Introduced at the ABC Upfronts this week, Flash Forward is a new series based on the novel by Robert J. Sawyer. In the novel, a science experiment at the CERN facility in Switzerland causes the entire human population to black out for approximately two minutes. During this time, every person experiences a “flash” of their future and actually lives their own future for those two minutes. Back in the present time, planes fall out of the sky, cars crash and accidents occur as people fall unconscious.
While the book allows people to see themselves twenty years in the future, the series, produced and written by David S. Goyer (co-writer of “Batman Begins” and “The Dark Knight”) and Brannon Braga (“24,” “Star Trek: Enterprise”), allows people to glimpse about five months into their future. The dilemma for the characters is whether these “flashes” are their destiny, or whether they can change aspects of their future that they would prefer not to experience. Then, of course, there’s the fact that this global blackout has caused much death and destruction in the present day.
ABC has been heavily promoting Flash Forward as a companion to Lost. It originally aired brilliant and mysterious commercials showing glimpses of weddings, funerals and mundane scenes, asking viewers “what did you see?”. The network is playing up the mystery factor, which is a large part of the success of Lost: the ability to keep the audience guessing.
An first glance, the series looks terrific. It has a strong cast, consisting of many noted actors, including Joseph Fiennes (Shakespeare in Love), John Cho (Harold and Kumar and Star Trek), Jack Davenport (Pirates of the Carribean), and Sonya Walger (Lost and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles), to name but a few. I personally am a fan for all things mysterious and the book itself proposed an interesting theory (what would YOU do if you could see into your own future?).
The clip below is a scene from the premiere episode of Flash Forward, which will air in the fall of 2009. In this scene, Mark Benford, played by Joseph Fiennes, questions the so-called “blackouts”. He proposes that the blackouts were very real experiences, and perhaps even a glimpse into the future, instead of mere hallucinations.
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