Horrendous Real-Life Tragedy Yellowjackets Was Inspired By

Horrendous Real-Life Tragedy Yellowjackets Was Inspired By
Image credit: Showtime

Yellowjackets shock viewers with its brutality and mysterious rituals, but it turns out that the Showtime hit has real events at its core.

The series begins in 1996 with the girls' high school football team getting involved in a plane crash on a private jet en route from New Jersey to Seattle.

When the plane crashes, all the adults die except for the team's coach. Teenage girls are left alone in the Canadian woods without food, water, or warm clothing.

They must somehow survive in the wilderness for more than a year and a half.

Of course, such a turn of events has a terrible effect on the fragile psyche of teenage girls, who later turn to a pagan religion that involves sacrifice in order to find at least some footing.

The showrunners Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson admitted that they were inspired by similar disasters that happened in real life, and one of them formed the very basis of the series.

In 1972, an Uruguayan Air Force plane carrying a rugby team crashed in the Andes due to bad weather. Of the 40 passengers, 12 died instantly and the rest had to survive in the mountains.

Many died from the cold and their wounds, but after two and a half months, two passengers managed to reach civilization to call for help.

In an interview with National Geographic, survivor Roberto Canessa said that after the accident, they had to eat the bodies of dead passengers.

Ashley also admitted that William Golding's Lord of the Flies was a major influence on her vision for the series. In the novel, a group of young and middle-aged boys are stranded on a deserted island.

In order to survive, they play out a mini-version of adult society, choosing leaders and engaging in internal conflicts. Golding showed how, in the face of mortal danger, the children gradually abandon generally accepted morality and practically go mad.

Something similar happens in the show. The hierarchy among the survivors is unstable, with the stronger participant constantly trying to intercept the power.

Yellowjackets is literally a tangle of mysteries and secrets that the showrunners left hanging at the end of the first season.

That tangle will begin to unravel very soon, with the series premiering on streaming on March 24 and on television on March 26.