We finally have the full trailer for the second season of Raised by Wolves, the visually striking, occasionally frustrating sci-fi series created by Aaron Guzikowski, with Ridley Scott serving as executive producer. The series returns to HBO Max on February 3.
(Spoilers for S1 below.)
As I’ve written previously, the series involves two androids serving as Mother (Amanda Collin) and Father (Abubakar Salim) figures on a strange virgin planet, Kepler-22b (an actual observed extrasolar planet), after Earth has been destroyed by the outbreak of a religious war. They are programmed to incubate, birth, and raise human children to rebuild the population and set up an atheist civilization to keep the human race from going extinct.
The first teaser dropped last month and left us with decidedly mixed feelings. As I observed at the time:
On the one hand, once again, the visuals are amazing, and we’re thrilled that the strikingly androgynous Danish actress Amanda Collin is returning to star as Mother. Her extraordinary performance anchored the first season’s narrative arc and spooky, otherworldly vibe, and that same moody, disquieting vibe is present in the teaser. On the other hand, we were seriously disappointed in the S1 finale, which has shaken our confidence that S2 will rebound from that fiasco to become the genuinely original and visionary series it initially promised to be.
S1 wasn’t to everyone’s taste, but I found it atmospheric and weird in interesting ways—until that finale. Mother became pregnant after having virtual sex with her VR creator, “downloading” the required information. Except instead of giving birth to a baby as she’d hoped, Mother literally vomited up a creepy, flying alien sucker-snake (FASS). In my review, I called it “a jarring, over-the-top ploy that simply wasn’t sufficient payoff for the viewer, and clashed mightily with the original set-up.” And just as we feared, the FASS looks to play a significant role in S2.
Per the official synopsis:
Android partners Mother (Amanda Collin) and Father (Abubakar Salim), along with their brood of six human children, join a newly formed atheistic colony in Kepler 22 b’s mysterious tropical zone. But navigating this strange new society is only the start of their troubles as Mother’s “natural child” threatens to drive what little remains of the human race to extinction.
As the trailer opens, Mother and Father have relocated with their children to the atheist colony on the other side of the planet, which seems far more hospitable to their well-being than their original settlement. We get hints of the planet’s still-hidden mysteries in the form of a desiccated alien body, as well as a strange skeleton, and we get scenes of what appears to be a gladiator-style combat stadium. Meanwhile, Marcus (Travis Fimmel) has become a zealous devotee of Sol and is intent on converting the children to his way of thinking. “To be worthy of Sol’s love, children, you need only need faith,” he tells them at one point. “And that is one thing that this robot can never take away from us.”
Mother and Father are far more than mere robots, of course, even fearing that they might be becoming a little too human the more time they spend on the planet with their brood. Mother’s more violent nature will still get a chance to emerge, including her signature sonic scream that reduces human bodies to so much bloody gore. On the whole, we remain hopeful that S2 will be a solid experience. But perhaps that’s because the FASS remains largely AWOL from the trailer, apart from one brief glimpse as it curls ominously around a tree, evoking some strong Garden of Eden vibes.
The second season of Raised by Wolves debuts on HBO Max on February 3, 2022.
Listing image by HBO Max