Billy Burke, Elizabeth Mitchell, Giancarlo Esposito, and Tracy Spiridakos in REVOLUTION - Season 1 | ©2012 NBC/Nino Munoz

Billy Burke, Elizabeth Mitchell, Giancarlo Esposito, and Tracy Spiridakos in REVOLUTION - Season 1 | ©2012 NBC/Nino Munoz

Cast: Billy Burke, Tracy Spirdakos, Giancarlo Esposito, Zak Orth, David Lyons, Tim Guinee
Writer: Eric Kripke
Director: Jon Favreau
Network: NBC, airs Mondays @ 10 p.m.
Original Telecast: Sept. 17, 2012

What happens when you take the brains behind one of the most successful horror television series, SUPERNATURAL, and combine the brains behind LOST, ALIAS and the relaunch of STAR TREK and mix it with the guy who directed IRON MAN and IRON MAN 2 – a pretty damn good pilot.

REVOLUTION is the interesting idea from Erik Kripe (SUPERNATURAL), JJ Abrams (LOST, ALIAS) and Jon Favreau (IRON MAN) about the power in the world inexplicably and suddenly turning off. Not just a blackout mind you, but forever. No more TV. No more Internet. No more cars. No more smartphones.

In an instant, the world goes from order to chaos. Governments crumble. Cities become war zones and the strong form into groups and conquer land as militias.

REVOLUTION focuses on the Matheson family living in a small village outside of Chicago trying to go about their business. It seems like a nice, simple life but Ben Matheson, the father, holds a secret. A device that we would later find out has the ability to power electronic devices. And someone wants it. General Monroe (David Lyons) is the local leader of the militia with a thousand troops at his disposal. When the militia is sent to retrieve Ben, led by Capt. Neville (BREAKING BAD’s Giancarlo Esposito), it goes bad and Ben is shot and killed.

Neville instead takes Ben’s son, Danny (Graham Rogers), in an attempt to lure Ben Matheson’s brother, Miles (Billy Burke), out of hiding because they believe he also knows the secret to the device.

It turns out. He does. The family ties are deep here. As we learn in flashbacks to before the lights went out, both Monroe and Miles worked together at a military facility working on obviously something having to do with knocking out the power. Ben was well aware of what was happening moments before the lights went out and gathered his family up to get the hell out of Chicago before it all erupted into chaos.

But Ben’s device isn’t the only one. During the “Pilot”, Danny briefly escapes the militia and is befriended by Grace (Maria Howell) that on the surface appears to be just a caring citizen. However, Grace too has one of the devices and we see at the end of the episode that powering it on allows her to generate enough power to run a computer and a lightbulb. Grace then communicates with someone else about plans moving forward.

But what plans? And what does Monroe want with the device? Who is responsible for shutting off the power and is there a way to reverse it? How much does Miles know about what happened and what other secrets is he hiding that would make him want to seclude himself from his past?

And how will the effort to reclaim Danny – a quest taking up by Ben’s daughter, Charlie (Tracy Spirdakos) and Miles – be impacted by what Miles knows or doesn’t know? That’s for future episodes to determine but it should be interesting.

The interesting thing about pilot episodes for new series is that they either get the cheap and easy treatment where they have a limited budget and so it comes across as such and maybe they get some more funds when the series gets a green light. Or they get a huge budget and they blow it out of the water to make an impression. The latter is definitely the case with REVOLUTION, where they have oodles of CG landscapes, lots of big impressive sets, plenty of action and lots of players with lots of stuff going on. Obviously, it is to grab viewer attention but can they sustain this type of action and intrigue moving forward? I hope so as this could be a great series.

Related: TV Review: REVOLUTION – Season 1 – “Chained Heat”

Related: Interview with REVOLUTION director Jon Favreau on the new NBC series

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Article: TV Review: REVOLUTION – Season 1 – “Pilot” -  Series Premiere  

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