Eric (miniseries)

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Eric
Genre
Created byAbi Morgan
Written byAbi Morgan
Directed byLucy Forbes
Starring
ComposerKeefus Ciancia
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of episodes6
Production
Executive producers
ProducerHolly Pullinger
Running time52–55 minutes
Production companies
  • Sister
  • Little Chick
Original release
NetworkNetflix
Release30 May 2024 (2024-05-30)

Eric is a 2024 British psychological thriller television miniseries created for the streaming service Netflix.[1] It stars Benedict Cumberbatch as a distraught puppeteer whose young son goes missing in 1980s New York City. The script was written by Abi Morgan with Lucy Forbes directing and Holly Pullinger producing the series. The series was released on 30 May 2024.

Synopsis[edit]

In 1980s New York City, Vincent is a puppeteer in an unhappy marriage whose nine-year-old son, Edgar, goes missing. Vincent's increasingly volatile behavior alienates him from his friends, family, and coworkers.[2] After issues with substance abuse, Vincent becomes convinced that he can reunite with Edgar with the help of his seven-foot-tall puppet, Eric.[3]

Cast[edit]

Episodes[edit]

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
1"Episode 1"Lucy ForbesAbi Morgan30 May 2024 (2024-05-30)
In 1985, New York puppeteer Vincent Anderson, the creator of the long-running children's television series Good Day, Sunshine! and his team face increasing pressure from their network to broaden the show's appeal by introducing new characters. Vincent's son, Edgar, suggests a big blue monster named Eric as a new character, but Vincent is dismissive of the idea. One night, Vincent and his wife Cassie have a heated argument that is clearly audible to Edgar, and the next morning Vincent allows him to walk the few blocks to his school alone. At work, Vincent arrives with a cut on his forehead and ignores many phone calls from Cassie, only to learn upon coming home that Edgar never arrived at school and cannot be located. Shortly after NYPD detective Michael Ledroit takes on the case, a sanitation worker discovers a bloodstained Good Day, Sunshine! t-shirt belonging to Edgar. Ledroit has been investigating a nightclub, The Lux, on Edgar's route to school. During a nighttime visit there, he sees two vice cops, Kennedy and Nokes, beat up a young man in the men's room and hears Kennedy warn Nokes about someone or something he calls "Number 8." When Ledroit listens to the secret recording he made at The Lux, he hears a young boy's voice. Vincent, distraught, resorts to drinking. He begins to focus on Edgar's drawings of Eric after discovering many of them in the boy's room. The next morning, he starts imagining that Eric is there and urging him to find Edgar. Meanwhile, Edgar's red jacket is seen in the street.
2"Episode 2"Lucy ForbesAbi Morgan30 May 2024 (2024-05-30)
Vincent and Cassie make a public appeal for information about Edgar. Ledroit's investigation leads him to the apartment building super, George Lovett, who was imprisoned years ago for a sex offense involving a minor. Ledroit finds evidence in Lovett's apartment that Edgar spent time there. However, during questioning Lovett explains that Edgar often stayed with him when his parents argued. While handing out missing persons flyers, Cassie spots a homeless woman wearing a similar red jacket to the one Edgar had. Vincent returns unexpectedly to work and pitches Eric to his boss, Lennie, who convinces executives from their network to consider Vincent's pitch in an upcoming meeting. Ledroit returns to The Lux, discovering that a kitchen worker's son was the child whose voice he heard on his recording. Combing through CCTV footage from the block of the Andersons' apartment, he discovers that Vincent left the building very shortly after Edgar, which is quite different from the account of events Vincent had given him previously. Vincent sets about creating a mock-up of Eric's puppet, all the while plagued by the imaginary Eric, who both encourages him to pursue this idea and cautions him against antagonizing others in his life.
3"Episode 3"Lucy ForbesAbi Morgan30 May 2024 (2024-05-30)
Lovett is released and cleared of all charges while Ledroit re-focuses his investigation on Vincent, who is frantically preparing to pitch Eric to the network. During questioning at the police station, Vincent reveals that he had followed Edgar from their building that morning into an alleyway, where the two had a confrontation resulting in his tearing of Edgar's t-shirt and then using it to wipe his own blood from the wound he sustained in that incident. Nearby CCTV footage confirms his account of what happened and Vincent is released. Cassie meets and sympathizes with Cecile, the mother of another missing boy, Marlon Rochelle, who disappeared the year before. Vincent delivers a successful pitch to the network, but one of the executives later tells Lennie that they want to take on the character of Eric along with firing Vincent, citing his volatile behavior. Cecile convinces Ledroit to resume the search for Marlon as part of his investigation despite a lack of evidence of his whereabouts, much to his superior's frustration. In a village for homeless people underneath the subway, Edgar is revealed to be alive and held in captivity.
4"Episode 4"Lucy ForbesAbi Morgan30 May 2024 (2024-05-30)
After being informed by Lennie that the network has fired him, Vincent responds with a furious tirade about Lennie's disloyalty. He later goes to an elegant restaurant to confront Jerry, a network executive, but Vincent's father, Robert, a wealthy real estate developer, appears and marches Vincent out of the place. Robert promises to support Vincent on the condition that he goes to rehab. When Vincent returns home, Cassie reveals that she is pregnant with another child, whose father is a charity worker Cassie is having an affair with, before demanding him to move out. In the homeless village, it is shown that Edgar is there because he had followed a homeless man, Yuusuf, who is often in his neighborhood. Edgar admits he did this because he was curious about the man's tag artwork. Ledroit questions a sanitation worker about finding Edgar's bloodied t-shirt, an incident that was captured by a neighborhood CCTV camera. Ledroit is devastated to learn that his partner, William Elliot, has died of AIDS. Vincent decides to stay with Lovett after leaving Cassie and asks to see Edgar's drawings of their neighborhood. Upon inspection, Vincent realizes that the drawings are actually a map, which he now believes will lead him to Edgar. Ledroit, having found that Lennie was once arrested in a club frequented by young male hustlers, questions Lennie about Edgar and Marlon, and Lennie gives him the name of Ricardo, a young man who might have been one of the last to see Marlon.
5"Episode 5"Lucy ForbesAbi Morgan30 May 2024 (2024-05-30)
Cassie receives a call from Yuusuf, giving her a meeting location and a demand that he be paid the $25,000 cash reward that has been offered by Vincent's parents for Edgar's return. Ledroit pursues Lennie's lead about Ricardo, who reveals that he swapped basketball jerseys with Marlon the day he disappeared, and additionally that his jersey, the one Marlon was then wearing, was Number 8. Ledroit also suspects that both Ricardo and Marlon frequented The Lux. He asks the club's owner, Alex Gator, to find the club's CCTV footage from the day Marlon disappeared. Meanwhile, Vincent becomes furious after finding out about the network's interpretation of Eric when the new character is presented during a charity event. Edgar's map leads Vincent to the subway, and eventually to the homeless village where Edgar is being kept, but both are unaware of each other's presence. Vincent's parents bring in Ledroit when Cassie asks them for the reward money to pay the man who claims to have Edgar. Before the exchange can be made, the city hall sends police officers to clear out the homeless village. Yuusuf allows an acquaintance, a girl called Raya, who unbeknownst to Yuusuf intends to sell Edgar as a child sex slave to TJ to wipe out her drug debt to him, to take Edgar hurriedly to the surface. Vincent briefly spots Edgar in the ensuing chaos. While climbing up to the surface, Edgar slips and drags Raya down with him; both fall into the rushing water of a culvert below.
6"Episode 6"Lucy ForbesAbi Morgan30 May 2024 (2024-05-30)
The mass eviction of homeless people from the subway backfires when people all over the city begin protesting the harsh behavior of the police. Gator hands Ledroit the missing recording of Marlon, which reveals that vice cop Nokes beat him savagely after he was discovered behind the club performing oral sex on Deputy Mayor Richard Costello. Marlon's body was then disposed of by a sanitation crew working for Costello's brother-in-law. Vincent, having passed out during the police raid on the homeless village, comes to and learns from Yuusuf that he took care of Edgar who has fled from the raid via the culvert. Despite objections from his superior, Ledroit orders Nokes, Costello, his brother-in-law, and the sanitation crew apprehended. Most of the men refuse to talk, but Costello himself and sanitation worker Misha, overcome with guilt, admit what happened to Marlon. Both Vincent and Edgar separately make it to the surface, after which Vincent steals the Eric costume from the studio. He crashes a protest in Central Park wearing the costume and makes an impassioned plea to Edgar, which he sees on television. Both Vincent and Edgar reunite in their neighborhood. A few months later, Vincent, now divorced from Cassie and currently in rehab, has rejoined the show, now starring as Eric. Edgar comes to the studio as part of his regular visit, and the two share a moment as the imaginary Eric looks on.

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

Netflix commissioned the six-part series in November 2021 to be made by production companies Little Chick and Sister.[4]

The script was written by Abi Morgan, with Lucy Forbes directing and serving as executive producer. Holly Pullinger would produce the series, with Cumberbatch starring and acting as executive producer. Jane Featherstone and Lucy Dyke of Sister also executively produce, and Morgan is also an executive producer via Little Chick.[5]

Casting[edit]

In February 2023, it was revealed that joining Cumberbatch in the cast would be Gaby Hoffmann, McKinley Belcher III, Dan Fogler, Clarke Peters, Ivan Morris Howe, Phoebe Nicholls, David Denman, Bamar Kane, Adepero Odyue, Alexis Molnar, and Roberta Colindrez. Cumberbatch had a dual role, providing the voice of the Eric puppet, including in scenes where Eric "exists" on his own.[6] Later the same month, Jeff Hephner and Wade Allain-Marcus joined the cast.[7][8]

Filming[edit]

Principal photography began by early 2023, with filming locations including Budapest and New York.[9] Cumberbatch was photographed by the media in the street with glasses and a dark green trench coat.[10]

Release[edit]

The series was released on Netflix on 30 May 2024.[11]

A soundtrack album featuring original music from the series, composed by Keefus Ciancia, was released on streaming platforms on 31 May 2024.[12] Additionally, the theme song to Good Day Sunshine, written by Tim Minchin, was released onto streaming the same day.[12]

Reception[edit]

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 71% of 70 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 6.3/10. The website's consensus reads: "Startlingly disturbing despite its outwardly fuzzy appearance, Eric is a perverse genre-bender that may not fully articulate all of its ideas but offers a memorably demented binge."[13] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 61 out of 100, based on 31 critics, indicating "generally favorable" reviews.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Is Netflix series Eric based on a true story? Creator Abi Morgan sets the record straight". Virgin Radio UK. 21 May 2024. Retrieved 8 June 2024.
  2. ^ Goldbart, Max (3 February 2023). "Benedict Cumberbatch To Lead & EP Netflix's 'Eric' From Abi Morgan & Sister". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 3 April 2023.
  3. ^ King, Aidan (4 January 2023). "'Eric': Benedict Cumberbatch in Talks to Star in Netflix Limited Series". Collider. Retrieved 3 April 2023.
  4. ^ Yossman, K.J. (30 November 2021). "Netflix Commissions Five U.K. Series Including Re-Make of David Nicholls' 'One Day' and Abi Morgan's 'Eric'". Variety. Retrieved 3 April 2023.
  5. ^ Otterson, Joe (4 January 2023). "Benedict Cumberbatch in Talks to Star in Netflix Limited Series 'Eric' From Abi Morgan, Sister (Exclusive)". Variety. Retrieved 3 April 2023.
  6. ^ Seddon, Dan; Cook, Rebecca (31 May 2024). "Benedict Cumberbatch reveals bosses "said no" to original Eric voice". Digital Spy. Retrieved 3 June 2024.
  7. ^ Cordero, Rosy (22 February 2023). "'Insecure's Wade Allain-Marcus Boards Benedict Cumberbatch-Led Series 'Eric'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 3 April 2023.
  8. ^ Goldbart, Max (9 February 2023). "'Chicago Fire' Star Jeff Hephner Boards Benedict Cumberbatch Netflix Series 'Eric'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 3 April 2023.
  9. ^ Otterson, Joe (3 February 2023). "Benedict Cumberbatch-Led Netflix Limited Series 'Eric' Rounds Out Main Cast". Variety. Retrieved 3 April 2023.
  10. ^ Sarkisian, Jacob (15 May 2023). "Benedict Cumberbatch transforms for new Netflix series Eric". Digital Spy. Retrieved 15 May 2023.
  11. ^ @NetflixUK (22 March 2024). "Eric stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Gaby Hoffmann and McKinley Belcher III. This emotional crime drama follows the desperate search of a father when his nine year old son disappears one morning on the way to school. Coming 30 May. #NextOnNetflix" (Tweet). Retrieved 22 March 2024 – via Twitter.
  12. ^ a b "'Good Day Sunshine Theme' from Netflix's 'Eric' Released". filmmusicreporter.com. 31 May 2024. Retrieved 5 June 2024.
  13. ^ "Eric". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 18 June 2024. Edit this at Wikidata
  14. ^ "Eric". Metacritic. Fandom, Inc. Retrieved 18 June 2024.

External links[edit]