With shows like Shrinking and Liaison, Apple TV+ is going from strength to strength this year. They’re showing no signs of slowing down either, March not only sees the release of the star-studded drama Extrapolations, but also an intriguing-looking new comedy series starring Chris O’Dowd (The IT Crowd, Bridesmaids.) The Big Door Prize is based on the book of the same name and sees a teacher’s life change after a mysterious machine appears in his small town, and it’s set to start on 29th March.
O’Dowd plays the central role of Dusty, a good-natured teacher with a happy but average life. He and the other residents of Deerfield discover a strange machine that appears one day and seems to have magical power- namely the ability to predict a person’s destiny. The townsfolk quickly become intrigued at what the machine, apparently called MORPHO, will say about them, with it spitting out a small card with “Your life potential” written on it when used. A clip in the official trailer shows some examples of the machine’s predictive power, with “Superstar”, “Dancer” and “Male Model” all possible destinies for different people. Everyone becomes totally obsessed, except Dusty, who doesn’t understand the appeal of wanting your entire life revealed to you.
As the other residents of Deerfield start taking life-changing actions as a result of the machine (“We’re getting a divorce” “The Morpho inspired us” say one couple in the trailer), Dusty slowly becomes tempted by what Morpho might offer him. “I’m 40 years old, I have no discernible talent apart from whistling”, he laments in the trailer. “And I’ve only ever been in one relationship… …. I don’t know if I’m happy.” He seems conflicted, both trying to convince people it’s more important to discover your identity and longing for something more. As the trailer ends, he starts unwrapping a card from the machine.
The novel that The Big Door Prize is adapted from was published back in 2020 and written by M.O. Walsh, and received good reviews from critics. Starring alongside O’Dowd are Gabrielle Dennis (Luke Cage), Josh Segarra (Orange Is The New Black), and Damon Gupton (La La Land.) The first three episodes of the show will premiere together on 29th March, before the rest of the ten episodes come out weekly over the next weeks.
The Big Door Prize premieres on 29th March 2023 on Apple TV+