Into the Badlands
Genres: Action, Adventure, Drama
Running Time: 42 minutes per episode
Number of Seasons: 2 (renewed for S3)
Number of Episodes: 16
Vintage: November 15, 2015 – present
The series is set in a post-apocalyptic world an unspecified number of years (likely centuries or perhaps millennia) after a war that left civilization in ruins. Many elements of technology, such as electricity and ground vehicles, have survived the apocalypse but society now shuns guns, leading to a reliance on melee weaponry.
In a territory known as the Badlands, which is somewhere in the former United States, a feudal society has developed to fill the power vacuum left by the war. Barons control land and monopolies over commodities like opium and fuel, trading amongst themselves to maintain the peace. Each baron is served by a massive workforce of slaves called “Cogs”, as well as a prostitute class called “Dolls”. A Baron maintains power through their “Clippers”, highly trained and loyal warriors at the apex of the feudal society who are forbidden from marrying and having children so their loyalties are not divided. Each Clipper force is captained by a “Regent”.
Several groups exist outside the strict hierarchy of the barons. Nomads are the most common, mostly lawless homicidal bandits who subsist on stealing from trade convoys between the baronies but some live in organized clans. The River King and his men control water trade in the Badlands and beyond and is considered a neutral party in the Barons’ power struggles. An ascetic religious movement is also shown to exist on the fringes of society, living in isolated communities and practicing a form of idol worship. The Widow leads a revolutionary group of anti-feudal fighters from her late husband’s barony; although nominally recognized as a baron by her peers they do not respect her, and the contempt is mutual.
Little is known of the world beyond the Badlands, but it is implied that it is far less politically stable and environmentally sound than the Badlands. The mythical utopian city of Azra is believed to exist outside the Badlands but most dismiss it as a legend.