Don’t Sleep on ‘Day 5’, a Fresh, Thrilling Take on the Post-Apocalypse

     July 11, 2017


As part of my continuing coverage of RTX 2017, Rooster Teeth’s epic expo for fans of movies, TV, animation, and gaming, I had a chance to discover just what all the buzz was about for Day 5. The original sci-fi/drama series takes place in a rather unusual post-apocalypse, one that sees the majority of humanity dying off whenever they sleep for more than a few minutes. Day 5 becomes a literal waking nightmare as a band of survivors tries to stave off sleep in any way they can or else risk certain death. All six episodes of Season 1 of the Rooster Teeth original can be streamed on their site; but Season 2 is just around the corner.

On August 6th, Season 2 of Day 5 will debut exclusively on Rooster Teeth FIRST. The expanded eight-episode season will continue the story of meth-addict Jake (Jesse C. Boyd), graveyard shift doctor Ally (Stephanie Drapeau), red-eye pilot Ellis (Davi Jay) and the mysterious Meredith (Katie Folger), among others, as co-creator Josh Flanagan‘s writing and direction leads them further into the unknown. I had a chance to sit down with the cast and crew of Day 5 to talk about the story so far and what fans can expect from the original series in the coming weeks.

Before we get to the interview, however, check out the newly released Season 2 trailer for Day 5 below:

Join FIRST to watch Day 5: On August 6 the (un)waking nightmare continues in Day 5 Season 2. As delirium mounts and new threats arise, the survivors of a fatal sleep epidemic must embark on a last-ditch attempt to reach the one place that might still save them…a place where it’s rumored you can still sleep safely.

If you haven’t been watching Day 5, here’s how Flanagan sells it:

Josh Flanagan: There’s lots of nudity. [laughs] There’s not … there’s some. It’s just really cool. It’s a really fresh show. I don’t think there’s anything quite like it. It’s an interesting mix of The Walking Dead and Lost and 24, to some degree, because there’s an urgency and a bigger thriller element. It’s a cool hook: It’s about what happens when sleep kills people. There’s something that’s weirdly relatable about that; everyone knows what it’s like to be dead-tired and haven’t slept for two or three days and still have to study for a test or go to work. For so many other apocalyptic scenarios, you sort of have to have this big suspension of disbelief. “Oh, what do I do if there’s zombies?” But everyone knows what this is like, so it’s easy to put yourself in the place of the characters and really feel their fatigue and their struggle.

That fatigue creeps in as the characters attempt to stay awake longer and longer through use of stimulants and even physical pain. The protagonist, Jake, is a meth-addict, so of course some folks were wondering if Day 5 exists within the Breaking Bad universe:

Flanagan: Interestingly, we looked at Breaking Bad a lot when we were writing. We made sure, like, Jake can’t be Jesse Pinkman. We have to make sure there’s a clear distinction between those characters because we thought everyone was going to draw that line. I think, so far, I haven’t heard that. But, yes, he’s Walter White’s biggest customer. [laughs]


Image via Rooster Teeth

Flanagan teased how Season 2 will explore new methods of staying awake, but he steered clear of giving away any spoilers:

Flanagan: There’s a really good way that these certain people are staying awake; it’s probably going to be a fan-favorite character and group of villains, basically. The methodology of how they stay awake is very unique and the side-effects are really, really dark, but also really funny. It’s a little different from Season 1, which had the incubi who used pain, and now you have these people who use this other thing. They’re dangerous but they’re also weirdly funny at the same time. It’s a really unique villain that I’m excited for people to see.