Featured, US Network TV

Snowpiercer TV series: Should you watch the movie first?

The Snowpiercer TV series is finally on its way this weekend. Should you watch the 2013 movie first? Do you need it to understand the show?

At one point, we wondered if the Snowpiercer TV series would ever make it to our screens. It’s been through some big changes, including back and forth on different networks, but it’s finally arriving on May 17. Before you watch the series, you may be wondering about the movie the show is based on. Do you need to watch the 2013 Snowpiercer movie first to understand the show?

There’s some great news. If you haven’t watched the movie yet, don’t be too worried about searching for it. There’s no need to watch the movie to enjoy the show. You don’t need to know the previous story to get a sense of the events happening in the series. I’ve screened all 10 episodes of Snowpiercer Season 1 without knowing the movie and didn’t feel like anything needed explaining.

In a way, it could be worth going in without watching the movie first. You won’t have the storyline from the movie in your mind and you’ll find that more of the small elements of life on the train are surprising to you.

However, there are benefits to watching the movie first. You’ll understand the setting—the train and the second Ice Age—and there are a few Easter eggs along the way. For example, that brown fur coat is used in the TV series as well as the movie. Yet, overall, the show and the movie are two different things. In fact, the movie is set 17 years after the train set off while the show is set just seven years after.

You also don’t need to be familiar with the graphic novel. Again, the novel could add to the enjoyment by explaining a few more of the details on the train, but there’s nothing from it that you need to know to understand the series. Think of the Snowpiercer TV series like Watchmen. Watching the movie and knowing the graphic novels helped to understand the Easter eggs in the HBO limited series, but you didn’t need them to understand the events happening.

The Snowpiercer TV series has a crime drama element to it. One thing that pulls one of the “Tailies” out from the back is the need to solve a murder. Solving this is a catalyst for more mysteries and potential crimes onboard the train.

If you do want to stream the Snowpiercer movie, you can on Netflix U.S. It will be coming to Netflix Canada sometime in May 2020, but the release date hasn’t been confirmed yet.

What do you hope to see on the Snowpiercer TV series? What did you love about the movie? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Snowpiercer premieres on May 17 at 9/8c on TNT.