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Glimpsing the Future With Flash Forward
Series creator and genre favorite David S. Goyer unveils his new TV series
By Rob Vaux
August 08, 2009
TCA '09 First Look: ABC's Flash Forward
© Bob Trate
The producers and cast of Flash Forward unveiled the pilot of their new TV series for the press today. The show looks to be one of the better entries for the 2009 season, with a strong ensemble, compelling characters and a terrific hook. Shades of Lost appear in the opening minutes as FBI Agent Mark Benford (Joseph Fiennes) wakes up in the midst of blood-soaked mayhem with no idea what's going on. He's laying in the wreckage of his car in downtown LA; everyone in the world has just blacked out for 2 minutes. In the midst of it, each person has a vision of their activities on a future date--April 29, 2010. The bulk of the season concerns itself with hows and whys of that equation: the significance of such a precise future moment, the veracity of the visions, and who or what may be behind it all.
Executive producer David S. Goyer enunciated a detailed plan for the way it all plays out, while remaining cryptic about the specifics. "By the end of the first season," he explained, "most of the questions raised in the pilot… will be answered. To really do the show justice, we would need at least three seasons, and we can kind of accordion in and out [as necessary] from there."
In order to handle the complexities required for such an endeavor, the creators wrote multiple scripts in advance ("we had seven scripts in the bank before we started shooting"), and kept tight watch over who knew what. "We made a decision very early on with the actors," Goyer said, "that we weren't going to tell them a lot about where their characters are going… I didn't want it to affect their performance. Every now and then, we have to type certain information out, because they may become confused, but they don't know where a lot of their characters are going, or what's going to happen, and that's kind of fun and exciting. Hitchcock used to do that with a lot of actors he worked with."
As for some of the big questions about the show--whether the characters can affect their future and who may stand to benefit from such knowledge--Goyer promised they would be covered.
"That's part of the heart and soul of the show--the debate--and that's where a lot of the drama and suspense can be mined. If you saw your future, what would you do about it? Can you change it? We broke our series regulars down into three categories. A third of them fear the future and are trying to do everything they can to fight it. A third of them, their futures are aspirational, and they're trying to do everything they can to make it happen. And a third of them are agnostic, because they just don't understand it and are trying to figure it out."
Flash Forward premieres on September 24. The season finale will air on April 29, 2010… the same date as the visions.