Q: Into the Storm is an American documentary television miniseries directed and produced by Cullen Hoback. It explores the QAnon conspiracy theory and the people involved with it. It consisted of six episodes and premiered on HBO on March 21, 2021. The series received mixed reviews, with some critics praising its insight into the conspiracy theory, and others finding it to be overlong and lacking in analysis of the impacts of QAnon. Some reviewers have criticized the series for not following best practices outlined by extremism researchers for reporting on extremism and conspiracy theories.
Documentary filmmaker Cullen Hoback sets out to demystify the origins of QAnon, understand its mechanics, and search for clues that could identify Q. Traveling from the U.S. to South Africa, he gains unprecedented access to its earliest promoters, who reveal a suspicious shift in Q’s behavior.
Cullen travels to Manila where he meets the secretive team behind 8chan, the site where Q posts. After looking into Fred Brennan’s motives for starting the site, the investigation turns to Jim and Ron Watkins, the reclusive father/son duo who own and operate 8chan. Back in the U.S., prominent QAnons get booted from a far-right conference.
After QAnon supporters hope for a “Red Wave,” an anonymous insider gives Cullen a tip suggesting 8chan’s owners may have connections to President Trump’s inner circle. Meanwhile, a feud emerges between Fred and the Watkins.
After a series of mass shootings, 8chan shuts down and Q goes dark. Jim is summoned to appear before Congress for a hearing on digital hate speech.
As the rivalry between Fred and the Watkins intensifies, 8chan is relaunched as “8kun,” where Q re-emerges after months being offline.
With the world in lockdown from COVID-19, Q’s wild theories draw in new followers and get amplified by major political figures all of which culminate in the siege at the U.S. Capitol.