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Is Netflix show Kaleidoscope based on a true story?

Joe Harker

| Last updated 

Is Netflix show Kaleidoscope based on a true story?

By now you've probably heard of Kaleidoscope, Netflix's new drama which claims it can be watched in almost any order and still make sense.

While the drama might be mind-bending, the inspiration behind Kaleidoscope is very much grounded in reality as there's an incredible true story behind the Netflix series.


Kaleidoscope follows the planning an execution of a heist 25 years in the making, with different episodes jumping in at different points in the lengthy timeline.


Watching the episodes in a different order is supposed to allow Netflix viewers to pick up on different details at different times, meaning clues and motivations can seem radically altered depending what the viewer knows.

That hasn't stopped Kaleidoscope viewers from trying to work out an optimal order to view the episodes in, with Netflix themselves recommending a certain order to make it seem 'like a Tarantino movie'

Giancarlo Esposito as Leo Pap in Kaleidoscope. Credit: Netflix
Giancarlo Esposito as Leo Pap in Kaleidoscope. Credit: Netflix

Meanwhile, Kaleidoscope stars Giancarlo Esposito and Tati Gabrielle have given their own views on the best way to watch the Netflix show.


The episode names are all named after different colours and Netflix has recommended that you start with 'Black' to introduce you to the concept and finish with 'White' to see the conclusion to the whole drama.

While there's one final episode that ties everything together that you should wait until the end to watch, the other seven are supposedly pretty much interchangeable as far as a viewing order goes.

Both Esposito and Gabrielle agreed that viewers should watch the episodes in the order Netflix presents it to them so their first time viewing is as unique an experience as it can be.

Some fans who have managed to keep up with all of the drama have even managed to spot what they reckon are a few inconsistencies in the show.

The heist in Kaleidoscope was inspired by a true story. Credit: Netflix
The heist in Kaleidoscope was inspired by a true story. Credit: Netflix

Even more incredibly, this mind-bending Netflix drama actually took some inspiration from a true story which the showrunner wanted to factor into a heist series.

As it turns out the inspiration behind Kaleidoscope came from Hurricane Sandy, which tore across the Atlantic in 2012 to cause major damage to the Caribbean nations and the US Eastern Seaboard.

Kaleidoscope showrunner Eric Garcia told Netflix he wanted to do a heist series and used a true story from the hurricane to do it.


When New York City was struck by the hurricane in October 2012 it caused serious flooding which hit an underground depository that contained bearer bonds worth an estimated $70 billion.

Just as a quick explainer, bearer bonds are an unnamed physical certificate which has no name and can be used to pay for pretty much anything, making them a pretty much untraceable form of currency.

Soaked with water, the vault's valuable contents were ruined by Hurricane Sandy and had to go through a painstaking repair process which involved freeze-drying them and cleaning every single sheet of paper individually.

Kaleidoscope is available to stream now on Netflix.

Featured Image Credit: Netflix

Topics: Netflix, TV and Film

Joe Harker
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