Going for glory minus power
Offers us a world that inexplicably goes into blackout, writes
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.
The cast of