Follow TV Tropes


Series / See

Go To

See is a Post-Apocalyptic Science Fiction series created by Steven Knight in 2019. It is produced by Apple and available exclusively on Apple TV+.

It is set a few centuries in the future after an apocalyptic plague reduced the human race to less than two million worldwide, near what used to be called the Mississippi river. Those who survived and their descendants were struck blind and are forced to live using their remaining senses. Some believed that the plague was sent by God to take away humanity's sight and as time passed the ability to "See" has been almost totally forgotten except by those who consider "Vision" and "Color" and "Reading" to be evil and heretical.

High in the Sungrave Mountains exists the Alkenny village, a tribe of a few dozen people, led by their Chief warrior Baba Voss (Jason Momoa). One day, his wife Maghra (Hera Hilmar) goes into labor and gives birth to the children she was pregnant with when she was adopted by the Alkenny. The only thing is, the man who fathered the twins could see. And so can his children.

The series also stars Sylvia Hoeks as Queen Kane, Christian Camargo as Tamacti Jun, Alfre Woodard as Paris and Yadira Guevara-Prip as Bow Lion. Dave Bautista joined the cast for Season 2 as Edo Voss.

The third and last season premiered in August 2022.

This series provides examples of:

  • Apocalypse How: Class 2. The Plague wiped out most of humanity and left the remaining blind, forcing them back to Iron Age level.
  • Apocalyptic Logistics: Queen Kane's palace is inside an ancient hydroelectric dam, which still works despite the technicians having limited knowledge and being unable to visually check for damage. Jerlamarel is able to assemble both a large library of pre-plague books and an arsenal of functional guns and bullets even though no one else had a reason to preserve those things.
    • Less extremely; Wren's apartment, which has been well-preserved despite the rest of the building around it being wrecked. This was acknowledged as the most intact place in the city that was Pittsburgh.
    • More extremely; the last scene in the series, when Haniwa and Wren get to the sighted enclave at the old public library in New York. There are holes in the roof, but everything inside the building is pristine.
  • Battle Chant: Baba Voss leads one that looks suspiciously like a haka before the first battle with the Witchfinders.
  • Bears Are Bad News: In the second episode of Season 1, Baba Voss is attacked by a wild bear while carrying the two babies in the forest. The babies find themselves at the mercy of the bear but that doesn't stop Baba from doing his best to lure the bear away from them and fight it.
  • Blind Weaponmaster: Obviously, and from the first few scenes of the first episode onwards. In universe, this hurts Baba Voss' group towards the end of the first season when they encounter a group of blind archers who aim by sound. And Baba has a cough... Baba does not get shot by the archers. Bow Lion does, taking an arrow to the leg.
  • Child Soldiers: Edo has no qualms about drafting a sighted six-year-old kid to act as lookout and call shots for his archers. Demonstrating the moral differences between them; Baba refuses to kill or silence the lookout and is captured as a result.
  • Commonality Connection: Haniwa and Wren begin to bond after Haniwa figures out that Wren can also see.
  • Darwinist Desire: Sighted people are sought after to produce sighted children by both Queen Kane and Edo Voss.
  • Depraved Bisexual: Queen Kane is obsessed with Jerlamarel, who used to be her lover. But she has no problem having sex with women as well.
  • Ear Ache: In Season 1, Tamacti Jun plants a stiletto in both of the inner ears of an old man from a village he burned down in his search for Jerlamarel and his children.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Edo is cruel, sadistic and vengeful enough to have Haniwa raped just to torture Baba Voss. However, he's not quite evil enough to do it himself. Even he, it seems, balks at incest.
  • Evil All Along: Jerlamarel. He's not the wise and loving father the twins imagined him to be. He's a sighted-supremacist who wants to be known as a god and would sell out and murder his own children to achieve that.
  • Eye Scream: Baba Voss ends up gouging the eyes of Jerlamarel, which is Laser-Guided Karma considering Jerlamarel is a sighted supremacist.
  • Future Primitive: This is how the world is — humans can't use modern technology anymore due to not being able to see and civilization has regressed to something more or less akin to the Iron Age, with some exceptions like Queen Kane using electricity in her palace.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: Queen Kane is a brutal monarch who wants to use Jerlamarel and his children to rule even more of the world. It doesn't help that she's slowly going insane and decides to destroy her city rather than give up on Jerlamarel and actually be a good queen.
  • Handicapped Badass: Many humans have learned to fight while being blind (since they still wage war) and sighted humans tend to make the mistake of underestimating them. But even then, Baba Voss really stands out.
  • Instant Death Bullet: Averted for the guns from Jerlamarel's stash - his daughter Sheva tends to Double Tap people when she shoots them. But played straight for Haniwa's arrows, except when the plot demands otherwise.
  • Instant Death Stab: Averted and discussed when Baba Voss describes to his son how to feel when you've cut through enough muscles and arteries to be sure that an opponent will both go down and stay down.
  • Karmic Transformation: Jerlamarel sells out Haniwa so that he can further his goal of making the sighted into gods. So Baba Voss gouges his eyes in retribution.
  • Mage Born of Muggles: Jerlamarel and Wren were born sighted from blind parents (though in such cases it's more due to genetic lottery reversing the blindness from The Plague than magic).
  • The Magic Comes Back: Essentially what the ability to see is in a world of blind people.
  • Meaningful Name: Baba Voss, which means "Father Wolf".
  • Message in a Bottle: Once the Alkenny tribe start living at their second settlement, Gether Bax, still eager to get rid of the "witches" in the tribe, drops rope messages in plastic bottles in the nearby river to give their position away to the Witchfinders. Twenty years later, one of these is found in Kanzua and Tamacti Jun is sent to the settlement, prompting Baba Voss' family and allies to go on the run.
  • Mistaken for Betrayal: When Queen Kane's agents sabotage the peace talks by assassinating the Trivantian delegates in the night, Wren thinks that Haniwa was in on it and had intentionally lured her away for a romantic rendezvous so that she wouldn't be able to stop it.
  • More Deadly Than the Male: Of the two sighted siblings, Kofun is content to continue their peaceful lives while Haniwa is eager to begin restoring humanity to their former place, even making ranged weapons only they can use.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Tamacti Jun spent two decades brutally interrogating every village he came across about Jerlamarel. Queen Kane is horrified to realize this means he was essentially acting as a prophet, spreading the legend of Jerlamarel's power far more effectively than he could have done on his own.'
  • Non-Heteronormative Society: Nobody cares that Haniwa likes women or that Queen Kane is bi.
  • Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond: Explored, deconstructed and ultimately averted. While Sight gives those who have it a unique advantage, it's ultimately not a particularly overwhelming one and to the properly trained or just naturally gifted with their other sense or intelligence it's fairly easily beaten. Though the natural arrogance most Sighted seem to have makes them constantly underestimate the blind, which quickly leads to their doom. Not to mention that no large community of sighted people seems to exist yet, being alone or in very small numbers is disadvantageous no matter what.
  • Obfuscating Disability: Naturally, those with sight are able to get away with hiding it given the blind populace can't see them. Haniwa realizes fast Wren is sighted as she knows full well what it's like to fake being blind.
  • Our Nudity Is Different: Since the ability to See nudity no longer exists, the entire purpose of clothes is reduced to practical necessity. If a person is not wearing clothes around another than there simply isn't a need to be concerned about it since there are, as far as is known, only three people in the world with working eyes.
  • Papa Wolf: Baba Voss beyond all doubt, his very name even means Father Wolf.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: After destroying her city, Queen Kane quickly discovers how ill-prepared she is for the outside world when she's captured by a despicable silk baron who puts her into slave labor.
  • Post-Apocalyptic Dog: Only humans lost their vision, so several characters have guide dogs. May also be a case of Evil-Detecting Dog, since the dogs can see enemies approaching. The Witchfinders' horses serve a similar role, as well as being transportation.
  • "Reading Is Cool" Aesop: Jerlamarel prepared a collection of books from reading primers to classic literature to help his sighted children rebuild the world.
  • Saying Too Much: While they try their best to hide it, the most common way for a sighted person to give themselves away is to remark on things like color or words that no one blind should be able to know of.
  • Scenery Porn: With the collapse of civilization, nature has reclaimed much of the planet. Itís a shame hardly anyone can see it.
  • Sex Magic: Sex and masturbation are seen as a way of worshiping the divine by Queen Kane.
  • Shown Their Work: The writers and directors took great pains to realistically portray how entire societies of blind people would live, build and even fight.
  • Slashed Throat: Sibeth Kane has a nasty habit of cutting people's carotid arteries with concealed blades - including multiple midwives who treat her when she is pregnant. She also threatens to cut her own infant son's throat.
  • Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil: There are slavers, essentially packs of nomads who wander around grabbing anyone they think they can get a good price for. One of the main reasons most people live in communities like the Alkenny. Baba Voss used to be part of one.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Haniwa and Wren start out as prisoner and guard, and even after Wren helps Haniwa escape, they then end up on opposite sides of a war, with neither willing to abandon their people.
  • Stealth Expert: The Shadows are stealthy spies who can move without being heard, control their own heartbeats and cleanse their minds of thoughts to avoid being detected by even people with Super-Hearing and Sensor Characters. They are practically undetectable to anyone who cannot see and very few people know about their existence and the ways to train them.
  • Super-Hearing: The four remaining senses of most people have been vastly developed in the absence of sight, including hearing. Some people can even detect the presence of entire armies this way at long distances.
  • Superpowerful Genetics: At first appears to be invoked - all of Jerlamarel's biological children are sighted like he is. Then subverted when Kofun's son and hence Jerlamarel's grandson is blind.
    • Any blind children Jerlamarel had would not appear in the story because he only left directions for sighted people to find him.
  • Super Supremacist: Jerlamarel. It does not end well for him.
  • Superweapon Surprise: Villainous example with the Trivantian Army at the end of the second season and in the third season. After a humiliating defeat by an alliance led by Baba Voss, the Trivantians force sighted children to read through pre-plague books for descriptions of weapons and to make hundreds of bombs & land mines.
  • Time Skip: The second episode takes place across seventeen years.
  • They Have the Scent!: Invoked both by humans by themselves and human trackers handling dogs. The standard trope of the trackers' target trying covering up their own scent with something offensive follows; but is then doubly subverted when it does not fool the dogs - but does fool their human handlers, who cannot see the deception.
  • Villainous Incest: Queen Kane wants Kofun to take Jerlamarel's place at her throne and in her bed. It should be noted that she's actually Kofun's aunt. And she succeeds.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Some sighted are terribly arrogant for people whose powers and advantages go away the second the lights go out. Particularly Jerlamarel.
  • Wham Line: Wren meets with Haniwa, wearing a mask, as she talks of being Edo's right-hand woman.
    Wren: That makes me feel like someone who's answered enough of your questions.
    Haniwa: Okay...just one more.
    (throws an apple which Wren catches while instinctively turning her face away)
  • Wham Shot: At the end of the first episode, the newborn babies reach out toward a soaring hawk, showing that they aren't blind.