28 September, 2009

Preview: "FlashForward"


"When a mysterious event causes the entire world to black out, humanity is given a glimpse into its near future, and every man, woman and child is forced to come to grips with whether their destinies can be avoided or fulfilled."

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"Tonight marks the start of a brand new series on Five, "FlashForward," which is loosely adapted from the Prix Aurora Award-winning sci-fi novel Flashforward by Robert J. Sawyer. "Star Trek: The Next Generation" writer Brannon Braga and "Batman Begins"/"The Dark Knight" writer David Goyer are the showrunners, and the duo took time out of their busy San Diego Comic-Con schedule in July to chat with MTV Splash Page editor Rick Marshall.

"The premise of the show is that everyone has seen a glimpse of the future on the same day six months from now, so we're constantly jumping forward to those six months," Goyer said. "In terms of continuity for costumes and props and things like that it can be a nightmare."

"[Goyer and I] were just chatting the other day that there's something about this show in these really uncertain times, the whole idea of being able to know, for better or worse, what's going to happen six months from is an interesting conceit," Braga added.

In the world we live in today, the idea of a global happening -- an event that every single person on the planet is aware of, pretty much from moment one -- is a constant concern. A lot of it is fear-based, with emerging new nuclear powers, social and political unrest ravaging various parts of the world and, of course, the ongoing threat of terrorist activities.


"I remember, I was in Paris on 9/11," Goyer said. "There was... this huge outpouring of sympathy for Americans suddenly. I found myself in bars and bistros... talking to complete strangers, saying 'Well where were you when it happened? What were you doing?'"

"We definitely have that in our series," he continued. "What we call the 'Blackout Day'-- everyone in the world experienced it, so what you get is, suddenly, all these people from different walks of life, different social strata... saying 'What did you see? What did you see?' Some people saw bad things, some people saw good things."

As foreign a concept as time travel might be to rational thinking people, there's certainly a something to relate to in this idea of a globally shared experience. Braga and Goyer are behind "FlashForward" now specifically because the time is simply right.


"I think that you usually see an uptake in science fiction and fantasy when times are uncertain," Goyer said. "Afghanistan and Iraq and the economy-- people want escapism. Also people want hope. So a show that traffics in the future, and possibly a brighter future, I think is something that people find appealing."

The question, of course, is what people can do about this future they've seen. Once "Blackout Day" occurs and individuals are aware of where the future will take them, could it be possible to change things? Prepare for undesirable elements?

"That is one of the big themes, questions, that we'll be exploring in the course of the series," Goyer said. "We'll get into that answer kind of midway through the first season. The first season will catch up to the end of those six months and all of the flash-forwards we see with our main characters, we'll know whether or not they came true."

And what then? Once "Blackout Day" is old news and our main characters fulfil -- or change -- their future, where might the series go? "We have a map for five or six seasons and we definitely know how the series ends," Goyer explained. Naturally, there's always the question of what caused "Blackout Day," which could spin off in any number of directions." (MTV News)

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My only reservation was how this could be stretched beyond one season. The flash forward is, co-incidentally, to a date six months in the future around about the time of the season finale. But rather then worrying about season 2 I'm just going to enjoy season 1 for as long as the quality lasts.

The pilot sets up so much intriguing stuff, not only the central question of what the frickity-frack happened but more importantly how the characters and their relationships are affected by that incident.

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FlashForward
Mondays, 9:00pm, Five
Tuesdays, 10:00pm, Fiver


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John Hunter:

"...there’s some funky online accompanying material in the shape of the The Mosaic Collective

Mosaic Collective

This is the actual project featured within the show that tries to piece together a global big picture from every one in the world’s perspective. However the show turns out, I think this is a great site that really expands the world of the show for any audience who really want to immerse themselves in it. I hope this is a trend that continues in drama shows."

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1 comment:

rakeback said...

I was excited about the premiere of Flash Forward ever since I saw the previews months ago. The first episode was very well done, impressive cast of actors, lots of action, and tremendous suspense over how this will end up. I am looking forward to watching this show every Thursday.