01/10/2010. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts
Region 2 DVD: pub: Walt Disney Company B002R59WN2. 5 DVDs 22 episodes with extras. Price: GBP35.99 (UK)) stars: Joseph Fiennes, John Cho, Jack Davenport, Zachary Knighton, Peyton List, Dominic Monaghan, Brian F. OE;Byrne, Courtney B. Vance and Christine Woods.
check out website: http://flashforwardtv.com
It was rather weird watching the first episode of ‘Flashforward’ again so soon after the season aired on TV in the UK this year. More so because the two minute eighteen second glimpses into the future made a lot more sense because having seen the end of the series on television it was easier to make the connections. It’s the equivalent of reading the preface of a story, not quite understanding what was going on and it becomes clearer later. Watching it this time brought instant clarity.
Just in case you missed the storyline on TV, everyone in the world looses consciousness for two minutes eighteen seconds and regaining consciousness finds they all had a joint experience of six months into the future for that specific time from different perspectives. From then on, it’s a matter of connecting the dots of working out how the future is going to reach those points, especially when sometimes it makes no sense at all. I mean, do you know what you’re doing six months down the line, let alone doing things out of character? That was the original idea from Robert Sawyer’s novel although he wrote this in a more passive way compared to the TV series and over sixteen years, a much longer period of time.
The TV series makes it more up close and personal with more of a problem of who used the technology that made it happen and their own insidious plan, although little of that is revealed in this the first and only season. It is then a jigsaw for the viewer as they see the characters put everything together.
In a paradoxical fashion, if the flashforward hadn’t happened then none of the world’s population would have known the directions their lives were going in or tried to force the issue. It also made some people want to move towards a certain event as much as those who wanted to avoid them. In that respect it was an even match because no one really knew how they were going to get there or not just that in a particular point in time that was where they were supposed to be and everything else was up to interpretation as to whether they would get out of the situation or not. In many respects, you could be literally be playing god to your own destiny, especially as people discovered that by taking drastic action that they could remove themselves from the time-line and save others in some instances. About the only things that weren’t addressed was what happens if you died earlier than the event and what happened to half the population of the world that must have slept through the whole experience? Did they have it in their dreams or think the rest of the world had gone mad in the meantime?
Tacked onto this is the extra level of just who really did it and what are their real objective. If anything, at least from my perspective, probably the biggest weakness is not really knowing what the enemy’s plans are. They’re just shadows in the background with only the odd operative sticking their noses up and you’re never quite sure who they belong to or what their part in this hidden plan is. I doubt if it was for financial gain or even a power base. With so many wildcards in this, even if I made a guess, there’s no telling how right I could be.
I should point out that there is a two-part audio commentary with actor Dominic Monaghan and executive producer Jessika Borsiczky about the making of a couple episodes. On top of this there are about eighty minutes of extras, not the TV Special I should hasten to add, that fills in how much CGI was added, the filming, talks from the cast and that elusive kangaroo, even if I thought it was a wallaby!
Having watched them all over again in short order, mostly cos I got hooked again after watching the pilot again, I find it a shame that there will be no second season to show what happens after the second flashforward. The series really does deserve a repeat viewing. It is obvious from the build-up that behind each layer there is ever more villainy afoot and now that will be lost. There are sites out there pushing for another channel to take up the series but one of the strongest ways you can do that is to actually buy this boxset because the companies involved will see money being spent on the show. Be careful where you faint.
Add SFcrowsnest.com daily news updates to your own web site or blog - just cut and paste the code below...
Stephen Hunt's novels - USA