First Trailer for Jon Favreau & J.J. Abrams’ Sci-Fi Show ‘Revolution’

Published 3 years ago by

With more than a billion dollars in box office success between them, Jon Favreau and J.J. Abrams are undoubtedly two of the biggest directors in Hollywood today. Now the pair are working together on bringing their unique talents to the small screen for Revolution, an interesting new sci-fi show on NBC.

The show, which also features Eric Kripke (Supernatural) and Bryan Burk (Lost) as Executive Producers, offers an intriguing premise. For an unexplained reason, all technology in the world stops. No TVs, no computers, no cars. Nothing. 15 years later (which is when the series takes place), society has fallen apart and is now run by warring groups and militias. As the first trailer for the show reveals, however, there may be hope in the form of a special flash drive held by the Matheson family.

With its mix of mystery, action, and family drama, the show sounds like it could be the kind of high-concept hit that NBC hasn’t been successful with in the past. (The fact that Jon Favreau is also directing the pilot episode doesn’t hurt, either.)

There’s a lot to like about the trailer for Revolution. Besides the basic premise – which is simple, yet effective – both the effects and action look strong. I was particularly impressed by how well-realized the post-apocalyptic world is fifteen years after technology turns off.  Sure, there are some quibbles (like the fact that everyone’s clothes have remained remarkably clean and stylish) but it’s pretty cool seeing a major city like Chicago taken over by nature.

NBC Revolution First Trailer for Jon Favreau & J.J. Abrams Sci Fi Show Revolution

Also, the cast looks promising, particularly Giancarlo Esposito‘s grimacing villain – Captain Tom Neville. Esposito has already endeared himself to TV watchers through his strong work on AMC’s Breaking Bad, and is also busy with the ABC show Once Upon a Time. Hopefully he can continue his hot streak with Revolution.

Revolution raises a lot of interesting questions. What would society be like without technology? How would you adapt? I’m man enough to admit that I probably wouldn’t get too far. Maybe I should spend some more time in the woods working on my survivor skills. You know, just in case.

What do you think of Revolution? Will you be tuning into the show this fall?

Revolution will air on Monday nights this fall.

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  1. Regarding all the cleanliness of the people and the way the outfits are made they may show or explain how they do most of what they do in some of the episodes, so its really not fair to not give it a chance based on that premise alone. I do agree that NBC does cancel alot of decent shows so thats also not good for this show.

  2. Probably watch. Looks kind of like they too the idea from Stephen Boyett’s “Ariel”, but changed it a bit. In “Ariel”, science stops working and magic takes over, but here everything is knocked out, which doesn’t make sense from the trailer, as it would knock out what we have working now, but not the stuff offline. We should be able to bring the backup system online and keep going. Something more must have happened that is not in the trailer…

    • Newt Gingrich has a book out EMP attack that was interesting and nothing would survive it. So there would be no back up or batterys. So it is after that book I guess.

    • “Dies the Fire” is a better example

      • It is very much like Dies the Fire. Down to details like airplanes falling out of the sky and small “republics” popping up all over the place run by psychotic warlords. I would say they should pay S.M. Stirling some royalties.

      • Man, you nailed it. S.M. Stirling’s Dies the Fire is the first thing I thought of when I saw this trailer. Considering Harlan Ellison’s now infamous case against Orion over rights to The Terminator, I’d say Stirling has a much better case for suing over plagiary.

        • I ran across this site while trying to figure out if this show was adapted from Dies the Fire ……. I have to say I totally agree he has a lawsuit here.

          It is soo similar I got excited at first thinking it was Dies the Fire. If anyone ever does the Change series it would do best as a movie.

          SM Stirling did this idea first and better though, too many details exactly match for me to believe it is a coincidence.

          • Just saw the commercial and had to search to make sure it wasn’t based on Dies The Fire. Im betting the producers are getting around that by being 15 years into the change, and in Chicago, but yea, there’s no way someone on this series hasn’t read Stirling’s Emberverse books… All I kno is that if Rudi wanders along at some point in this series, I’ll pass out from laughin

          • It would be cool if Stirling sued over this, because then it would come to light that HE stole his Emberverse series completely from Steven R. Boyett’s ARIEL — even down to subtitling them “A Book of the Change,” having a hang glider raid, etc. Boyett’s latest Change book had them rebuild the goodyear blimp. Surprise! There’s a blimp on the cover of the upcoming Stirling Change book.

      • I agree just saw the show (first 5 min) and I googled to see if it was based on Dies the Fire…. Some minute differences but damn “I know learning is not as cool as bow hunting” nothing works, physics went insane, way to many similarities for me

        • Once again: Dies the Fire is a ripoff of Ariel. Electricity stops, SCA members lead, feudalism, he calls it “The Change,” he subtitles it “A Book of the Change,” he has a hang glider raid against a fortress and a top-down fight. ALL of this was in ARIEL in 1983.

          • It’s hardly a new concept. Imagine how many people Tolkien could sue for elves and orcs (and several other things), but copyright doesn’t work that way.

            Also, Ariel wasn’t first either (neither was Tolkien, though his elves were more original).

  3. for the world to go Deadwood meets fallout 3 in 15 years is crazy. People in power would still have to much to offer in exchange for loyality and protection. should we start building thunderdomes now just in case the world ends in dec?

  4. When I saw this trailer it looked like an adaptation of S.M. Stirling Dies the Fire series. Will wonder how this plays out comapared to these books.

  5. This looks like it was HEAVILY influence by S.M. Stirling’s Emberverse series. And when I say heavily influenced, I mean ripped off. LOL

  6. I gotta say that after watching the trailer again, I am not very excited about this series. The people are all too good looking, well dressed in brand new clothes that are perfectly clean, and with teeth that would make a dental hygienist jealous. How about some realism for frack’s sake? Shows can succeed without pandering to the teeny bopper crowd. Breaking Bad would be one good example.

  7. The premise is ridiculous therefore I cannot watch it. The idea that after 15 years there is no electricity or technology is beyond stupid.

    • Check out Stirling’s books to see how the “power-and-explosive-combustion-stops-working” thing plays out. Remember that Stirling is working in the tradition of taking one key element of our society and standing it on its head to see what happens – what’s important in the embervers series isn’t really why the power stops working, but how humans behave when everything changes. I have to say that the Stirling books are terrifying and, based on what happens in many western cities during long blackouts, I fear not all that far from the truth of what would really happen. Like many of the other posters, I too heard about the show and assumed that Stirling was involved. I too then looked at the cast photos and trailer and groaned in disapointment. My only hope is that the series will draw more readers into the books, and the realization of how great this TV series could have been, but most likely will not… {sigh}

      • Of course, Stirling actually took a shot at changing *everything*, down to some basic physics like carnot engines. Here, electricity is *supposed* to be it.

    • Not if you figure it’s alien space bats.

      I, too, figured it for Stirling’s Emberverse. For an industry that gets all sanctimonious about piracy…..

      • AMEN, your post, and the points you make are a breath of fresh air. The entertainment industry seems to either not do their homework very well, or may believe that the viewing public is “stupid”. We had a very nice “modern” society going on before we went electricity crazy. Diesel engines run just fine without electricity, and can be hand cranked. Larger engines could be started from smaller hand cranked engines. Steam engines require no electricity to run. We had machines that dug up the earth quite well, that were steam run, before we had electricity. The writers of the story, personally, should get a good Bronx cheer for their program premise.

    • Thank you. Nuclear fallout would have killed off the vegetation long before an EMP would have removed the ability of humanity to at least generate hydroelectric power. That crossbow wielding girl and her sword-toting boyfriend and that “special flash drive” won’t do so well if the antagonists have AK-47s, Colt 45s and even a few 30-06s. Crossbows are the worst kind of missile weapon, being used only due to the low level of training required to put it in the hands of the peasantry and the cheap cost of their production. Once the peasantry could be given matchlock muskets and pike, crossbows became obsolete. Longbows had better ranger, more rapid firing, and required more training. This show has absolutely no context to the choices it makes. If firearms are no longer available for whatever reason, then the sword-wielding, crossbow-shooting style of warfare would immediately necessitate the resurgence of armor. None of those things required “electricity.” I find it amazing that an American audience could stomach this portrayal without thinking to themselves, “Hmm, I wonder how General Lee could win the peninsula or how Grant could march on Richmond without electricity?” Even in World War I, electricity was not the quintessential technology that it has now become. The British Empire was built in a “pre-Electric” world. I put that in quotes because there is evidence that electricity, in a primitive form, was being used by many cultures long before the pre-modern era. The infamous “Baghdad Battery” is one well-known example. This show is catering to a teenage audience with a GED education. If the show was going to provide adequate backdrop to its “scenario” then it would probably have to admit to ripping off well-known authors and thus rely on those authors’ world-building. And then the lawsuits would begin. So, they instead rip off the storylines without using the same world-building context, and then fail to account for the inconsistencies in the storyline.

    • Agreed – but the no electricity for 15 years premise COULD have worked with a plausible explanation. That’s the difference between good SF and very very bad SF. No electricity makes for a GREAT world! But please please give the viewer the tiniest credit… I stopped watching 2 minutes in – looks like so did everyone else… Too bad – I was looking forward to some cool lens flares!

  8. I’m not too thrilled about the premise. Even if an EMP knocks out all electrical and electronic devices, that would not affect the basic physical property of electricity. All you need is wound wire, a magnet and a crank to start making your own electricity. In the same way I can’t abide stories where characters make idiotic decisions just to advance the plot, I’m not caring at all about this show from series creators who devlop this entire concept on an untenable “what if”.

  9. Not giving S.M. Sterling credit for the concept is criminal, the worst case of plagiarism in an industry that has’nt had an origional idea in years.

    • Dies the Fire is a case of plagiarism, stolen completely from ARIEL by Steven Boyett.

      • NO it is NOT!!!! Ariel is pure fantasy with unicorns and magical creatures in it. Completely different other than the no electricity aspect of the book. This show is a ripoff of S.M. STERLING AND I HOPE HE SUES THOSE HOLLYWOOD CROOKS and NBC for hiring people who DON’T READ BOOKS or RESEARCH!

        • Dude, Stirling has even said so. Both are subtitled “A Book of the Change.” Both have the same premise. Both feature the SCA. Both have a hang-glider raid. Only one of them was published in 1983, and it wasn’t DF.

          • You’ve made your point. You’re starting to sound like a parrot.

            • The way he continuously brings it up, I’m beginning to think Chandler might be the author of Ariel.

  10. looks like a cross between Dies the Fire and Year Zero, which has a more tech based conspiracy thing going.

  11. Love stirlings dies the fires series and have dreamed of it done well on the big screen. Sad to see a cheap t.v rip off. The upcoming law suits might be more entertaining

  12. The previews show a Katniss style crossbow wielding girl and a lot of guys with swords in medieval style warfare, but there is a “flash drive” that can “Turn the lights on” if the girl can just get her all-important father to the right place to flip that switch.

    This sounds worse than most linear-plot video games. The American Civil War was fought without “electricity.” We had railroads, steam engines, steam-powered navies, the Spanish-American war, the American Revolution, etc all using firearms and gunpowder and 28 pound cannons. They were using firearms in the 1450s. The Hapsburgs in Vienna were fighting the Ottoman Turks with firearms and cannons in the 1500s. An EMP would kill existing circuits, existing wiring etc. True. But the entire world is not on one single energy-grid. There would need to be SEVERAL nuclear explosions to cause an EMP. And then, would life itself survive? Would so much green foliage overtake our planet? Would there even be blue skies? Or a nuclear winter? I can’t buy the premise that the “grid was shut off” and 15 years later nobody is using coal-power, steam-power, nobody has made a homemade battery, nobody has used hydroelectric power, even on a small scale, and nobody has picked up their old shotguns or rifles or pistols, nobody has fired up a firewood ready forge, with some coal thrown in, to smelt some metal to replenish the ammo, etc. This show is catering to some really low level intellect. People using swords and crossbows? There are a LOT of Americans with shotguns, hunting rifles, millions of rounds of ammunition, and the natural resources to restart to a much higher technological state than this show implies. It tries too hard to dramatize the importance of one guy with a special flash drive as being a salvific kind of wonderman, but he just needs his Katniss-style daughter to use that nifty crossbow to make it happen.

    Talk about the worst cheese I’ve ever seen pushed. I only know about this crap because I was forced to see it during NBC’s crappy Olympic coverage. There are a lot better ways to do a post-disaster tv series.

    • Couldn’t agree more. When I saw the trailers for this farce, I immediately thought “A hundred million firearms in the US, and these people are using crossbows and swords?” Sheer nonsense.

    • It is called television. It doesn’t have to be based off of fact. It just has to keep you from changing the channel. Look at the success of soap operas. Get off your soap box people.

      • Yes, the show does have to be grounded in fact or else Sci Fi fans will not watch and it will be canceled after 13 episodes.

      • have some respect for yourself as a sentient being or go find a place in a tree with all the other dim-witted sloths

        • sorry that was meant for JMF above you.

    • Cool premise. I don’t know why they have to skip to 15 years later, though. Seems like the most interesting stuff would happen right after the blackout.

    • agrred :)

    • It would seem that the entertainment industry expects us to be, basically, unintelligent sheep, that mindlessly gorge ourselves on whatever non-sense they choose to feed us. Maybe, one day, these people will wake up, and realize that there is a lot of thinking people “out there” who are looking for entertainment that draws their interest due to the real possibility of what is presented, rather than insulting ouot intelligence, and expecting us to like what is presented.

  13. I’m calling it now, the island from lost had something to do with everything turning off.

  14. well its a show thats understandable thing is its over dramatic if this actually tends to happen due to the solar storm, we once lived in an environment where there were no technology, i mean its simple to live without cars just use a wagon and horses, its fine to use no cell phones just go walk and call to the person, and etc but agian i understand its a tv show and everything must be dramatic :)

  15. So… to make this show work factually we need a long embedded computer virus that attacks the power grid AND has the equipment self destruct AND sets off an EMP attack to destroy all the rest of the electrical devices in society. The virus can be cured by the anti-virus software on the flash drive. While the computer virus attacks a contagious regular virus attacks peoples minds to make them forget how to make electricity again and use the guns they already have. The flash drive also has the formula for the cure for the amnesia causing brain virus. Seems legit to me.

  16. Oh goodie, another story where all the brown people are bad guys, and the handsome white man must stop them. I love this stuff.

  17. Revolution is a ripoff or ARIEL

  18. Revolution is a ripoff of Ariel

  19. By going to the website for NBC, I have already seen the first episode. For the human interest side of this new series, it is interesting. On the technical side, it is definitely a thumbs down series. The “why” for the thumbs down is technical merit, and truthfulness. Let’s just say that there is this turn off everything electrical. How then do the fobs that certain people have, make them able to turn on their computers? More importantly, if the ability to turn off everything electrical were “true” for the story, then how is it that people are not “turned off” as well? Humans use electricity, or a form of it, for normal body functions. This is how the electrocardiograms work. The sensors pick up weak electrical signals from the person’s body. So, if even batteries, in Revolution, do not work, then neither should people. Another aspect to this is, before there were electric starter motors, there were hand cranked Diesel engines, and steam engines that used small motors, or mechanical linkages to pump boiler water back into the boiler for the engine. For the no electricity thing to be viable, then lightning and thunderstorms may not exist anymore. Before electric type writers, there were purely mechanical ones. My point, while there would be a lot of loss of life, and other issues from the loss of electricity, the governments would not necessarily fail, and other aspects of society would go on, because before we went electricity happy, for everything, we had a decent way of life, without electricity. The Amish, who live now, and thrive, make a good point that the story line for everything goes wildly awry is simply not right, to begin with. For human interest elements, it’s a 2 out of 4 points. For technical merit, based on what would still work and be useful, it is a -100, on a scale of 1 to 4.

    • I really shouldn’t defend this show because I could care less about it. But, they never mentioned diesel engines in the hour long pilot. Perhaps they are using them but the delivery of fuel is difficult without tanker trucks on the road. Manually pumping out fuel stations would dry them out within 15 years, so perhaps they do use these engines but just not constantly.

      • Other problems with the show:
        1) after 15 years, these people have terrible survival skills: examples – a) the kids find an abandoned RV there 15 years near their home, and think that they will find something new – AND the known asthmatic goes stomping around in a wrecked RV there 15 years? b) when she meets that guy in the woods with the bow by the body of water, she almost completely unguarded and, after initial hesitation, thinks nothing of walking right past him to get water (and doesn’t mention his presence to her companions?)? b) when they camp out overnight in an abandoned plane they don’t post a guard and they leave a fire burning easily visible from a distance? c) when she helps her uncle and shoots the guy in the chest and runs off and is chased, she gets outside and continues to try to reload her weapon when he is rushing her? She has no hand-to-hand combat weapon or skills?
        2) how could that woman in the farmhouse possibly have had an inhaler that still worked with still working medicine in it 15 years later?
        3) when “farmhouse woman” booted up computer at end with another of those special devices, why did the person as “did they find it?” when obviously “it” is the device – she wouldn’t have been able to use computer if so…
        4) just because there is no electricity doesn’t mean people would be using muskets, people would still be able to make bullets.
        All in all, there are too many flaws in this show, more than I have provided here.

  20. The Terri Blackstock Restoration series encompasses the same idea. That series is centralized around one family’s survival when an emp strikes. The first book in this series and “Dies the Fire” were both published in 2005, according to Amazon. Just goes to show there aren’t really any new ideas. Bet the books are better than the tv show.

  21. The premise makes no sense. If there were no electricity then all animate life would cease as brain activity is ELECTRICAL!!!

  22. This is the issue I have with the show. The claim governments, society, states, armies, automatic weapons, transport would not exist are greatly dramatized. Electricity has been in society for about 100 years. For reference the industrial revolution happened in the late 1800’s. We’d still have trains. We’d still have communication. We’d still have the diesel engine which can be ran off bio-diesel. So the premise of this show, the base, makes no sense.

  23. It was a piece of chit. HORRIBLE acting, HORRIBLE Script, HORRIBLE plot, and as far are Physics goes (I taught Astro Physics) IT’S IMPOSSIBLE!!! REALLY …. Bows and Arrows, Pirate Swords and 16th Century Muskets just cause the technology of electricity is supposedly “turned off”?? B S. Who the h3ll wrote this craapp?? In the TV Trash Can by Week 4!

  24. Yeah, still looks horrible. Anyway, I hated Stirling’s Dies the Fire. Decent idea executed so ham-fistedly that I could barely finish it. I will not be watching this crap.