an­i­mal army

It’s world­wide pan­de­mo­nium as an­i­mals re­volt in Zoo sea­son two…

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Red Alert -

For­get the zom­bie apocalypse. The an­i­mal king­dom has been ris­ing up, bar­ing its teeth and threat­en­ing mankind in CBS’s Zoo. Based on the best­seller of the same name by James Pat­ter­son, the TV se­ries finds zo­ol­o­gist Jack­son Oz (James Wolk) and a group of ex­perts in­ves­ti­gat­ing nu­mer­ous vi­o­lent an­i­mal at­tacks. How­ever, those iso­lated in­ci­dents are about to ex­plode on a more epic scale in sea­son two.

“The im­por­tant thing for us was rais­ing the stakes of the show,” says ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer Josh Ap­pel­baum. “If last sea­son was the hint that there was some­thing go­ing on with the an­i­mals, and the search to un­der­stand what’s go­ing on, now it’s a global event. Borders are shut­ting down. Quar­an­tine zones are be­ing set up… They are quar­an­tin­ing house pets.

“In the pre­miere, you find out the mu­ta­tion has taken an un­ex­pected turn,” he con­tin­ues. “All the stuff we’ve been see­ing starts to af­fect a dif­fer­ent species. That is wildly alarm­ing and has great per­sonal stakes for our team. Now the world has be­come al­most a war zone. A lot of ar­eas are un­der at­tack. Ci­ties have fallen. Even nav­i­gat­ing our way around the world be­comes an ob­sta­cle for our peo­ple.

“At the same time, and prob­a­bly more im­por­tantly for us, last sea­son there was a lot of time spent hav­ing our team get to know each other,” he con­tin­ues. “They didn’t as­sem­ble un­til the end of episode three and they didn’t re­ally get to work to­gether un­til four. It was hard to give them op­por­tu­nity to have per­sonal con­flict be­cause they were all strangers. Now, they have a lot of his­tory, and that his­tory breeds con­flict. They are still a fam­ily, so they fight like a fam­ily would.”

Part of the fun of Zoo in­volves see­ing ex­actly which beasts will re­volt. The se­ries pre­vi­ously fea­tured lions, leop­ards, bears, bats, dogs,

In our twohour pre­miere, there’s a bad ele­phant that has an in­cred­i­ble de­but

wolves and rats. This sea­son introduces a few enor­mous crea­tures that guar­an­tee big trou­ble.

“In terms of an­i­mals, in our two-hour pre­miere, there’s a bad ele­phant that has an in­cred­i­ble de­but,” teases Ap­pel­baum. “It’s prob­a­bly one of the coolest things we’ve done on the show. An­other thing we haven’t seen that we’re work­ing on right now is pri­mates…

“What we are start­ing to re­alise is the stuff that has hap­pened with the an­i­mals is af­fect­ing the en­vi­ron­ment in a ma­jor way,” he adds. “As the ecosys­tem gets dis­rupted, it changes the en­vi­ron­ment. The world is be­com­ing a much more hos­tile place.”

Ap­pel­baum’s cred­its in­clude the mythol­ogy-heavy Happy Town and Alias. Se­ri­alised se­ries of­ten pile on the twists and se­crets with­out of­fer­ing any an­swers. Ap­pel­baum prom­ises that won’t be the case with Zoo.

“On Alias, it worked great to hold on to the Ram­baldi el­e­ments and what that was all about, for as long as pos­si­ble, be­cause I think it was some­thing you didn’t want an­swered,” Ap­pel­baum ex­plains. “On some­thing like Zoo, it’s a dif­fer­ent show. It’s a sum­mer event se­ries. You want there to be mys­tery, but you want some sat­is­fac­tion by the time the run is done. Last sea­son, we didn’t quite give the ori­gin of the mu­ta­tion, but we told you how it blew up. There was some­thing pretty sig­nif­i­cant to hang your hat on. The stuff this sea­son gives you con­text as well. I don’t think that peo­ple will be frus­trated.”

Zoo sea­son two airs in the US on CBS from 28 June, with a UK air­date TBC.

Go, go, go! We’re five min­utes over on our park­ing ticket! A quiet walk in the woods you say? Un­likely!

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