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Ready for a thought experiment?

Imagine a society that has solved the problems of overpopulation and environmental collapse. Crime is a nonissue, as are homelessness and hunger. Racism? Sexism? Homophobia? Sorted. Science has conquered disease and disability. Everyone has useful work, perfect skin, total emotional equilibrium. Every day is a pleasure. Every night is a party.

Pop quiz: Is this a paradise? Or a prison?

Answer: It’s the social science backdrop for “Brave New World,” the flagship drama from Peacock, NBC’s streaming service. All nine episodes are available on Wednesday. Based on Aldous Huxley’s alarmingly prescient 1932 novel of free love and social control, it’s a dystopia dressed up as a utopia. Or vice versa.

“It seems perfect,” said Jessica Brown Findlay, who plays the geneticist Lenina Crowne. “But the minute you scratch the surface, you start to discover stuff.”

“But yeah, a couple of days there?” she added. “That would be great.”

Prestige television likes its glimpses of the future and those futures usually skew dark: “Westworld,” “Black Mirror,” “The Handmaid’s Tale.” But “Brave New World,”... see more