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Apple TV+: From 'Slow Horses' to big monsters

 December 18, 2023 at 1:27 PM PST

EPISODE 237: Apple TV+ Streaming Shows

TRT 36:50


CLIP James Bond doesn't fart.

BETH ACCOMANDO That’s right. Gary Oldman is back on Cinema Junkie to talk about flatulence and that’s cause for celebration.


Cinema Junkie Theme bump 1 (drums)


BETH ACCOMANDO Welcome back to listener supported KPBS Cinema Junkie, I'm Beth Accomando.


Cinema Junkie Theme bump 1 (Horns)


BETH ACCOMANDO Apple TV Plus recently launched Season 3 of Slow Horses starring Gary Oldman as the disheveled, flatulent, and often drunk Jackson Lamb. It is also midway through its Monarch Legacy of Monsters show that expands Legendary’s Monsterverse. I had an opportunity to speak with some of the creative folks behind both shows. First, I’ll be speaking to Oldman and co-star Jack Lowden about where their characters are in this latest season of Mick Herron’s espionage tale. Then I will talk to the people behind the camera who are bringing Godzilla to the small screen.

Music theme bump out.


BETH ACCOMANDO I need to take one quick break and then I will be back with Gary Oldman and Jack Lowden.



MIDROLL 1 [currently at 1:30 ]


BETH ACCOMANDO Welcome back to Cinema Junkie. I’m Beth Accomando. Slow Horses is based on Mick Herron’s darkly funny series of spy novels. The title refers to a dysfunctional team of British intelligence agents. In season three of the Apple TV Plus show, a whistleblower is about to expose some of MI5’s dirty secrets.


CLIP Make this quick. I've got underlings to bully. I'm busy. No one's as busy. Come on, get on with it. A team from Mi five has gone rogue. Understanding and taken. What's the plan? I need a team of good agents. But I just have the slow horses.    

Overseeing this band of misfits is Gary Oldman’s Jackson Lamb, and Jack Lowden plays River Cartwright, one of the slow horses. I began my interview by asking the actors to describe where their characters were at in this third season and Oldman joked that Lamb is a character that doesn’t really change.


GARY OLDMAN He's flatlined. He's just on his frequency. He doesn't actually immediately reacts to the different scenarios that are presented. But the die is set Lamb. I'm not knocking on the door of the script writer saying, I need some more character development. I'm set. So, Lamb hasn't changed very much, and he isn't going to change. I thought Jack, actually, earlier you had an analogy which I thought was rather good. Yeah. I can't remember it about wearing a. Oh, yeah, yeah.


JACK LOWDEN It's the think I was saying that I think the actors, you can feel us, particularly when we came back and did this third one, is that we put the characters on, and they feel like a jacket that's just sort of gradually getting more and more comfy. And I think Gary's right. Is that with, you know, I think that's always been the case. He's the most comfortable person in every room. He really is the most comfortable. There doesn't seem a situation where he seems on the back foot or anxious. I love imagining that Jackson Lamb has dealt with a lot of anxiety or anxiety inducing situations in his life and that he's just sort of decided to sort of not care anymore. And it makes him operate a lot better than the rest of us who are still trying, still think there's promise. The dangling of the carrot of promise is still in front of all of us. And it's nowhere. The carrots, Miles. He didn't care. Like he's eaten them all. You know what I mean? He doesn't care anymore. That's what's quite wonderful and that's what makes. Not in a negative way, either, but whenever you're in a scene with Lamb, you kind of know that it's always going to end in a certain way, which is a sort of roundabout way of going, well, you figure it out, because I really couldn't care less.


BETH ACCOMANDO Well, if Lamb's character hasn't changed, do you feel that Cartwright's relationship to him or that their relationship with each other has evolved or changed in any way?


JACK LOWDEN I think it definitely has. And that's one of the major reasons that I can't wait to make more of it, is because I think he is begrudgingly realizing and beginning to realize that he is quite a brilliant man. Lamb.


CLIP Show me that picture you got. Stanish with a gun to her head. Right. There's been a bit of a development. Spider works for chieftain. Thank you. No problem. Yeah, well, they're not going to let Stanish go, so I'm going to have to get on myself. Thea, put that on your laptop. Blow it up, make it bigger. Think. Was there any background noise when they rang? No, nothing. But did you hear what she just said? Spider was in on it. The tiger team. What was the message? The message you know, don't tell anyone. Be at the Barbican bridge or Catherine Standish dies and Spider was it. Forget about Spider. He's dead.


JACK LOWDEN Like, my own personal admiration for people that have hit a stage where they sort of really don't care. They don't sweat the small stuff. And that whole line where people say what other people think of you is none of your business. Lamb's got that tattooed on his chest. There's a lot that someone like river, who really cares what people think of him, he really cares. He is an egomaniac, insecure nutter in many ways, and I think he's beginning to know. He really is beginning to learn from Lamb. Not about espionage, but just how to be a man, I think, yeah, there's.


GARY OLDMAN Something to be said. You're not so earnest as you get older. Lamb has had a career and has quite rightly experienced the sharp end of it and is just older, wiser, cynical, sadly. But that's the life that they're in and that's the world that they inhabit. But I feel that as, just as Gary, I would sweat the small stuff when I was younger and with age. You. You mellow in that respect. I still want the work to be good. I still. I still care, but I don't have the same fire in the belly that I necessarily had when I was 27, 25 at the beginning of a career. I don't know, maybe I subconsciously use it in my makeup. My portrayal of lamb. Years ago, I was in a couple of movies called Batman. They did okay. They were all know a few people saw them. And I was traveling constantly back and forth from London to LA. We shot the first one almost entirely in London. And I was going back and forth, back and forth, and I was exhausted, and I was in a continual state of jet lag. And Nolan just said, use know that sort of despair of James Gordon with as much as he tries, is he ever really going to clean up the city? And he just said, sort of use it. You have this just exhaustion from it all. And I think we do sometimes subconsciously use that. Obviously, it influences the work.


BETH ACCOMANDO There are eight books currently, at least in the slow Horses series. As actors, do you want to know where your characters end up? Have you read through all the books or are you kind of discovering these characters as the seasons go along?


GARY OLDMAN I read up to, yeah, there's clues in the books there, but I haven't read the whole series yet.


JACK LOWDEN No, exactly the same. I'm reading them as I go. Yeah, there's something quite exciting about it. Kind of scary as well, but yeah, I'm doing the same.


BETH ACCOMANDO And how do you think this season compares to the previous two? Just in terms of tone and kind of where Mick Heron is taking the story and, like, with the addition of Sean Donovan's character.


GARY OLDMAN Well, Jack was saying earlier that I don't know how much we can give away for spoilers, but this one involves one of our own. And also, there's a whistleblower, essentially, who's going to expose some wrongdoing inside mi five, which potentially could harm not only mi five, but us at the slough house.


CLIP You've reached the alders gate office. Please leave a message. It's me. It's Cartwright. Look, Lamb said you might still be there if you are. Louisa and I are down at the facility, but Nick Duffy's turned up with a ton of chieftain men and guns. It's just a complete. Oh, and they've cut the CCTV. It looks like they're going to come in. It's gone. They've cut the phone lines. Yeah, we're on our own.


GARY OLDMAN So, there's sort of a plot in a way underfoot to move us to one side. But we have someone in our own team that is in jeopardy, and that makes it. Jack was saying earlier that this one is more, I guess, more personal to us. He's good, isn't he, Mick? Yes.


BETH ACCOMANDO And Jack talk a little bit about how Cartwright's character or his relationship with his grandfather is changing in this one.


JACK LOWDEN Yeah, his grandfather is beginning to show signs of getting old, so to speak. And so, the responsibility of that to Cartwright is really coming to the fore, which is just a magnificent thing to be able to play. It's a real gift to be sort of running around like a maniac, trying, shooting things or not being shot by things, and then in the next minute sort of taking care of an elderly relative, basically. So that's been wonderful. And with Jonathan Price playing that role, it's twice as easy, of course. But I think he's who he's always wanted to emulate. And to see him begin show rough signs in this season of disintegrating, so to speak, for want of a better word, which is a painful thing for anybody. And a man that he's held up as his hero and can feel it sort of slipping away through his fingers is quite sad. So that's the beginning of something there in this season of something that, I don't know, could end up getting worse or not, I don't know. But, yeah, that's where he is.


BETH ACCOMANDO And, Gary, you've played spies in other movies, especially some John Le Carré stories. How does the world that Mick Heron creates of espionage, how is he doing something different than a writer like John Le Carré or just like other espionage films?


GARY OLDMAN Well, as much as I love John Le Carré, it's not as dry. There's a lot more humor in Mick's take on this world, but that's what he's done. He's taken a genre that we all know. I mean, John Le Carré took it to a level that was know, but we're very used to man from Uncle James Bond, the born identity, mission impossible. You know, there's a slew of the world of espionage, and Mick has sort of turned it on its head and gives you characters that are like you, that are relatable. In season one, we have Louisa in the lingerie doing a laundry, and we have min, who is separated from his wife and know, trying to really know, make his one phone call a week to the don't. You would never see Moneypenny in a lingerie or James Bond eating a kebab. Or even know the flatulence. James Bond doesn't fart. And not that we want him to. I want my James Bond when I pay my money. I want my James Bond to drive around in an Aston Martin. I don't want to see him sitting on the toilet. But that's the thing with Mick, you know what I mean? He's made them real people in a way that we can relate to. And in fact, we spoke to a guy that was, I think, jack, he was in mi six. Is that right? Yeah. And I also spoke with Le Carré when we were doing Tinker Taylor, and he was a spy. And he would talk about how incredibly boring it was with moments of adrenaline. And I remember he said to me, I said, what was the thing? He said, the most terrifying thing about being a spy was when he was in Berlin or when he said, was your cover being blown? He said, the thing you always worried about at night were the footsteps on the stairs. And you go, they got me. He said. But it was mind numbingly boring. Big moments in between. And so, it isn't jets and jetpacks and Aston Martins and speedboats and all of that. It's very dull at times, very dull work. And I think that's the world. That's what makes it. I'd like to think also it's why it's been thus far very successful. I think people can really watch it and relate to it. Yeah.


BETH ACCOMANDO That was Gary Oldman and Jack Lowden discussing season 3 of Slow Horses. Unlike other streaming shows, Slow Horses is a compact six-episode season with tight, efficient 45-minute episodes. This season ramped up quickly and the final three episodes will keep you on the edge of your seat. I sometimes find it hard to watch streaming shows because it’s a big-time commitment. But there’s no padding in this series. Every episode is expertly paced and scripted with a balance of humor, tense action, and shrewd character development. Episode four debuted last week, and the season finale drops on December 27th on Apple TV Plus.


I need to take one last break and then I will be back with the team behind Monarch Legacy of Monsters and to take us into the break is Mick Jagger with the pitch perfect theme song for Slow Horses.


SONG Strange Game  

MIDROLL 2 [currently at 18:30]


BETH ACCOMANDO Welcome back to Cinema Junkie. I’m Beth Accomando. Godzilla is having a kaiju-sized month. Although he’s about to turn 70, he’s showing no sign of retiring.

At the beginning of the month, he roared ferociously back into cinemas with Toho Studios' new film Godzilla Minus One set after World War II and delivering perhaps the best Godzilla film since the original Gojira. Then he made his presence felt on U.S. shores with the new Apple TV+ series Monarch Legacy of Monsters.

As a lifelong fan of the iconic Japanese kaiju, I wanted to find out what some of the creators behind the series thought of Godzilla. First up I spoke with executive producer, co-creator, and co-writer Matt Fraction, co-creator and writer Chris Black, and one of the directors of the 10-part series Matt Shakman. I began by asking what Godzilla represents to each of them in the context of this series. Matt Fraction answered first.


MATT FRACTION In the context of this series, to me, Godzilla represents the sublime and unknowable. That there's something beautiful and terrifying, awe inspiring and fearsome about the world we live in and the forces that affect us that we can never hope to understand and if we're lucky enough, might get to catch a glimpse of for a few seconds.



  CHRIS BLACK Yeah, there's so much. I mean, the character goes back 70 years and has, over the course of the decades, has evolved to mean and reflect so many different things. I mean, for me, I think in our specific to our series, he really represents the confusion and the tension within our lead. Like, is he a hero or is he a villain? Is he a destroyer, or is he a protector? And she feels herself pulled between the monster that she saw destroying her city and characters like Shaw, who were saying, he's not who you think he is. To me, it really encapsulates the choice that she's forced to make over the course of the season, over which world does she want to live in.


BETH ACCOMANDO And Matt Shakman what does he represent to you?


MATT SHAKMAN I can't top either of those two answers. They're both great, and I agree, because for me, he's everything that cinema is, which is wonder, which is that combination of awe and terror and unknowability. And I love this notion that he's neither good nor bad. He's very hard to define. He's a hero when he's protecting you from some other villainous monster coming your way, but he's also a villain if you happen to be on that San Francisco Bridge and he's coming through at the same time. And so, he's a part of that bigger world you can't control. And I love that he's such a great character that you can tell stories, that as filmmakers, we can reflect the world we're living in right now using the prism of Godzilla. And that's been happening for generations and hopefully will happen for generations to come.


BETH ACCOMANDO And what did you all feel you could do in a series that you couldn't do or maybe couldn't do the same way in the films?


MATT FRACTION The monsterverse films are these bigger than big spectacles. They're movies that. Movies are things we buy tickets for. We leave our house, we go see them with our friends and groups of people, and we share this communal experience in front of these giant screens. And television is intimate. It's something you invite into your home, and you come back to it again and again. We wanted to make a television show in this universe rather than a scaled down movie for television thing that would have been disastrous for all of us. So, we wanted to build a piece of serial narrative for television that lived up to the promise of the premise of the monsterverse and everything in it, but really focused on humanity and our characters and what life is like after you find out monsters are real.




CHRIS BLACK No, I mean, look, I've spent my entire career working in television, and I love television. I love making it, writing it. I love watching it. I love movies, too. But the thing I love about television is you have so much more real estate to tell a story that you can slow burn a narrative you can unravel, a mystery. You can take 10 hours or if you're lucky, two seasons or three seasons or five seasons to tell a story that takes unexpected turns, that you don't have to make sure you have wrapped up in 2 hours.


BETH ACCOMANDO And second Matt…


MATT SHAKMAN I would just add that these guys cracked this and created this show. And when they reached out to me about joining the team to direct the first two episodes. I love Godzilla. I've loved Godzilla since I was a kiddo. And I thought, great, amazing. But how do you do that on tv? And I read the pilot that these gentlemen created, and I was so surprised at how beautiful a tapestry it is. That it's a multigenerational family story, that it's a puzzle that exists over a long period of time. That it's about legacy, that it's about this group of grandparents, essentially, and the grandchildren and what's happened generation by generation. And the monsters are there to influence and affect our characters and to affect our story. But it isn't about the monsters, right? It's not about being up in the air at stratosphere level with Godzilla and King Kong fighting. It's about being down on the ground and having your life changed by the fact that Godzilla and Kong are fighting up above. And that, to me, was beautiful. And it is exactly, as Chris said, what television does best. I mean, there's nothing better in drama than to create really dangerous circumstances, pressure on your character, and what's better than a giant monster? But you want to go week to week and root for your characters and fear for them and hope for them and be disappointed in their decisions and rally with them as they come through things. And that's what television does best. Because I love tv, too. Give them time to grow and change. And even get to watch one character grow and change literally over the course of a season. From young Lee Shaw to older Lee Shaw, we have a character who's in two different time periods, just like Godzilla, linking them together. So, it's very special. It's using the format to the best of what the format can do, the best of what tv can do, but also not scrimping on the scope and the scale and the awe of what Godzilla can bring. You're just seeing it from the ground, not from the sky.


BETH ACCOMANDO Well, since you mentioned the character of Shaw, talk a little bit about what having Kurt and Wyatt Russell playing that character brings to the series and allows you to do well.


CHRIS BLACK I mean, it was an extraordinary mean. We were blessed with that entire cast. I mean, all the actors were just pitch perfect. And I couldn't have been happier with the way they brought these characters to life in such marvelous and surprising ways. But Shaw was an important character from the beginning. He was conceived in the script before the casting process began. We knew we had this character who existed in the past and in the present. We assumed we would cast two actors, a younger actor and an older actor. And we knew that would be a challenge to find someone who could credibly be the same person. And when we began the casting process, we have a wonderful casting director named Ron a crest who had know the way you would do any casting. You start to look at lists of who's available, who's interested, who, who might be right for this part. And then immediately, the idea that Kurt and Wyatt Russell were both available, interested. Had never been in a project together, were interested in doing that. They mentioned that they had been offered roles where they played father and son, but they had never been offered a role where they were playing the same character. And as soon as they were like, yeah, we think we might like to do this. I think we were like, sold. Done.


BETH ACCOMANDO That was Monarch co-creator and writer Chris Black, along executive producer, co-creator, and co-writer Matt Fraction, and director Matt Shakman. Next I spoke with Sean Konrad, visual effects supervisor for the series, and one of the people bringing Godzilla to life. I asked if he remembered his first introduction to Godzilla.


SEAN KONRAD I don't have a very specific memory. I have, like, a vague memory of watching the American translation, the American dub version in a hotel room in probably Grand Forks, of all places. But it was like that on, in the background, channel surfing and stuff like that. But I remember I came back to the series in my 20s, like when Bong Jun ho's the host came out. And it's this really amazing family melodrama story with a monster in the background that is making their lives miserable. At that point, I went back to Godzilla, and it's such an incredible film the way that it does this crazy, interesting, sometimes fun action movie, but does it in this really somber way where they're talking about existential fear of nuclear annihilation. And to do that in a genre piece is a really fascinating and artistic and challenging thing. So being part of that is like, it's an amazing experience.


BETH ACCOMANDO And what does Godzilla and the monsters kind of represent to you within the context of this?


SEAN KONRAD Really? It's like a really complicated thing because the way that legendary is envisioning him. He's a defender of the planet, in a way, but he doesn't really understand humanity. And it's not that he doesn't care, but the way I've been thinking about it is like, how does an elephant regard an ant? It doesn't, right? It just walks. And so, it's a force of nature. It looks beyond us in a way. And what's interesting is giving a personality to a force of nature. It's like, what is that personality? And how does that come through?


BETH ACCOMANDO And what did you want to convey through the visual effects? What did you want to convey about Godzilla and about these other monsters? Like, what was the most important thing in creating them? For you?


SEAN KONRAD For me, the story is like a really emotional story about a family and their legacy and about their fears and traumas and their hopes. And the thing is that the monsters and all these pivotal points represent that. It can represent a fear. It can represent a hope. And so, whenever we're developing the visual effects for these things, we need to characterize the performances of these creatures to that thing that we're trying to do. We have one creature that sort of stalks our characters through an arctic landscape. And one of the things that we wanted to do with that is make them constantly feel like they're genuinely afraid of it. Make it always feel aggressive, like it was right at their back all the time. But there's always some trick about getting away from it.


BETH ACCOMANDO And Godzilla comes from a tradition of suit actors. And you're working in this state-of-the-art visual effects. Talk a little bit about what do you lose moving from that to state of the art, and what do you gain?


SEAN KONRAD Yeah, I mean, it's a great question. And it's a thing that I think about all the time of. Like, there's something really organic and amazing about the old suit movies. And I have so much respect for all the performers who are in the suits. You look back at old photos of them, like, suit half on, having a. Having a cup of tea, and you're like, God, that must have been miserable. But they did amazing things with it. And you can get this really cool, punchy action out of that. And then what we're really striving for is like, okay, what if there was actually a giant 300-foot-tall lizard? It's not just that it moves slowly because when it actually gets up to speed, it's moving really fast. But it's that it takes a little bit of speed to get up, and then it takes a lot to slow it down. And so that lets us be like, I don't want to say realistic because I don't think realism is like the be all end all of what we're shooting for here. But we can do something that's a little bit more grounded in a physical reality that allows us to give scale to things. And you do lose things in that process, but you also gain an immersion.


BETH ACCOMANDO And finally I spoke with executive producer Tory Tunnell. I asked her if she had a memory of the first time she was introduced to Godzilla.


TORY TUNNELL L  That's a great question. And I think that he's one of those characters that I don't know that I have a first memory because I think it's felt like he's always been with us, like Santa Claus. I don't know that I remember the first time I came across Santa Claus either, but he's just that iconic character that's always been part of our world.


BETH ACCOMANDO And what did you want to do with the series that you felt was different than what could be done in a movie, or how could you tackle kind of this universe differently?


TORY TUNNELL  I think what was a really exciting opportunity is that the movies have done spectacles so well and they've delivered such high entertainment, but we have so much time, and so we were able to really go deep on characters and really have a juicy family drama at the heart of it that we get to really unpack over 10 hours of television. And I think that that's surprising in a really robust genre spectacle show.


BETH ACCOMANDO Well, you mentioned family and generations here, so talk a little bit about the casting of Kurt and Wyatt Russell and how that kind of impacted the mean.


TORY TUNNELL  Kurt Russell is Lee Shaw. He was always meant to play it. Chris Black had always. Our co creator had always seen him as that role. And our amazing casting director, Ronnie Cress, suggested Wyatt to play his younger self, and it was so obvious. And Kurt and Wyatt had so much fun developing this character. They spent a lot of time off screen working with each other to make sure that they were calibrating that character in a way that Kurt was sort of coming down to Wyatt and Wyatt was coming up to Kurt. And so, it felt really seamless. And it's so exciting because there's so many propositions of, do you de age your character to go back to the you do you recast and you have magic in a bottle with the idea of Wyatt is know, you just see him, and he's such a young Kurt, but he is also his own person. And I think that that's also who we are when we look back in time. We were different people 30 years ago, and so you get to have that different complexion about just what it means to live across timelines and talk a.


BETH ACCOMANDO Little bit about Godzilla in terms of how do you see him as a character or as a force of nature? Like, what is his role in the series?


TORY TUNNELL  I think Godzilla has always been such a fascinating character because, as you say, he is a force of nature. And I think that for people that aren't really familiar with the IP, they assume that he's a villain. But he's so much more complex than that. He's someone that is the protector of us because he keeps their titans at bay. I joke that you wouldn't want him in your backyard. He's very destructive. No one denies that. But he's someone that's always sort of, throughout the course of time, has represented nuclear power. Or when we started to develop this, we talked about him as a representation of climate change and then Covid. But he's always been representative of some sort of human challenge that has felt like an existential threat. And I've always admired that about Godzilla.


BETH ACCOMANDO And talk a little bit about the effects work in this and creating these monsters and kind of that world.


TORY TUNNELL  We have an amazing VFX supervisor, Sean Conrad, who also had worked on the Gareth Edwards 2014 Godzilla, which was a huge leg up for us. And I think that we also have the benefit of the fact that it's 2023 and technology is on our side. So, I think that when we looked at the past, sometimes we thought of as tv, as having subpar VFX. But we're in a world right now where it feels as dynamic as anything you've seen in these features. And it really is such an advantage because we love our grounded show, and it feels like monsters are actually living among us.



That was Tory Tunnell one of the Executive producers for the Apple TV Plus show Monarch Legacy of Monsters. The series just passed its midway point, and the season finale drops on Jan. 12.


That wraps up another edition of KPBS listener supported Cinema Junkie. If you enjoy the podcast, then please share it with a friend because your recommendation is the best way to build an addicted audience. You can also help by leaving a review.


Till our next film fix, I’m Beth Accomando your resident Cinema Junkie.


Apple TV+ is hitting mid-season for both its debut show "Monarch: Legacy of Monsters" and the third season of "Slow Horses."
Apple TV+
Apple TV+ is hitting mid-season for both its debut show "Monarch: Legacy of Monsters" and the third season of "Slow Horses."

Cinema Junkie had the opportunity to speak with some of the creative folks behind the Apple TV+ shows, "Slow Horses," in its thired season, and "Monarch: Legacy of Monsters," in its debut season.

For this episode I spoke with "Slow Horses'" actors Gary Oldman and Jack Lowden about where their characters are in this latest season of Mick Herron’s espionage tale. Then I spoke to the people behind the camera who are bringing Godzilla to the small screen.

"Slow Horses" is based on Mick Herron’s darkly funny and highly acclaimed series of spy novels. The title refers to a dysfunctional team of British intelligence agents. In season three of the Apple TV+ show, a whistleblower is about to expose some of MI5’s dirty secrets and the slow horses find themselves in need of rescuing one of their own caught in the crossfire.

Overseeing this band of misfits is Oldman’s Jackson Lamb, and Lowden plays River Cartwright, one of the slow horses.

As season 3 hits its midway point, Lowden said, "we put the characters on, and they feel like a jacket that's just sort of gradually getting more and more comfy. And I think Gary's Lamb is the most comfortable person in every room. He really is the most comfortable."

Unlike other streaming shows, "Slow Horses" is a compact six-episode season with tight, efficient 45-minute episodes. This season ramped up quickly and the final three episodes will keep you on the edge of your seat. I sometimes find it hard to watch streaming shows because it’s a big-time commitment. But there’s no padding in this series. Every episode is expertly paced and scripted with a balance of humor, tense action, and shrewd character development. Episode four debuted last week, and the season finale drops on December 27th on Apple TV Plus.

Godzilla hit cinemas earlier this month in Toho's brilliant "Godzilla Mnus One" and then invaded U.S. shores in the new Apple TV+ series "Monarch: Legacy of Monsters."

As a lifelong fan of the iconic kaiju, I wanted to find out what some of the creators behind the series thought of Godzilla. I spoke with executive producer, co-creator, and co-writer Matt Fraction; co-creator and writer Chris Black; one of the directors of the 10-part series Matt Shakman; executive producer Tory Tunnell; and visual effects supervisor Sean Konrad.