The first episode of the adaptation of the lauded Naughty Dog survival action game landed Sunday to critical acclaim and the inevitable need for viewers to obsess over the details. Luckily, HBO is doing what everyone does now and has released an official podcast for the show.
HBO’s The Last of Us Podcast(Opens in a new window)(opens in a new tab) is hosted by none other than Troy Baker, who voiced Joel in the games and also makes an appearance in the TV series — not as Joel, of course, as Pedro Pascal’s in that lead role.
For the first episode, Baker chats to the creative leads behind the series, Chernobyl director Craig Mazin and The Last of Us creator/Naughty Dog co-president Neil Druckmann about how the series actually got made. This includes a discussion about the opening scene of the show, when epidemiologist Dr. Neuman (John Hannah) speaks on a 1968 TV interview show about the looming threat of a fungal pandemic. It’s a scene that wasn’t in the game, but specifically written by Mazin to open the series with enough foreboding context for newcomers and to keep lovers of the game on their toes.
“As a fan, it catches you off guard and already signals to you: everything you think you know about this, you don’t know about,” Druckmann says on the podcast. “It achieved what we were trying to achieve…in a much more effective, dramatised way that starts giving you clues or theories of ‘maybe this is how it started’. We’re not saying definitively, but this is a pretty good theory.”
You can find the podcast on Spotify(Opens in a new window)(opens in a new tab), Apple Podcasts(Opens in a new window)(opens in a new tab), Google Podcasts(Opens in a new window)(opens in a new tab), or wherever you listen to podcasts, or you can watch it below on YouTube(Opens in a new window).
Meanwhile,The Last of Us is now streaming on HBO Max(opens in a new tab) with new episodes airing weekly on HBO.