Los Angeles, 1967. Welcome to the Summer of Love. Aquarius stars David Duchovny as Sam Hodiak, a seasoned homicide detective whose investigations dovetail with the activities of real life cult leader Charles Manson in the years before he masterminded the most notorious killings of a generation, the Tate-LaBianca murders. A small time but charismatic leader with big plans, Manson has begun to build up his “family”, recruiting vulnerable young men and women to join his cause. Teaming up with a young cop who will help him infiltrate Manson’s circle, Hodiak is forced to see things through the questioning eyes of someone who came of age amongst the current anti-establishment counterculture. Edgy, addictive and visually stunning, the Age of Aquarius is here.
Episodi prima stagione
1 – Everybody’s Been Burned – Via da casa
2 – The Hunter Gets Captured by the Game – Vicini scomodi
3 – Never Say Never to Always
4 – Home Is Where You’re Happy
5 – A Change Is Gonna Come
6 – A Whiter Shade of Pale
7 – Cease to Resist
8 – Sick City
9 – Why?
10 – It’s Alright Ma. (I’m Only Bleeding.)
11 – Your Mother Should Know
12 – (Please Let Me Love You and) It Won’t Be Wrong
13 – Old Ego Is a Too Much Thing
PRESENTAZIONE SU SKY
Los Angeles, 1967. La giovane Emma Karn (Emma Dumont), in rotta con i genitori, soprattutto con la madre, esce di casa di nascosto per andare a una festa. Lì viene avvicinata da un giovane affascinante, dalla parlantina brillante ed evocativa, che si presenta come Charlie (Gethin Anthony). Emma è rapita dal ragazzo, e decide di andare a vivere con lui nella sua comune, dove finalmente potrà essere se stessa, e non quello che i suoi vogliono che lei sia. E’ tempo di entrare a far parte di una nuova famiglia. Anzi, della Famiglia. The Family, quella di Charles “Charlie” Manson. Che, per ora, è solo un carismatico leader di una piccola comunità desideroso di farsi conoscere per la sua musica, ma che, più avanti, diventerà il serial killer più famoso del mondo.
Sulle tracce di Emma c’è un detective “old style” tutto d’un pezzo, uno che ha vissuto sulla propria pelle la Guerra di Corea. Uno che non ha paura di usare metodi poco ortodossi pur di portare a casa il risultato. Il suo nome è Sam Hodiak (David Duchovny), ed è una vecchia fiamma di Grace (Michaela McManus), la madre di Emma. E’ stata lei infatti a chiamarlo, perché in realtà Sam è un investigatore della Omicidi, ma che si tratti di cadaveri o di adolescenti scomparse, un’indagine è pur sempre un’indagine. Ad aiutare Hodiak in questa ricerca c’è il giovane agente sotto copertura della narcotici Ben Shafe (Grey Damon). Il ragazzo non condivide i metodi del collega, ma lo rispetta.
Tra soffiate di spacciatori non proprio tagliati per quella vita, feste all’insegna dello sballo acido, omicidi dai risvolti inaspettati, bikers più interessati al sesso che non alle due ruote, tensioni sociali e scontri razziali che sfociano in atti di guerriglia urbana, e intrighi politici che odorano di marcio, Hodiak e Shafe scopriranno un mondo finora sconosciuto, e le loro vite si incroceranno inevitabilmente con quelle di Charlie e della sua Family.
Aquarius, però, non è soltanto la storia dell’incontro/scontro tra Charlie, Sam e Ben. Aquarius è molto di più. Grazie a un ben riuscito mix di personaggi inventati e figure realmente esistite, è un vero e proprio affresco della Los Angeles di quegli anni. E’ un’immersione nella Summer of Love, in un momento storico e culturale importantissimo. C’è Manson, ci sono gli hippie, le comunità, c’è l’LSD, la musica psichedelica, ci sono le Pantere Nere. C’è un mondo intero, c’è un’epoca che ormai vive solo nel ricordo, e che, forse, proprio per questo motivo è così avvincente.
Completano il cast principale Claire Holt, che interpreta la giovane e determinata poliziotta Charmaine Tully; Brian F. O’Byrne, che interpreta Ken Karn, il corrotto padre di Emma; Chance Kelly, che interpreta il rude e un po’ misogino detective Ed Cutler; Ambyr Childers, che interpreta l’enigmatica e un po’ disturbata Sadie, la più fedele tra i seguaci di Charlie.
L’appuntamento con Aquarius è ogni mercoledì alle 21.10 a partire dal 14 ottobre.
INTERVISTA A GETHIN ANTHONY (CHARLES MANSON) di Jim Halterman su my.xfinity.com
So goes the classic ’60s song by The Fifth Dimension but it also may be the dawning of actor Gethin Anthony, who plays infamous mad man Charles Manson beginning tonight in the new NBC drama.
In the series, set in 1967 before the Manson slayings that made headlines, police sergeant Sam Hodiak (played by David Duchovny) investigates a missing persons case that leads him into Manson’s hippie clan and its leader, Charles Manson. Grey Damon (“Friday Night Lights“) and Claire Holt (“The Originals“) also star.
And while Manson is someone we may think of today as deranged and psychotic, Anthony’s portrayal shows us initially only a small glimpse of that and, instead, we see a charming, sexy man who has some dreams and goes about achieving them in less than conventional ways. As the series progresses, Manson is pushed to some of the more expected moves that later made him famous.
Anthony is best known for playing Renly Baratheon in earlier seasons of “Game Of Thrones” and when I talked to him recently he discussed playing a gay role in that epic series as well as how “Aquarius” portrays sexuality given the time of free love.
The thing that struck me in watching “Aquarius” is how Charlie is likable and attractive and not the psychotic guy we kind of think of when we hear his name. Can you talk about stepping into such a role?
Gethin Anthony: I certainly didn’t go out to play unlikable. In understanding as much as I did of what he was about and what experiences he had throughout his life and then applying that information to the story that the show shows. This is the Charles Manson before any of the stuff happened. You can hear some of what he’s saying is not unlikable. He wanted to be a musician and ultimately, within our story, you start with a guy who has committed some crimes, wants to be a musician and is pursuing that in the best way that he can and as the series develops and perhaps as the series may develop, he makes bad choices and the things he does become more and more in line with who we see him as now.
‘Aquarius’ cast: (l-r) Grey Damon, Claire Holt, Duchovny, Emma Dumont, Anthony. (NBC)
At least in the start of the series, what is his main motivation? Is it career? Is it power? Is it control? What would you say?
GA: I think what’s really interesting about how the series is his goal is to get a record contract but because of the lifestyle that he’s leading and the situation that he’s in and the experiences that he’s had, he hasn’t been able to do that in a conventional way. So he goes about it through unconventional means whether it be blackmailing people or getting into the mental psyche or strange behavior.
How do you see the sexuality in the show and with Charlie? This is the ‘love is love’ era but there is some content in the series that opens that door a bit with a few characters.
GA: I guess we absolutely saw those elements certainly to the world that he’s in. There was an atmosphere of freedom about sexuality and it seems very honest to reflect that in the show. It’s just truthful, ya know? It was a very exciting time to challenge institutions and sexuality was one of those institutions that was challenged by the hippie movement and Charlie is living in that world.
As with anything, he’s opportunistic in using any possible tool that he can use to get power and using it to his advantage in any way he could. That explains, to a certain extent, what he does in the story…it was very interesting to explore.
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It’s hard to watch the show and not think about what happens later with Manson. In episode six, you have a line where Charlie says, ‘You can be afraid or you can be the thing that makes people afraid.’ And that was the first line that really gave me chills. It’s a great line.
GA: It is and the writing on the show is so incredible. It’s one of the things when I first read the first episode for the audition that really struck me…you get these exciting lines and I think, again, he was always a smart guy and he grew up in prison, which he actually talks about in one of his biographies, about creating an air around him of being crazy because people would be afraid of him.
We’re seeing so much on television about sexuality and different approaches to it and even your role on “Game of Thrones” was in that arena. Were you hearing a lot back then about that role?
GA: I think Finn and I, who played that story together, we’ve had such a great experience the last couple of years but it’s been such a positive reaction to playing those characters in that world and playing characters who are gay and these two men loved each other and had affection for each other. I thought it was really nice to see that affection in that story and also especially when there’s not a lot of genuine affection going around! People were really great about saying some nice things. One of the most amazing things we heard was from a chap who said he had the confidence to propose to his partner because of the story. It’s just a lovely thing to hear.