America in the 1960s was a land of tumult and transformation.
Across the country institutions were rocked by protests both violent and peaceful, assassinations became an all-too common occurrence and each day brought a new headline that spoke to the painful process that the country was going through: revolution. No city felt this pain more than Los Angeles.
Los Angeles Police Department Det. Sam Hodiak (David Duchovny, “Californication,” “The X-Files”) the served his country in the Pacific Theater during World War II, and now protects his city in the late ’60s. When an old flame tells him that her daughter Emma Karn (Emma Dumont, “Salvation,” “Bunheads”) has gone missing, he jumps to action. His search leads him to find Emma living with a group of hippies led by a dirty, slight but violent figure named Charles Manson (Gethin Anthony, “Game of Thrones”). As he digs deeper to try and pull her out, Hodiak’s suit-and-tie worldview is attacked by the same peace-and-love mantra that is challenging institutions across America.
Hodiak enlists the help of undercover vice Officer Brian Shafe (Grey Damon, “True Blood,” “Friday Night Lights”). A Vietnam veteran, Shafe has seen war in a much different light than Hodiak. Even though Shafe is a rookie, he has things to teach Hodiak — such as the brand-new Miranda Rights — that are indicative of an emerging style of policing that doesn’t turn a blind eye to abuses of power.
As Hodiak and Shafe become further entwined with Manson, and as the country slides deeper into its metamorphosis, the world Hodiak knows begins to disappear before his eyes. This same shifting landscape emboldens Manson to thrust his perverted philosophies upon the world. When the doors of the music industry are closed to him, however, Manson seeks a different way to broadcast his apocalyptic message that will end with one of the most infamous homicides in American history — the Tate-LaBianca murders.
The two men are on a crash course that will ultimately lead to the gruesome, bloody end of the hippie era and leave America shaken, and once again, changed.
Ringing with the unparalleled music of the era, “Aquarius” is a sprawling work of historical fiction with nuanced characters whose actions in a time of national transformation enlighten how we became who we are today.
Writer John McNamara (“Trumbo,” “The Magicians”) serves as executive producer with Marty Adelstein (“Prison Break”), Becky Clements (“Last Man Standing”), David Duchovny and Melanie Greene. “Aquarius” is a production of Tomorrow Studios.