Created by: Brannon Braga, David S. Goyer
Starring: Joseph Fiennes, John Cho, Sonya Walger, Christine Woods, Dominic Monaghan
Flashforward was to be the big LOST replacement water cooler series and it had some great ideas. Unfortunately the series only lasted one season. Was it a bad show or did the marketing just not support the show enough?
One day the entire world blacks out for 2 minutes and 17 seconds. The visuals of hundreds of people lying passed out in the middle of whatever they were doing when the blackout happened were striking. These visuals are part of what made Flashforward one of the most anticipated shows of last year. While everyone was unconscious most of them saw a vision of their future while others saw nothing but blackness. After the blackout FBI agent Mark Benford and his team were tasked with investigating the blackout and discovering what and who caused the blackout. The story slowly went deeper and deeper and more and more complex as people began to see how their flashforwards were going to affect others in the future and still more people began seeking each other out to confirm and even change their futures.
The concept, in the beginning, was exciting and mysterious but the show had some real problems that just seemed to hold it back. The first issue early on is the painfully slow pacing. There were some secondary plots developed that were meant to gain viewer interest and allow the writers to prolong the greater story but the execution of these secondary story didn’t quite work in the early episodes. One thing that bothered me from the beginning is that the damage left from every single person on the planet passing out was never properly represented. Some car wrecks and fires were shown but everything seemed to be back ok in a very short amount of time. As the show progressed the writers and producers got better at wrangling all of these characters and the story but that happened after the show went through an overly long hiatus, too long for a new show trying to find an audience. The show also had a problem that the Star Trek TV shows had by the end of their runs, it often got bogged down in pseudoscience techno babble which sometimes left big reveals a little hazy.
Flahsforward was an ambitious TV series which required a steady hand to execute properly and in the end the lack of a seasoned showrunner behind the scenes in those early episodes is probably the reason for the show’s downfall. David S. Goyer is one of the most interesting writers working in film today but he’s never been a showrunner prior to Flashforward and it just took him too long to find his footing. The episodes that came after the hiatus featured a new showrunner, a faster pace, and some more interesting dramatic elements. By the end of the season the show is incredibly riveting but also by then it was too late to rescue it from a ratings nightmare.
The widescreen video looks good hear with colors and black levels looking fine. There’s some grain on the disc but it was there during the original broadcast too. It’s not HD but it’s as good as most modern TV to DVD presentations.
The Dolby DTS 5.1 sound is fairly solid with a nice mix for dialogue, score, and fx. There’s some nice surround speaker use in more action heavy scenes but the surrounds go a little dead during scenes requiring more subtle ambient noise. It sounds good but it’s not the set you want to crack open to demo your system.
The Packaging and Bonus Features
The complete set is packaged in a plastic keep case with a cardboard slipcover. The art feels a little basic even though it does reference the show as a mosaic design.
All of the featurettes from the original volume one release of the show are here and they feel a little weird as they focus on promoting the second half of the season.
Flashforward on Set offers some nice behind the scenes footage showing how some of the scenes were created for the show. There’s a featurette focused on the kangaroo that just feels like fluff because there’s no real information provided. Architects of Destiny is a featurette that focuses on some of the bigger events in the series. There’s a mildly amusing gag reel. There’s one commentary that offers some good behind the scenes information but not much as far as extending the story. On that note there’s nothing in these featurettes that even hints to where the show might have gone had it lasted. Since the show is based on a book you know that the creators had at least a vague road map leading to the end of the series had it been successful. There’s very little in the way of cast interviews outside of the scant clip from a Comic-Con panel and no interview with the author of the book.
There are a few good bits of information here and there but there’s room for so much more to have been done to make this set truly enhance the viewing experience.
Overall (Not an Average) 7/10
The Series 7/10
The Video 8/10
The Audio 8/10
The Packaging and Bonus Features 5/10
Overall (Not an Average) 7/10