|Age||Mid-twenties (2016)[note 1],|
Late forties (post-time travel)
|Born||1987 or 1988[note 2]|
|Occupation(s)||Head of Monarch|
|Hair color||Brown (graying)|
|First Appearance||Act 1, Part 1: Riverport University Experiment|
|Last Appearance||Act 5, Part 3: Final Moments|
|Face Model||Aidan Gillen|
|Mocap Actor||Aidan Gillen|
Paul Serene was the childhood friend of Jack Joyce. During the events of October 2016, Paul was working on Project Promenade, a time travel experiment based upon the work of William Joyce, Jack's brother. Against the warning of William, Paul convinced an uninformed Jack to help him test the time machine's functionality. When a malfunction in the machine's core caused the breakdown in time, Paul was forced to go through the machine and witnessed the End of Time in the year 2021. In attempt to survive, but not prevent, the breakdown of time caused by the fracture, Paul traveled back to the year 1999 and founded Monarch Solutions, a corporation designed to aid him in the survival of the human race while a solution was found.
Paul grew up with Jack in Riverport, Massachusetts. When Jack's parents were killed in a car crash and his relationship with his brother, William, became strained under his guardianship, Paul and Jack maintained a close friendship. When the two were teens they were witness to a suicide. The man fell from a building right in front of them, the two never spoke of the incident to anyone.[note 3]
Paul and Jack were troublemakers, often getting themselves involved in situations with dubious legality. At one point, the two took a road trip to Utah in a van that Paul was fond of. During the trip Jack stole a ram statuette from a police station and Paul presumably kept it as a keepsake later on.
Driven by the desire for success Paul attended business school and established several successful business ventures behind him. Paul's ambition and successes put in the media spotlight, earning him places in several magazines interested in young businessmen.
In 2010 Jack left Riverport, but would maintain e-mail correspondence with Paul. That same year he joined Riverport University as the project director of Project Promenade, a physics research project that was kept secret from the public at large on account of its subject: time travel.
Doctor Henry Kim was a crucial part of the research for Project Promenade. However, following incident, Dr. Kim was said to have died in February of 2016. Jack's brother, William was hired on as an adviser, however, he proved difficult to work with. He scared off investors with talk of miscalculations in research spearheading the time travel research. Eventually, he refused to work with them and left the project in limbo.
Frightened that they were losing momentum, Paul reached out to Jack, who was presumably living in Thailand, and asked that he return home. He kept the details of his need for aid vague, simply asking Jack to come back and help him complete a life changing project.
Events of Quantum Break
"The Lifeboat Protocol"
Prior to the incident at Riverport University, Paul was an enthusiastic, but ambitious businessman. Jack described him as a "showman", someone who took pride in the preparation of his work, but also the chance to present it. Paul saw unprecedented fame and success on the horizon and the chance to improve the world with Project Promenade. Paul was cocky, brash, talented and idealistic. Paul considered himself a good judge of character, something his friend Jack agreed with.
However, His desire to leave his "mark" on the world often prompted him to make ill-advised moves. As a businessman, he feared failure and public humiliation. The belief that William Joyce was attempted to sabotage his own work, motivated him to try and salvage the project (against William's warnings) before it was too late. The result of his actions on October 9th, 2016 resulted in a shift in character.
Having survived the End of Time, Paul was forever changed by what he saw. When he returned to 1999, he was determined to prevent the end of time and ensure the survival of humanity, no matter the cost. Backed by the knowledge of future and his present, Paul Serene became powerful, driven, and utterly ruthless. Working from the mindset that the end was inevitable, Paul worked against high stakes and was willing to make every sacrifice and hard decision necessary to ensure that the Lifeboat Protocol came to fruition. He was willing to sacrifice the innocent, fueled by his own failed attempts to change the past.
Paul used his visions of the future to choose the best outcome of future to grasp the larger picture of mankind's situation and his own circumstances. He maintained the hope that, with Monarch's resources, there would eventually be a solution to the End of Time. The result of his abilities left him prone to micromanaging, unwilling to consider possible errors in his own plans. He was willing to ignore the smaller aspects of his environment to the point of being blind of apparent dangers. Two of his trusted allies, Sofia Amaral and Martin Hatch were particular blind spots in his judgement. His affection for Sofia left him prone to emotional outbursts and his blind trust in Hatch left him ignorant of Hatch's undermining his operation until it was too late.
Though he valued his friendship with Jack, he considered his friend a liability, one that would cause more problems than solve because he refused to consider his point of view. With seventeen years of preparation and knowledge behind him, Paul was willing to come to blows with Jack to ensure the survival of the Lifeboat Protocol and discarded his sentimentality. Whether he maintained control or surrendered, Paul meets a dubious end at hands of his childhood friend, his convictions seemingly proven wrong by the accelerated breakdown of time and William's Joyce's ability to halt the fracture using the Countermeasure.
Paul possesses the ability of precognition. Like Jack, his exposure to Chronon particles allows him to manipulate time at will. He possesses the same abilities as Jack, which he discovered under duress when attacked in the future. Paul uses his abilities to foresee events in the future before they happen and can choose to take the actions necessary to make the timeline he chooses happen as predicted. Paul is a far more proficient Shifter than Jack, with seventeen years behind him to perfect his control.
After second exposure to Chronon particles in 2010, however, Paul developed what Sofia Amaral regarded as Chronon Syndrome, an illness that required Chronon-based treatments to keep it at bay. Paul began to experience fits of rage and paranoia and was often unable to maintain a single form. Depending on the actions of the player during the fourth junction, Paul may continue to resist his six year illness or give in to it completely.
Behind the Scenes
During the early production of Quantum Break, descriptions of Paul Serene framed the character as a straightforward villain. Early scenarios of the story involved Serene murdering William Joyce, framed it as an attempt to capitalize on personal gain. He was described as "fanatical".
Earlier story iterations suggested that Paul was also not involved in the breakdown of time itself, but instead was physically affected by the accident and attempted to use his abilities for his own gain by way of taking advantage of the decaying state of time itself. Like Beth Wilder, Paul Serene was never seen in any of the early production demos or trailers for Quantum Break. Aidan Gillen, Paul's actor and model, was not announced until late 2015..
Paul Serene is a playable character during Junction points, narrative breaks in the games four acts that allow the player to choose a branching path that plays a part in altering minor events of the television series. Players will be able to preview two choices in four junctions.
- Beth Wilder and Paul Serene's surnames are a likely reference to the poem recited by Thomas Zane in the first episode of Alan Wake.
- Paul Serene's phone number in the E3 2013 trailer is 217-555-0142.
- ↑ Mikko Rautalahti: "He's supposed to be in his mid-twenties, can't remember exactly. [...]Anyway, Paul and Jack are about the same age (before time tarvel), they're childhood friends. can't check on Will's birth year right now, but that sounds about right. He and Jack have a considerable age difference."
- ↑ Jack and Paul were either 11 or 12 years old in 1999 when the vagrant committed suicide.
- ↑ Paul: "You and I, eleven or twelve years old... when we found that vagrant, remember? And when I arrived at the past, that was the first thing I tried to change. I went to the roof, I tried to talk him down... but my presence startled him, and he fell, same as before. Anything I try to change, it just triggers the same event, and we keep seeing that body... Cause we were meant to."
- ↑ RE: COMING HOME?
- ↑ Quantum Break (video game): Junction 2: Personal/Business
- ↑ @MikkiRMD: How old is Jack and Will Joyce and Paul Serene?
- ↑ Quantum Break (TV series): "Prisoner"
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Quantum Break (Game): Act 1, Part 1: Riverport University Experiment
- ↑ Quantum Break: Zero State
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 If You're Wondering What The Hell Quantum Break Is, Here You Go
- ↑ Quantum Break - Gamescom 2014 Presentation
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 Quantum Break Trailer E3 2013 Xbox One (E3M13)
- ↑ Quantum Break Cast Announcement Trailer Shows the Stars Behind Characters
- ↑ Shawn Ashmore And Sam Lake Give Us Hope For Quantum Break's Live-Action Segments