Even series co-creator David Goyer acknowledged it was the worst-kept secret in Hollywood, but it was formally announced on Friday (July 24) that Dominic Monaghan is joining the cast of ABC's "FlashForward."

The grand reveal came at the end of the first-year drama's Comic-Con presentation. A clip reel of scenes from episodes beyond the pilot climaxed in Joseph Fiennes' character, a dogged FBI agent, going all Jack Bauer on a suspect and bellowing, "Who's your partner," followed by Monaghan entering and saying, "I am."

The crowd was very pleased, especially when Goyer announced the arrival of "the bassist from Driveshaft" and Monaghan came out. 

As for additional information about the character? Very little was offered. His name is Simon and, as Goyer put it, "He's kinda a game-changer character who f***s up a lot of things."

The "Lost" and "Lord of the Rings" star most recently appeared on the 3-D episode of NBC's "Chuck."

And what could Monaghan say about the rumored return of Charlie to "Lost"?

"It's a great show. I'm not sure if anybody really dies on that show."

Well there you go.

The Comic-Con panel included the airing of the first two acts of "FlashForward," which has a "24" meets "Lost" meets "The Nine" vibe. One vibe it doesn't have is any similarity to Robert Sawyer's novel of the same name, but Goyer revealed that not only has Sawyer seen the pilot and approved, but he's planning to write at least one Season One episode.


Other highlights of the "FlashForward" Comic-Con panel:

*** The first audience question for Goyer was actually about Monaghan's rumored involvement, but at the time, Goyer refused to say one way or the other.

*** Goyer says that thanks to the show's early staffing, they've already written 10 episodes, far ahead of the pace most first year (or returning) shows are at by this point in the summer.

*** Goyer also says that they pitched ABC on the entire arc of the first season, including the final shot of the Season One finale. In addition, he explained that the show has an arc that will take at least three seasons to play out fully, but that it would "accordion outward" to encompass a longer run.

*** There's a kangaroo in the first 15 minutes of the pilot. The kangaroo comes back.

*** Joseph Fiennes on playing a contemporary character: "It's liberating to wear jeans and a gun on your hip when you've been wearing flouncy shirts and riding horses."

*** Lest you think the premise -- everybody on Earth blacks out and has a flash-forward six months in the future -- seems thin, executive producer Marc Guggenheim says ""Every single person on the planet is a potential character." Added Brandon Braga, "We just saw a great potential for telling not just stories with our core group of characters, but a story that can go all over the world." That prompted co-star Courtney Vance to observe, "I'd like to go all over the world." Braga's response? "All over the world's gonna look a lot like a green screen to you."

*** Of co-star John Cho, Guggenheim joked, "John had a choice between doing our show or doing a non-profit with Sarah Palin." [It's a reference to Kal Penn going to work for the Obama administration, of course.] Cho added, "We're starting a foundation to give guns to under-privileged children. I'm just a patriot, people."

*** While Gary Oldman was telling Hall H fans that the next "Batman" film will shoot next year, franchise co-writer David Goyer had a very different story, saying, "We are musing. We're trying to come up with the lamest Bat character we can possibly think of. Like Bat Mite."

*** So, what caused this global blackout? "Rush Limbaugh farted," Goyer announced. No. Not really funny, even for this liberal, but now you know.


A long-time member of the TCA Board and a longer-time blogger of "American Idol," Dan Fienberg writes about TV, except for when he writes about movies or sometimes writes about the Red Sox. But never music. He would sound stupid talking about music.