The Timeline Difference Between The Snowpiercer TV Series And Movie

TNT's "Snowpiercer" is in the middle of its third season, with a fourth (surprisingly) already on the way. The long-gestating adaptation of Bong Joon-ho's 2013 film had quite the uphill battle: "Snowpiercer" spent more than three years in development — and was passed from one director, showrunner, and network to the other — before finally landing on TNT. The series also had to contend with the skepticism of the #BongHive (the affectionate moniker for the filmmaker's most passionate supporters), some of whom saw the adaptation as a not-so-subtle attempt at capitalizing on Bong's recent overseas success.

For all the qualms there might be against the adaptation, it's important to note that the 2013 film was itself adapted from a French graphic novel of the same name. "Le Transperceneige" ("The Snowpiercer" in French) was created by Jacques Lob and Jean-Marc Rochette in 1982. In 2014, the publishing company Titan published an English-language version of the comic, and continued to expand the world with a prequel and sequel series. Titan even released a timeline for the "Snowpiercer" works, tying the film, the series, and the graphic novels into one big universe.

Where exactly do the adaptations fall on this timeline? Let's take a look.

The Semi-Comprehesive Timeline

It's helpful that each "Snowpiercer" project ties directly to the "Extinction Event." In this world, humanity's attempt to reverse the effects of global warming backfires spectacularly, sending the earth into a second Ice Age. An enigmatic inventor, Mr. Wilford, creates The Snowpiercer, a train that never slows down thanks to the power of his almighty engine. The surviving (ahem, affluent) members of humanity board Wilford's apocalyptic Ark and enjoy whatever comforts their status allows them. Those too poor to afford a ticket are relegated to the tail of the train, where quality of life is about as bleak as a "Lord of the Flies" adaptation.

The "Snowpiercer" series is set roughly seven years after the extinction event. Bong's "Snowpiercer" occurs 15 years post-extinction — and from here, things start to get messy. Both "Snowpiercer" adaptations are considered "loose" reimaginings of the graphic novels. The 2013 film pulls inspiration from only the first novel, now titled "Snowpiercer: The Escape." And though the TNT series was jointly influenced by Bong's film and the original source material, its continuity is completely different from either.

In a way, this might make it a bit easier for Bong fans to give the show a chance. Though it does draw some clear aesthetic and thematic influence from the "Snowpiercer" film, the story  is entirely separate from the gritty, gory, wacky world that Bong helped create. That may be disappointing for those of us in need of another Bong fix, but it's probably best to separate it from those that came before. Besides, Bong even gave the series his indelible blessing, so what more is there to quibble over?

"Snowpiercer" airs on Mondays on TNT.