When TV fans see names like Eric Kripke and J.J. Abrams in the credits for "Revolution," it's impossible to not get excited. It was probably also impossible for Kripke and Abrams to not get excited when the premiere brought in 11.7 million viewers and a strong score of 4.1/10 in the highly desired 18- to 49-year-old demographic. This staggering viewership made the pilot the highest-rated drama since 2009, when ABC's sci-fi series "V" started strong but was canceled after 22 episodes. "Revolution" also set a record for the highest-rated drama on NBC since 2007's "Bionic Woman," which was canceled after only eight episodes.
Kripke and Abrams, creators of "Supernatural" and "Lost" respectively, have a fine pedigree of combining mystery, adventure, and sly wit for a compelling TV series. Their latest effort takes us to the new world that exists 15 years after an abrupt global loss of all electricity.
Watch the full episode of "Revolution":The story We're first introduced to Rachel and Ben, a couple with two young children, Charlie and Danny. Ben seems to know something about the incoming blackout and hurries to save information to a flash drive before the power goes out. Lights blink off, the world goes dark, and planes fall out of the sky.
Fifteen years later, the Earth has gone old school with survivors leaving the cities for a simple, agrarian lifestyle. Ben is a widowed single father now. Charlie and Danny are all grown-up, young adults who wonder about the big world outside the isolated subdivision cul-de-sac they now call home. Countless dangers lurk in the scattered civilization, including the militia run by a General Monroe that terrorizes the area, collecting payment in return for not killing everyone.
The adventure begins
When Monroe's soldiers turn up in their neck of the woods, Charlie ends up an orphan on the run. Joined by her dad's girlfriend, Maggie, and his best friend, Aaron, Charlie sets out to find her Uncle Miles, who she hopes can rescue her kidnapped brother. Since Aaron has Ben's secret flash drive, and Miles has serious military expertise, we're guessing some "saving the world" is going to happen along the way.
"Revolution" has enough mystery in the pilot to intrigue viewers to tune in for more episodes. We want to know how the electricity so abruptly went out, how "the laws of physics were broken," as Aaron says. We're wondering what's on that flash drive, especially when we see another character use the device to turn on her own secret workstation light and computer.
There's obviously some history lurking behind Miles and his brother's estrangement, possibly due to Miles being friends with Monroe back in the day. Rachel's death isn't entirely explained, so there might be a juicy story there, as well. There's the hope of getting the world back to "normal," but we learn that anyone who knows how to restore electricity to working order could literally end up with all the power --leading to a frightening dictatorship.
You may have seen a film called "The Road," that starred Viggo Mortensen as a father trying to survive with his young son in a bleak and terrifying post-apocalyptic world. "Revolution" is kind of like the Renaissance Faire version of that film, with pretty greenery covering crumbling cities, and a feisty heroine in tight leather pants that has high hopes for adventure and victory. Even the militia spy Nate reminds us of Legolas from "The Lord of the Rings," with his good looks, nimble moves, and prowess with a bow and arrow.
For a network TV drama, this is not a bad thing. "Revolution" shows promise as an entertaining series with a good balance of suspenseful sci-fi and swashbuckling action. If the series avoids the too-muddied waters of "Lost"-like mythology and focuses more on the adventure and characters, this one could provide viewers with a pleasant weekly escape for at least a few seasons.
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