‘Hard Sun’: How David Bowie Inspired Hulu’s Apocalypse Drama

TCA 2018: Creator Neil Cross explains Ziggy Stardust’s influence on his five-year plan — and the possibility of a Bruce Willis cameo

UK: The Nokia Isle of Wight Festival 2004 - Day Three - David Bowie
Photo by Jo Hale/Getty Images

David Bowie may be gone, but he is still having a profound affect on the planet. Seriously, he was the catalyst for Hulu’s version of Armageddon. At least, that’s what “Hard Sun” creator Neil Cross said at the Television Critics Association press tour on Sunday.

When Cross was asked about the timeline for the first season of the pre-apocalyptic drama, and what the time frame for the entire series might be, he immediately responded with an overwhelmed, “oh no,” before launching into a muddled explanation.

When Cross finally landed on the length of Season 1 being “12 weeks, 3 months, yeah, something like that,” he said that Bowie’s music played a part in his decision.

“The show was inspired by a song, ‘Five Years’ by David Bowie,” Cross said. “So I do have a kind of five-year plan for it.”

For those who don’t have “Ziggy Stardust” on vinyl, the song he’s referencing tells the story of an Earth which is doomed to destruction in — you guessed it — five years and the anxiety this puts on the people of the world, as they know the end is coming.

This is a pretty appropriate mental soundtrack for the show, seeing as it focuses on Charlie Hicks (Jim Sturgess) and Elaine Renko (Agyness Deyn), two detectives who work every day to enforce the law in a world that is slipping closer and closer to a catastrophic natural disaster that will wipe out humanity.

And will we ever see what the world would look like if and when the apocalypse does come on “Hard Sun”? Cross said no. Well, kinda.

“There is, the singular nature of the apocalypse as we portray it in the show is that when it comes, that’s it for everyone at once. So there is no possibility of Bruce Willis looking fantastic in a vest come to save us. It is the end. So there will be in the show, nothing after the apocalypse…”

Cross added confidently, “Unless we get offered a Season 6.”

Season 1 of “Hard Sun” premieres on March 7 on Hulu.