Friday, September 25, 2009

Flash Forward

Just watched the series premier of Flash Forward, based on Robert Sawyers book of the same name. I have to say I was little concerned. I read a mixed Variety review earlier in the day, drawing comparisons to Lost bouncing from the present to character back stories, then relating those to the present again. In Flash Foward's case the back stories are actually two minute chunks of the future, but the technique remains the same. In this case, there is no other way to film the show, and thankfully, the Flash Forwards are done well.

I read the book a number of years ago, but I still remember the majority of the plot lines and most of the characters. In the book, most of the characters where scientists at CERN, and there was no sinister plot behind the reason for the incident. The Large Hadron Collider done the deed.

From the looks of things, that fact has changed. Oh well, I did say the show was BASED on a book.

The show begins with the hero waking from the Flash Forward and witnessing the devastating aftermath, followed by a back story as to how the characters got there.

Though some of the plot lines don't jive with the book, the overall them remains true. What would we do, how would we react if we saw our future.

This was what kept me reading the book, and what in all likelihood keep me watching the show. Unlike many shows, Flash Forward has come with a budget, hiring good solid actors, such as the oddly underrated Ralph Fiennes, and wisely casting Courtney Vance in the role of FBI chief. The SFX, stunts and CGI are big screen quality. But none of this means bupkiss without good writing, and this show has it.

Television is a finicky medium. This show should succeed, and in all likelihood will. But television is a finicky medium. Great shows have fallen while other far inferior shows have had inexplicably long runs. In the end it will all come down to numbers. If the show can bring in the rating to justify the budget, then we'll be seeing Fiennes and company for a few years, otherwise the show will be just another, ahem, Back Flash.

Sorry, but I couldn't resist.