Flashforward… What Did I See?

September 30, 2009

Monday night saw the start of new American show Flashforward in the UK. With comparison’s to Lost (and you should know how I feel about that show) this was always going to be big… but did it live up to the hype.

It only took a few moments to see why ABC think of this show as it’s new Lost. The opening scene sees the main protagonist, FBI agent Mark Benford walking through the wreckage of a massive car crash in a very similarflashforward-logo style to Jack walking though the Oceanic crash scene in Lost. It was an immediately gripping opening, which I appreciated and told the story slightly backwards as we then flashed 4 hours earlier.

The main crux of what happened is that everyone in the world ‘stopped’ for 2 minutes and 17 seconds. But they didn’t just blackout, they saw a vision of the future, 6 months to be exact, to the 29th April 2010. The fact that people ‘stopped’ obviously causes mass chaos leaving us with the New York ‘wastleland’ we see at the start of the show.

The programme is going to focus on just a few of these characters who’ve had specific flashes. Some of them are heartwarming, such as the doctor, ready to commit suicide, who has a vision that in 6 months his life is turned around and he is still alive. Some are funny such as the FBI chief who saw himself on the toilet. Some will clearly be integral to the overall story such as Mark’s where he sees himself in a room with snipers after him. And some are upsetting or devastating… Sonya Walger’s character is cheating and FBI agent Demetri Noh sees nothing, suggesting he isn’t here.

flashforward1The presentation of the show is both interesting yet cryptic. We’ve only properly seen one flash so far, yet heard details from others. It helps keep a blanket over the story’s larger plot. It also suggests that many of these flashes will be connected. The introduction of characters was also very good, with only a small, but satisfying amount of backgrounding for the main cast.

The production of the show did hit a few issues. Firstly in a car chase, the SUV hitting the traffic at high speed didn’t seem to be damaged in any way by this. This was… at best, very unrealistic! Also there were many shots at the beginning with many people around one moment, the next cut they had all vanished. Yes they’re small details, but for such a large production, I expected a little more attention to these details.

So should you continue watching? It seems like an OK concept, but what’s the hook. That came in the last minute of the show. Deep inside the FBI, an agent discovers an interesting CCTV clip. At a football stadium, when everyone goes into the ‘trance’, one man doesn’t and simply walks away. Someone was awake! But, who? why? This is what’s going to make this series and it’s happened far earlier than Lost’s first great hook.

Flashforward looks to be a very interesting concept and is certainly the most exciting new show of 2009. I’ll be sticking with it and hope it proves a worthy replacement to the awesome Lost.

To finish, I’ll just note a couple more easter eggs for Lost fans. Firstly, I hope you all noticed the Oceanic Airline’s logo in the background in the opening scenes. Also, April 29th, the day of the flash, is the same day Lost is scheduled to end in the US… coincidence? I think not!

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Best Moments In Lost On ‘The Swan Station’

April 23, 2009

Good News! Very soon my university work for this semester will be completed and when that happens, ‘The Rich, Harsh Poet’ will be straight back on track!

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In the meantime, why not go and have a look at my spinoff site – ‘The Swan Station’. It’s all about the TV show Lost which is about to have it’s 100th episode. As a tribute to this, were putting up our top ten moments of the show so far. From Saturday you’ll be able to vote for your favourite so we can truly establish the best part of Lost so far!

As for ‘The Rich, Harsh Poet’, all will be well again soon and there are several things in the pipeline including a couple of reviews and a few features, so make sure you check back for more.

Cheerio

-Chris


Lost: S5 Episode 4 – The Little Prince

February 7, 2009

Ok, time for something you’ll get used to very soon. I’m a massive Lost fan so I will be updating this blog weekly with my views on the latest episode. Obviously if you’ve not seen the ep, don’t read as it contains major spoilers!

Can you believe we are already 4 episodes into the fantastic Lost Season 5? Doesn’t time just flash before your eyes ;). Anyway, I’ve just seen ‘The Little Prince’ and I have to say I was somewhat disappointed. And the worst thing is I can’t really explain why. It had all the makings of a great Lost episode, but something just didn’t fit together for me.

There were great revelations such as the fact that Jin is not only alive (although I think we all saw that coming) but he has also met Rousseau before any other Losties. It was certainly great to see Jin, at least some of the original crew are surviving. He’s a well constructed character (who isn’t annoying like Jack!) that still has potential in this series and it was nice Dharlton chose not to kill him off. It was perhaps a bit questionable as to how he survived the explosion of the freighter and how he endured the cold water for that long, but maybe we’ll let that one slide…

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Likewise seeing Rousseau’s team stranded on the island was a nice surprise. There’s every chance this could lead to a kind of Rousseau ‘flashback’. That is if we manage to get far enough without another of those convenient ‘flashes’ disrupting the whole thing. And while we’re on the subject of convenience, isn’t it interesting how the island seems to be flashing mostly between dates that are very specific to the story of Lost. Coincidence? I think not. Could the island be re-living it’s ‘greatest hits’ and these particular moments therefore hold great significance in it’s future?

Or Dharlton could just be making it easier to understand for an increasingly confused audience!

Back to the episode. Another nice surprise for me was seeing a link to Ajira airways at last. For those who don’t know, Ajira is a fictional airline based around Lost with a viral website set up here. They have until now not been mentioned in the episodes. But this week saw the introduction of an Ajira Airways bottle on one of the canoes. It was nice that it was picked up upon by the Losties, surely pointing out it’s significance.

But why was it on the canoe? Well many theories I’ve read online suggest that the canoes are from the Oceanic 6’s return to the island and they used Ajira in some way to relocate it. Now I’m not entirely sure that all fits. Travelling all that way on a canoe is unlikely unless the canoe is somehow in an Ajira plane… and how would that work??? I think all it is safe t say right now is that Ajira is involved heavily in some way, how and why are to to be revealed.

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So back to the canoe’s and the Losties ambitious journey in them. I had to laugh at this section. What is there not to find hilarious about Locke, Faraday, Charlotte, Miles, Juliet and Sawyer all crammed together in a small boat on the ocean. I love the way in Lost that the characters are always so up for the craziest ideas. They could’ve just trekked through the jungle again, but where’s the fun in that when there’s and unreliable wooden canoe in front of you?

The Losties soon found this a bad idea when they began being shot at. So why was this happening? Once again a quick search on the net tells me people believe this too could be the oceanic 6. One post I read made the very valid point that it wouldn’t be the first time Jack and Co had shot at something without knowing who or what it was. But I’d like to think that when the O6 do return to the island, they will perhaps be a bit more… gentle than this. They don’t always have to go in guns blazing!

Of course another option for these dark assassins could be that the Losties are in fact a long way in the past and they could be the original inhabitants. That’s an idea I’d prefer, simply because I want to see these four-toed people.

The main part of the show I haven’t mentioned yet is the off-island stuff and this is probably because I found it a bit, dare I say it, boring. Don’t shoot me down in flames, but in my opinion the O6 aren’t the most exciting group of people. They’re all (apart from Sayid) quite ‘safe’ characters I find, one’s that don’t push the story forward. Heck how much did Jack delay the story in season 3 by disagreeing with Locke every flippin’ second!

I’m also struggling to enjoy the whole ‘Aaron isn’t Kate’s son’ storyline. Now we’ve discovered Ben ordered the separation of the two, perhaps that can all stop. I agree that Aaron’s birth and upbringing situations will no doubt become important (he was after all not supposed to be raised by another), but for now it’s just not developing at a rate that I’m enjoying.

I’m also starting to fail to care about who is trying to kill the survivors off island. How many times has Sayid ‘just’ avoided death now? Add to that the fact that Ben’s life is now under-threat from Sun and I think the whole who’s-trying-to-kill-who story is getting a bit stupid. Can’t we all just get along and try and figure out the damn island mysteries instead…

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I suppose the reason this all annoyed me was the fact the only off-island story I’m interested in right now is Desmond’s quest to find Faraday’s mother. This one I feel will hold part of the key as to what is happening time-travel wise. I also think it could see Ms Hawking become a more central character… here’s hoping!

Just before I go, I will mention something which did annoy me a little. The episode started with Charlotte unconscious and we are led to believe close to death after a flash. This seems to be due to her living on the island for part of her life. However, two more flashes happened in the episode and Charlotte seemed virtually unaffected by them. Surely she should get worse with every flash, that’s what had been happening. Why is she suddenly fine, does this illness reach a climax and then stop? Or was it a dreadful continuity error (surely not).

In summary, this episode did have some great moments in it and did keep the whole show moving (unlike some of those shocking filler eps in Season 3). But for me it just didn’t reach the quality of the last three eps. I’ sure it was just a temporary blip though and next week Lost will be back up to it’s high standards. I am still really enjoying this show at the moment!

So that’s it for episode 4, hope you all enjoyed reading it and feel free to make comments. If you want more lost, why not visit my dedicated Lost blog The Swan Station