A Mysterious True Story Inspired Netflix’s Viral New Series, ‘Kaleidoscope’

Another reason why the show has got everyone talking.
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The unique, choose-your-own timeline style of Netflix’s new series Kaleidoscope is reason enough to watch it, but what’s also luring viewers in is the fact that it’s actually inspired by a true story. 

The series has more than 40,000 different ways you can view its eight episodes, with the streaming platform revealing that each order will end on a different viewpoint. The episodes span from being 24 years before, during and six months after a major US heist, and while the characters and events differ from real life, the crux of the story has an interesting origin. Below, we look at what really happened. 

Kaleidoscope was inspired by a true story. (Credit: Netflix)

What is Netflix’s Kaleidoscope about?

Kaleidoscope is a heist drama following a group of thieves who attempt to crack into a vault containing more than USD $7 billion in bonds. It spans a 25-year timeline which encompasses the characters’ varied backgrounds, how they came together and what happened in the aftermath of the heist. 

What is the true story behind Kaleidoscope

Kaleidoscope is based loosely on a true story that occurred during Hurricane Sandy in 2012, which caused significant damage to countries across the Caribbean and the East Coast of the US. It also tragically left 233 people dead. 

A lesser talked about element of the storm happened on Wall Street, where USD $70 billion in bearer bonds went missing with no explanation. This, according to showrunner Eric Garcia, served as his inspiration to create the series. 

“[It’s] loosely based on a thing that might have happened,” he explained, adding that the storm would have been a “perfect cover up” for a heist. 

“After Hurricane Sandy, $70 billion in unregistered bearer bonds were flooded and lost. My first thought upon reading all these things was, ‘Oh, someone made off with $70 billion and is using Hurricane Sandy as, like, a really good excuse,” he said. 

So while the characters and storyline of the show itself is all fictional, the disappearance of a large amount of money during a natural disaster certainly isn’t.

The series reached number one on Netflix within days of its release. (Credit: Netflix)

Of course, the idea of the show being mostly based on a true story is difficult to comprehend given that its ultimate ending and perspectives can change depending on the order viewers choose to watch it in. 

That said, if viewers prefer things to be neat and orderly then its recommended you watch it in chronological order, starting with Violet, Green, Yellow, Orange, Blue, White, Red and ending with Pink. 

Or if you prefer the timeline to jump around with plenty of twists (why not throw in a future outcome before understanding how the characters got there?), then you can start anywhere you want to. You can rest assured the show is an interesting watch—and not just because of its plot. 

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