Remedy’s Top TV Shows And The Time-Travel Movies Influencing Quantum Break

by Kyle Hilliard on Nov 18, 2015 at 09:40 AM

Remedy has always worn its television and film influences on its sleeve, and Quantum Break is no different. During our visit to Remedy to see Quantum Break, we asked many of the game's leads what their favorite TV shows past and present are, regardless of their direct influence on Quantum Break. We also asked about time-travel films, and which ones are at the forefront of their minds while building Quantum Break.

Creative Director Sam Lake's Favorite TV Shows

Game of Thrones – It’s awesome.

True Detective – I haven’t given up on True Detective. The first season was really, really good. The second season got so much trash, but I don’t think it was quite that bad. I still am looking forward to the third one.

Fargo – It was awesome. I am really looking forward to the second season.

Twin Peaks – With Alan Wake, Twin Peaks obviously. That made a big, big impression back then.

X-Files – I liked X-Files… some of it.

Penny Dreadful – I like that quite a lot.

A surprise absence on Sam Lake's list was Twilight Zone. It was a show we wrongfully assumed would be a favorite of Lake's, considering the allusions to it throughout Alan Wake. When asked about the show, Lake said, "I used to watch, but I never was a huge fan. There were some episodes that would stay with you, but as a whole? It just fit the tone and stylization of Alan Wake. Mikko Rautalahti, senior writer, well he’s actually story team manager is his title these days, he is more of a Twilight Zone fan and he wrote all the Night Springs episodes."

Narrative Designer Greg Louden's Favorite TV Shows

Last Week Tonight – I think the political insight is brilliant. I really love watching the show every week. That’s the show I watch every week to see what’s happened.

Daredevil – I’ve really liked Wilson Fisk in Daredevil, the Netflix show. I think that’s brilliant and I love all the twists and turns that Drew Goddard’s got in there.

Narcos – I watched the pilot for Narcos. I have no idea what the show is going to be like by the end, but I think it kind of felt like Goodfellas, but from the DEA perspective.

Louden also offered up a list of shows that have more direct influences on Quantum Break, whether it's a matter of tone, time-travel elements, or narrative overlap. "There was Sliders back in the day, but I don’t think that really serves as an influence. Lost, for sure. I think in general, same with Alan Wake, we’ve always got plot twists in the end, and it’s very much like Lost – even Drew Goddard’s Daredevil has a little of that as well. We’re always pushing for that stuff," Louden said. "True Detective has been cool and influential for the project. Breaking Bad, as well – a lot of influences you wouldn’t expect. Moments from Breaking Bad that you wouldn’t think belong in a time-travel story? Definitely in Quantum Break. Stuff from True Detective that’s about detectives? That’s there as well. We’re very aware of what’s happening, and we’re always trying to take those ideas and push them further."

Remedy Art Director Saku Lehtinen's Favorite TV Shows

Star Trek – I actually like the original one the most. That was the one that got me into it. And then, later, Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Battlestar Galactica – I am apparently a sci-fi buff, because the latest Battlestar Galactica is quite awesome.

Breaking Bad – I was a few years late, but I thought it was quite awesome.

Drama Director Stobe Harju's Favorite TV Shows

Breaking Bad – I really enjoyed Breaking Bad. Everybody did.

Better Call Saul – I think that is going really well.

The Walking Dead – Here comes a clichéd one, but I really enjoy The Walking Dead, even though I know there are many people who don’t – especially our writers don’t – but I really like the one-on-one drama they have.

The Bridge – There is a Danish TV series called The Bridge, which is pretty damn good. It’s about this detective – very grim. You guys probably wouldn’t get that in the United States, but I think there is a remake, maybe.

For the time-travel films Remedy looked to when making Quantum Break, head to page two.

Sam Lake's Influential Time-Travel Movies

"We went back to watch the Back to the Future and Terminator. Obviously, those are big huge influences all in all. More kind of challenging, Primer? If you have seen that? Really complicated, but interesting. I think that Inception was, not the time-travel thing, but just from the perspective of having that kind of a sci-fi element in there. Loved that.  Looper? Sure, yeah, but we were already far into Quantum Break at that point. There had been a gap in time-travel movies and these things come and go these days. Even Interstellar had bit of time-travel sciencey kind of a thing in there with the black hole. And obviously X-Men: Days of the Future Past."

Greg Louden's Influential Time-Travel Movies

"Obviously, you know some more about the project, and I know more than you, but it felt like Inception was always – even though it’s not a time-travel thing – has a lot of cool similarities, like corridors that are on different angles when it’s frozen. Looper came out while we’ve been working on Quantum Break. We had a pre-screening because it was a cool new time-travel movie, and it has been a cool reference for us. Back to the Future, of course, the classic time-travel themes. Primer has been a really cool influence for us. The writing team has always thinking about the best way to do time travel in closed loops and open loops and all the different terminology for time travel."

"For me, whenever I think about the game and the tone, I’d always say The Matrix has been a reference for Remedy and still is for us. If anyone can capture the lobby scene from The Matrix and the atmosphere, it should be us. We’re always going to push to get that moment. Inception, for the tone and the visuals and the grandness of scale and the mystery of it all. You take influence from everywhere."

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