Kaleidoscope: Netflix release date, trailer, and cast with Giancarlo Esposito, Jai Courtney, and Rufus Sewell

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Giancarlo Esposito, Paz Veda, and Jai Courtney star in a new choose your own adventure style heist drama that can be watched in any order

Kaleidoscope, a new heist drama starring Giancarlo Esposito and Rufus Sewell, is coming to Netflix on Sunday 1 January.

Unusually, the series is designed to be viewed in any order – the series unfolds non-linearly, in theory meaning you don’t have to watch each episode consecutively but can pick and choose episodes at random.

Here’s everything you need to know about Kaleidoscope.

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What’s it about?

Kaleidoscope is an anthology series following a crew of masterful thieves and their attempt to crack a seemingly unbreakable vault for the biggest payday in history. It’s loosely inspired by real-life, taking inspiration from the disappearance of $70 billion in bonds in downtown Manhattan during Hurricane Sandy.

How does it work?

The idea is that Kaleidoscope is a show that can be watched in any order. It’s an anthology series, with the ‘first’ seven episodes offering backstory on the different members of the heist crew – and the final episode, which depicts the heist itself, always coming last. You can watch it in any order… but that’s true of any anthology show, of course.

The actual Netflix autoplay function chooses the next episode at random – meaning that each viewer will have their own experience of the series, not necessarily seeing episodes in the same way their friends or family might.

Who stars in Kaleidoscope?

Giancarlo Esposito as Leo Pap in Kaleidoscope (Credit: David Scott Holloway/Netflix)Giancarlo Esposito as Leo Pap in Kaleidoscope (Credit: David Scott Holloway/Netflix)
Giancarlo Esposito as Leo Pap in Kaleidoscope (Credit: David Scott Holloway/Netflix) | DAVID SCOTT HOLLOWAY/NETFLIX

Giancarlo Esposito plays Leo Pap, who masterminds the heist. Esposito is best known for playing Gus Fring in Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, but you might also recognise him from roles in The Mandalorian, The Boys, Community, and The Godfather of Harlem.

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Paz Vega plays Ava Mercer, a close ally of Leo Pap. Vega has previously starred in The OA, but you might also recognise her from All Roads Lead to Rome, Rambo: Last Blood, and the Spanish language version of The Masked Singer (which she won).

Rufus Sewell plays Roger Salas, the security expert guarding the unbreakable vault. You might recognise Sewell from roles in television series like The Man in the High Castle and The Marvellous Mrs Maisel, or from films like The Father and Old.

They’re joined by Tati Gabrielle (You, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina), Peter Mark Kendall (The Americans), Rosaline Elbay (Qabeel), Jai Courtney (Stateless), Niousha Noor (Here and Now), Soojeong Son (Servant) and Hemky Madera (Queen of the South) amongst others.

Who writes and directs?

Kaleidoscope was created by Eric Garcia, who also wrote three of the series’ eight episodes. Garcia is best known as a novelist, having written The Matchstick Man and The Repossession Mambo, but he’s also written the television show Strange But True in 2019.

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Everardo Gout (The Forever Purge), Mairzee Almas (The Sandman, Y: The Last Man), and Robert Townsend (Hollywood Shuffle, The Meteor Man) have each directed multiple episodes of Kaleidoscope.

Is there a trailer?

Yes, there is! You can watch it right here.

When is Kaleidoscope released?

All eight episodes of Kaleidoscope will be released on Netflix on Sunday 1 January at 8am.

How many episodes are there?

There are eight episodes, each of which are around an hour long.

With seven episodes that can be watched in any order – the finale episode always comes last – that means that there are 5040 different orders the series can be watched in. You work out the number of potential combinations by doing 7!, or 7 factorial - which means 7 x 6 x 5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 1.

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Technically it’s not over 40 000 combinations, as is being reported elsewhere, because the finale is always fixed in last place. If you watch that episode as part of the random sequence as well, then the total number of potential combinations increases (8 x 7 x 6 x 5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 1) to become 40 320 different viewing orders.

Will there be another series?

At the moment, there’s been no official word from Netflix or the show’s creators, but as soon as we have any information to share we’ll update this article accordingly.

Why should I watch Kaleidoscope?

It’s one to check out if you like a complex heist drama – especially if you’re a fan of Giancarlo Esposito.

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