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Flash Forward - season 1


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#21 of 370 TravisR

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Posted September 25 2009 - 05:30 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Malcolm R View Post

Seems like I recall the LOST producers recently admitting that they've just been making it up as they go (which they kind of had to since they did not know how many seasons they had to fill until they agreed upon a series end date with ABC part way through the third season).
 

They've definitely never said that they were making it up as they went along. They had to guess how much to reveal and not reveal in the first three seasons (before they knew how many years the show would last) but there's a big difference between that and having made it up as they go.

All that being said, I do think that the people behind Flashforward know where they're going with the season of their show. If only because there's no reason not to know that.

#22 of 370 Joe_H

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Posted September 25 2009 - 05:45 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Smith 

Please tell me that the Kangaroo escaped from a zoo.  Otherwise it might be as bizarre as ... seeing a polar bear on a tropical island!  This show is bizarre enough as it is.
... Considering that's the same reason that the polar bear was on a tropical island, that's a weird statement.


#23 of 370 Josh Dial

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Posted September 25 2009 - 05:57 AM

I have a feeling I'm going to be referencing post #10 quite a bit in this thread :)


#24 of 370 TonyD

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Posted September 26 2009 - 05:18 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Malcolm R 

Quote:


In the feature article about the show in the recent EW, the producers said they plan to compress the 6-month flash forward window into just the first season. So by next May, the timeline of the show will have reached/passed the April 29, 2010, date (so the show is basically taking place in real time).

How they sustain the story/interest beyond that is unclear (probably some big government conspiracy thing, which is how these types of shows usually go).

I enjoyed the pilot, though I'm leery of getting wrapped up in another show of this type after suffering through three seasons of "Lost" spinning its wheels before I finally bailed out.

The whole issue of Dimitri Noh (John Cho) not having a vision because he may be dead within the next six months also doesn't seem likely.  Hundreds of thousands of people around the world will die within that same period, but there don't seem to be many (any?) others reporting they had no vision. So that particular explanation, and the false drama they tried to create about it in the pilot, seems to be a non-starter.
Well, this show is not about all those other people so their flash isn't relevant in this story.
I'm sure there were millions who didn't see anything during their blackout.

Also Lost and making it up as they go along, really , that's still coming up?
Were did you read that?
On a web discussion forum.

Besides so what if they were making it up as they went, they are making up a pretty darn good story so far.


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#25 of 370 Inspector Hammer!

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Posted September 26 2009 - 09:37 AM

Nevermind the whole entire-planet-passes-out-for-2-min-17-sec-and-everyone-sees-their-own-future thing...what the hell was Seth McFarlane doing there??/img/vbsmilies/htf/confused.gif

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#26 of 370 TonyD

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Posted September 26 2009 - 10:36 AM

He's an actor just like everyone else on the show.
As for the passing out part, science fiction, nor sure what you're questioning it for it's the premise of the show i think.


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#27 of 370 DaveF

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Posted September 26 2009 - 10:47 AM

Intriguing pilot. I'm excited too by the show's creators. It reminds me of "The Nine", which I also enjoyed. But that worries me since that show died without resolution.


#28 of 370 Scott McGillivray

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Posted September 27 2009 - 02:45 AM

 I thought is was merely "ok" for a premiere.  Good setup.  Interesting story.  But the characters...I just did not get "hooked" into any of them.  There was, for me, no standout characters that interested me.  "Lost" had me interested in 2 or 3 people right away.  Not so here.  I will certainly keep watching, but it is just my observation.

Seth McFarlane...get off the set!  The guy makes millions and MILLIONS of dollars and he has to hog a decent role that some other starving actor could have had?  (Sorry...this is coming from the point of view of a struggling actor).

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#29 of 370 TonyD

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Posted September 27 2009 - 09:01 AM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott McGillivray 



Seth McFarlane...get off the set!  The guy makes millions and MILLIONS of dollars and he has to hog a decent role that some other starving actor could have had?  (Sorry...this is coming from the point of view of a struggling actor).
I'm not an actor but I can surely understand your point there.
This is the problem I have with Leno, plus he isn't funny.


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#30 of 370 Nelson Au

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Posted September 27 2009 - 10:04 AM

 I'm no fan of MacFarlane, not do I hate him. I didn't even notice him. I looked this up out of curiosity, He's a buddy of Brannon Braga or the other creator of the show and is a fan of Family Guy. They invited him for the pilot as a lark and they hope he comes back for more.

So like in the real work world, it's who you know and the relationships you make that get you opportunities. I wish I knew that at my last job!


#31 of 370 Joseph DeMartino

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Posted September 27 2009 - 12:28 PM


Quote:
 For a show like this (and LOST, Fringe, and Moore's Battlestar Galactica), you either trust the showrunners, or you don't.
I basically agree with your entire post, Josh, but have to pick a nit on this part:  Moore's Galactica was a show that demonstrated all the pitfalls of not having a plan, and literally making it up as you go along.  (The X-Files is another.)  And of course you are right about the distinction between not having a plan and not knowing how many seasons/episodes you have to get to the end of your story.  The former produces confusion, inconsistency and either disappointment or a mythology so convoluted that even the creators can no longer keep it straight.  The latter produces tap-dancing and stalling - often in the form of interesting detours within the story, sometimes into dead-ends and or misfires. 

Even a well-planned "arc" show operates under constraints that a novel, for instance, doesn't, and this can lead to missteps and inconsistencies that are beyond the control of the show-runners. 

A novelist can come up with a new plot twist in chapter 12 and go back and rewrite the first 11 chapters to make everything consistent.  But the showrunner of an "arc" show is publishing each "chapter" as he finishes it.  It he (or she) comes up with a new idea there's a choice to be made - stick to the plan and maybe end up with a weaker story or go with the change and live with a contradiction or a dangling plot-line. 

And a novelist doesn't have to worry about his characters getting sick, or hurt, or fed up or arrested.  He doesn't have a living, breathing actor playing each one to life - an actor who might be a pain in the ass on the set, or create problems with other actors or demand too much more money or too much more screen time (always a problem on an ensemble show with a large cast.)  Sometimes those actors quit and sometimes they have to be fired.  Novelists never have to fire a character mid-book because he keeps showing up on the set drunk.  /img/vbsmilies/htf/smiley_wink.gif

That leads to another decision point - introduce a new character or recast?  (That's also an issue with occasional recurring characters.  The actor originally cast is not always available the next time the character is supposed to appear.  That leads to "continuity problems" in the mind of some fans.)

Conversely a TV showrunner doesn't have to worry about an actor in a minor role proving so popular that he has to adjust his plot to keep the character around longer than planned, and make him more important to the story. 

All of these things produce the kind of changes in shows that lead to some people (often those who don't know or don't care much about the mechanics of TV production) to cry "There's no plan!" or "Where's the arc?" when what's really happening are adjustments to an pre-planned arc forced on the showrunner by real world factors beyond his control.  

Given the initial set-up of Flashforward, I'm very glad to hear that they plan to end the season on April 30th 2010.  My thought at the end of the pilot was that was what they had to do, that stretching it any further would be a huge mistake.  It is also a good sign that (like Lost and Babylon 5) they seem to be smart enough not to make the apparent initial premise/mystery be the premise for the entire series they've envisioned.  That can get stale pretty quick.  I said during the 1st season of Lost that I saw no reason the Losties could not escape from the island well before the last episode of the final season (like in S4, maybe), thereby changing the whole nature of the show.  People jumped all over me like I had just peed in the punchbowl.  /img/vbsmilies/htf/laugh.gif  Those shows used their initial starting pionts as a way into a larger and more mysterious story than was hinted at in the early episodes.

If Lost had stuck with the "will they/how will they get off the island?" as its main plot it would have been six or seven years of stalling and "filler".  Because it couldn't be anything else.  The whole point of a show like that is not reaching the conclusion.  (Because the minute you do, the show is over.  See Star Trek: Voyager. *)   You get away with this on an episodic  "wandering do-gooder" show.  In The Fugitive, Richard Kimble's ultimate goal was finding the one-armed man and clear his name, but in any given episode his status as a wanted man was only the reason he found himself in that week's dramatic situation and why his doing the right thing would put him in jeopardy.   The episodes were all about Kimble's life as a fugitive, not his quest to stop being one.  Similarly Run for Your Life and The Guns of Will Sonnett could present characters on a kind of quest, but the goal was never terribly important in any given episode - instead it was the story the knight-errant walked into along the way.  Those could do the stories they did because they had the whole American West, or the whole country or the whole world as their backdrops.  With Lost they were stuck on an island.  (Gilligan's Island had the same problem, but they were able to get around it by simply throwing all logic and common sense out the window and having a supposedly uncharted island get more tourist traffic than the Bahamas at the height of the season. /img/vbsmilies/htf/smiley_wink.gif) 

Anyway, I'm glad to hear that the producers of Flashforward seem to be doing this the smart way. 

Regards,

Joe

*  In a thread discussing the show on another forum, I  once wrote a basic outline for an alternative version of Voyager.  In my conception, they discovered at the end of the pilot that it was absolutely impossible for them ever to return to Federation space.  As the show progressed they would discover the quadrant where they were stranded was under the thumb of a vicious dictatorship.  Voyager herself is a prime piece of advanced technology that both the rulers and the various small resistance groups would love to have.  After a season of dodging both sides and learning about the territory and the players, Janeway and company finally decide that the only moral thing to do is abandon the Prime Directive and take sides.  By the beginning of the 7th and final season they have pretty much conquered the entire quadrant and created a kind of mirror Federation.  At which point an experimental ship from the real Federation arrives with a way home for the crew - except that they'll all be tried and imprisoned for violating the Prime Directive.  /img/vbsmilies/htf/smiley_wink.gif

Later,

Joe


#32 of 370 Josh Dial

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Posted September 27 2009 - 02:39 PM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph DeMartino 



I basically agree with your entire post, Josh, but have to pick a nit on this part:  Moore's Galactica was a show that demonstrated all the pitfalls of not having a plan, and literally making it up as you go along.  (The X-Files is another.)
I don't think BSG demonstrates that, in the least.  The events of the final two seasons fit so well together that I simply refuse to believe they weren't planned (or sketched out loosely, at the very least).  Additionally, around the finale of season 1 (Kobol's Last Gleaming), you can clearly see the big picture emerging.  Moreover, basically everything beyond Razor (by which I mean the airing, not the time period takes place) is perfectly-mapped out--the Hybrid literally reveals the remaining plot to the finale.

As I stated in my post, people may believe what they wish about shows like LOST, BSG, and FlashForward, regarding the degrees of "planning," but to say any of those shows were "literally making it up as you go along" is just unbelievable.  Was everything in BSG planned, right down to every detail (even important ones, such as the identities of the Cylons)?  Of course not.  However, I personally believe Moore et al knew the general direction of the show, and Moore himself may have truly had most decisions made, even if he didn't vocalize them.

Not everything has to be planned down to the trapdoors (though that notion is a good idea) JMS had for B5, for a show to be considered "planned."  The powers than be can change things, react to casting decisions and disaster (like Triple A's [Mr. Eko] parents dying), early cancellations, strikes, et cetera, and still be "planned."

I'll also disagree with you on the initial mystery of LOST.  I've claimed (and posted as such) from day one that the real plot of the show was the "two sides, one light, one dark," battle of (most likely) good and evil.  Further, I don't think the "will they get off the island?" was every really touted on these boards as the main mystery.  I'm currently rewatching the entire series (something I do every summer), and I re-read the threads as I go, and in the first few seasons' threads, it's quite clear that most of the members saw the island itself as the big mystery, with the Others taking second place.

In the end, I stand by my statement about trusting the showrunners, and include Moore's BSG.  I think it's the best piece of military sci-fi ever (yes, better than B5, which is fighting words for you :) ).



#33 of 370 EricSchulz

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Posted September 27 2009 - 03:28 PM

Can someone (briefly) explain what a "show-runner" does?  I have seen the term before and curious as to what is different about it as opposed to being a writer.

#34 of 370 Patrick Sun

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Posted September 27 2009 - 04:36 PM

Show-runner set the tone for the show, its arcs, its players, shepherds the writers to make sure things are on-track for the overall season.  Since they can't write all the episodes themselves, they make sure the other writers include certain scenes that add to any overall subplots and threads for the show's season run.  And they also write a few episodes as well if schedule permits.


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#35 of 370 TravisR

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Posted September 28 2009 - 01:00 AM

^ I believe most show runners also do a final polish on all the scripts and they do the final cut of the episode too (although the network can recut it if they want).

#36 of 370 Matt^Brown

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Posted September 28 2009 - 04:05 AM

Well I always tell myself that I am not going to get hooked on a new show for fear it will get cancelled. I guess I am once again going against myself because I really liked the pilot and will be back again this week.
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#37 of 370 NeilO

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Posted September 30 2009 - 05:40 AM

I thought the pilot was a great start.  I am glad to hear that they will go through the 6 months by the end of the season.  I think it will be an interesting ride. 

One of the main themes that the series has to come up with is whether what they saw will actually happen exactly as they saw it.  I will be quite disappointed if that is the case.  By having observed the events, they have to alter their fate somewhat, even if it is just getting a deja vu feeling when they appear to be happening. 


#38 of 370 Josh Dial

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Posted September 30 2009 - 07:42 AM

Well, the show definitely touched on that notion, Neil, with the conversation in the kitchen between Mark and Aaron.  We see that clearly some people are going to want their flash forwards to come true (Aaron), while others (Mark) want to change them.  That seems like an interesting plot to me.


#39 of 370 Lou Sytsma

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Posted September 30 2009 - 12:24 PM



Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott McGillivray 

 I thought is was merely "ok" for a premiere.  Good setup.  Interesting story.  But the characters...I just did not get "hooked" into any of them.  There was, for me, no standout characters that interested me.  "Lost" had me interested in 2 or 3 people right away.  Not so here.  I will certainly keep watching, but it is just my observation.
 
Pretty well my thoughts too.

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#40 of 370 Joe_H

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Posted October 01 2009 - 01:10 PM

It's driving me crazy, does anyone know who the actress was on the phone with Noh?  The voice sounds so familiar and I can't place it.





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