This fall NBC gets on the post-apocalyptic bandwagon with their new hour-long drama Revolution. Set in world where all the power has gone away, the show has a great deal of genre star power behind it. Created by Eric Kripke (Supernatural), John Favreau (Iron Man) and J.J. Abrams (Star Trek) serve as executive producers. Favreau actually directed the pilot episode of Revolution, and will presumably helm more in the future.
The network is putting a big push behind the show, including a new promo video. Not quite a trailer, not quite a behind-the-scenes look, this offering is a mixture of interviews and footage from the show.
The premise of Revolution is simple. With our increasing reliance on technology—from phones, to email, to online movie sites—what would happen if, in the blink of an eye, all that went away? That’s a small sounding question with a sprawling, complex answer.
Revolution picks up 15 years after the lights go out. The world has reverted to an earlier state, in both bad and good ways. Without electricity society has become more agricultural, communal in some ways, and altogether simpler. But feudal warlords and violent militias have also made a comeback, flourishing because the entire world is now a version of the Wild West.
From the looks of this video, the show is a solid attempt at world building. That’s going to be key in selling the show, making this future seem like a viable outcome. If they don’t nail that, the whole show will crumble. You see the ruins of a Ferris wheel, and people use the shell of a Prius as a makeshift planter. Maybe some of the costumes are a little too pretty, but we’ll see.
The plot is structured as a road story. After the murder of her father, a teenage girl, Charlie (Tracy Spiridakos), looks for her uncle Miles (Billy Burke), so they can rescue her brother Danny (Graham Rodgers). As they travel through the ruins of the countryside, you get a glimpse of what the world has become. It’s nice that they’re not keeping you sequestered to one town or region, and you’ll get a chance to see how different people in different places cope with the lack of power.
At the center of Revolution is the mystery of why the power went off in the first place. You can tell that this is going to be the ultimate propulsive force behind the narrative. Like with any show involving Abrams, don’t expect easy answers and quick resolution. Imagine it like Fringe, where there is a big, looming question on the horizon. It colors everything else, and you circle around that episode after episode. Maybe you get a little closer, maybe you don’t, but it’s always there.
Revolution turns out the lights on September 17th.