Apr 10 2023

The Power

I completely failed to notice that Amazon have just started streaming their adaptation of Naomi Alderman’s The Power.

I remember Naomi Alderman mentioning in the podcast she used to do with Adrian Hon and Andrea Phillips, The Cultures, that she’d been in discussions with producers for a TV adaptation of her story, but as that podcast has been inactive for a couple of years now I’d lost track of developments. In truth, Amazon’s track record of original shows is getting to be a case of quantity over quality, so I didn’t make the connection when a new show called The Power” showed up in Prime Video.

Four episodes of The Power have been released so far, and it looks very promising. A world where teenaged girls find themselves able to manifest their stress and anger by developing an ability to deliver electrical shocks. As the story begins this is an emerging phenomenon, so nobody has much of a handle on what’s causing this new power or how far young women can control it.

Interesting to see where they go with this, depicting the early stages of a world where the balance of power between the sexes is starting to shift but nobody quite knows what this will mean. One of our regular characters Tunde, a Nigerian rookie journalist, ends episode four narrating scenes from the footage he’s just shot in Saudi Arabia of women flexing their new-found powers and reacting with optimism that humans are about to have a bright rebirth.”

It seems pretty clear that by the end of this first nine-episode season some of the complications of such a radical redressing of the balance of power will have manifested themselves. The show looks more promising than anything I’ve seen recently from Amazon in the speculative fiction genre. I hope The Power does better that Paper Girls and at least gets multiple seasons to make a mark on the universe.

Barring a few familiar faces whose characters are already authority figures - Toni Collette, John Leguizamo, Eddie Marsan, Josh Charles - the show is largely being carried by a young cast whose previous work I’m not particularly familiar with. I hope to get the chance to come to know know some of their characters over the course of a few seasons.