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Brave New World debuted as Peacock's big-ticket original series, and it proved that the new NBCUniversal streaming service wasn't going to hold back from the kinds of adult programming that can't air on NBC or USA or any other broadcast network. Perhaps no scene really illustrated how far the show could go as much as the New London orgy that brought what could only be imagined from the pages of Aldous Huxley's novel to TV.

Brave New World executive producer Grant Morrison spoke with CinemaBlend about the show, and he broke down why the orgy was key to the plot. When asked if there was anything he wanted to do with Brave New World on Peacock but was unable to, Morrison shared:

No! Obviously because the book deals with sex and sexuality so much, but it's a weird kind of package. For the new world, sex is kind of a duty. It's like exercise. It has a different meaning from what it has in our culture. And so we kind of wanted to show a little bit of that. There's no guilt, there's no sense of shame about it. But at the same time there's no real soul or passion in it, so when you see these things, they're almost like sporting events or like ballets in a certain way. And that was what we were trying to get across, and I think that worked quite well. You see huge masses of people all starting to move as one organism, because they're all so closely tied together.

The big orgy sequence didn't happen in Brave New World just because releasing on a streaming service meant that Grant Morrison and the production team could take the show to some risqué places, but rather because intimacy means something very different in New London than viewers may have been expecting and it set the stage.

Lenina would more explicitly break down the status quo later in the season when explaining to John that she had to be promiscuous because it was expected of her as a Beta Plus, but the orgy really illustrated the lack of attachments between everybody in this brave new world as well as what John would eventually have so many issues with.

Aldous Huxley didn't include any explicit sex scenes when he wrote Brave New World, which was originally published in 1932 with some problematic elements that had to be changed for the show, but the implication was certainly on the pages. Grant Morrison elaborated on how Brave New World's writers approached the orgy scenes for the TV show and what set them apart from similar sequences in other projects:

But no, apart from that, we weren't really given a hard time. We tried to have a lot more diversity in there. What we would call gay relationships would to them not be seen at all. Everyone belongs to everyone else, so there's no divisions between genders or sexes in the way that we would organize them. I think all of our ideas about sexuality, we were able to express them. What I like about it, it has a really different feeling from other orgy scenes in anything else that we've seen. And part of that was the fact that the writers room was mostly staffed by women, because we really wanted to make sure we weren't turning the whole thing into some kind of Playboy Club.

Brave New World's writers room was evidently staffed mostly by women, with the goal for this sequence to craft an orgy scene that wasn't gratuitous and actually mattered to the story. The end result was an orgy that left no divisions between sexes and genders and really emphasized the conditioning that everybody belongs to everybody else. It was also a stark contrast to what John and Lenina would have together when they fell in love and John just wanted her to belong to him.

Of course, not many TV shows could include an orgy and have it be essential to the plot and overall tone, as Grant Morrison acknowledged:

No, and that's an excuse obviously for being able to film those gigantic sequences in Battersea Park in London with 200 extras, all choreographed as one organism.

The first season of Brave New World ends with the status quo potentially changed for good, with Lenina in a position of power and many previous leaders either dead or gone from New London. If the show returns for a second season, then there will likely be fewer openings for orgies. Even if John and Lenina didn't get their happily-ever-after in the Season 1 finale, I for one don't see Lenina going back to everybody belonging to everybody else if she has an alternative!

The full first season of Brave New World is available streaming on Peacock Premium now. If you're looking for some additional TV options in the not-too-distant future, be sure to check out our 2020 fall TV premiere schedule!

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