Netflix's Resident Evil TV series sounds nothing like the games

(Image credit: Capcom)

Netflix has ordered eight episodes of its previously announced live-action Resident Evil TV show, confirming that it's got a showrunner (that is, a head writer) to lead the series' creation. Andrew Dabb, who worked on The CW's Supernatural, is behind the adaptation.

In addition, first story details about the show have been released. And, well, to be honest, it sounds nothing like any of the games – though it has a couple of connections that tie it back to the series' lore. Netflix's synopsis says it's "building" on the games, and that the story will take place across two timelines.

In the earlier timeline, teenage sisters Jade and Billie Wesker move to New Raccoon City against their wishes. Their new home is a "manufactured, corporate" town hiding many secrets – which, as anyone who knows the series can guess, will ultimately threaten the safety of the world.

In the other, later timeline – which sounds a lot more interesting – a 30 year-old Jade Wesker tries to survive in a world where fewer than 15 million people are still alive. The planet has been ravaged by the T-virus, and both people and animals have transformed into monsters, now numbering in the billions. Jade's past will catch up with her, with secrets about her sister and father threatening to create problems in the present.

The clear implication is that Albert Wesker is the unnamed father, here. He's a long-time series antagonist who finally met his demise in 2009's Resident Evil 5, when protagonists Chris Redfield and Sheva Alomar launched rockets at him inside a volcano. At one point, Capcom changed Wesker's accent from American to British, presumably to make him more evil. That's how you know he's a bad guy.

Who's making the Resident Evil TV show?

The TV show actually sounds like it's in good hands, though, and being reverent to the source material probably wouldn't have been the right move. Bronwen Hughes, who's directed episodes of everything from Better Call Saul to The Walking Dead, will direct the first two chapters here.

Dabb, too, sounds like he loves the series. And to be honest, picking Wesker as a central point for the tale seems wise – he's perhaps the series' most memorable character, minus maybe Leon S Kennedy from Resident Evil 2, 4 and 6. And even then, Leon is best known for his haircut rather than his personality. 

"Resident Evil is my favorite game of all time," Dabb says in a statement, presumably referring to the first 1996 game on PlayStation. "I'm incredibly excited to tell a new chapter in this amazing story and bring the first ever Resident Evil series to Netflix members around the world. For every type of Resident Evil fan, including those joining us for the first time, the series will be complete with a lot of old friends, and some things (bloodthirsty, insane things) people have never seen before."

That suggests more characters from the series could turn up. We're certainly getting a Walking Dead vibe from the second timeline – and no doubt Netflix wouldn't mind having another big-budget horror series to go alongside the very different The Haunting of Hill House

Will it be better than the movies, which despite being critically slated, have their own cult following? We will see. No release date has been set yet, but we'd expect to see this late next year at the earliest. 

Samuel Roberts

Samuel is a PR Manager at game developer Frontier. Formerly TechRadar's Senior Entertainment Editor, he's an expert in Marvel, Star Wars, Netflix shows and general streaming stuff. Before his stint at TechRadar, he spent six years at PC Gamer. Samuel is also the co-host of the popular Back Page podcast, in which he details the trials and tribulations of being a games magazine editor – and attempts to justify his impulsive eBay games buying binges.