost like a passion project, not really knowing what the end result will be and is quite surprised by what it turns out to be, which is really exciting. I think with that mentality in mind, trying to put that into practice in real life and do that in real life and throwing yourself 110% into something, not really knowing whether it’s gonna work or not, is quite exciting and quite terrifying at the same time too. That’s a journey that I’ve definitely learned.”
Collin: “And you’re good at it in real life.”
Salim: “I’m alright. I’m keeping it there.”
Collin: “Yeah. I of course admire that Mother can fly, but if I should dig a little deeper than that, it’s probably that she keeps trusting her instincts. There’s something in her that keeps questioning what’s going on around her because there’s a gut feeling in an Android that tells her that something’s off.”
“And I think what makes her more human to go back to that in season two is that she doesn’t listen to it as much in season two. It takes her the whole season, without giving too much away, to sort find her way back to her gut, sort of. And I I like that in her cuz essentially it’s her life and she can fly. I mean, that’s the coolest part.”
Algar: “I like how resourceful and adaptable Sue is, and I’m always well impressed by just how resourceful [she is]. Like she literally takes the face of someone else in order to gain access to the ship.”
“But also, what I like about this character is that she’s incredibly forgiving. She has this, even though as guarded as she is, she’s got this really lovely, vulnerable quality to her. And I think in season two, what you see is this character who’s really been tested mentally throughout the whole season, and just seeing those cracks and seeing inside there and you get to kind of… I suppose a bit of her past and her backstory is revealed.”
“So it was really interesting to explore those emotions of a character when she goes on a very dark journey. So that was an interesting process to with her. But yeah, I’m just impressed because she’s smart. I wish I was as smart as Sue, to be honest.”
Images courtesy of HBO Max.
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