Spain’s Movistar Plus and Buendía Estudios are teaming to create groundbreaking series “El Apagón,” Movistar Plus’ first original to explore global dystopia and Buendía Estudios’ first full production for the Telefonica Spanish pay TV operator.
Scheduled to shoot in fall 2021, and inspired by the Spanish podcast “El gran apagón,” the series will bring together a top-of-their-class Spanish team of creatives, led by Fran Araujo as co-creator and executive producer on this show.
Araujo’s illustrious writers’ room includes Isabel Peña, Rodrigo Sorogoyen’s longtime co-scribe (“Riot Police”) and Isa Campo, co-writer of Isaki Lacuesta’s two San Sebastian Golden Shell winners “Between Two Waters” and “The Double Steps.”
Further writers are Rafael Cobos, scribe of “The Plague,” one of Movistar Plus’ biggest series swings to date; and Alberto Marini, a preeminent writer-director of Spanish genre movies who also co-penned Movistar Plus’ 2020 espionage action thriller “The Unit.”
“As Movistar Plus’ first incursion into dystopia, it looks like a total luxury to create it with such a talented team,” Araujo enthused.
“Developing and carrying this production, a Movistar Plus Original, is a lovely adventure, and also a big responsibility because of the level of quality required,” said Ignacio Corrales, Buendia Estudios managing director. The way to step up to that plate was to put together a “well-experienced fiction-team,” he added.
The series’ story takes on board the concept and context of the original podcast, created by José A. Pérez Ledo, which has received six million downloads.
A solar storm hits the Earth leaving the high-tech world with no technology. In every episode, whose stories are separate but share the same context, its characters attempt to maintain order and adapt to a “new normal.”
Its creators underscored the importance of authenticity. “It’s might seem a sci-fi story, but we’ve brought it really close to Spanish reality,” said Marini. All of the six episodes will be self-conclusive.
All of the writers have targeted different audiences, hence their selection, said Cobos. That said, the idea for the podcast was created together, said Peña. COVID-19 encouraged the writers’ to create a series closer to known reality, she added.
“We never thought about a shutdown in our modern civilization and it happened,” added Campo. “We first thought about the series as science fiction, but then we realized it could happen. So we shifted the focus towards our characters’ experiences.”
“If we had made the series three years before, a solar storm was more likely than a global pandemic. We all know that these things can happen, but after the pandemic, there’s a change in how we feel about seemingly sci-fi stories. Now, we know they can really happen,” Marini agreed.
First announced in 2019, Buendía Estudios is a joint venture of Atresmedia, the top Spanish broadcast network which were the original producers on “Money Heist” and “Locked Up,” and Movistar Plus.