‘Beacon 23’ is an upcoming sci-fi psychological thriller series developed for MGM+. The show was based on a series of short stories written by Hugh Howey, the same man behind ‘Silo’ books that were recently successfully adapted into a show. ‘Beacon 23’ deals with similar themes as ‘Silo,’ and it’s set in a vastly alien environment compared to what we’ve used. We don’t know how closely the show will follow all the stories, but based on the book, we can discern when & where ‘Beacon 23’ will take place.
Editor’s Note: This post contains massive spoilers for the upcoming show ‘Beacon 23’ and the source material, read at your own risk.
‘Beacon 23’ deals with a futuristic civilization that has achieved space travel
As you’ve probably figured out by now, ‘Beacon 23’ takes place in an age where humans are not only capable of space travel but also are familiar with alien races.
The series and the book take place in the 23rd century, and this is as specific as it gets. Digger mentions that the beacon’s personal archives have a complete Wiki circa 2245 that hasn’t been updated in several decades, so we can assume that we’re dealing with the latter portion of the 23rd century.
Generally, the timeline is rather straightforward as everything takes place in a span of one month. Still, the past is often referenced, as well as some events that took place in Galaxy’s history, most notably the Void War that humanity has been waging against the Ryph.
What is the Void War?
At some point in time, when humans became spacefaring species, they started to explore other planets and even colonized some of them. Numerous planets are mentioned in the context of colonies, and we know that the known explorable universe is divided into at least nine sectors. At some point in time, humans also came into contact with alien species, one of them being the so-called bipedal Ryphs, and as these things used to go, humans came to be engaged into a long and bloody war with them that took billions of lives during the ordeal.
Digger was a soldier in the war at some point in time. He was part of the Barvo company that took part in a massive assault on the Ryph hives on their home planet called Yata.
At some point, Digger found himself in front of the Ryph hive and was charged with nuking the place, taking countless innocent Ryph lives in the process, but he couldn’t do it. He couldn’t bring himself to set off the bomb, which resulted in him being horribly injured at the hands (or rather claws) of the so-called Ryph Lord, one of the strongest representatives of the Ryph species.
Ryph Lord gutted him, and they barely managed to save Digger’s life. His company perished in the ordeal, but by some miracle, the Ryphs stopped their advance, and most of the soldiers stationed on Yata at that time managed to survive.
After his horrific injury, Digger, who was originally a Navy pilot, was transferred to Beacon 23. It’s something he asked for indirectly. He told the general that he wanted to be “left alone,” and what better place to be left alone than on the edge of the known Universe?
Digger started working for NASA as a beacon operator, and the rest is history.
The story takes place at the edge of the known Universe
We already mentioned that there are at least nine known sectors, according to Humans, and Beacon 23 is stationed in Sector 8. Sector 8 is largely uninhabited, with only passing ships and military vessels being the company of the lonely beacon.
The reason why sector eight is mostly abandoned is the proximity of the asteroid field. This is also the reason for the beacon’s existence.
Beacon 23 is the home to GWB, a gravitational wave broadcaster that clears up the asteroid debris so the space vessels can have a safe transit through the sector.
Beacon 23 literally guards against space rocks, something that lighthouses in old times did on Earth. If a commercial vessel or cargo ship were to crash into even a medium-sized rock, it would result in total destruction, and I am pretty sure that nothing except for more space junk would be left of either the crew or the ship itself. The exact location of Beacon 23 is the outer edge of Lain Banks Asteroid Field.
We’re yet to see how much of the story will be adapted to show and whether the show will cover the timeline and places mentioned in the source material, but it seems highly likely.
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