'Revolution' Creator Spills Season One Secrets
The power may be out, but the audience was tapped in to last night's series premiere of Revolution as NBC's Best New Show of 2012 won its timeslot by a wide margin. And like all good pilot episodes do, last night left us with hundreds of mega-watt questions about the characters' past, present and future.
To suss out some answers, I caught up with creator Eric Kripke to talk about the direction Revolution will trek into over the course of season one, how much flashbacks will play into the storytelling and when (or, rather, if) we'll find out who turned the power off!
TheInsider.com: Firstly, what was your goal with Revolution?
Eric Kripke: My goal in creating the show was to bring to a grand, sweeping epic to television. A real heroes journey. To say that I'm obsessed with Star Wars and Lord of the Rings is an understatement. I wanted to gorge myself on the heroes myth. I wanted 20 Arby's sandwiches at once. We're using the television medium to have the time to delve deep into every character and have a wide tapestry in which to create this journey that's exciting, romantic, adventurous and swash buckling while also giving us characters to love.
Insider.com: So that would make Charlie Luke Skywalker?
Eric: Charlie is Luke or Frodo or Dorothy. Miles is Aragorn or Han Solo. Although, Aaron is also half-Frodo, because he's carrying the ring.
Insider.com: The reveal that some semblance of electricity still exists -- was that something you ever toyed with holding onto for a few episodes?
Eric: We did. The discussion came down to putting it in episode 5 or the pilot. When you're making a pilot, you don't know your fate as a series, so the ultimate decision came down to this awesome piece of world reveal there. We wanted to blow people away so they keep watching. Also, it shows the audience the beacon on the horizon. Everyone knows the show is about a bunch of heroes struggling to reunite their family but they're also trying to turn the power back on. That moment gives the audience hope that they can achieve it.
Insider.com: Talk about the factions of survivors -- Grace is obviously against Monroe, but is she on Charlie's side?
Eric: In episode two, we're going to meet rebels who are fighting against the bad guys. There's a reason the show is called Revolution even though there's no talk of a revolution in the pilot. We'll start to realize there's an underground resistant fighting against Monroe – they're small, they’re disorganized, they're outmanned and outgunned. But we do get a sense of the two forces beginning to move head-long towards each other. On top of that, there's this wild card of these scientists out there -- Ben was one, Grace is another and we'll meet more along the way -- who have these necklaces that control electricity. When I was looking at the classic counterparts, I began to wonder, "Who are the witches and wizards? Who are the seers who have power but are hermits?" There's a whole other class of people out there. Bottom line, I want people to D&D this show. I want people dressed at Comic Con as the characters on our show.
Insider.com: What can you say about the Rachel character? I can't imagine you'd bring an actress like Elizabeth Mitchell in just for scarce flashbacks.
Eric: A lot of it remains as a mystery, so I can't get into a lot of it, but I will say that we'll learn a lot about her in flashbacks. And that all is not what it seems with her. She's more closely related to the people who turned the lights out than we initially thought.
Insider.com: Let's talk about the flashbacks. How much do you plan to use them, and to what end?
Eric: The overall goal is to keep them totally character based. I am interested in what happened in the days after the blackout. It was such a transformative moment for the world. Giancarlo Esposito's character, Captain Neville, was an insurance adjuster in the old world, and in the new world, he's a brutal war lord. In the beginning, we talk a lot about their origin stories – who they were before the blackout, how they handled the blackout, what happened in the initial days after the blackout and how they became the people we see in the present day. As the series goes on, and we cycle through all the characters, we can go back through them again to see what they were like in the first couple of years after the blackout. The secret with those stories is to look at them like their own character stories.