Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,
Nicholas
nwhyte

Flashforward episode 1

I would not have watched the first episode of Flashforward if it had not been nominated for the Hugo awards this year, and actually that would have been a shame. Literally the only thing I knew about it was that it was a TV series based on a novel by Robert. J. Sawyer, and frankly that was have been enough to put me off: I find Sawyer's prose leaden, his politics twee, and his characterisation utterly flat.

But the first episode of Flashforward sets up an intriguing premise: the entirety of the human race suffers a blackout and sees the future of 29/30 April 2010 (ie two weeks from now). Our hero, played by Joe Fiennes, is an FBI agent in Los Angeles, who is charged (in the most Sawyeresque and least convincing scene of the episode) with the task of Making Sense Of It All. Sawyer's novels often take as their theme a Humungous Event which affects the Whole Of Humanity (or at least Canada); this show takes the premise and actually makes it come alive, with the vividly realised effects of the event on real people (including California teenagers who rather implausibly wear plenty of underwear while making out).

I noted with pleasure two actors known from Stephen Moffatt's previous shows - Alex Kingston as Fiennes' character's liaison in Scotland Yard, and Jack Davenport as his wife's future lover and, it is hinted, the Villain Behind It All. I probably won't watch the rest, but I do hope Davenport's character turns out to be a supernatural baddie; it would be rather a career progression from This Life and Coupling.

I would not be at all astonished to learn that the rest of the series failed to build on the promise of the first episode, but this was a very good start. (Please feel free to add spoilers in comments - I doubt that I will get around to watching the rest of it any time soon.)
Tags: hugos 2010, writer: robert sawyer
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