NBC’s Upcoming “Revolution” Television Series

Several readers have written me to mention the trailer for the upcoming NBC (US television network) post grid-collapse TEOTWAWKI series: Revolution. (“After 15 years of darkness, an unlikely group sets out to save the world.”) The four-minute trailer was interesting. Watching it felt like a count the memes and homages contest. Predictably, “militias” are made out to be the bad guys. There are far too many reminders of both S.M. Stirling’s Dies the Fire sci-fi novel series and the movie The Postman in the trailer for me to think that NBC’s screen writers hadn’t been influenced by them.

The editors of io9 describe the show:

“In this footage, a mysterious blackout knocks out the world’s power grid and renders all of civilization’s car batteries completely kaput. Some sort of über-electromagnetic pulse, perhaps? Anyway, the scenes then fast-forward 15 years. The globe has taken a turn for The Postman, but at least we have Giancarlo Esposito as Gustavo Fring, Wasteland Warlord. NBC executives, you really should be calling this show Gustavo Fring: Wasteland Warlord, as I would panel every surface of my house with flat-screen televisions to watch that. (The title Revolution sort of evokes a new brand of antiperspirant or low-calorie carbonated limeade.) Quibbles with nomenclature aside, this could be fun, not unlike The Road [except] with no cannibals and more swashbuckling. “

And here’s a synopsis from NBC’s web site:

“Our entire way of life depends on electricity. So what would happen if it just stopped working? Well, one day, like a switch turned off, the world is suddenly thrust back into the dark ages. Planes fall from the sky, hospitals shut down, and communication is impossible. And without any modern technology, who can tell us why? Now, 15 years later, life is back to what it once was long before the industrial revolution: families living in quiet cul-de-sacs, and when the sun goes down lanterns and candles are lit. Life is slower and sweeter. Or is it? On the fringes of small farming communities, danger lurks. And a young woman’s life is dramatically changed when a local militia arrives and kills her father, who mysteriously – and unbeknownst to her – had something to do with the blackout. This brutal encounter sets her and two unlikely companions off on a daring coming-of-age journey to find answers about the past in the hopes of reclaiming the future.”

Well, at least they got our dependency on electricity right.

So how would The Hollywood Reporter sum up this show? Perhaps: “Fifteen years in the future, Dies The Fire meets The Postman, gets Lost on The Road, engages in some Hunger Games short range archery and some Crouching Dragon swordplay.” Bows and swords, are de rigueur you see, because combat up close and personal seems quasi-chivalrous and it has a higher quotient for drama than getting drilled through the chest at 300 meters. I assume that the scriptwriters will employ either the premise that cartridge ammunition has been expended or that 15 year old ammunition is no longer reliable. (For the record, I’m presently in the middle of a batch of .30-06 from the Lake City Arsenal, vintage 1942. Every round still goes bang, and it is still quite accurate.)

One thing is almost certain: With the combined effects of Revolution and The Hunger Games, there is bound to be a nationwide shortage of light draw-weight archery equipment before next Christmas, as nearly every teenage girl in the country sets aside her iBook and picks up a recurve bow.

According to the NBC network’s official web site for the series, it will begin airing in the Fall Season of 2012, on Monday evenings at 10 p.m. ET/PT.)