Go­ing for glory mi­nus power

Of­fers us a world that in­ex­pli­ca­bly goes into black­out, writes

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - WEDNESDAY EXTRA -

LENTY of se­ri­alised shows that fol­lowed Lost asked big ques­tions that were never an­swered – think Flash­For­ward, In­va­sion and The Event.

View­ers get the same vibe from Rev­o­lu­tion but it’s too soon to know if the se­ries will flail or fly.

The pi­lot is s solid enough­hour of tele­vi­sion to of­fer hope episodes that fol­low are as good. The first episode does an ex­cel­lent job set­ting up the show’s premise, and in sev­eral in­stances it de­fies TV norms with plot twists that view­ers won’t see com­ing.

The story be­gins on the day of a black­out that not only turns off elec­tric­ity world­wide but also knocks out en­gines, caus­ing cars to stop and planes to crash.

In early scenes, view­ers meet young Char­lie Matheson and her par­ents (Tim Guinee and El­iz­a­beth Mitchell).

Char­lie’s fa­ther seems to have some fore­knowl­edge of the out­age and tries to contact his brother, Miles (Billy Burke, Twi­light), to warn him.

Af­ter the black­out hits, the story flash­for­wards 15 years. Char­lie is now a teenager, played by Tracy Spiri­dakos, who goes on a quest to save her brother, Danny (Gra­ham Rogers), af­ter he’s kid­napped by Cap­tain Tom Neville (Gian­carlo Es­pos­ito, Break­ing Bad) on or­ders from a mili­tia leader who con­trols a por­tion of the US.

Char­lie – who car­ries a bow and ar­row, Hunger Games- style – sets off to find her Un­cle Miles in Chicago. Along the way she’s al­most raped, en­coun­ters a po­ten­tial love in­ter­est (or is he?) named Nate (JD Pardo) and gets a les­son in the virtues of a high-tech pay cheque from her fa­ther’s friend, Aaron (Zak Orth), who gives Rev­o­lu­tion some lighter mo­ments.

‘‘I had $80 mil­lion in the bank and I’d trade it all right now for a roll of Charmin,’’ the for­mer Google em­ployee tells Char­lie. ‘‘That’s toi­let pa­per – what we used be­fore shrub­bery.’’

Rev­o­lu­tion does a nice job of set­ting up this fu­ture, retro-tech­nol­ogy world with sev­eral nods to our ev­ery­day life.

Char­lie keeps post­cards of pris­tine cities stashed with a non-work­ing iPod in a Re­turn of the Jedi lunch­box.

Af­ter the black­out, cities get over­grown with vines and look like an episode of Life Af­ter Peo­ple. Her post-black­out vil­lage, which ap­pears to be a cul-de-sac in a for­mer sub­di­vi­sion, fea­tures the shell of a Prius, which gets re­cy­cled as a planter.

What view­ers may not get a good sense of from the Rev­o­lu­tion pi­lot is what the show will be on a week-to-week ba­sis.

The vil­lage con­cept is charm­ing way to ex­plore so­ci­ety post-elec­tric­ity, but events tran­spire that send Char­lie on her quest out of the vil­lage.

Once it be­comes a road show, Rev­o­lu­tion be­gins to feel like a safer, less­grue­some Walk­ing Dead.

Then the fi­nal scene in the pi­lot re­turns to the con­spir­acy-the­ory no­tion and get­ting an­swers to the ques­tions: Why did ev­ery­thing stop work­ing? Is it pos­si­ble to get the lights turned back on?

Whether Rev­o­lu­tion pro­vides an­swers to these ques­tions in a timely man­ner or falls into the same traps as past se­ri­alised genre shows re­mains to be seen.

Wed­nes­days, 8.30pm, Fox8.

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