Saturday, June 5, 2010


I needed to clear out my DVR so that I would have room for everything that needs to be recorded over the next two weeks. (Expect the soup can on Sunday, but fear not, Team Toobworld! At least the "As Seen On TV" showcase will continue!)

So I finally buckled down to watch 'Flash-Forward', which had been stock-piled since its return from hiatus; I just watched the series conclusion last night. (I still have eight episodes of 'The Pacific' also, as well as the new version of "Riverworld", but there's no rush on those.) ABC, in its finite network wisdom, threw 'Flash-Forward' into a three-month hiatus from which it never recovered. I was watching the series every week since it premiered. despite its lack of appeal for me on a Toobworld basis. (Also, I would tell people that they only really needed to watch the first and last ten minutes of each episode, which didn't bode well.) As it went into the hiatus, however, that cliff-hanger was pretty gripping with Lloyd Simcoe was kidnapped. But when the show returned, that interest vested in the show was severed. I kept recording it because I still wanted to know how it all played out. I just didn't need to know right away.

Like I said, the show didn't have any bearing on Toobworld. Once it was reported that the Vice President died in a plane crash during the Great Blackout on October 6th, it was no longer set in the dimension of Earth Prime-Time. The main Toobworld reflects the world of Earth Prime (our world) when it comes to the major details - and that means Joe Biden is the Veep for both worlds and he's very much alive.

Add to that Peter Coyote as President David Segovia and a woman named Clemente who would become the new Vice President, and the "Flash-Forward" blackout could never be part of the main Toobworld. It's probably just as well. The expanse of world-wide destruction caused by the blackout would have dwarfed other major calamities and events that plagued Toobworld in the past. These would include the "V" invasion (from the original production, not the remake from this year), or the Eugenics War from 'Star Trek'. Even the arrival of the Tenctonese as seen in 'Alien Nation' can be absorbed into the main Toobworld and still be a part of "life" there even now. (An easy splainin of prejudice against the "slags" makes for an easy splainin as to why we don't see the Tenctonese in Los Angeles-based TV series today; they're kept segregated.) So we don't need to see TV characters in other shows talk about those events in every episode.

During the height of the Viet Nam War, how many TV shows acknowledged that it was happening, let alone deal with it as a topic? 'The Mod Squad', 'Then Came Bronson', an episode of 'The Twilight Zone'..... 'All In The Family' and 'Maude' may have been the only sitcoms to address the war; I can't see it playing any part in an episode of 'That Girl' or 'My Mother The Car'. There were a few TV shows, even sitcoms like 'Becker', which at least made a reference to the collapse of the Twin Towers on 9/11. But a fledgling drama at the time, '100 Centre Street' refused to mention the terror track in their scripts, despite it having happened less than a mile away.

As global as those events might have been, they didn't have a direct impact on everyone. But the 'Flash-Forward' experience did. If it happened in the main Toobworld, it's hard to believe strangers wouldn't be adding "What did you see?" to their introductions to each other. I'm not sure I'm sorry to see it go. It was a fascinating premise, although reduced to a pedestrian level with so many storylines to juggle. But it did have interesting characters some of whom I'd like to have seen again. And I am curious about that cliff-hanger at the end - was that Charlie Benford seen in somebody's flashback? It could be the daughter of Mark and Olivia because the flash-forward was apparently taking place on New Year's Eve, 2015. (Those producers were pretty optimistic!) And I want to know how - if - Mark survived the explosion of the FBI building.

(I'm guessing he fell forward as he blacked out and down into that pool outside the building, even though it wasn't very deep. Not that it was a guarantee he'd be back anyway. There were several characters who could be considered superfluous to the storyline once their flash-forwards came about - Nicole Kirby for one. It's a moot point now, anyway - Joseph Fiennes, who played Mark Benford, will now be playing Merlin in a new TV series for Starz.)

I'm fairly certain on one aspect - there will be lots of fanfic out there with their own endings for the series now that it's cancelled......
One last thought about the show's finale - I liked how FBI Agent Demitri Noh was teamed up with Dr. Simon Campos at the lab, trying to stop the next flash-forward from happening. Both of them were the only two regular characters in the series who didn't have a flash-forward on October 6th. I thought John Cho and Dominic Monaghan worked well together in those scenes and I think they'd mesh together well in some other action series as partners, perhaps a futuristic series. Maybe even a sitcom - they've got the chops for it.)

So in the end, an experiment to create a new water-cooler show to carry on from 'Lost', with a great premise that didn't always follow through, and which doesn't affect Toobworld at all*. I can't say it won't be missed, but I wasn't sorry to know that cliff-hanger would never be resolved either.

Oh - there is one thing.... What was up with the reappearance of that damned kangaroo? BCnU!

*It could be argued that with the timeline reboot from 'Primeval', we could consider 'Flash-Forward' part of Toobworld once it was realigned to have Obama as President and Joe Biden still alive after the Great Blackout. But there would still be the massive amount of other casualties that should have been addressed in other TV shows. Best to just leave it as it is: part of some alternate TV dimension......


Powzie Mueller said...

I assumed that was Charlie at the end. I know that in the novel, people saw 20 years into the future and it looked like that was what was happening. (Now that the show is cancelled, I am going to go ahead and read it)

Brian Leonard said...

I didn't even realize it was the season/series finale--I thought there were a few more episodes to burn off. Oops. Well, I guess it was appropriate for a *season* finale. And, yeah, that was Charlie--didn't someone say her name? My opinion on the novel, which I read first: it wasn't as good as the TV show, or at least as the TV show had potential to be. The novel just kinda fizzled out.