Aquarius, the hottest new NBC TV show inspired by Charles Manson, premieres tonight. The highly-anticipated television series will debut in a two-hour episode, and the rest of the episodes will be available on NBC’s app and On Demand. Aquarius cast stars include David Duchovny as Sam Hodiak, Grey Damon as Brian Shafe, Emma Dumont as Emma Karn, and Gethin Anthony as Charles Manson.
Synopsis: Here is a quick rundown of what takes place in the exciting new TV show, Aquarius.
Set against the backdrop of the 1960s, Charlie Manson is just getting out of jail and ready to soak up the sun in San Francisco. When he re-emerges back into society, he finds himself smack dab in the middle of the hippie era. Having spent most of his life in prison, Manson tries to stay on the straight and narrow, but eventually finds himself sucked back into a world of crime, drugs, and sex — lots of sex.
Meanwhile, Detective Sam Hodiak receives a phone call from his ex-girlfriend, who states that her daughter is missing. Investigators learn that she is living at a compound with a man named Charlie Manson, a petty criminal with a liking for stealing cars. As they dig deeper into his background, they learn that he has an extensive criminal record that includes aggravated assault, attempted murder, and rape. Determined to get his ex-girlfriend’s daughter back, he sends undercover cop Brian Shafe to infiltrate the hippie compound where Manson is living, leading detectives to realize that there is a whole lot more to Manson than just petty thieving.
Producers have stated that Aquarius is more of a fictionalized version of the true story rather than a biographical one, which gives them a few more liberties without being bogged down with detailed facts. Even still, it seems the writers and producers have done their research when it comes to Manson’s ability to sweep women off of their feet with his charismatic personality. This is what viewers will see in Gethin Anthony’s portrayal of Charlie Manson.
The real Charles Manson was a tiny little man with the “swag” of a thousand men. His walk, the way he tossed his hair, the intensity behind his dark eyes, his philosophical way with words, and his sexual skill kept women — and even a couple of men — coming back for more.
“Sex to me is like going to the toilet. Whether it’s a girl or not, it doesn’t matter.” (Manson)
Much like in the real story, cops had Charlie Manson on the radar for some pretty serious crimes, but later learned of Manson’s magnetism and ability to pull in several beautiful women to live with him on the old ranch. What detectives didn’t know was that Charlie Manson would become the mastermind behind the infamous Tate-La Bianca murders. They also had no way of knowing that Manson’s charisma and ability to control people’s minds would continue to fascinate and attract young people for generations.
The real Emma is most likely a composite of women that entered Charles Manson’s life. In an old documentary based on the case, there were a few mothers and fathers who frantically worried about their daughters as they left home and lived under the spell of Charles Manson.
NBC viewers are in for a treat as they revisit this old case that was considered the crime of the century. The colors in Aquarius are bold and bright against the dirt and grit of California’s hippie generation, where black militants ran rampant, violence erupted in the streets due to police brutality, and the promoting of peace, love, and free sex were the norm. Aquarius brilliantly captures the climate of Manson’s era and does a great job of transporting the 2015 viewer back in time to the seedy underbelly of San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury in the late 1960s.
And when you think about it, Aquarius is an interesting name for the show. Charles Manson was born in the month of November, but the astrological definition of Aquarius is described as “the eleventh sign of the zodiac. [and] Those born under this sign have the social conscience needed to carry us into the new millennium.”
The time period was considered the “dawning of the Age of Aquarius,” aka the New Age movement. If you know anything about cult leader Charles Manson, then you know that he had a deep awareness of society and constantly lived against the grain — always challenging the “establishment” with the hope of creating a new world order.
But, let’s not give it all away. Be sure to tune in to NBC tonight at 9/8c. Then, for a more expansive look into the case read two of the best books written on the case: Helter Skelter and The Family.
For added knowledge, check out Charles Manson’s famous interview with the following quotes:
“It’s not my fault you don’t understand me. I’ve never killed anyone. I think it. I have it here.”
“Believe me. If I started murdering people. There’d be none of you left.”
[Photo Credit: Facebook]