'NarcoLeap' is the sci-fi escape that the world needs right now
NarcoLeap is fun. It’s suspenseful. It’s action-packed. It’s female-driven. It’s empowering. In other words, it’s the kind of sci-fi journey that this topsy-turvy world needs right now: pure summertime escapism with a big, beating heart.
Created by Kate Green, the highly anticipated web series – which hit YouTube on July 15 after months of development and hype – stars Chelsey Reist (The 100) as Kelsey Atkins, a young woman whose lifelong narcolepsy takes a dramatic turn when she discovers that her consciousness can leap into other people whenever she falls into a narcoleptic slumber.
NarcoLeap, says Green in a recent phone interview, “asks the question: If you could leap into anybody, who would you want to leap into? Whose shoes would you want to walk in for a day?”
In the NarcoLeap world, the military already has an answer for that question – and it’s hella sinister.
“In our story, the military is trying to harness this power because they could create the most unbelievable assassin,” says Green. “You could leap into somebody across the world and do an assassination and then that agent could leap back and be totally undetected. It’s a weapon, and Kelsey seems to be able to do it naturally without the aid of any technology, whereas the military has developed technology in order to help their agents do the leaping. So Kelsey is a very dangerous woman in their minds.”
Green is a veteran of the factual and lifestyle television world (“Doing NarcoLeap was a big leap, literally”), and says that the sci-fi sphere is fun because “the sky’s the limit. You’re creating a world, and you create the rules of that world. When you start to tell stories with different themes or ideas or ask different questions about morality, you’re trying to answer those questions within the rules of the world that you’ve created. That’s what’s really great about sci-fi: you can really push the limits of answering some of these questions about what it means to be human.”
The character of Kelsey was crafted especially for Reist, says Green. “I cast her as a host for a travel show that I was producing about 11 years ago, and the day that she walked into the audition room, you could just see that she was special. Some actors you just meet them and you go, ‘You’ve got that thing.’ She has it.”
NarcoLeap also stars Madison Smith as Kelsey’s best friend, Austin Eckert as a mysterious agent, Nicole Oliver as Kelsey’s mother, and Aleks Paunovic as a volatile military officer named Colonel Slater.
NarcoLeap was made possible with funding from the Independent Production Fund and Storyhive. Its eight-episode first season is currently on YouTube; beginning July 30, it will also be available on Telus Optik. Begin your binge journey below.