SAN DIEGO - NBC's new fall drama "Revolution" explores what life would be like if all the power suddenly went off for good. And at the Comic-Con pilot preview and panel for the show, it seemed as though life might imitate art. For a solid minute or two after the pilot ended the house lights refused to come on, even as a Warner Bros. TV representative was attempting to introduce the panel.
It wasn't planned, but it felt like the perfect way to make the audience feel like they were in the world of "Revolution," at least briefly.
That delay caused the panel to be even more rushed than usual, and even though cast members Billy Burke, Giancarlo Esposito, Tracy Spiridakos and JD Pardo were all on stage, it was executive producer Eric Kripke ("Supernatural") who fielded most of the questions from moderator Michael Schneider of TV Guide magazine.
[Also of note, but not really touched on at the panel: The pilot screened at Comic-Con was the original version before co-star Andrea Roth was replaced by "Lost's" Elizabeth Mitchell and certain scenes were (or will be) reshot. And it's executive produced by J.J. Abrams, but unless I dozed off at the wrong moment, his name wasn't mentioned once.]
Here are the highlights:
1) "Revolution" won't set up mysteries without knowing where they're going
"I can promise you we have the answers," Kripke vowed. "The mythology will move forward at an aggressive pace. We'll answer questions and ask new ones. It'll be a fun, rollicking show."
2) The show has many, many spiritual pop culture influences
Kripke explained he was interested in doing a "big epic saga" like "Lord of the Rings," "Star Wars," "The Wizard of Oz" and "The Odyssey." But that the show will be driven by its cast. "There's a couple different storylines and all of them are equally emotional," Kripke said. "The drive to turn the power back on, the drive for a family to come together and reunite. What makes genre shows great are a focus on characters. 'Buffy,' 'The X-Files,' 'Lost' -- you tune in for those characters."
3) The premise is post-apocalyptic, with a twist
"We think we stumbled upon a really compelling what if," Kripke said. "This wasn't caused by nuclear war, disease or zombies. Is anyone ever angrier than when their computer goes out? And as a society, we're dangerously separated from our food and water. We're over-reliant on technology. [The audience] can [think about] what would happen to them. For the record, I'd be either dead on day three or in somebody's harem."
4) Giancarlo Esposito's character seems to be a villain in the pilot, but there may be more to him than that
"I think it has to do a lot with how he was raised," Esposito said. "He was probably a weakling little kid who dreamed of being a stronger man. When he realized being an insurance adjuster allowed him to tell when people were lying to him, he parlayed that into being more powerful in this new world."
5) Jon Favreau directed the pilot and introduced the screening
Although the "Revolution" panel was happening at the exact same time as the Marvel Studios movie panel, Favreau made an appearance at "Revolution" before joining up with the cast of "Iron Man 3" in Hall H. "They double-booked me, so here I am," he explained with a grin, before doing his part to fire up the base. "I read the script that Kripke wrote and it was really cool and different and we put together a great cast. With this stuff that's off the beaten path, it really takes support and people to be vocal about it to succeed."
"Revolution" premieres Monday, Sept. 17 at 10 p.m. ET on NBC
Everything: Comic-Con 2013
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