DVD REVIEW: FlashForward - The Complete Series
ABC's epic action drama on home video in its entirety...
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One of my favorite TV series of last year was FlashForward. Roughly based on the critically-acclaimed book by Robert J Sawyer, produced for TV by fan-favorite film scribe and director David Goyer, and starring a plethora of talented actors and actresses - including Joseph Fiennes, Dominic Monaghan, John Cho, Sonya Walger, Christine Woods, and Brian F. O'Byrne - the show was thought by many to take off and be a sure bet with fans of LOST and the like...
Unfortunately, due to a poor reception (possibly caused by a somewhat conflicted and confusing plot?) and production issues (including producer Goyer's departure with 5 episodes left to film), the show never found its roots and was canceled after only one season.
Now, die-hard fans of the series and those TV buffs ready to watch 989 minutes of well-written (though a bit confusing at times) sci-fi action drama need look no further than FlashForward: The Complete Series, now available on DVD.
As we mentioned in our previous review of FlashForward: Season One, Part One, the show focuses on 12 or so main characters, each who - after witnessing their future in a "flash forward" that happens during a global blackout which sees hundreds of thousands of people die and billions of dollars in damage worldwide, these main character begin to question their futures, why they are interconnected, how their futures will happen, and for what purpose they were shown these unforeseen events.
Sound a bit confusing? That's because at times it is. That said, the writing throughout is solid and realistic and never once do the things happening seem impossible (at least impossible in a world where global blackouts can - and do - happen!). Likewise, never does the acting suffer. Fiennes finds his stride and does a great job as FBI agent Mark Benford, the main character from which all other plots and threads seem to hang. Actors John Cho and FBI Agent Demetri Noh and Jack Davenport as Lloyd Simcoe deliver solid secondary support while actresses Sonya Walger as Olivia Benford (Mark's wife) and Christine Woods as FBI Agent Janis Hawk deliver spectacular chemistry as leading ladies.
This DVD collection includes a number of special features which die-hard fans will find interesting, including a behind-the-scenes featurette entitled "Architects of Destiny" which examines the production of the show along with in-depth looks at the cast and characters, a bloopers reel, a number of deleted scenes (10 in all), and a "Meet Yuko" featurette which shines the spotlight on Japan's Yuko Takeuchi as she stars in the series as Keiko.
Other special features include five individual "FlashForward on Set" shorts which give viewers an inside look at how five pivotal scenes were filmed, four "Interviews from the Mosaic Collection" used in the series and focusing on the FBI's computer website in the show, and a 2-minute "Kangaroo?" short about the furry marsupial who just so happened to show up on set. A more in-depth featurette entitled "Creating a Catastrophe: The Effects of a Global Blackout" gives viewers a better look at how the mayhem and carnage seen in the pilot episode was created (the series won the Emmy for "Outstanding Stunt Coordination").
Overall, FlashForward: The Complete Series delivers a solid, well-written, action-oriented, dramatic TV series spread out over 22 episodes. Minus the confusing issues (like "what's the deal with the rings?" and "who the hell is Dyson Frost really??"), the series is much better than a lot of other shows on TV today.
It's not for a lack of trying that TV studios have provided watchers with a fair share of good sci-fi on network TV. However, with LOST now off the air, former fan-favorite series Heroes canceled after 4 years, and newbies like FlashForward and Defying Gravity dead before they could find a second season, it saddens me to see fans of network sci-fi stuck with few options to enjoy.
As I originally said in my previous review, while it wasn't watched much, FlashForward was original, complex and deserved a better reception than it received. Shame on you for not watching it when it was on TV and if you did...well...bummer, huh??
Pick up FlashForward: The Complete Series is available on DVD wherever fine home video is sold.
- Jess C. Horsley
"Until next time...have FUN with your figures!!"
Jess C. Horsley