WATCH: New David Bowie Song “Blackstar” Scores Opening Credits of “The Last Panthers”
The Sky Atlantic/CANAL+ drama debuts November 12 in Europe.
Not every prestige drama gets to roll out its opening credits five weeks ahead of its debut. But then, not every prestige drama has a brand-new David Bowie song for its theme, either. The Last Panthers, which the UK’s Sky Atlantic produced in conjunction with France’s Canal+, follows a group of gangsters in the aftermath of a major diamond heist. Academy Award nominee Samantha Morton is tasked with recovering the diamonds, while three-time BAFTA winner (and fellow Oscar nominee) John Hurt plays her boss.
But the real draw—at least until November 12, when the show premieres—is the opening credits. The Last Panthers director Johan Renck showed Bowie rough cuts of the first two episodes. “We talked about the dark heart of Europe,” Renck says in a statement. “We talked about the biblical aspects of human nature…. I showed him the first concept board I had made for the title sequence—images from the show laced with chimaeras and demons from the worlds of Bosch and Grunewald. That’s when he said ‘go.'”
Bowie’s track, called “Blackstar,” is dark and airy, with a throbbing bassline underneath, while the visuals, which you can see below, seem to reference just about every interesting TV show of the past five years: there’s the dramatic overlay of illustration atop live-action shots à la True Detective, the intricately designed Renaissance drawings reminiscent of The Leftovers‘ first season—we even get a man falling backwards out of a tower, presumably toward Madison Avenue.
The Last Panthers debuts across Europe on Sky Atlantic/Canal+ on November 12. There’s no word yet on when it will air on our shores, so the show’s trailer will have to keep you satisfied for now.