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Powerful March
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Amazon have set a launch window for their upcoming sci-fi drama The Power, which stars Australia's own Toni Collette as Mayor Margot Cleary-Lopez.

Since Toni only joined in an August main role recasting, that's impressively swift.

The Power is our world, but for one twist of nature. Suddenly, and without warning, teenage girls develop the power to electrocute people at will.

Can see drama arising from that.

Showrunner Naomi Alderman also wrote the 2016 book from which the series has been adapted.

Amazon Press aren't making anything of this but others note that the writing team is all female.

As seen in FX's Y: The Last Man (here available on Binge) that doesn't necessarily degenerate into an orgy of man-bashing.

Different premise - overnight all men but one mysteriously die - but women end up in charge.

The loss of half the population is very disruptive but the world doesn't completely fall apart because women are just as capable as men.

Nor are all of the world's problems instantly solved because equally women are just as fallible as men.

We see some women abuse power.

It's a balanced sci-fi essay on gender.

Tar (FYI not sci-fi), also starring an ozzie acting legend, Cate Blanchett, has some very vocal critics because it portrays a ficitonal lesbian orchestra conductor who commits abuses.

Though the film and Cate are doing very well in critical ciricles with her racking up a shiny collection of awards for her performance.

Will The Power be in the same vein?

Hard to say.

In our commentary on Toni's casting we noted that her character's bio changed significantly with that announcement, from:

Margot Cleary-Lopez is the mayor of Seattle and the loving wife and doting mother to three kids. At least that’s what her official campaign website would tell you.


Collette’s Margot, the mayor of Seattle, is an authentic and genuinely progressive politician fighting hard for change. She has a sharp tongue, a wicked sense of humor and a passion to leave the world better than she found it. She is also a devoted mother to three children, including Jos (Auli’I Cravalho), and wife to her husband of 20 years Rob (John Leguizamo). When the Power emerges, Margot is catapulted into the spotlight, opening the door to unimaginable possibilities — both personal and political.

The original explicitly casts doubt on her character and honesty while the new describes her as "authentic" and "genuinely progressive".

Is that a massive character change or just a surface description, with the layers peeling back eventually?

Having watched a lot of Amazon's original content and only seen one relatively minor but critical gender-related error in The Peripheral, we have good reason to be optimistic that gender will be treated fairly in this new series.

The Power will release in March on Prime Video and we'll be watching.

[ Main Image: The Power - Toni Collette. Credit: Prime Video. ]


Ford, Lucy (January 30, 2023). The Power, Amazon's next big sci-fi push, looks like Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets X-Men . GQ.