The long-awaited HBO adaptation of one of the best video games ever made is finally here. We go through everything you should expect from The Last Of Us, which arrives on Sky Atlantic on Monday.
The plot follows Joel Miller, a gruff survivor in a post-apocalyptic United States. Why is the United States in a permanent state of despair and ruin, you may ask.
That would be thanks to the cordyceps fungus which has turned those who came into contact with it into violent, mutated, zombie-like creatures.
Joel and his kind-of-not-really girlfriend Tess (played by Anna Torv) are tasked with transporting some precious cargo across the country. The cargo in question is a young girl called Ellie (Bella Ramsey).
How can I watch The Last of Us in the UK?
The first episode will air in the US on Sunday 15 January on HBO Max and over here in the UK, you can either catch it at the same time – that’s 2am our time – or wait until 9pm on Monday night to watch it on Sky Atlantic.
How many episodes will there be?
There will be a total of 9 episodes, which will be airing weekly. The episodes vary in length and the first episode alone will be 80 minutes long.
That’s pretty good considering the game is roughly 20 hours long and the first season covers the entirety of the first game.
Will there be a season 2?
That is the big question on everyone’s mind. The Last of Us Part II was released in 2020 and was immediately controversial, but nonetheless acclaimed.
As mentioned before, the first season will cover the entirety of the first game, but the second game is much larger and took gamers longer to complete.
It also introduces a plethora of new characters and offers an emotionally complex narrative, mostly told through Ellie’s perspective.
Nothing has been confirmed, but if the first season is a hit – and all signs point to it being the TV event of the year – HBO might be keen on producing another series.
Showrunners Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann (who also directed the original game) have already said they would need more than one season to complete the hefty, complex narrative of the second game, so if we’re lucky, there will be plenty of The Last of Us in our future.
How closely will the series follow the game?
Pretty closely. Most of the narrative will stay the same, but some creative liberties have been taken.
The biggest one is probably in how the fungus spreads. In the game, the characters often had to don gas masks to avoid breathing in the spores that would infect them, but this isn’t really feasible in a TV show.
If you’re playing top dollar for Pedro Pascal to play your lead, you don’t want him in a gas mask for long periods of time.
Instead, the fungus spreads by tendrils.
Yes, tendrils. It’s an inspired move as this means the fungus is essentially a large network, all connected, making it even more difficult for Joel and Ellie to make it to their destination alive.
Several outlets have also reported that episode three of the series, which revolves around Nick Offerman’s Bill, will make some changes to the game’s narrative. Showrunners Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann described changes to Bill’s storyline something that “will shock and perhaps challenge fans.”
Will Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson be a part of the series?
Baker and Johnson played Joel and Ellie in the game respectively and much to our delight, will indeed be part of HBO’s adaptation.
Johnson will play Ellie’s mother, Anna Williams, in a flashback while Baker is confirmed to play James, one of the cannibals Joel and Ellie come across on their perilous journey.
It’s nice to have the two people so closely associated with the game to be part of the TV adaptation. Baker has praised Pedro Pascal’s performance as Joel, going as far as saying he wishes he could go back and change some things in his own performance in the game.