tv

New thriller series The Commons will make you look at motherhood in a whole new way.

Stan
Thanks to our brand partner, Stan

Stan’s new thriller series The Commons is a unique TV offering that seamlessly knits together futuristic elements with modern-day social issues that feel directly lifted from our own lives and hearts.

Dropping on Christmas Day, this gripping Stan Original Series stars Downtown Abbey‘s Joanne Froggatt as Eadie Boulay, a neuropsychologist working in an Australia set in the not-too-distant future. In many ways it could almost pass as present-day, except for a few notably forward-thinking exceptions that make themselves known as the plot unfolds.

With the effects of climate change already drastically affecting the world of The Commons,  and only set to worsen, Eadie has her hands full as a type of healer, with her skill set making her an invaluable part of a world that is beginning to crumble. In a world relying on new discoveries and advancing technology, being a human in the medical field is still the highest qualification one can have.

Eadie specialises in the use of Virtual Reality and Sensory Immersion to cure trauma and restore memory in her patients. But when the audience first meets her, this is not the most pressing issue at the forefront of her mind.

In this world, becoming pregnant and giving birth to a child is no easy feat, and for Eadie, the stakes are becoming increasingly more desperate.

For one thing, Eadie’s 38th birthday is fast approaching.

In our own world, this is a time infamous in many women’s lives, when they are forced to consider their options around pregnancy and becoming a parent. In The Commons, this idea of impending motherhood against a looming timeline is kicked up a notch.

In her world when Eadie turns 38, she will no longer be eligible for state-subsidised IVF assistance. It is impossible to get pregnant without it, and when we meet Eadie she is already three years into her IVF journey with no success.

Take a look at the trailer for the new Stan original series The Commons.

Over eight hour-long episodes, this intense drama casts its eye on an entirely plausible future, but ultimately, it’s a character-driven relationship drama based on human desire and emotion.

ADVERTISEMENT

That thread of humanity is most evident in the loving yet strained relationship between Eadie and her husband Lloyd (Sea Patrol star David Lyons) who, once united in their desire to have a baby, find themselves on opposing sides now that their only chance to become parents will see them go down a much more dangerous path – a radical IVF treatment that will force them to cross ethical lines. For Lloyd, he wants to become a father but is hesitant at the idea of ‘playing God’. He works as a vector biologist in gene-editing technology, currently on a cure for a vicious disease that has developed as a result of the world’s decimated climate, alongside his longtime best friend and colleague Shay (Bloom star Ryan Corr). This background makes him fully aware of the questionable road this treatment option will lead them down.

He is also in fear of putting Eadie’s life at risk for a dream that may never come true.

On Eadie’s side, it becomes apparent that she has tried and failed to talk herself out of her need to be a mother, especially when faced with the broken world her baby would have to live. It is this that spurs her to strike a dangerous bargain with Shay, and sets the riveting plot in fast motion.

Alongside Froggatt, Lyons and Corr, there’s British actor Rupert Penry-Jones (Spooks) who plays Eadie’s capitalist brother, and Damon Herriman (recently seen as Charles Manson in both Mindhunter and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood) who stars as Ben Childers, a Border Authority Officer suffering from PTSD caused by his experiences in wars and tasked with apprehending a fugitive family under Eadie’s care, a storyline that drives home how dangerous this future world is.

And while there are some light science fiction elements in The Commons, it is ultimately a fascinating exploration into the true price of motherhood and why humans want to be parents.

Laura Brodnik and Kee Reece unpack all the drama from The Commons on our Mamamia reviews podcast. Post continues after audio…

Eadie’s story takes a personal look at what it’s like to live in a world that teaches you to want a baby, but ultimately makes it difficult to conceive. It’s also a fascinating deep dive into how wealth disparities can limit the possibility of parenthood, and why for so many women, endangering their lives for the sake of children is the only choice they find themselves being able to make. But ultimately, it’s looking at what’s at stake for humanity with uncertain futures ahead.

There is no other TV show that delves so succinctly into the true cost and desire of motherhood like The Commons does, in a way that is equal parts brutal and beautiful.

Stan

Every episode of the Stan Original Series The Commons is now streaming, only on Stan - Australia's unrivalled home of original productions. Start your 30 free day trial now.

00:00 / ???