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If you enjoyed the afterlife exploits laid out in Upload, Amazon Prime Video’s original comedy/tech satire, then you’ve been a patient panda for the last two years waiting for it to return. Due to COVID delays and extra time needed for VFX, creator Greg Daniels (The Office) left us stewing on some major cliffhangers.
For one, Nathan Brown (Robbie Amell) was stuck in a 2GB slow data hell, buffering in silence after Ingrid (Allegra Edwards), his ex, tells him that she uploaded to the afterlife prematurely to be with him forever in Lakeview. And then Nora (Andy Also) had to go off the grid with her dad (Chris Williams) when Nathan’s killers chased her down too.
**Spoilers ahead for the Season 2 premiere of Upload on Prime Video**
Season 2 is finally on Prime Video, and there are a lot of changes in the aftermath of those big moves. Creator Greg Daniels tells SYFY WIRE in an exclusive interview about the premiere episode, "Welcome Back, Mr. Brown,” that he wanted to change things up for Nathan, Nora and their small circle of friends and associates.
In particular, Nora goes to live in the woods with “The Ludds” who want no part of technology and to actively take down the elite afterlife market. And in that afterlife, Nathan is giving his relationship with Ingrid another go because Nora hasn’t answered his calls or heard his love confession message.
Those decisions keep the couple away from one another for sometime, and with other people.“There was a little bit of nerves on the part of the studio because they were like, "Hey, this doesn't look like the show for quite a long time,'” Daniels shares. “But I felt like you needed to reorient yourself. You needed a certain length [of time] to buy into this new situation.”
With Nora feeling deeply about Nathan, Daniels says the story needed a passage of time where she can feel safe from threat, embrace a new way of life and be courted by someone new while still honoring her unresolved love for Nathan. “It did need to need a chunk [of time] and I feel like that if the audience isn't going to give you a chunk at the very beginning, when are they going to give it to you except for the beginning?”
Time also allows Ingrid’s lie about uploading (she's actually still kicking it in the real-world, wearing a VR suit in her bathtub) simmer slowly which keeps Nathan conflicted about trying again with her while feeling trapped by her financial control over his afterlife.
About the hilarious but warped Ingrid, Daniels enthuses about the actress, “I love Allegra Edwards! Having directed her in the first two episodes of the show there was a thing that I used to do with her where I would say like, 'I'm not sure how I want to play this in the editing room, so give me a very earnest, vulnerable version, and then give me a more hard, comic version.' And so we always had these two versions for every scene. It was clear that she can do both beautifully, you know? It helped in the writing because this is a very complex character that cuts a lot of corners, so you would expect that to be pretty unlikable. But it's all motivated by this desperate love for the lead character that we also like. She just wants to end up with him so badly, and I feel like that excuses some of her excesses.”
But Nora's new guy, Matteo (Paulo Costanzo), can’t be end game for Nathan and Nora respectively, right? Daniels laughs and says, “One of the things that I loved most about working on The Office was plotting out the Jim and Pam romance. In doing this show, I wanted it to be, first and foremost, a great romance. I think that that fits so well with the overall setting because one of them is completely virtual, and the other one is alive. That's kind of the biggest impediment you can think of. And writing romance is all about having good obstacles for them to overcome.”