It’s not uncommon for the cast of a new show to change some from the pilot to the actual airdate. Sometimes an actor gets a job on an established series in the interim, and since there’s no guarantee a pilot is going to be picked up, job security is the way to go. Sometimes this transition is relatively seamless, necessitating little more than a few reshoots, but other times it shakes things up and impacts larger issues within the show. Such is the case with NBC’s new post-apocalyptic drama, Revolution.
There are some SPOILERS BELOW if you aren’t caught up with the show.
When Elizabeth Mitchell (Lost) joined the cast as Rachel Matheson, she replaced Andrea Roth from Rescue Me. While Rachel’s children, Charlie (Tracy Spiridakos) and Danny (Graham Rodgers), think their mother is dead, it’s revealed in the second episode that she is in fact very much alive.
In the original pilot, this disclosure came in the first episode, with Roth emerging from behind a privacy screen in General Monroe’s (David Lyons) tent. Casting Mitchell led to a rewrite of that particular exposure.
Creator Eric Kripke (Supernatural) explains the change:
We wanted to establish that character correctly, and my honest problem was that when she shows up in the tent in the pilot, it’s sort of implied that she’s Monroe’s lover. A little. And I don’t know where that story goes! But I do know where a story goes where she’s introduced in a very different way.
The way Revolution finally reveals that Rachel is alive makes it much more clear that she is a captive, not a willing consort of the militia. While this isn’t a huge change, it is significant, and helps with clarity problems. It also works well as an “a-ha” moment, leaving you with something to chew on at the end of the episode, and hopefully keeps you watching for another week.