The 100 (TV series)
The 100 is an American post-apocalyptic science fiction drama television series that premiered on March 19, 2014, on The CW. The series, developed by Jason Rothenberg, is loosely based on the novel series of the same name by Kass Morgan.
The series follows a group of post-apocalyptic survivors, chiefly a group of criminal adolescents, including Clarke Griffin, Finn Collins, Bellamy Blake, Octavia Blake, Jasper Jordan, Monty Green, Raven Reyes, John Murphy, and Wells Jaha. They are among the first people from a space habitat, the Ark, to return to Earth after a devastating nuclear apocalypse. Other lead characters include Dr. Abby Griffin, Clarke's mother; Marcus Kane, a council member on the Ark; and Thelonious Jaha, the Chancellor of the Ark and Wells' father.
In April 2019, the series was renewed for a seventh season and premiered in the United States on The CW on May 20, 2020, and will be the last in the series.
SynopsisNinety-seven years after a devastating nuclear apocalypse wipes out almost all life on Earth, thousands of people now live in a space station orbiting Earth, which they call the Ark. Three generations have been born in space, bringing the population of the Ark beyond carrying capacity. One-hundred juvenile detainees are sent to Earth in a last attempt to determine whether it is habitable. They discover that some survived the apocalypse: the grounders, who live in clans locked in a power struggle; the Reapers, another group of grounders who have been turned into cannibals by the Mountain Men; and the Mountain Men, who live in Mount Weather, descended from those who locked themselves away before the apocalypse. Under the leadership of Bellamy and Clarke, the juveniles attempt to survive the harsh surface conditions, battle hostile grounders and establish communication with the Ark.
In the second season, forty-eight of the remaining detainees are captured and taken to Mount Weather by the Mountain Men. The Mountain Men are transfusing blood from imprisoned grounders as an anti-radiation treatment as their bodies have not adapted to deal with the remaining radiation on Earth. Medical tests of the forty-eight show their bone marrow will allow the Mountain Men to survive outside containment, so the Mountain Men begin taking the youths' bone marrow. Meanwhile, the inhabitants of the Ark have crash-landed various stations on Earth and begin an alliance with the grounders to save both their people, naming the main settlement at Alpha Station "Camp Jaha". The season ends with the massacre of the Mountain Men to save the prisoners.
In the third season, Alpha Station renamed Arkadia, comes under new management when Pike, a former teacher, and mentor on the Ark, is elected as chancellor and begins a war with the grounders. Pike kills an encampment of grounder warriors while they sleep, which further damages their already fragile relationship with the grounders. An artificial intelligence named A.L.I.E. who was commanded to make life better for mankind is revealed to have responded by solving the problem of human overpopulation by launching the nuclear apocalypse that devastated Earth, and begins to use ingestible computer chips to take control of peoples' minds. A.L.I.E. is ultimately destroyed, but not before warning of an impending apocalyptic disaster.
In the fourth season, hundreds of nuclear reactors around the world are melting down due to decades of neglect that will result in the majority of the planet becoming uninhabitable. Clarke and the others search for ways to survive the coming wave of radiation. When it is discovered that the grounders with black blood – known as the Nightbloods – can metabolize radiation, Clarke and the others attempt to recreate the formula, but fail to test it. An old bunker is discovered that can protect 1,200 people for over five years from the new apocalypse; each of the twelve clans selects a hundred people to stay in the bunker. A small group decides to return to space and attempt to survive in the remnants of the Ark. Clarke, who is now a nightblood, remains on the Earth's surface alone.
In the fifth season, six years after the meltdown of the nuclear reactors, a prisoner transport ship arrives in the only green spot left on Earth, where Clarke and Madi, a Nightblood grounder who also survived the wave of radiation that swept the planet after the meltdown, have been living. Those who survived in space and in the bunker have returned safely on the ground. A struggle for the Shallow Valley between the prisoners and a new, united clan, known as Wonkru, begins, resulting in a battle ending with the valley being destroyed. The survivors escape to space and go into cryosleep while they wait for the Earth to recover.
In the sixth season, after 125 years in cryosleep, Clarke, Bellamy, and the others wake up to find out that they are no longer orbiting Earth and have been brought to a new habitable world, Alpha, also known as Sanctum. After landing on this world, they discover a new society, led by ruling families known as the Primes. They also discover new dangers in this new world, and a mysterious rebel group, known as the Children of Gabriel.
The seventh season finds the inhabitants trying to find a way to live together in peace following the aftermath of the events of the previous season.
Cast and characters
- Eliza Taylor as Clarke Griffin
- Paige Turco as Abigail "Abby" Griffin
- Thomas McDonell as Finn Collins
- Eli Goree as Wells Jaha
- Marie Avgeropoulos as Octavia Blake
- Bob Morley as Bellamy Blake
- Kelly Hu as Callie "Cece" Cartwig
- Christopher Larkin as Monty Green
- Devon Bostick as Jasper Jordan
- Isaiah Washington as Thelonious Jaha
- Henry Ian Cusick as Marcus Kane
- Lindsey Morgan as Raven Reyes
- Ricky Whittle as Lincoln
- Richard Harmon as John Murphy
- Zach McGowan as Roan
- Tasya Teles as Echo
- Shannon Kook as Jordan Green
- JR Bourne as Sheidheda
- Chuku Modu as Xavier/ Dr. Gabriel Santiago
- Shelby Flannery as Hope Diyoza
FilmingFilming for the series takes place in and around Vancouver, British Columbia. Production on the pilot occurred during the second quarter of 2013. After the show received a series order, filming occurred for the first season between August 2013 and January 2014. Filming for the second season commenced on July 7, 2014, and concluded on January 23, 2015. The third season was filmed between July 15, 2015, and February 2, 2016. Filming for the fourth season commenced on August 2, 2016, and concluded on January 18, 2017. Filming for the fifth season commenced on August 14, 2017, and wrapped up on January 27, 2018.
Post-production work, including ADR recording for the series, was done at the Cherry Beach Sound recording studio.
David J. Peterson, who created Dothraki and Valyrian for Game of Thrones, developed the Trigedasleng language for The Grounders. Jason Rothenberg said it was similar to Creole English. The language is called "Trig" on the show.
After his constructed language work on Star-Crossed, Peterson was contacted by the producers of The 100 to create a language for the Grounders, an evolution of English. In the setting, 97 years have passed since the apocalypse, which is a very short time for significant language change. Because of this, Peterson posited an accelerated evolution in which the early Grounders used a cant specifically to obfuscate their speech and to differentiate between friend or foe. Trigedasleng derives from that cant and evolved over several short generations of survivors of the apocalypse.
On March 12, 2020, Warner Bros. Television shut down production on all of their shows due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, writer Kim Shumway confirmed they were able to complete filming for their seventh season.
CastingIn late February 2013, Bob Morley and Eli Goree were cast as Bellamy Blake and Wells Jaha, respectively, followed a day later by the casting of Henry Ian Cusick as Marcus Kane. Less than a week later, Eliza Taylor and Marie Avgeropoulos were cast in co-starring roles as Clarke Griffin and Octavia Blake, respectively. Throughout March, the rest of the cast was filled out, with Paige Turco cast as Abigail Walters, Isaiah Washington as Chancellor Jaha, Thomas McDonnell as Finn Collins, Kelly Hu as Callie Cartwig, and Christopher Larkin as Monty Green.
For the second season, Adina Porter and Raymond J. Barry were cast in recurring roles as Indra and Dante Wallace, respectively, along with Alycia Debnam-Carey as Lexa.
BroadcastIn Canada, Season 1 of The 100 was licensed exclusively to Netflix. The series premiered on March 20, 2014, the day after the mid-season premiere of Season 1 on the CW.
In New Zealand, the series premiered on TVNZ's on-demand video streaming service on March 21, 2014.
In the UK and Ireland, The 100 premiered on E4 on July 7, 2014. The first episode was viewed by an average audience of 1.39million, making it the channel's biggest ever program launch. Season 2 premiered on January 6, 2015, and averaged 1,118,000 viewers. Season 3 premiered on February 17, 2016.
In Australia, The 100 was originally scheduled to premiere on Go! but instead premiered on Fox8 on September 4, 2014. Season 2 premiered on January 8, 2015.
Home mediareleased the first five seasons' DVDs, and the first season's Blu-ray while the remaining five seasons' Blu-rays were released through Warner Archive Collection who also released a manufacture-on-demand DVD for the sixth season.
Critical responseOn Rotten Tomatoes, the show holds a 92% average approval rating across its 6 seasons. Its first season has a 76% approval rating based on 37 reviews, with an average score of 6.98/10. The site's consensus reads: "Although flooded with stereotypes, the suspenseful atmosphere helps make The 100 a rare high-concept guilty pleasure".
On Metacritic, the first season scores 63 out of 100 points, based on 26 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
The second season was met with more favorable reviews, holding a rating of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 11 reviews, with an average score of 8.77/10. The site's consensus reads: "The 100 hones all of the things that make it tick for a dynamic second season complete with fast-paced storylines, vivid visuals, and interesting characters to root for -- or against." In a review of the second-season finale, Kyle Fowle of The A.V. Club said, "Very few shows manage to really push the boundaries of moral compromise in a way that feels legitimately difficult. Breaking Bad did it. The Sopranos did it. Game of Thrones has done it. Those shows never back down from the philosophical murkiness of their worlds, refusing to provide a tidy, happy ending if it doesn't feel right. With 'Blood Must Have Blood, Part Two,' The 100 has done the same, presenting a finale that doesn't shy away from the morally complex stakes it's spent a whole season building up". Maureen Ryan of The Huffington Post, in another positive review, wrote: "I can say with some assurance that I've rarely seen a program demonstrate the kind of consistency and thematic dedication that The 100 has shown in its first two seasons. This is a show about moral choices and the consequences of those choices, and it's been laudably committed to those ideas from Day 1".
The third season received an overall rating of 83% based on 12 reviews, with an average rating of 7.29/10. The Critical consensus is, "The 100 goes macro in season 3, skillfully expanding the literal scope of the setting and figurative moral landscape". Maureen Ryan of Variety wrote in an early review of the third season: "When looking at the epic feel and varied array of stories on display in season three, which overtly and covertly recalls "The Lord of the Rings" saga in a number of ways, it's almost hard to recall how limited the scope and the ambitions of "The 100" were two years ago, when a rag-tag band of survivors first crash-landed on Earth. In season three, the show is more politically complicated than ever, and the world-building that accompanies the depiction of various factions, alliances and conflicts is generally admirable". In a review of the season 3 finale "Perverse Instantiation: Part Two", Mariya Karimjee of Vulture.com wrote: "Every moment of this finale is pitch-perfect: the choreography of the fight scenes, the plotting and pacing, and the stunning way in which the episode finally reaches it apex. "Perverse Instantiation: Part Two" elevates the season's themes and pulls together its disparate story lines, setting us up nicely for season four". In another review of the season 3 finale and the season overall, Kyle Fowle of The A.V. Club wrote: "Before we even get to tonight's action-packed finale of The 100, it needs to be said that this has been a rocky season. The first half of it was defined by shoddy character motivations and oversized villains. The second half of this season has done some work to bring the show back from the brink, focusing on the City of Light and issues of freewill and difficult moral choices, bringing some much needed depth to the third season. That work pays off with "Perverse Instantiation: Part Two," a thrilling, forward-thinking finale that provides some necessary closure to this season". He gave the finale itself an "A-" rating.
The fourth season is generally considered to be an improvement over the third season, receiving a 93% with an average rating of 8.22/10 based on 14 reviews. The critical consensus is, "Season 4 of The 100 rewards longtime viewers with a deeper look at their favorite characters, as well as adding exceptional nuance and depth to their thrilling circumstances". The second portion of the fourth season has received better reception than the first portion, with the episodes Die All, Die Merrily and Praimfaya often cited as the two best episodes of the season. Die All, Die Merrily has a 9.5/10 rating from IGN, a perfect 5/5 rating from Vulture and a perfect A rating from The AV Club. Praimfaya has a 9.0/10 from IGN and an A rating from The AV Club.
The fifth season currently has a 100% with an average of 8.31/10, based on 13 reviews. The critical consensus is, "Five years in, The 100 manages to top itself once again with a audacious, addicting season." This is the highest rating any season of the show has received to date. All episodes of the season received highly positive reviews, but the third episode Sleeping Giants has received particular high acclaim. In a 4.5/5 review from Den of Geek, the episode is described as being a "good ol' fashioned episode of The 100", praising its balance of action, humour, and rich relationships. The episode also gained a 4.5/5 rating from TVOverMind, praising the "pulse-pounding action" and approach to problem solving.
Brian Lowry of The Boston Globe said: "Our attraction to Apocalypse TV runs deep, as our culture plays out different futuristic possibilities. That's still no reason to clone material, nor is it a reason to deliver characters who are little more than stereotypes". Allison Keene of The Hollywood Reporter wrote a negative review, stating: "The sci-fi drama presents The CW's ultimate vision for humanity: an Earth populated only by attractive teenagers, whose parents are left out in space".
Kelly West of Cinema Blend gave it a more positive review while noting: "CW's Thrilling New Sci-fi Drama Is A Keeper. CW's The 100 seeks to explore that concept and more with a series that's about equal parts young adult drama, sci-fi adventure and thriller. It takes a little while for the series to warm up, but when The 100 begins to hit its stride, a unique and compelling drama begins to emerge".
IGN's editor Eric Goldman also gave the show a more positive review, writing: "Overcoming most of its early growing pains pretty quickly, The 100 was a very strong show by the end of its first season. But Season 2 elevated the series into the upper echelon, as the show become one of the coolest and most daring series on TV these days". Maureen Ryan of Variety named the show one of the best of 2015.
In 2016, the year Rolling Stone ranked the show #36 on its list of the "40 Best Science Fiction TV Shows of All Time", the episode "Thirteen" attracted criticism when Lexa, one of the series' LGBT characters, was killed off. Critics and fans considered the death a continuation of a persistent trope in television in which LGBT characters are killed off far more often than others – implicitly portraying them as disposable, as existing only to serve the stories of straight characters, or to attract viewers. A widespread debate among writers and fans about the trope ensued, with Lexa's death cited as a prime example of the trope, and why it should end. Showrunner Jason Rothenberg eventually wrote in response that "I write and produce television for the real world where negative and hurtful tropes exist. And I am very sorry for not recognizing this as fully as I should have".
RatingsAn estimated 2.7million American viewers watched the series premiere, which received an 18–49 rating of 0.9, making it the most-watched show in its time slot on The CW since 2010, with the series Life Unexpected.
Prequel seriesIn October 2019, Rothenberg began developing a The 100 prequel series for The CW. A backdoor pilot episode has been ordered, which aired as an episode of the seventh and final season of The 100. The prequel series is set to show the events 97 years before the original series, beginning with the nuclear apocalypse that wiped out almost all life on Earth.
In February 2020, it was reported that Iola Evans, Adain Bradley, and Leo Howard were cast as
Callie, Reese, and August, respectively.