Photo courtesy of Apple TV+

Warning: This article contains spoilers.

For the first two decades of the twenty-first century, the New England Patriots dominated the NFL, breaking just about every Super Bowl record and becoming almost synonymous with sports excellence.

The Dynasty: New England Patriots, which premieres on Apple TV+ on Feb. 16, chronicles the journey that culminated in six Super Bowl championships and made the team’s star quarterback Tom Brady a household name. I spoke virtually with The Dynasty’s director Matthew Hamachek about his experience taking on a project of this magnitude.

“You're always looking for stories that have something more to them,” Hamachek said. “What this story had in particular is an opportunity to take larger-than-life figures and show people why they're human."

According to Hamachek, the vast number of people who were interviewed and appeared on camera is what made this particular project so unique. He emphasized his approach of combing through countless hours of footage to identify compelling arcs. Finding the most important moments of the Patriots’ decades-long dynasty to tell in this timeline of events was essential.

“The thing that we've never gotten with the New England Patriots is ‘What was it like to be in those rooms?’” Hamachek said. “In the moment, confronting all these issues that they had, both good and bad…what I really wanted to do is set out and listen to these people who were in the room, tell their stories and pair it with the 35,000 something hours of footage.”

Hamachek emphasized how his approach is always evolving. He explored various narrative paths before settling on the right arc. Due to the franchise’s years of struggles prior to their rise to the top of the food-chain, he initially envisioned the limited series as an underdog story. However, he decided to shift gears following a conversation with former Patriots Vice President of Player Personnel Scott Pioli, in which Pioli told Hamachek about the moment he first held the Vince Lombardi Super Bowl Trophy and the feeling of being addicted to winning that came with it. Hamachek realized that this moment was the perfect inflection point for the entire story.

“That's where the story goes from ‘The Little Engine That Could’ to the team that was accused of cheating, and then them going on this tear of eating every team in their path and then, you know, getting to the Super Bowl and losing in spectacular fashion,” Hamachek said.

The cast and crew behind The Dynasty treated the ten episodes like puzzle pieces in order to put together a single, cohesive narrative. One indispensable piece of this puzzle was quarterback Tom Brady’s path to overcoming injuries and public doubt regarding whether he could maintain his stature as the greatest quarterback in the league.

“It's about somebody being taken out of this thing that they love and the only thing they've known for so many years and what that does to them and what it makes them determined to do when they finally get back,” Hamachek said.

Hamachek said the story of the Patriots franchise was ultimately about a group of people selflessly uniting in pursuit of one common goal: winning. He also noted the challenges of sustaining such a dynamic as each individual member of the team became more and more famous.

“[The Dynasty] is about football, but it's really about what it's like to be a human being going through all these things,” Hamachek said. “I think that's what makes the story so great and so universal.”