FlashForward was a made-for-television series, based on the 1999 novel by Robert J Sawyer. It premiered in September, 2009, and had its’ final episode in May of 2010. Flash Forward was originally developed at HBO. HBO decided that the show would fare better if on a regular network and sold the concept to ABC. Considering that this show was, at times, difficult to follow, presenting it on HBO without commercial interruption would have been a much better move, in my opinion.
The foundation of the show was difficult for many, including me, to grasp in those initial episodes. In fact, I almost gave up watching the show because I couldn’t understand some of the aspects of the show’s presentation. The “infiltration” of the FBI team (all of the stars of the show) was hard to fathom. It wasn’t until much later that we learned that the “infiltrators” were dual agents, assigned by the CIA to work in the FBI. I don’t think the writers handled that part of the layout very well.
So, the premise continued, an unexplainable and mysterious event caused everyone on the planet to simultaneously pass out for two minutes and seventeen seconds (“137 seconds”), regardless of what the people were doing (driving buses, flying airplanes, performing surgery, etc.). During the time everyone was “passed out” or what was come to be known as “THE BLACKOUT”, people are able to see visions of their lives approximately 6 months into the future.
The focus of the show is on the “team” of FBI agents assigned to a special taskforce charged with the mission to determine what happened, who did it, and will it happen again. As part of the show, we see different parts of each of the main characters “flash forward” and how it affects their everyday life. We also see how people may choose to change their actions if they “know” what the future holds. One of the characters committed suicide in order to prevent his vision from coming true. [Sadly, in August 2013, this same character committed suicide in real life].
The final episode was filmed before the cancellation notice was delivered, so the show ends at a cliff. Viewer defection from the show was the official reason that the show was cancelled, although there is much debate as to what caused the defection. Schedule changes, delays and more are believed to have hurt those who followed the show. Some believe, as I do, that the writers did a poor job of roping in the viewers in the first 3 episodes. If you didn’t “get it” by then, chances are you stopped watching.
FlashForward is one of those shows that could be revived with better writing and input from people who actually enjoyed the series. As a viewer, I often wonder what causes writers to “go off the deep end” with their writing, and cause people to desert the series.