In the summer of 2020, British spy series The Capture was the culmination of the first batch of original programs when Peacock launched. Unfortunately, the streaming service has taken a long time to gain traction, and most viewers missed out on one of the best shows of the year.
At home, The Capture caused a sensation when the first season aired on the BBC and the second season launched in one of the channel’s most important timeslots in early autumn.
We’ll get season two of The Capture here in the United States when all six episodes come out on Peacock on November 3, 2022. The new season is every bit as good as the first, offering a satisfying ending that tells a complete story about the two-year run.
The first season of The Capture followed detective inspector Rachel Carey (Holliday Grainger) as she tries to find out what really happened when a British military veteran is accused of murdering the defense attorney who had just acquitted him in a war crimes trial.
There is footage from CCTV security cameras believed to be capturing him committing the crime, but there is evidence that something is wrong with the picture and DI Carey uncovers a conspiracy that reaches up to the highest echelons of Britain’s security service .
Related: “Peacock” adds some spying to home video streaming
In the second season, the danger of image manipulation has passed to the media. A government security minister is baffled when the interviews he gives are completely different on the broadcast. The person in front of the camera looks exactly like him, but takes political positions that are 100% at odds with his personal beliefs.
Who is behind the new technology? Is it the Chinese, the Americans or maybe the Russians? Carey is now working from the inside to find out the truth. If you love 1970s conspiracy thrillers like Three Days of the Condor, then The Capture updates those paranoid vibes for an online world.
The Capture was created and written by showrunner Ben Chanan. He took some time to talk to us about the show. The show’s second season adds to CCTV Alert’s ongoing concerns about deepfakes, the process of adding computer-generated people to existing video footage.
“We have a lot of CCTV cameras in the UK,” said Chanan. “I think London is the most viewed city outside of China. I think Beijing or maybe Shanghai might be the most viewed city, but London is certainly the most viewed city in Europe. You have them in the US too, especially in cities people might just not be as aware of.
“Since [George Orwell’s novel] “1984,” there’s a fiction tradition that discusses the impact on our privacy and freedom of being watched all the time. I think I wanted to ask one more question. What will the people watching you do with the footage? With the advent of artificial intelligence, there’s a whole new level of fear of where a surveillance state might take you.
“With season two, we’re really exploding out of the surveillance realm and we’re going into the media and asking the question how can we believe what we’re seeing given the rise of deepfakes?” Chanan said. “This question is relevant because media and any type of communication or video display that takes place on the screen are vulnerable to attack.”
Chanan insists that whatever happens on The Capture is technically possible, although it likely won’t happen on the scale the show portrays. “It’s heightened reality,” he said. “The plot is far-fetched, but nothing is technically impossible. If anyone really did everything successfully, it would have to be the most ambitious, perfectly executed campaign. But the technology is real, even if it’s just this side of science fiction.”
Paranoid thrillers from the 70’s are definitely an inspiration for The Capture. Chanan said, “The whole tone, the story, everything wouldn’t have happened without The Conversation, The Parallax View and Three Days of the Condor. I saw these movies as a kid and I love conspiracy thrillers. I love the structure of a conspiracy thriller narrative.”
The second season explores issues that unite citizens on opposite ends of the political spectrum. “There’s the fake news conversation that we’re all having out there in the real world, and then there’s this whole different threat to the validity of what we’re seeing, which are compelling photorealistic deepfakes,” Chanan said.
“I think it’s a question we haven’t even looked at. What we gonna do? For now, I think deepfakes are often easily detectable in the real world. For example, they made one by Zelenskyj. Someone hacked into a news organization. Now Zelenskyy was somewhere else. So he could just show up and say, “Well, it wasn’t me because I’m here.”
“But in our story you can see how the nefarious forces make some effort to make sure that Isaac can’t show up and say, ‘Oh no, I am, I am that Isaac over here.’ Because if you go to episode two now, he becomes an accomplice because he’s part of the government. So he can’t just uncover what’s going on. You can see where things could go if this Zelenskyy thing was executed more perfectly. It could have been a lot more problematic.”
One of the best things about The Capture is that it tells a complete story over two seasons in a total of 12 episodes. If DI Rachel Carey’s character never graces our screens again, the payoff was definitely worth the investment.
Despite this, the show was so popular in the UK that someone, somewhere, will be asking for a sequel. Chanan won’t say no to a follow-up, but he has no plans to return at this time. he said. “I still think I need a good old long vacation. It was obviously a long six years. So I don’t know. Unfortunately I can’t tell you.”
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