Take a little bit of the stranded tone of “Lost,” add in the cutthroat high-stakes world of “The Hunger Games,” fast forward a hundred years and sprinkle in some of The CW’s usual model-like main characters, and you get the network’s new drama, “The 100.”
Premiering on Wednesday (March 19), the futuristic drama takes place 97 years after a nuclear apocalypse wiped out all life on Earth. A floating space station dubbed The Ark holds all the human life that managed to escape before the nukes went off. It was once 12 separate stations from different countries, and now they have all been brought together for survival.
Resources are scarce and oxygen is slowly running out, so any crime, no matter how big or small, is punishable by death (unless you’re under 18, then you’re locked up). And the punishment is not some electric chair or injection: Death is by “floating,” or the act of sending the still alive “criminal” out into space. It’s as violent and brutal as it sounds, and yes, you will see someone float.
However, The Ark is failing, and floating hundreds of people won’t fix the problem … it only gives the governing Council more time to figure out what to do next. So they decide to send 100 juvenile delinquents down to Earth to see if humankind can once again live on its surface, or if it is still too soaked with radiation. In other words, the kids will either be the saviors of the human race, or they’ll die a much more painful death than those on The Ark who will die when oxygen runs out.
The dark, gritty, risky series doesn’t hold back any punches. Along with watching someone get executed on The Ark, you’ll also see what happens when teens take the law into their own hands and perform their own executions. Before you watch the premiere, here are 10 things you should know about The CW’s new show:
10. All hope is not lost for the 100 kids, as they’re told by video message on arrival from Chancellor Jaha (Isaiah Washington) — who remains on The Ark — that there is an underground bunker with food and supplies they can use to make camp while they wait to see if they can survive on the ground. Unfortunately, their launch pod was sent down to the wrong mountain, and their only chance at survival is miles away through uncharted, wild forrest.
9. That obstacle is all it takes to divide the camp into two groups. The first, led by Clarke (Eliza Taylor), gears up to make the trek to the bunker to gather supplies. The second, led by Bellamy (Bob Morley), isn’t all too worried about what the chancellor wants. Bellamy tells the other “criminals” that they no longer have to live by any rules.
8. All 100 of the kids are outfitted with special wrist cuffs that transmit all their vital signs back to The Ark to let the adults know if they die from radiation, can safely eat food and drink water, etc. Unfortunately, the communication device in the cuffs malfunction, so they can’t communicate with The Ark and vice versa.
7. Things are not going smoothly up on The Ark. After an attempt is made on the chancellor’s life, his power-hungry and morally dubious second in command Councilman Kane (Henry Ian Cusick) takes over, and he’ll do whatever it takes to ensure the survival of the human race. That pits him up against the chancellor’s chief medial officer, Abby (Paige Turco), who is also Clarke’s mother, who wants the Earth experiment to succeed. Kane is not as supportive of the endeavor.
6. Clarke isn’t the only one with a powerful parent. Her former BFF Wells (Eli Goree) is the chancellor’s son. The reason he purposefully got himself locked up and sent to Earth is tied into a bigger secret that will be revealed in the first four episodes. It also has a little something to do with why he and Clarke are no longer friends.
5. Clarke’s father is no longer alive, as he was executed for an unknown crime. Clarke’s own imprisonment is tied to her father’s death.
4. The rebel leader of the 100, Bellamy wasn’t actually supposed to be among the Earth-bound kids. But he snuck onto the launch pod to escape punishment for a crime he just committed, and it’s a one that will have major ramifications for a few characters.
3. Bellamy is the brother of Octavia (Marie Avgeropoulos). They are the only siblings in existence, as it is a crime to have more than one child on The Ark to conserve oxygen/resources. Bellamy and Octavia’s mother hid Octavia in the floorboards for many years until she was caught. Their mother was floated and Octavia was locked up. Her crime? Just being alive.
2. Since the teens are on their own for the first time ever, expect hormones to run as wild as they do. While some of the 100 will have fun just running off into the woods to hook up, others will form deeper bonds.
1. While the 100 and the adults on The Ark are concerned with whether humans can breathe and live safely in the untamed environment on the abandoned Earth, there’s something much more important that they should all fear: They’re actually not alone
“The 100” premieres on Wednesday (March 19) at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.