A look at new sci-fi, by Senior Editor, PK
It may be another in a long line of post-apocalyptic stories, can NBC pull it off?
I’m not always able to watch the latest shows and movies due to being so busy, but when something grabs my attention I’ll make time. And when I came across this, to say I’m skeptical is a bit of an understatement. I’m a huge fan of sci-fi science, grew up with the techno-babble of Star Trek and so many other shows, but Revolution may be falling a bit flat on the b.s. O’meter side of science fiction. Revolution follows the adventures of a group of survivors in a post-apocalyptic society, where for some unknown reason, everything electrical refuses to work. Including machine guns, which are actually not electric. 15 years after the worst brown-out in human history, humanity has reverted to a medieval-esque style society and all of the world governments have fallen. In its place, militias and dictators have risen to rule supreme over small communities who thrive in the ruins of technology and rusted out Chevrolets.
Post-apoc stories have been the in-thing for the last 10 year or so years, from video games to movies, to tv shows, we just can’t seem to get enough of what we went through during the 1980′s. It’s Mad Max minus the gaudy outfits and Aussie accents, and no souped up battle cars to race about in either. Just from watching the trailer, many questions come to mind. The most classic question that comes up whenever we encounter stories where electricity has been destroyed, is what’s causing it and why doesn’t it seem to effect certain things? Like any episode of any version of Star Trek, ship encounters dampening field, power goes out, but tricorders, hand held phasers and artificial gravity still seem to magically work. You’d think Geordie would lose power to his visor every single time they ran into some evil alien with a dampening field in his pocket, but no,our heroes save the day again through suspension of disbelief.
Admittedly, in Revolution they do tackle that interesting issue. Instead of just electrical in general not working, they make anything with power die. Including batteries and the like, but with this show, the most obvious question I have; is why would a super powerful dampening field (presumably the cause), capable of killing everything electric on the planet, affect machines that are primarily mechanical? When the bad guys show up wielding muskets, it makes me stop and wonder why something like a musket will work, but not a M-16? Both are mechanical in nature, and use chemically propelled objects to kill the target. Someone must have made the muskets, and the tech to build muskets is not too far away from making a simple machine gun. I know, I may be over thinking it, but as a fan of sci-fi, who has almost unlimited shows and movies to choose from, Revolution doesn’t really seem to grab me in the way that will make me take an hour out of my busy schedule to sit and watch it. Technology aside, the basic story is questionable in my mind. I have no doubt that society would grind to a halt if all electricity failed, there would be millions of deaths. But reverting to a medieval style society with barons and militias trying to run our post-apoc lives after only 15 years?
I know it’s also the Hollywood effect, but when you have no access to electricity and presumably no real hygiene products, why do most of your characters still look like they’ve come straight from a photo-shoot for sexy teens and able-bodied older gentlemen? And as for new world order via small pockets of dictatorships, well, if I couldn’t log into Facebook or hangout at my local Starbucks to chug down a frapa-mocha-chino-thingy, then yeah I might go insane and try to overthrow my local government to. On a more technical side, the production values seem pretty typical of any big-budget science fiction series with huge names behind it. The music featured in the preview was of the typical dramatic “we’re gonna blow you’re nerdy mind” type, and overall the story just barely passes the yawn factor.
We’ve come to expect the extraordinary from TV/Hollywood, and when you’ve been blasted with cool and amazing for so many years, you start to wonder what’s left to dazzle us with. Revolution, you so far have failed to make me raise an eyebrow of interest beyond watching the show’s trailer. But you did manage to make me roll my eyes a bit, and wonder what else is on.
Our entire way of life depends on electricity. So what would happen if it just stopped working? Well, one day, like a switch turned off, the world is suddenly thrust back into the dark ages. Planes fall from the sky, hospitals shut down, and communication is impossible. And without any modern technology, who can tell us why?
Now, 15 years later, life is back to what it once was long before the industrial revolution: families living in quiet cul-de-sacs, and when the sun goes down, the lanterns and candles are lit. Life is slower and sweeter. Or is it?
On the fringes of small farming communities, danger lurks. And a young woman’s life is dramatically changed when a local militia arrives and kills her father, who mysteriously – and unbeknownst to her – had something to do with the blackout. This brutal encounter sets her and two unlikely companions off on a daring coming-of-age journey to find answers about the past in the hopes of reclaiming the future.
From director Jon Favreau (“Iron Man,” “Iron Man 2″) and the fertile imaginations of J.J. Abrams and Eric Kripke (“Supernatural”), comes a surprising “what if” action-adventure series, where an unlikely hero will lead the world out of the dark. Literally.