You don’t need to be familiar with the details of the mystery of The OA know that people are obsessed with The OA. The show, co-created by and starring Brit Marling, tends to rank pretty high on the entertainment list for people looking for twisty, cult sci-fi hits, thanks to its humanistic approach to a zigzagging and even downright bizarre mystery. And the fanbase is still hungry for more.
It is therefore not surprising that when developing A murder at the end of the world, marling and her O.A. Co-creator Zal Batmanglij knew fans wanted more than what they gave The OA offered, a mystery balanced between its thoughtful characters and ambitious themes, even if the show’s scope felt totally different.
Still, O.A. Fans will notice that the new series encompasses many of the same gender-bending techniques as The OA did. a murder is a whodunit set at a remote retreat in Iceland, hosted by a mysterious tech billionaire. As The OA Before, the central mystery is mixed with one from the past, with flashbacks of Darby (Emma Corrin) in search of a serial killer. Marling and Batmanglij said the main pressure they felt O.A. Fans creating another mystery was how rabid the hunger is for a “rich, mysterious, layered narrative,” which they hoped to replicate here.
“Believe [the genre-blending] it just happened somewhat naturally; We are attracted to different things. And we think, Oh, we weave the crime novel with a kind of road trip love story.”says Batmanglij. “It just occurred to us and then we followed those two trajectories.”
It was the same way they approached their leader, Darby. The character first came to the writing duo in what they describe as a “childhood memory” of a young woman exposed to crime scenes through her father’s work as a medical examiner.
“That experience there is very intense for her, because unlike her father or the other police officers who are there (all the male authority figures), she is 10 years old, a little girl, she looks at ground level and connects with a victim. “She knows that she is also a woman,” says Marling, “and she feels a weight and a sense of responsibility for wanting to solve some of those cases that are forgotten.”
From there, the story seemed clear to them: this early radicalization would send Darby to the same place it would send any young man of Generation Z: to the Internet, where he would become “electrified” to discover more about unsolved cases. From there, Darby’s path, both through the warm flashbacks of Utah and the icy tragedy in Iceland, unfolded clearly for the co-creators. As Marling says, “story tells you what it wants and you do your best to follow” that path.
And if the audience is paying attention, they may already be able to follow the crumbs to the “who” of the whodunnit: as Marling and Batmanglij did with Darby, they let the culprit of A murder at the end of the world They flow entirely from the history they constructed.
“I think the world and the character existed in the idea of this whodunnit where, you know, a tech billionaire invites people to a retreat, and we don’t really know where, and that sense of mystery and all the luminaries that he brings together,” says Marling. “And then, as the theme started to take shape, it became obvious quickly what the mystery itself was and what the answer to the whodunnit would be. It all comes organically, from the character and from the ideas that you try to communicate with the characters.”
A murder at the end of the world Season 1 is now streaming on Hulu.