Snowpiercer (TV series)
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|Developed by||Josh Friedman and Graeme Manson|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||20 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||44–51 minutes|
|Picture format||HDTV 1080p|
|Audio format||Dolby Digital 5.1|
|Original release||May 17, 2020 –|
Snowpiercer is an American post-apocalyptic dystopian thriller television drama series that premiered on TNT on May 17, 2020. It is based on both the 2013 film of the same name, directed by Bong Joon-ho and the 1982 French graphic novel Le Transperceneige, from which the film was adapted, by Jacques Lob, Benjamin Legrand and Jean-Marc Rochette.
The series, a reboot of the film's continuity, follows the passengers of the Snowpiercer, a gigantic, perpetually moving train that circles the globe carrying the remnants of humanity seven years after the world becomes a frozen wasteland. The series questions class warfare, social injustice and the politics of survival. Jennifer Connelly and Daveed Diggs star alongside Mickey Sumner, Annalise Basso, Sasha Frolova, Alison Wright, Benjamin Haigh, Roberto Urbina, Katie McGuinness, Susan Park, Lena Hall, Sheila Vand, Sam Otto, Iddo Goldberg and Jaylin Fletcher. Rowan Blanchard, Steven Ogg and Sean Bean also joined the main cast in the second season.
While in development at TNT for over three years, the series faced numerous production issues and delays arising from creative differences between the series' producers and the network. The series remained in development hell until May 2019, when it was announced that the series would instead air on TNT's sister network TBS for a release in the second quarter of 2020 and that it had already been renewed for a second season. However, in September 2019, the decision to change networks was reversed.
Prior to studio shutdowns that occurred due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, most of the second season's production was completed. The second season premiered on January 25, 2021. In January 2021, ahead of the second-season premiere, the series was renewed for a third season. In July 2021, the series was renewed for a fourth season.
Snowpiercer is set in 2026, seven years after the world becomes a frozen wasteland, and follows the remnants of humanity who have taken shelter on a perpetually moving luxury train. Designed and built by the eccentric billionaire Mr. Wilford, the train consists of 1,001 carriages and circles the globe 2.7 times per year. The constant motion of the train provides energy and prevents the passengers from freezing as well. Since the catastrophe, the train's population has become rigidly separated by class, caught up in a revolutionary struggle against the strictly imposed social hierarchy and unbalanced allocation of limited resources. The show explores issues of class warfare, social injustice, and the politics of survival.
Cast and characters
- Jennifer Connelly as Melanie Cavill: The powerful Head of Hospitality (the department responsible for smooth relations) and the Voice of the Train (responsible for making the PA system's daily announcements) aboard Snowpiercer. Though many of her peers are dismissive of the lower-class passengers, Melanie is curiously fascinated by them as she came from humble beginnings, explaining much of her sympathies. To the majority of the train, Melanie is believed to be Mr. Wilford's representative in relaying orders to the passengers and crew. It is later revealed Melanie has assumed his identity and is actually Snowpiercer's Head Engineer, working tirelessly to keep it functional. Melanie has been facing the crushing burden of directing Snowpiercer on its global journey, managing mounting resource and class issues, having her authority and decisions challenged and maintaining Wilford's iron order throughout the train to preserve the last of humanity. With few aware of her true identity, she is also desperate to maintain the myth of Wilford and keep her identity secret. Ultimately the secret is exposed, leading to a coup attempt by wealthy passengers from First Class, and a revolution by the Tail and Third Class sections with Melanie siding with Layton in the end. After the revolution, Melanie officially hands leadership of the train to Layton and resumes her duties as Head Engineer, but her plans to remain indefinitely in the engine room are threatened by the arrival of Mr. Wilford, and the surprise return of Melanie's believed-dead daughter Alexandra. In the second season, Melanie departs Snowpiercer to find a place that humanity can recolonize. In the second-season finale, Layton and Alex discover that Melanie had sacrificed the last of her power to protect her data before walking into the Freeze to die, having ensured that humanity would have a future.
- Daveed Diggs as Andre Layton: A former detective, is a quiet thinker who spends his days tending to his cage of rats in the Tail, and a dangerous rebel who helps coordinate and lead a revolution against the oppressive First Class to improve the harsh living conditions in the tail end of the train. As he is the world's only surviving homicide detective, he is reluctantly deputized by Melanie as Snowpiercer's Train Detective, to help solve a series of murders; involving him and those he cares about in a struggle that could upend life on the train. Layton uses his new position as train detective to investigate the killings, while gathering intelligence and support for the revolution, and uses what he learns to start a revolution by the Tail and Third Class sections. After a bloody conflict, Layton's revolution succeeds and he is officially handed leadership of the train by Melanie. Originally planning to implement a new democratic government, his plans are threatened by the arrival of Mr. Wilford. While at times Layton and Melanie have been enemies, only by putting aside their differences and working together did they save Snowpiercer and overthrow the system. At the end of the second season, Layton creates his own pirate train out of the first ten cars of Snowpiercer in order to resist Wilford, taking with him several of his and Melanie's most trusted loyalists.
- Mickey Sumner as Bess Till: A thoughtful, empathetic, and savvy Brakeman who is part of the train's security force, she is a former Detroit PD first-year rookie officer who witnessed the department's self-destruction during the Freeze. She finds herself at the center of a series of murders that rocks the train's uneasy status quo. She is in a serious romantic relationship with Jinju, and later upgrades to Second Class to be with her. Tormented by witnessing the injustices of the class system, she ultimately breaks from the Brakemen and decides to support Layton's revolution, which cost her her relationship with Jinju. As a result, she becomes one of Layton's most trusted friends and allies. In season 2, Layton promotes her to Train Detective and Till struggles with her actions and her place in the world now. She joins Layton's pirate train at the end of the season.
- Alison Wright as Ruth Wardell: Melanie's deputy in Hospitality who helps look after First Class passengers, and oversees removal requests from the Tail, or delivering demands to them, activities she seems to feel are beneath her. Before the Freeze, she ran a bed and breakfast in Kendal, and was personally recruited for Snowpiercer by Mr. Wilford when he was a guest. Initially a friend to Melanie, she feels betrayed due to the recent revelations of the secrets Melanie was hiding from her and the rest of the train. After the revolution, Ruth is now Head of Hospitality, and is initially thrilled by Mr. Wilford's return, but begins to wonder whether Layton or Wilford is really the best thing for the train. When questioned by Layton, Ruth insists that her loyalty is to Snowpiercer and the passengers and Melanie believes that Ruth can be trusted as long as Layton remains honest with her. She subsequently acts as part of Layton's leadership council with Miss Audrey, Roche and Bennett Knox but he continues to be reluctant to trust her. After seeing Wilford's cruelty for herself, Ruth sides completely with Layton, but is inadvertently left behind with Wilford when Layton creates a separate pirate train.
- Lena Hall as Miss Audrey: The lead madam of Snowpiercer's Nightcar; a Third Class den of (mostly) platonic prostitution and spiritual healing, she is a cunning chanteuse who knows the darkest secrets of the train. She represents Third Class before the rest of the train and is very vocal about the cruelty of the social differences aboard Snowpiercer, and pursues opportunities to demand more social conscience in the train, including supporting Layton's revolution. In season 2, she struggles with the return of Mr. Wilford and appears to be descending into alcoholism. She reveals to Layton that she was once an escort who served Wilford personally for years and has struggled to put her past behind her. In turn, Wilford is shown to have a genuine affection for her. Its revealed that the two have a sadomasochistic relationship with Miss Audrey being the dominant party. She later defects to Wilford's side, helping him against Snowpiercer. When Layton creates a separate pirate train, she is taken hostage by Layton's crew in order to ensure Zarah's safety.
- Iddo Goldberg as Bennett Knox: One of Snowpiercer's engineers, who is inside the knowledge of Melanie's impersonation of Mr. Wilford, he is one of Snowpiercer's original designers, making him one of the few passengers who knows the deepest secrets of the train. He is fiercely loyal to Melanie, with whom he is romantically involved. When Mr. Wilford returns, he betrays Melanie as he believes that Snowpiercer won't survive without the supplies onboard Big Alice, but he otherwise remains loyal to Snowpiercer and Melanie, forging an alliance with Layton to protect the train together in Melanie's absence. He subsequently acts as part of Layton's leadership council with Miss Audrey, Roche and Ruth Wardell. It's revealed that Bennett was in on the plot to steal the train in the first place unlike his best friend Javi. At the end of the second season, he joins Layton's pirate train as one of Layton's engineers.
- Susan Park as Jinju Seong (season 1): Snowpiercer's agricultural officer who lives in Second Class, she is also the finest chef at the train's finest restaurant, and a member of the train's elite. She was in a serious romantic relationship with Bess, and is inside the knowledge of Melanie's impersonation of Mr. Wilford. After the revolution, she and Till break up over their differing opinions on the matter.
- Katie McGuinness as Josie Wellstead: A strong, no-nonsense Tailie, she cares for Miles and other children in the tail, and uses training from her time as a veterinarian before the Freeze to treat the sick or injured. She is Andre's love interest after Zarah's departure from the tail. She has been part of uprisings in the tail, and takes great risks on the behalf of her community. She is later to have thought to been frozen to death, after trying to kill Melanie who tortured her. In the second season, it's revealed that she actually survived, albeit severely injured. Receiving treatment from the Headwoods on Big Alice, Josie develops a cold resistance that is similar to Icy Bob and receives a new prosthetic hand. She joins the crew of Layton's pirate train at the end of the second season.
- Sam Otto as John "Oz" Osweiller: A young Brakeman and Bess' partner as a police-type figure of the train. He is more harsh and direct than Bess in dealing with passengers; however, his behavior could be from emotional trauma. He referenced being in pain from "everything", which is his excuse for taking the street-drug Kronole. He was a British football player before the Freeze, raised by a single mother who was a prostitute and emotionally distant from him. In the revolution, Oz abandons his job with the Brakemen, and is now surviving in Third Class with LJ, both of them hated by the train's passengers. Oz starts dating LJ and becomes the head of janitorial after Terence's assassination.
- Sheila Vand as Zarah Ferami: Andre's ex-wife who, unable to adjust to the rigors of surviving in poverty on the train, left the Tail to become a bartender in the Nightcar, to the fury of other Tailies and Andre's heartbreak. With Andre's recruitment as Train Detective, she is now forced to confront her past. She is later revealed to be pregnant with Layton's child, and after the revolution is trying to build a new life and a second chance with Andre. In the second season, she joins Hospitality in an effort to contribute and to bridge the gap between Layton and Ruth Wardell. When Layton creates a separate pirate train, Zarah decides to remain behind, feeling that she is safer there and that Wilford doesn't dare to hurt her due to her pregnancy.
- Roberto Urbina as Javier "Javi" de la Torre: One of Snowpiercer's engineers, who is inside the knowledge of Melanie's impersonation of Mr. Wilford, but he often questions the morality of Melanie's decisions. He often helps with the driving of the train, and uses advanced algorithms and old hacked satellites remaining in Earth's orbit to predict the environment surrounding Snowpiercer at all times. When the revolution happens, Javi sides with the Folgers at first, but eventually betrays them for their ruthless tactics and rescues Melanie. Following the revolution, he continues working with Bennett and Melanie in the Engine. During the effort to retrieve Melanie, Javi was mauled by Wilford's dog, Jupiter.
- Mike O'Malley as Sam Roche: Snowpiercer's lead Brakeman who is a former police officer and Wilford's security officer before the Freeze. As the train's chief law enforcement officer, he tried to maintain the train's order, but ended up respecting and allying with Layton, and ultimately decides to support Layton's revolution. He and his wife, Anne, and one of his three children survived the Freeze. In season 2, he works with Layton and his former subordinate Bess Till to maintain order in the wake of Wilford's return. He is one of Layton's leadership council alongside Ruth Wardell, Miss Audrey and Bennett Knox following Melanie's departure from the train. Near the end of season 2, he is placed in the Drawers on Big Alice along with his family.
- Annalise Basso as Lilah "LJ" Folger Jr.: The isolated teenage daughter of Lilah and Robert, she lives uptrain with her parents in First Class, surrounded by luxury. Appearing to be quiet and diligent, she is later revealed as a murderous psychopath and sadist, and the mastermind behind the serial murders on Snowpiercer committed by her bodyguard and boyfriend Erik Sotto. She is exposed by Layton, arrested and found guilty in a tribunal, but her acquittal on Melanie's order makes her one of the most hated First Class train passengers. Following the death of her parents in the revolution, the orphaned and defenseless LJ is evicted from First Class by Pike, and is now surviving in Third Class with Oz, both of them hated by the train's passengers. LJ reluctantly takes on a janitorial job and bonds with Alex Cavill. She eventually starts dating Oz.
- Jaylin Fletcher as Miles (season 1; guest season 2): A Tailie child, whose parents and sister were left behind to die in the Freeze when their refugee group invaded the train, leaving him to be raised primarily by Andre and Josie - the rest of the Tail refer to him as "Miles and Miles" (implying no one is aware of his surname). Whip smart and talented, his brilliant intelligence wins him a coveted apprenticeship that allows him to move up the train to Second Class. He is later fast-track appointed an Engine Apprentice by Melanie. He plays a pivotal role in the revolution, revealing the truth about Melanie's deception to LJ Folger and working with Bennett, Melanie and Layton to kill the Folgers and their army by detaching seven cars from the train. In season 2, Miles is revealed to be working on engineering life systems and dreams of being one of the first people to recolonize the planet. Gabriel Jacob-Cross plays Young Miles.
- Steven Ogg as Pike (season 2; recurring season 1): A Tailie, who was a career convict, serving time in Cook County Jail for armed robbery at the time of the Freeze, but escaped. He is respected as a hardened and battle-scarred leader in the Tail, and a warrior of his people, though he often acts as a renegade, out for whatever he can get and has shifting loyalties. In season 2, he starts an illicit trade between the two trains which Layton agrees to allow under his supervision. After assassinating Terence on Layton's orders, Pike suffers something of a breakdown out of guilt.
- Rowan Blanchard as Alexandra "Alex" Cavill (season 2; guest season 1): Melanie's daughter and Big Alice's Engineer, who was believed to have died in the Freeze when her mother was forced to leave her behind when Snowpiercer left Chicago seven years ago. In the Season 1 finale, Alex returns aboard Big Alice. She spent seven years on Big Alice as Wilford's dedicated protégée. Wilford had also manipulated her into hating Melanie, her mother, by convincing her that Melanie "stole" the train and left her behind. Upon reuniting with their reunification, Alex and her mother slowly began to rekindle their relationship. Alex also starts becoming friendly with LJ Folger despite their differing loyalties. Alex eventually abandons Wilford and joins Layton's pirate train.
- Sean Bean as Mr. Wilford (season 2; uncredited season 1): An eccentric billionaire and genius inventor, Mr. Wilford is the powerful creator of Snowpiercer, worshipped as a Messiah-like figure who used his company, Wilford Industries, to refit his luxury liner train, "Wilford's Dreamliner" and its global railway into an ark, Snowpiercer, to save a small population from the Freeze (though in truth Melanie performed the engineering work to do so, and he claimed the credit). Initially believed to be the mysterious and reclusive Head Engineer of the train and is solely represented by Melanie, it is later revealed Melanie has assumed his identity and is the true Engineer; Wilford was believed to have died during the Freeze, after Melanie abandoned him to die at boarding, believing the remnants of humanity would not survive under his rule. This revelation led to a coup attempt by wealthy passengers from First Class, and a revolution by the Tail and Third Class sections. In the Season 1 finale, after the revolution, Wilford returns in control of a secondary supply train, Big Alice, and docks with Snowpiercer. With his new technology and a master plan, Wilford intends to resume command of both trains. His first name is revealed to be Joseph in "A Great Odyssey". His (uncredited) voice is heard in a doctored recording in "Access Is Power".
- Archie Panjabi as Asha (season 3)
- Chelsea Harris as Sykes (season 3; recurring season 2): Mr. Wilford's head of security aboard Big Alice, Sykes keeps her secrets and is loyal to Wilford. At the end of the second season, Sykes is captured by Bennett Knox and remains a prisoner onboard Layton's pirate train.
- Aaron Glenane as the Last Australian: A Tailie, and scrappy charmer from Perth with an intense desire to survive and have children because, as far as he knows, he is the last Australian. It's revealed that his real name is Murray, though no one calls him that. In season 2, Murray learns that he is not in fact the last Australian as there is another Australian aboard Big Alice, Emilia, who had also believed herself to be the last.
- Karin Konoval as Dr. Pelton: Snowpiercer's physician who lives in Second Class, a friendly doctor who finds herself caught up in the politics and machinations aboard the train. She later supports Layton's revolution, hiding him and Josie and treating the wounded. In season 2, she remains one of Layton's most trusted supporters and is often seen representing Second Class in discussions.
- Aleks Paunovic as Bojan "Boki" Boscovic: The leader of Snowpiercer's Breachmen, one of the most dangerous jobs on the train, he has a large and fearsome appearance; with frostbite scars and stumped ears, but is upbeat and jokes about the cold and the hazards of the job. His loyalty to Mr. Wilford becomes a problem for Layton and his fragile democracy after his return. Boki reveals that he has been working for Wilford since he was fourteen years old and has a hard time believing Wilford would betray his trust, even after the other Breachmen are murdered. After repairing Wilford's sabotage to the train, seeing Wilford's betrayal with his own eyes, he defects to Layton's side completely. He is apparently killed in the second-season finale when the Aquarium Car is destroyed.
- Happy Anderson as Dr. Henry Klimpt (season 1): A research scientist-turned-doctor living in Second Class. He oversees those unfortunate enough to be sentenced to the coffin-like Drawers. He later supports Layton's revolution.
- Timothy V. Murphy as Nolan Grey (season 1; guest season 2): The commander of Snowpiercer's Jackboots security force, he is a brilliant tactician and a hardened Special Forces leader, who commanded men in the British SAS before the Freeze. He relishes keeping things in order and getting his hands dirty in combat. He is presumed dead after the penultimate episode of Season 1 when Layton, Melanie, Bennett and Miles cut seven cars loose. In the second season, he reappears in flashbacks to the night the train was boarded.
- Kerry O'Malley as Lilah Folger, Sr. (season 1): A First Class passenger who knew Mr. Wilford before the Freeze, and a former corporate lawyer from old money, who is fiercely protective of her own, particularly her daughter LJ and the rest of First Class, with whom she shares a vested interest in maintaining their security and privilege. She, along with her husband, are both presumed dead after the penultimate episode of Season 1 when Layton, Melanie, Bennett and Miles cut seven cars loose.
- Vincent Gale as Robert Folger (season 1): A First Class passenger who knew Mr. Wilford before the Freeze, who is convinced that First Class is essential for the wellbeing of Snowpiercer, and that Third Class and the Tail Section are dispensable. He takes advantage of the revelation of Melanie's impersonation of Wilford to lead a coup attempt to remove her from her position, an act leading to Leyton's revolution. He, along with his wife, are both presumed dead after the penultimate episode of Season 1 when Layton, Melanie, Bennett and Miles cut seven cars loose.
- Jonathan Lloyd Walker as Big John (season 1): A Tailie who works in Sanitation along with others from the Tail; work that is harsh slave-like labor. He is killed in the revolution.
- Brent Stait as Jakes Carter: A Tunnelman in Snowpiercer's undercarriage.
- Shaun Toub as Terence: The head janitor aboard Snowpiercer who lives in Third Class, he is a charming, conniving, and ultimately dangerous janitor-turned-gangster who rules the Black Market with an enigmatic power, inspiring fierce loyalty in his army of minions. He is killed by Pike under Layton's orders for threatening Josie's safety.
- Fiona Vroom as Mary-Elizabeth Gillies: A primary teacher aboard Snowpiercer who lives in Second Class, she is an encouraging and well-rounded school teacher who is responsible for educating Snowpiercer's next generation. A juror on the LJ Folger tribunal, she later supports Layton's revolution.
- Bryan Terrell Clark as Pastor Logan (season 2): A priest on Snowpiercer who counsels Bess Till over her struggles following the revolution. He is eventually revealed to be a Wilford supporter and his mole on Snowpiercer. After being exposed, Pastor Logan commits suicide by purposefully exposing his head to outside air.
- Tom Lipinski as Kevin McMahon (season 2): Big Alice's Head of Hospitality, and his loyalty to Mr. Wilford knows no bounds. Briefly captured and held as a POW by Layton and the rebels after being captured during a failed raid on Big Alice, he is released in exchange for Melanie, and is apparently compelled by Wilford to commit suicide as an act of loyalty after giving up information on Big Alice's crew. It's later revealed that he's actually still alive.
- Damian Young as Mr. Headwood (season 2): An eccentric scientist on Big Alice alongside his wife, working on illicit experiments regarding the Freeze.
- Sakina Jaffrey as Mrs. Headwood (season 2): An eccentric scientist on Big Alice alongside her husband, and often debates with him about Mr. Wilford's agenda as they work on secret experiments on his behalf.
- Andre Tricoteux as Icy Bob (season 2): A hulking brute aboard Big Alice, Icy Bob is Mr. Wilford's greatest and most fearsome weapon. However, he does not appear to be unsympathetic to Snowpiercer's plight, keeping quiet about Josie's spying. After sabotaging Snowpiercer's water intakes in "The Eternal Engineer," Icy Bob suffers injuries from the cold beyond even his ability to survive and he dies.
- Georgina Haig as Emilia (season 2): A seamstress and Alex's friend aboard Big Alice, Emilia is Australian-native of Perth who thought she was the only Australian until she met Murray on Snowpiercer.
- Elaine Kao as Anne Roche (season 2): Sam's wife.
- Kwasi Thomas as Z-Wreck: A Tailie who is imprisoned in the Drawers following the failed revolution. He is later rescued by the Last Australian and comes to Layton and Roche's rescue along with Strong Boy.
- Miranda Edwards as Lights: A Tailie and electronics expert
- Emma Oliver as Winnipeg "Winnie": A Tailie child, the daughter of Suzanne and the sister of Patterson. Winnie takes part in the failed revolution by using a severed hand to open a door, resulting in her mother being punished by having her whole arm frozen off. Winnie ends up losing both her mother and brother as a result of the revolutions. In season 2, she has been adopted by Lights and often helps by running messages and other small tasks for Layton.
- Manoj Sood as Rajiv Sharma: A First Class passenger and chair of their committee (though he has no real authority).
- Ian Collins as Tristan: A First Class passenger and Ruth's assistant.
- Renée Victor as Mama Grandé: A Tailie who speaks almost no English, and is Santiago's grandmother. She survives her grandson's death in the revolution, and chooses to remain in the Tail.
- Michel Issa Rubio as Santiago (season 1): A Tailie, Mama Grandé's grandson and one of Layton's friends. He dies in the penultimate episode of Season 1 when Layton, Melanie, Bennett and Miles cut seven cars loose; Layton not having enough time to rescue his imprisoned friends.
- Kurt Ostlund as Strong Boy: A Tailie, a mute young man who takes part in the failed revolution. As a result, he is locked in the Drawers. Strong Boy is later rescued by the Last Australian, and inexplicably can speak Mandarin upon revival. He aids Layton against Commander Grey in the revolution and survives to enjoy the benefits. In season 2, he begins regaining the ability to speak English.
- Tom Kirk as Clay (season 1): A Third Class passenger and bartender working in the Nightcar beside Audrey and Zarah. He dies in the penultimate episode of Season 1 when Layton, Melanie, Bennett and Miles cut seven cars loose; Layton not having enough time to rescue his imprisoned friends.
- Stephen Lobo as Martin Colvin: A First Class passenger who warns Melanie about the Folgers' planned revolution. He later supports Layton's revolution, by secretly providing them with a gun, as Martin does not want the Folgers or Commander Grey to take over the train.
- Yee Jee Tso as York Lam: A First Class passenger and friend of Martin's.
- Dylan Schmid as Patterson (season 1): A Tailie young man, Suzanne's son and Winnie's older brother. After the failed revolution, his mother gets her arm frozen off and ultimately dies of infection, leaving Patterson to lead the family. He dies in the Nightcar battle in Layton's revolution.
- William Stanford Davis as Mr. Riggs (season 1): A Tailie and devout religious man, and one of Layton's friends. He dies in the penultimate episode of Season 1 when Layton, Melanie, Bennett and Miles cut seven cars loose; Layton not having enough time to rescue his imprisoned friends.
- Madeleine Arthur as Nicolette "Nikki" Genêt (season 1): A Third Class passenger who was believed to be behind the first Snowpiercer murder and was locked in the Drawers as a result. With the new round of murders, she is released as a witness, but remains in a catatonic state. She is later murdered by Erik Sotto, but appears in one of Layton's nightmares while Layton is in the Drawers.
- Ellie Harvie as The Notary: A woman whose job is to oversee the recording of all events on Snowpiercer. As part of this job, she oversees the executions of captured revolutionaries, but apparently aids Jinju's plan to rescue Melanie by buying her and Javi time to get Melanie out.
- Amanda Brugel as Eugenia: A First Class passenger, who initially invested $400 million to build Snowpiercer. She is later one of the assassins who murders the Breachmen. After taking control of Snowpiercer, Wilford executes Eugenia and the other assassins by having them breathe in outside air.
- Sarah Strange as Suzanne (season 1): A Tailie and the mother of Patterson and Winnie, whose arm is frozen off as punishment for her daughter's role in the failed revolution. Despite her son and Josie's efforts, Suzanne later dies of an infection from her lost arm.
- Gary Hetherington as Walter Flemming (season 1): A Third Class passenger and papermaker aboard Snowpiercer. A juror on the LJ Folger tribunal, he later supports of Layton's revolution, and is later executed for his actions.
- Jane McGregor as Astrid: A former Tailie who was able to move uptrain years before, as she was chosen for an apprenticeship. Now living in Third Class, and working in Snowpiercer's Food Processing, she maintains her loyalty to the Tail, and aids in preparing for the revolution. In Season 2, she is now assisting Dr. Pelton in treating the wounded after the revolution.
- Matt Murray as Erik Sotto (season 1): A First Class private security officer and former Marine, who was hired to be the bodyguard of the Folger family during the Freeze. He is LJ's boyfriend, and acts as the muscle of the Snowpiercer serial killing team before being killed himself by Jackboots.
- Mark Margolis as Old Ivan (season 1): A Russian Tailie, the oldest person on Snowpiercer, Layton's mentor and a longstanding, respected member of the Tail. After celebrating his 84th birthday (possibly making him the oldest man left on Earth), he hangs himself, causing the Tail to revolt.
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||10||May 17, 2020||July 12, 2020|
|2||10||January 25, 2021||March 29, 2021|
Season 1 (2020)
|Title||Directed by||Teleplay by||Original air date||U.S. viewers|
|1||1||"First, the Weather Changed"||James Hawes||Graeme Manson|
Television story by : Josh Friedman and Graeme Manson
|May 17, 2020||1.94|
|Seven years after the world ended, the last remaining humans are on-board the train Snowpiercer, constructed by a mysterious Mr. Wilford. Passengers in the "tail end" plan a revolt due to constantly deteriorating conditions while Andre Layton is called by Melanie Cavill, the Voice of the Train, to help solve a murder due to Layton's former profession as a homicide detective. Layton, while trying to negotiate better conditions for his class, is reunited with his ex-wife who is one of the suspects. After Old Ivan hangs himself, the "Tailies" revolt, but are talked down by Layton who agrees to help solve the murder while secretly plotting to infiltrate the front of the train to better plan the next rebellion. At the end of the day, Melanie takes over driving the train and is revealed to be acting as Mr. Wilford.|
|2||2||"Prepare to Brace"||Sam Miller||Donald Joh||May 24, 2020||1.16|
|The leaders of the rebellion are put into stasis while a mother's arm is frozen off in punishment for the Tailies' actions; Nikki is removed from stasis but inexplicably has trouble waking up. With the help of Till, Layton begins investigating the murder, theorizing that the train's butchers have been cannibalizing the dead and serving them as food to the passengers. At the same time, the train passes through a rough set of mountainous tracks, resulting in a massive avalanche hitting the train. Although Snowpiercer survives, the windows are shattered in the car containing the last cows on Earth and the butchers, freezing the occupants solid. The damage and the loss of the cows creates serious supply chain issues, including a need to reduce speed by 12%, resulting in rolling blackouts and a rationing of supplies. Although Till suggests pinning the murder on the dead butchers, Layton is convinced that the murder and the cannibalism are two separate crimes and resolves to continue investigating; upset over how Nikki was treated, Till vows to join him. Layton continues planning a rebellion and realizes that the victim was an informant for Mr. Wilford; the train's staff is concerned about what he gave up under torture rather than the crime itself.|
|3||3||"Access Is Power"||Sam Miller||Lizzie Mickery||May 31, 2020||1.22|
|As unrest grows, Melanie organizes a fight night to let off some steam with a promise to upgrade the winner to second class; the fight ultimately turns into a riot and has to be broken up. Layton learns that the victim, Sean, was investigating the black market drug Kronole which has been present in the tail for some time; Layton discovers that the drug is a street variant of the drug used to keep people in stasis supplied by the train's doctor who is a part of the black market. With the help of Zarah, Layton arranges a meeting with Terrence, the head of the black market, who provides him with a description of a first class passenger who was with Sean right before the murder. Layton later visits and kisses Josie, passing her an implant that grants access to other parts of the train. The still-recovering and catatonic Nikki is visited by a man matching the description of the killer who realizes that she doesn't remember him but states that she knows who he is.|
|4||4||"Without Their Maker"||Frederick E.O. Toye||Hiram Martinez||June 7, 2020||1.19|
|Nikki is murdered by the killer who is stalking the train; with the border between classes closed due to the riot, he is trapped in third class. Layton begins enlisting the third class into his revolution while the killer is identified as Erik, the bodyguard for the Folger family. Though Layton fears that first class will protect Erik from justice, Melanie, who is revealed to also come from humble beginnings, urges him to pursue justice for the victims while she helps to clear the way for him. As Layton investigates Erik's connection to the Folger family, he realizes that LJ Folger is the true mastermind and Erik has simply been following her orders, and feigns an agreement with her to tell him what happened; after a chase, Erik is killed by the Jackboots while LJ is arrested. At the same time, Josie uses the implant Layton gave her to slip forward and make contact with Astrid, a Tailie who moved forward years ago to ask for help with their revolution. Layton deduces Mr. Wilford's absence and as a result, Melanie drugs him and has him secretly placed into stasis with orders that he is not to be harmed.|
|5||5||"Justice Never Boarded"||Frederick E.O. Toye||Chinaka Hodge||June 14, 2020||1.18|
|Till and Jinju marry and Till is moved to second class; in the Drawers, Layton has nightmares about stopping the cannibals in the tail. LJ's tribunal begins; Audrey successfully petitions Melanie to make the jury have a representative from each class rather than just First and Second. The Folger family plots a mutiny against Mr. Wilford, but a loyal first class passenger warns Melanie. At the tribunal, LJ paints herself as a victim of Erik and reveals that she learned from the second victim that there are secrets regarding the stasis Drawers which is revealed to include a list of some kind. Though the jury unanimously finds LJ guilty, "Mr. Wilford" immediately intervenes to commute her sentence; LJ promises Melanie that since Mr. Wilford intervened to help her, she will keep the secrets she learned from Sean. At the same time, Josie enlists the help of Terrence to search for Layton; Terrence abandons Josie after stealing drugs from Medical, but Josie locates Layton while making the disturbing discovery of women and children she recognizes in the Drawers. Till and Oz find Josie, but Till helps Josie and Layton to escape to Zarah for help; when Till returns for Oz, she finds him gone.|
|6||6||"Trouble Comes Sideways"||Helen Shaver||Aubrey Nealon & Tina de la Torre||June 21, 2020||0.96|
|A recovering Layton is taken to Dr. Pelton by Josie. Dr. Pelton reveals that there is a blacklist for the Drawers, people she believes to be enemies of the state targeted for imprisonment, a list which contains Layton, Josie and the doctor. A short-circuit damages Snowpiercer's hydraulics and places the train in danger of derailing on a canyon bridge; Melanie manages to fix the problem just in time, saving the train from destruction. During these events, Layton confronts Melanie with the intention of killing her, but she reveals that the Drawers are not a prison, but a lifeboat for four hundred specially selected people in case order breaks down and stasis is the only chance of the human race surviving. Layton is forced to let Melanie go so she can save the train and he ends up having sex with Josie to whom he reveals the truth about Melanie. Oz blackmails Till into giving him free rein to abuse the passengers, but their near-death experience causes her to refuse to follow his demands further; after the death of Suzanne, the Tail sets up a projector to see the outside world. Melanie takes an interest in Miles's developing skill as an engineer and states that Mr. Wilford needs a favor from him.|
|7||7||"The Universe Is Indifferent"||Helen Shaver||Donald Joh||June 28, 2020||1.20|
|Melanie promotes Miles to Engineer Apprentice to replace the man killed stopping the derailment and he is taken by Melanie to work in the Engine itself; when Josie makes contact with him, Miles promises to do his part in the upcoming rebellion. The Folgers and Commander Grey enlist Ruth in their own revolution; though Ruth tries to warn Melanie, Melanie brushes her off, causing Ruth to seemingly change her mind. Melanie embarks on a brutal campaign to find Layton, threatening Zarah into revealing that Josie helped Layton escape. Melanie brutally tortures Josie for information before she escapes her bonds with the help of a sympathetic Till; during the fight that follows, Josie freezes to death when outside air fills the room while Melanie escapes and is shown to be struggling with her ruthless actions. Layton reveals the truth about Melanie to the leaders of Third that Audrey trusts, although Terrence refuses to help either Layton or Melanie. After learning of Josie's death from Till, Layton approaches LJ for help, offering to tell her the dirtiest secret on the train.|
|8||8||"These Are His Revolutions"||Everardo Gout||Tina de la Torre|
Television story by : Hiram Martinez & Tina de la Torre
|July 5, 2020||1.14|
|Miles shows LJ the truth about Melanie; after LJ informs her parents, Ruth turns on Melanie and imprisons her to await execution. Miles and Bennett are forced to lock themselves in the engine while Melanie admits to Ruth that she abandoned the real Mr. Wilford to die at boarding, believing that due to his selfish nature, the human race wouldn't survive with him in charge. Layton's revolution begins with Till and Henry Klimpt joining while Roche and the Brakemen, shaken by the truth, are convinced to stand down without a fight although Commander Grey and the Jackboots continue to oppose them. In the revolution, particularly a massive battle in the Nightcar, both sides suffer heavy losses, including Big John and Patterson, before being left at a stalemate. The Last Australian and Klimpt begin setting free the people from the Drawers, only to find Pike gone, having been freed by the Folgers. Pike states that due to Layton's kind nature, with enough continuing pressure, his revolution will ultimately crumble.|
|9||9||"The Train Demanded Blood"||James Hawes||Aubrey Nealon||July 12, 2020||1.27|
|First begins executing captured revolutionaries while offering Layton an ultimatum through Pike: surrender or they will kill everyone; after learning that Zarah is pregnant with his child, Layton agrees to take the deal. With the help of Jinju and Javi, Melanie escapes execution and offers Layton a plan to defeat the Folgers and their army of Jackboots by disconnecting part of the train at a switch track. With the plan requiring safety switches to be released on either side, Layton infiltrates the front of the train with the help of Roche and then escapes Grey's custody with the help of the Last Australian and the revolutionaries rescued from the Drawers. However, Layton discovers that disconnecting the train will also sacrifice the people who have been captured; with no time to rescue them, Layton disables the safety, allowing Bennett and Miles to disconnect seven cars, sending the Folgers, aside from LJ, Grey, the Jackboots and the prisoners to their deaths. Melanie reveals that she knew that Layton would have to sacrifice the prisoners, stating that such hard choices are what they have to live with for every second of their existence.|
|10||10||"994 Cars Long"||James Hawes||Graeme Manson||July 12, 2020||1.18|
|In the aftermath of the revolution, Melanie officially hands over control of Snowpiercer to Layton who plans to set up a democratic government. The Tailes go wild enjoying their new freedom while Pike takes over the Folgers' compartment for a never-ending party and evicts the orphaned LJ who bonds with Oz. As Snowpiercer approaches Chicago, the Engine picks up a mysterious signal suggesting possible survivors; the signal turns out to come from Big Alice, a supply train running on a prototype of the Eternal Engine. Melanie fears the train is being run by Mr. Wilford; something that Bennett says they can't be sure of. Big Alice clamps onto Snowpiercer and begins taking control of it while Bennett is revealed to have purposefully slowed the train in order to gain access to everything aboard Big Alice. Melanie heads outside to cut the uplink, but is thrown from the train when Big Alice brings it to a stop in the middle of Chicago. A young woman emerges from Big Alice to demand Snowpiercer's surrender on Mr. Wilford's behalf; to everyone's shock, she identifies herself as Alexandra Cavill, Melanie's believed-dead daughter.|
Season 2 (2021)
|Title||Directed by||Teleplay by||Original air date||U.S. viewers|
|11||1||"The Time of Two Engines"||Christoph Schrewe||Graeme Manson||January 25, 2021||1.09|
|Melanie manages to cut Wilford's uplink to Snowpiercer's systems and discovers that it is snowing outside despite the temperature being too cold for it. Snowpiercer, now too low on power to move on its own ever again, is forced to turn over a list of supplies to Wilford before the trains start moving again and Layton works to maintain order onboard by reluctantly declaring martial law while Melanie is captured and reunited with Wilford and Alexandra; Wilford demands that Melanie surrender Snowpiercer but she refuses to cooperate. Layton leads an invasion of Big Alice that is repelled, but they manage to capture a hostage, Kevin, who claims that Wilford can restart everything even if everybody else dies in the process. Wilford decides to disconnect from Snowpiercer and let the passengers die with Alex complying after a moment of hesitation. However, Melanie had planted a bomb on the connecting mechanism, destroying it and permanently linking Snowpiercer and Big Alice much to the admiration of Alex; Wilford is forced to start the trains moving again.|
|12||2||"Smolder to Life"||Christoph Schrewe||Aubrey Nealon||February 1, 2021||0.97|
Layton and Roche learn from Kevin that there are only around a hundred people on Big Alice and that there is a food shortage on the other train; Wilford later trades Melanie for Kevin, but he seemingly compels Kevin to commit suicide for revealing secrets. Lights is attacked and two of her fingers amputated, prompting Layton to promote Till to Train Detective to investigate; Till eventually realizes that Lights' fingers have been amputated to match Wilford's three-fingered salute. Melanie reveals that she believes that CW-7, the compound that froze the Earth, is breaking up in the atmosphere, resulting in the planet starting to warm up again; Snowpiercer launches a weather balloon into the upper atmosphere that confirms this theory. Layton and Melanie hold a scientific summit in First Class with Wilford where he has Alex make an aborted assassination attempt on Layton. Melanie proposes a plan that Wilford accepts to exploit the planetary warming to find a place warm enough to recolonize, but the mission requires her spending a month at a research station alone, disappointing Alex. While helping out in the Third Class clinic, Zarah discovers that Josie is actually still alive, albeit in a severely-frostbitten state and listed as a Jane Doe. After contemplating killing Josie in order to protect her second chance, Zarah informs Layton, who rushes to Josie's side as she regains consciousness.
At the end of the episode, a title card urges those who are suffering from feelings of depression or suicide or know someone who is to seek help by contacting the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or the Crisis Text Line.
|13||3||"A Great Odyssey"||David Frazee||Zak Schwartz||February 8, 2021||0.87|
|Layton suggests a trade of food for much-needed supplies to repair Snowpiercer and forges an alliance with Bennett to keep the train safe in Melanie's absence; Melanie also suggests that he be honest with and rely on Ruth, with whom she makes some amends. Till and Roche continue to investigate the attack on Lights and come to the conclusion that the Breachmen, loyal to Wilford, are responsible; Miss Audrey shows signs of cracking and a possible descent into alcoholism. Josie, while bitter about her condition and the loss of Tailies in Melanie's plan to win the revolution, recognizes that Layton's child and Melanie's plan represent hope and the future and agrees to support Layton. Pike finds himself at odds with his illicit trade between the trains shut down; Layton agrees to allow him to reopen it under Layton's supervision. In order to reach the research station, Snowpiercer and Big Alice are forced to cross a dangerous section of track with Snowpiercer shutting down power to First and Second and Big Alice using a turbo booster; after a moment of hesitation on whether to turn back or not, Alex chooses to use the booster under pressure from Wilford who wants to get rid of Melanie. While preparing for Melanie's departure, she and Alex bond, leading to a tearful goodbye; Melanie reassures her daughter that she is better than Wilford's manipulations and that Alex has people on Snowpiercer who she can trust and rely on should she choose to.|
|14||4||"A Single Trade"||David Frazee||Kiersten Van Horne||February 15, 2021||0.92|
Wilford offers to treat Snowpiercer's frostbite patients so Layton invites Wilford and his crew for a night out on Snowpiercer; Josie's frostbite proves to be severe enough that she requires a more dedicated treatment on Big Alice, however. Till is shown to struggle with the losses the train has suffered and attacks Bojan Boscovic despite his insistence that he's innocent in the attack on Lights. Miss Audrey, a former paramour of Wilford's, is revealed to have a sadomasochistic relationship with him where she is the dominant party. Layton continues to resist trusting Ruth so Zarah joins Hospitality to contribute and to try to bring the two together. During the party, Alex and LJ bond as does the Last Australian and Alex's friend Emilia who is revealed to also be Australian. Snowpiercer launches the first of their weather balloons and after a tense moment, Melanie makes contact, proving that she had survived her journey to the research station.
At the end of the episode, a title card urges those who are suffering from feelings of depression or suicide or know someone who is to seek help by contacting the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or the Crisis Text Line.
|15||5||"Keep Hope Alive"||Leslie Hope||Tiffany Ezuma||February 22, 2021||0.88|
|As the trains prepare to turn around, Melanie fails to make contact with the latest weather balloon, sparking fears that she has perished; the crew decide to keep this a secret in order to keep hope alive. Wilford invites Miss Audrey to spend time with him on Big Alice and, apparently without success, she attempts to make it so that Snowpiercer can spy on Wilford's communications. Still recovering under the Headwoods' care, Josie manages to send messages to Layton through Pike's illicit trade network; although Icy Bob finds out, he keeps quiet and warns Josie not to trust the Headwoods and to be careful. Till continues to struggle and lets off some steam through sparring with Pastor Logan who suggests that Layton's reign is falling apart and that they need a new leader; after Terence threatens Josie's safety, Layton has a reluctant Pike assassinate him. From Josie, Layton learns that Wilford is planning something with the Breachmen just before all but Bojan are assassinated by disguised figures. Wilford offers both Audrey and Ruth to join him on Big Alice as the border is sealed which Audrey accepts but Ruth does not.|
|16||6||"Many Miles from Snowpiercer"||Leslie Hope||Donald Joh||March 1, 2021||0.91|
|In flashbacks, Melanie and Wilford argue about what people to save as the Freeze gets worse; after Wilford has the Jackboots kill innocent people trying to board the train, Melanie reluctantly decides to steal Snowpiercer and leave Wilford behind. In the present, Melanie reaches the research station, but most of her supplies are wiped out in an avalanche. Alone, Melanie experiences hallucinations of Wilford, Layton and Alex while discovering the bodies of three scientists who had resorted to cannibalism in order to survive and some rats who managed to survive seven years due to a geothermal vent opening up. After a falling antenna nearly causes Melanie to lose her data, she fails to make contact with the train which becomes overdue. When Melanie returns to the tracks, Snowpiercer and Big Alice rush by with fire coming out of the underside of Big Alice and Alex yelling for her as alarms blare in the background, suggesting that something has gone terribly wrong; unable to reboard the train, Melanie is left alone at the side of the tracks.|
|17||7||"Our Answer for Everything"||Rebecca Rodriguez||Tina de la Torre||March 8, 2021||0.83|
Alex finds herself excluded by Wilford due to her divided loyalties; Miss Audrey is enlisted by Wilford to treat a still-alive but traumatized Kevin, turning him into a fully-brainwashed follower of Wilford. The attack on the Breachmen leads to riots and attacks on the Tailies; while hiding with Winnie, Ruth is confronted with how her own actions under the old regime led to Suzanne's death. In an effort to defuse the situation, Layton offers to allow his arm to be frozen off, but Ruth stands up for him, urging people not to make the same mistakes she did; the approach of the Brakemen forces the rioters to retreat without further injury, but promising to exact more retribution later. With the help of Oz, Till manages to track down one of the Breachmen's killers, a First Class passenger and realizes from her comments that Pastor Logan is the mastermind behind the attacks; he commits suicide after being confronted. As the trains pass through a multi-layered bridge, passengers light lanterns all throughout Snowpiercer, calling for Wilford; Wilford orders Sykes to have Icy Bob prepared.
At the end of the episode, a title card urges those who are suffering from feelings of depression or suicide or know someone who is to seek help by contacting the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or the Crisis Text Line.
|18||8||"The Eternal Engineer"||Rebecca Rodriguez||Renée St. Cyr||March 15, 2021||0.89|
|LJ and Oz continue to work in janitorial and begin forming a romantic relationship; Josie continues to recover and begins displaying a resistance to cold temperatures similar to Icy Bob who Wilford has sabotage Snowpiercer's snow intake, but Icy Bob nearly dies as a result. Bojan fixes the problem and defects to Layton's side after realizing that Wilford really had betrayed him and the Breachmen; however, the sabotage damages Snowpiercer's computer brain, forcing Layton to allow Wilford into the Engine to fix it, something that Layton tries to hide from the rest of the train. Although Wilford repairs it, due to Melanie's modifications to the Engine, complications arise forcing Wilford to manually restart the Engine, revealing his presence to the train. In the aftermath, Layton signals the Tail that things have gone badly with a flare before surrendering and is taken aboard Big Alice while Roche, who was struggling with his loyalty, is placed into the Drawers on Big Alice with his family. A pleased Wilford resumes his place in Snowpiercer's Engine, having successfully retaken control of the train.|
|19||9||"The Show Must Go On"||Clare Kilner||Zak Schwartz & Kiersten Van Horne||March 29, 2021[a]||0.87|
|In the aftermath of Wilford taking control of Snowpiercer, Layton is forced to work in Compost on Big Alice while Javi works in Big Alice's Engine under guard with Bennett doing the same on Snowpiercer. Wilford opens a carnival on the train and begins rooting out those who will be valuable to him; in an effort to get Till to become his moral advisor, Wilford personally executes the Breachmen's killers and has the Headwoods test Josie's new abilities. Completely disillusioned with Wilford, Alex reveals that he killed half of Big Alice's crew to save resources and plans to perform a similar culling on Snowpiercer; having learned that Melanie has lost contact, Wilford refuses to go back for her and Ruth turns on him completely and is sent to Compost to work with Layton. Javi picks up a transmission from Melanie that he hides from Wilford; Javi manages to send a message to Layton and Ruth who begin plotting their escape together.|
|20||10||"Into the White"||Clare Kilner||Graeme Manson & Aubrey Nealon||March 29, 2021||0.82|
|Layton and Ruth manage to escape, infiltrate and take over the Engine with Alex's help; Javi coordinates with Bennett to make the return trip for Melanie with Bennett subduing and capturing Sykes. Layton and Ruth are smuggled back to Snowpiercer, but the plan goes awry after LJ catches on to their deceit and warns Wilford; Javi is presumably mauled to death by Wilford's dog Jupiter and Wilford is able to prevent them from picking up Melanie. Escaping to Snowpiercer, Alex proposes creating a ten-car pirate train by breaching the Aquarium car, allowing them to go back for Melanie and plan how to save everyone else away from Wilford's control; however, Zarah chooses to remain behind as she feels it will be safer for her so Layton keeps Audrey as a hostage. An attempt by Bojan to disconnect the cars is foiled by the Jackboots, but Josie is able to destroy the Aquarium from the outside, successfully separating the train; Layton's crew includes Bennett, Till, Josie and Alex as well as the captive Miss Audrey and Sykes while Ruth is inadvertently left behind after being delayed by Kevin. Layton and Alex reach the research station only to find Melanie gone and her data preserved by the last of her power; the data reveals several areas of the Earth that are warming while a final message from Melanie reveals that she walked into the Freeze to die after expending all of her resources and ensuring that her data would survive to give humanity a future.|
In November 2015, Marty Adelstein's Tomorrow Studios optioned the rights to develop a television series based on the 2013 film Snowpiercer, which was adapted from the 1982 French graphic novel Le Transperceneige by Jacques Lob, Benjamin Legrand, and Jean-Marc Rochette. The film's director Bong Joon-ho was attached as an executive producer alongside Adelstein and Josh Friedman, with the latter also set to write. A year later in November 2016, the project was ordered to pilot along with backup scripts by TNT with Friedman to serve as showrunner. In May 2017, it was announced that Scott Derrickson would direct the pilot written by Friedman. The pilot was picked up to series in January 2018. Later that month, Friedman was removed from the project by TNT due to "creative differences" with the network. Graeme Manson was appointed to replace Friedman as showrunner the following month. That June, Derrickson refused to return for reshoots on the pilot due to creative disputes with Manson, explaining via Twitter:
"The 72-page Snowpiercer TV pilot script by [Josh Friedman] is the best I’ve ever read. The feature-length pilot I made from that script may be my best work. The new showrunner has a radically different vision for the show. I am forgoing my option to direct the extreme reshoots."
Less than two weeks later, James Hawes joined the series in July as a co-executive producer and a director to oversee the reshoots for the pilot. According to Manson, nearly nothing of the original pilot's footage was used outside of one special-effect scene, and this reshooting was the primary cause for the year-long delay in the show's premiere. Later that month, Netflix picked up the international distribution rights to stream the series outside of the United States and China. In May 2019, it was announced that the series would air on TBS instead of TNT for a spring 2020 release, and that a second season had already been ordered by the network. That month, it was also announced that Huanxi Media Group had signed on to broadcast the first two seasons exclusively in China. Manson will return as showrunner for the second season. In September 2019, the decision to change networks was reversed, with the series once again set to air on TNT. On January 19, 2021, ahead of the second-season premiere, TNT renewed the series for a third season. On July 29, 2021, TNT renewed the series for a fourth season.
The series is designed to be a reboot of the original 2013 film's continuity. The story takes place seven years after a climate catastrophe rendered the outside world uninhabitable, forcing the remnants of humanity to live confined inside of a massive train that constantly circles the globe. The series investigates class struggle, as the passengers of the train are segregated by wealth. The series star Daveed Diggs said that the show would "broaden exponentially" the world established by the film and the 1982 graphic novel. "That's one of the advantages of TV, you have time" Diggs said, "so the politics that are hinted at in the film are explored in much more depth and the mechanism of the train [is explored further] — just the little things that create a world, world specificity". At the 2017 Television Critics Association press tour, TNT and TBS president Kevin Reilly revealed that the Snowpiercer series would be akin to a "space ship show" due to its contained setting and that it would feature a mystery during the first season.
In May 2017, Daveed Diggs was cast as Layton Well. The following month, Jennifer Connelly and Mickey Sumner landed the other lead roles of Melanie Cavill and Bess Till, respectively. Casting continued throughout the month of June with Annalise Basso as LJ Folger, Sasha Frolova as Pixi Aariak, Alison Wright as Ruth Wardell, Benjamin Haigh as Fergus McConnell, Roberto Urbina as Avi, and Katie McGuinness as Josie McConnell. That August, it was announced that Susan Park had joined the main cast as Jinju. In September, Lena Hall was cast as Sayori. The series order in January 2018 also revealed that Sheila Vand and Sam Otto had been cast in then-undisclosed roles as series regulars. Vand was reported to be playing Zarah, while Otto will play John "Oz" Osweiler. In August 2018, Iddo Goldberg and Jaylin Fletcher were added as series regulars in the roles of Bennett and Miles, respectively.
Casting for a number of recurring roles were also announced during the month of August, including Steven Ogg as Pike, Timothy V. Murphy as Commander Grey, Happy Anderson as Klimpt, Jonathan Lloyd Walker as Big John, and Aleks Paunovic as Bojan Boscovic. The following month in September, Shaun Toub and Kerry O'Malley were added to the recurring cast as Terence and Lilah Folger, respectively. In October 2018, Aaron Glenane was cast as The Last Australian alongside Fiona Vroom as Miss Gillies, both in recurring capacities. In March 2019, Rowan Blanchard was cast as Alexandra for a guest role with the option of becoming a series regular should the series be renewed for a second season. Blanchard's promotion to the main cast for the second season was confirmed with the series' renewal that May. In June 2019, Ogg was also promoted to series regular status for the second season. In October 2019, Chelsea Harris was announced in the recurring role of Sykes. Later that month, it was also announced that Sean Bean would be a series regular for the second season. In November, Tom Lipinski was added to the second season's recurring cast as Kevin. In December 2019, Sakina Jaffrey and Damian Young joined the second season's recurring cast as Mrs. and Mr. Headwood, respectively. On February 16, 2021, Archie Panjabi was cast as a new series regular for the third season. On March 4, 2021, Chelsea Harris was promoted to as a series regular for the third season.
In January 2017, it was reported that filming for the series was scheduled to begin in mid-March of that year. By September 25, pilot director Scott Derrickson indicated that production for the series had officially commenced. Reshoots for the pilot, overseen by new director James Hawes, began on August 20, 2018 in Vancouver, British Columbia and concluded on January 24, 2019. Principal photography for the second season began on October 21, 2019 in Langley, British Columbia and was originally expected to end on March 20, 2020. In March 2020, production was shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Lena Hall, who portrays Miss Audrey, confirmed in July 2020 that the last block of episodes for season 2—episodes 9 and 10—were being filmed. As of March 11, 2021, filming for the third season is in progress until at least July 30, 2021.
Despite the series' roots as a graphic novel and film, production designer Barry Robison was told to give the train "its own identity". He conceived the massive locomotive on a "very, very long piece of paper," drawing the entire train in "about three days." His Vancouver design team, headed by Production Designer Stephen Geaghan, then set out to construct around 20 of the 1,001 cars of various sizes over four soundstages, heeding to TNT's orders to not make the train look "too sci-fi". Construction on each of the cars with contrasting classes took less than six weeks and was met with approval from series producer and film director Bong Joon-ho.
The series debuted on TNT in the United States in the spring of 2020, while Netflix began to air the series globally outside of the United States and China. Huanxi Media Group is set to broadcast the first two seasons exclusively in China.
The series had originally been planned to premiere on May 31, 2020, yet was moved up to May 17, 2020 in early April. Brett Weitz, general manager for TNT, stated the earlier premiere was related to the COVID-19 pandemic in order to bring the series to viewers earlier. On October 8, 2020, at New York Comic Con, TNT announced the second season was set to premiere on January 25, 2021.
Cast members Connelly, Diggs, Wright, Sumner, Hall, and Ogg attended the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con International along with executive producers Manson, Adelstein, and Clements to promote the series and debut its first official trailer. As part of the promotion for the upcoming series, insect protein bars mimicking those from the film were made available at the event.
Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes collected 78 critic reviews, identified 62% of them as positive, and reported an average rating of 6.38/10 for the first season. The website's critics consensus reads: "Snowpiercer takes a different route with its source material, crafting an ambitious sci-fi mystery with style to spare, but with little of the subversive bite of Bong Joon-ho's theatrical adaptation." Metacritic assigned the first season a weighted average score of 55 out of 100, based on 25 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
For the second season, Rotten Tomatoes reported an approval rating of 83% based on 12 reviews, with an average rating of 7.31/10. The website's critics consensus states: "Snowpiercer's second season picks up the momentum by dropping narrative baggage without losing its critical reflections on society." Metacritic gave the second season a weighted average score of 59 out of 100 based on 5 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
|No.||Title||Air date||Rating |
|DVR viewers |
|1||"First, the Weather Changed"||May 17, 2020||0.5||1.94||0.3||1.41||0.8||3.35|
|2||"Prepare to Brace"||May 24, 2020||0.3||1.16||0.2||0.87||0.5||2.03|
|3||"Access Is Power"||May 31, 2020||0.3||1.22||0.4||1.42||0.7||2.65|
|4||"Without Their Maker"||June 7, 2020||0.3||1.19||0.3||1.33||0.6||2.52|
|5||"Justice Never Boarded"||June 14, 2020||0.3||1.18||0.3||1.17||0.6||2.36|
|6||"Trouble Comes Sideways"||June 21, 2020||0.3||0.96||0.2||1.20||0.5||2.16|
|7||"The Universe Is Indifferent"||June 28, 2020||0.3||1.20||0.3||1.25||0.6||2.45|
|8||"These Are His Revolutions"||July 5, 2020||0.3||1.14||0.3||1.23||0.6||2.37|
|9||"The Train Demanded Blood"||July 12, 2020||0.3||1.27||0.3||1.08||0.6||2.35|
|10||"994 Cars Long"||July 12, 2020||0.3||1.18||0.3||1.22||0.6||2.41|
|No.||Title||Air date||Rating |
|DVR viewers |
|1||"The Time of Two Engines"||January 25, 2021||0.3||1.09||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|2||"Smolder to Life"||February 1, 2021||0.3||0.97||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|3||"A Great Odyssey"||February 8, 2021||0.2||0.87||0.3||1.01||0.5||1.88|
|4||"A Single Trade"||February 15, 2021||0.3||0.92||0.3||1.02||0.5||1.94|
|5||"Keep Hope Alive"||February 22, 2021||0.3||0.88||0.3||1.11||0.5||1.98|
|6||"Many Miles from Snowpiercer"||March 1, 2021||0.3||0.91||0.2||1.04||0.5||1.95|
|7||"Our Answer for Everything"||March 8, 2021||0.2||0.83||0.3||1.05||0.5||1.87|
|8||"The Eternal Engineer"||March 15, 2021||0.2||0.89||TBD||TBD||TBD||TBD|
|9||"The Show Must Go On"||March 29, 2021||0.2||0.87||TBD||TBD||TBD||TBD|
|10||"Into the White"||March 29, 2021||0.2||0.82||TBD||TBD||TBD||TBD|
Awards and nominations
|Seoul International Drama Awards||Most Popular Foreign Drama||Snowpiercer||Won|||
|2021||Costume Designers Guild Awards||Excellence in Sci-Fi/Fantasy Television||Cynthia Summers (for "Access is Power")||Nominated|||
|Critics' Choice Super Awards||Best Actor in an Action Series||Daveed Diggs||Won|| |
|Best Actress in an Action Series||Jennifer Connelly||Nominated|
|Motion Picture Sound Editors Awards||Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Episodic Short Form – Dialogue/ADR||Sandra Portman, Eric Mouawad and Francisco Frial (for "Trouble Comes Sideways")||Nominated|||
|Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Episodic Short Form – Effects/Foley||Sandra Portman, James Fonnyadt, Gregorio Gomez, Dario DiSanto and Maureen Murphy (for "Trouble Comes Sideways")||Nominated|
|Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing - Episodic Short Form – Music||Michael Baber and Alex Heller (for "Trouble Comes Sideways")||Nominated|
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