10/15/2012

I tried to give Revolution a chance. I really did. I thought the pilot was a bit dull and the setting wasn't that original, but I could see potential. The anti-hero status of one of the main characters, Miles Matheson, is interesting. The idea of a world plunged into the Dark Ages is intriguing. Also, I love Giancarlo Esposito.

The thing that bothered me the most was the whole "no technology" idea. I'm supposed to believe that all technology just suddenly shut down and won't come back on. "But," I thought, "why don't they just make new batteries and engines?" The show replied, "No new technology like engines or even batteries work. The very laws of physics have been altered." But guns still work. Okay. At first, I thought the show's creators were just ignorant of the implications of the premise, and I wanted to cut them some slack. But then I saw the commercial for the next episode. Now I have to believe the writers are either complete morons or (more likely) they have just given up on trying to maintain the premise.


 UPDATE: NBC has removed the video, so I'll just explain that it shows our intrepid heroes racing to stop a militia-run train.

A train. Let's think about this for a moment. What does this train look like it runs on? Steam. That means it uses a steam engine. Do you know what else you could run on a steam engine? Cars. Lights. Power plants. EVERYTHING. This episode should be about the whole world gathering around the train and saying, "My God, they have a working train! Human civilization is saved! Let's hook a belt to it and start powering the nearest hospital!" Instead, apparently our heroes are trying to stop it. Maybe the show will come up with an explanation why they can run a freaking train, but not a car. If so, I'll give it a break. But judging by past experience, I would say not.

I can forgive a science-fiction show for having bad dialogue (like Sliders), having a low production budget (like Red Dwarf), and even bad actors. I'll forgive almost anything as long as the premise is sound and well-executed. But if there's one thing I refuse to support, it's a sci-fi show that doesn't try to get the science right. I am officially dropping Revolution. If I'm wrong, somebody who watches the show let me know.

Will you keep watching Revolution? Can you see how a train would fit into the show's mythology? Let us know in the comments.

[Image Source: NBC]

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26 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I had some of the same issues and gave up after the second episode.

Pat Dilloway said...

I never watched "Revolution" in the first place. You're right though. The whole thing with power plants is they generate electricity through turbines, which comes mostly from steam by the burning of coal, natural gas, or nuclear power. So yeah if you're going to say steam engines can work, then why can't they fix power plants? Derp.

Anonymous said...

I've been watching it and I have to say that I like it. In the show they say that the black out was done intentionally and that it was man made. I'm assuming they have an explanation for how it made the planes fall out of the air, kept cars and batteries from working- that some technology or SOMETHING was created specifically to do all that and it wasn't some unexplainable magical phenomenon. WHY someone would do that though, knowing so many people would die, is some altogether different issue they'll have to explain. Just enjoy the show. They can't give everything away in the first episode or even the first season or it wouldn't be interesting. Also, I don't remember them saying that technology was COMPLETELY eradicated otherwise they wouldn't have the trains for example, which I'll admit is odd. Maybe it's just modern technology? Guns and trains aren't exactly modern, you know. So let's not criticize just yet. If they don't give an explanation or even hint at one soon, then I'm all prepared to agree with you but I mean, they're only five episodes in at this point.

Liesel Hill said...

I only watched the first episode. Like you, I thought it a bit boring. Most people say they'll put down a book if it doesn't hook them right away, but while I'm more patient with a lot of books, I'm way more critical of tv. I do have a lot of shows, but if something doesn't hook me right away, I don't have much patience for it. Based on what you've said, I'm glad I didn't try to stick it out. :D

Nigel Mitchell said...

Liesel, I do honestly think the show itself could be interesting, but yeah...it lost me.

Nigel Mitchell said...

I kind of wish I had, too, Alex

MPax said...

I'm still trying... but probably won't watch tonight. The premise is not the only logic flaw in the show.

Natasha Dythia said...

I am hoping it picks up a bit - I actually wrote a small post about this and other fall shows that will run tomorrow....my biggest issue with Revolution is the writing. They let us the viewer into a secret and then still do the dramatic pause when they do the reveal..... at that point I look at the screen and go well duh.....I also have a lack of attachment for most of the characters. The character I like the most is Cpt Neville - and that is because I love the actor playing the character (he was awesome in Breaking Bad and Once Upon a Time) - Revoltion has me torn, I like it -but barely.

Sci-Fi Gene said...

Haven't seen the first episode yet but is this really such a deal breaker? It sounds like the concept is that electricity doesn't work anymore due to the "change in the laws of physics" - incidentally this would mean you couldn't have a regular petrol engine as it requires electricity to ignite, but certain other engine types might work (possibly including a diesel car) and obviously steam power would be fine so this scenario would end up looking a bit like steampunk. Meanwhile, modern day technology is riddled with electricity and often circuitry so even devices that shouldn't be vulnerable to the physics change probably are.

Ryan Banfield said...

It seems like there's some device, some "field" interrupting the use of ELECTRONICs/Electrical signals. Some kind of EMP-emitter that's affecting the entire planet. This is sorta evidenced by that little necklace thing that turns on, and possibly interrupts the field, allowing for nearby devices to operate normally. A car, even a diesel, needs a spark, needs a battery. A steam engine, does not.

Nevertheless, show sucks. I'm really bothered by the audio editing. Sounds EXACTLY like the effects of Legend of the Seeker, and something about the fidelity of it drives me crazy.

Nigel Mitchell said...

I never noticed the audio, to be honest. But as far as an EMP, like you said, it works only on electricity. A car can be run on steam. The only reason our gas-powered cars require a spark is to ignite the fuel. You could do the same thing by igniting the boiler yourself with a match - it just wouldn't be as convenient.

Nigel Mitchell said...

The problem, Gene, is that they didn't go back to steam power. If they had, we'd have a much more interesting show, a steampunk version of our world with steam-powered cars and planes and even computers. But on the show, they basically claim all technology no longer works.

And if all the electricity is gone, then why do they still have thunderstorms? And what about the electrical impulses in our brains? You can't have a world where electricity no longer exists, because electricity is everywhere.

Nigel Mitchell said...

I agree, Tony. I just can't imagine how, in fifteen years, they managed to get a working train, but no other technology. What about solar power? Wind power? A major plot point was that a character couldn't cross the ocean to get back to England, because they couldn't get boats working. Well, why didn't anyone build a sail-driven boat like they used for hundreds of years?

Nigel Mitchell said...

Yeah, like how one character managed to power on her cell phone with the magic pendant, even though it hadn't been turned on in fifteen years. Batteries drain, even when they're not being used.

Nigel Mitchell said...

I have the same problem, Natasha. I just don't feel any connection to the characters. I don't really care what happens to them, for some reason

Nigel Mitchell said...

Derp indeed, Pat

Nigel Mitchell said...

I was willing to believe that they had some plan, anonymous, that there's some sort of field that affected technology. But after weeks of them living in stone age technology, of a major plot being that no boats sail between continents, to introduce a train makes no sense. If they can power a train, they can power a boat

Michael Moore said...

Gave the first 2 episodes a chance. Extremely disappointed. Won't be tuning back in. Great premise, horrible execution.

Melissa Bradley said...

You bring up some excellent points and questions I was wrestling with as well on this show. Haven't seen the train ep yet, I'll be tuning in, though.

Nigel Mitchell said...

Agreed, Michael

Nigel Mitchell said...

Let me know how it went, Melissa

Rodger Wisniski said...

That is the problem I have the show. I can understand no electricity. But you can do a lot with a seam engin. And anyway most of the technolagy we enjoy today was inveted befor electricity.

Trevor said...

They have steam powered busses in Georgia on the show... Watch the show it gets better

bob said...

like most tv shows revolution started by showing you a very small glimpse of what's going on, the Main characters know nothing except the little village they lived in, and you see everything from there perspective , then it lets Myles and flash backs tell you more of what's going on ,and you find out what happened to electricity and why no electricity can be used , don't get me wrong the show has flaws but it gets alot better

Nigel Mitchell said...

I have. They still spend a lot of time walking instead of riding their steam powered cars. And a major plot point is how one character is trying to cross the ocean, but no intercontinental boats are running. Even though steam powered ocean liners are perfectly achievable.

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