“Tales From the Loop” by Paul Leonard-Morgan, Philip Glass

The new Amazon original Tales From the Loop is a sci-fi anthology series that takes place in an 80’s provincial town, where tape decks, CRT displays, and old-fashioned furniture co-exist with robots, flying devices, and gigantic alien-like structures. It tells the story of an underground particle accelerator called The Loop and how its existence affects the town folks above ground. Set against this seemingly ambivalent background the series tells its all-too-human tales, from broken friendships to family affairs to, yes, love stories as well. Its slower narration may seem a little off-putting at first, but little by little you notice how the individual episodes are connected. And more than once I was left speechless and returned to earlier episodes in astonishment.

The series is based on the works of Swedish designer/author Simon Stålenhag, who paints dystopian and retro-futuristic artworks which eventually are turned into narrative art books. Stalenhag describes Tales From the Loop as a coming-of-age story and what it means “to be a child and grow up and realize that adults have no idea what is going on“. It could be considered as a distant relative to Black Mirror or The Twilight Zone, but more muted, subtle and less garish. And with an imagery that is absolutely beautiful and endlessly fascinating!

I cannot recommend highly enough to take a visit to Stålenhag’s official website and get lost in the countless of artworks that he’s still publishing there for free. Or download this archive of images I’ve compiled during the making of this cover series and take a closer look. But beware – you may end up like I did and order all of Stålenhag’s books afterwards.

Another thing I’d like to recommend is the official soundtrack from Paul Leonard-Morgan and Philip Glass. Their stripped back piano-driven score is haunting, melancholy and absolutely beautiful! I’ve read in an interview that showrunner Nathaniel Halpern based each episode on one of Stålenhag’s artworks and I got the idea to carry over that concept to this custom covers collection. Below you find the tracklist in chronological order with one or more cover artworks representing each episode.

Let’s spread the word for Tales of the Loop in the hope that if just enough people watch the series we’ll be able to see even more of Stålenhag’s fantastic arworks brought to life on screen in a second season.

 

The Loop (S01E01)

1. Tales From the Loop
2. Asking the Guard
3. Approaching the Loop

 


 

Transpose (S01E02)

4. Walk to School
5. A Normal Day
6. 
Cole Looks for a Job
7. 
The Robot

 


 

Stasis (S01E03)

8. Life of May
9. May’s Frozen Life
10. Last Forever

 


 

Echo Sphere (S01E04)

11. Fireflies
12. Light in the Dark
13. Running to the Loop
14. Grandpa’s Gone

 


 

Control (S01E05)

15. Hope
16. Burying the Book
17. Ed Pulls it Together

 


 

Parallel (S01E06)

18. Gaddis Theme
19. Stuck Here Forever
20. Gaddis is Happy

 


 

Enemies (S01E07)

21. George Tries His Radio
22. Are You a Robot
23. George Returns to the Island

 


 

Home (S01E08)

24. Blink of an Eye
25. Mom Will Fix it
26. The Fight
27. Always Here for You
28. Flash Forward
29. Climbing the Tower
30. The Teacher

 

2 Comments

  1. I really need to watch this series, but I keep getting distracted by other stuff. Do you know if the score will get a physical release?

    Like

    1. I don’t think so. though it’s worth listening to the digital version as well

      Like

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