Revolution is an American post-apocalyptic science fiction television drama series that takes place 15 years after the start of a worldwide blackout. It was created by Eric Kripke and produced by J. J. Abrams' Bad Robot Productions for the NBC network. It debuted on September 17, 2012, and airs on Mondays at 10:00pm (ET). The network placed a series order in May 2012. Film director Jon Favreau directed the pilot episode. In October 2012, NBC picked it up for a full season of 22 episodes, which was later reduced to 20 episodes.
The show is filmed in and around Wilmington, North Carolina. Many of the scenes were shot in historic downtown Wilmington and on the campus of the University of North Carolina Wilmington. In
April 2013, the series was renewed for a second season of 22 episodes. On May 9, 2014, NBC decided not to renew Revolution for a third season.
Overview (season 1):
The series takes place in a post-apocalyptic dystopian future. All electricity on Earth has been disabled within a single night, ranging from computers and electronics to car and jet engines. Trains and cars stopped where they were, ships went dead in the water and fly-by-wire aircraft fell from the sky and crashed.
People were forced to adapt to a world without electricity over the next fifteen years. Due to the collapse of government and public order, many areas are now ruled by warlords and militias.
It starts with the surviving Matheson family: Ben, Charlie, and Danny, now living near what used to be Chicago, who possessed a pendant-shaped device (a USB flash drive contained in a pendant) that is the key to not only finding out what happened fifteen years ago, but also a possible way to reverse its effects. However, Sebastian Monroe, the General of the Monroe Militia and self-appointed President of the Monroe Republic, an area of the former United States east of the Mississippi River northward of Kentucky and the Carolinas, now possesses that power for himself seeking conquest of the entire former United States of America.
The remaining Matheson family, joined initially by Miles Matheson, Aaron Pittman, and Nora Clayton now strive to counter the Monroe Militia. Monroe's new benefactor, Randall Flynn, a former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense who 15 years earlier ordered the deployment of the weaponized technology that caused the blackout, now seeks to fortify Monroe in his efforts after Rachel escaped from his custody.
"We lived in an electric world. We relied on it for everything. And then the power went out. Everything stopped working. We weren't prepared. Fear and confusion led to panic. The lucky ones made it out of the cities. The government collapsed. Militias took over, controlling the food supply and stockpiling weapons. We still don't know why the power went out. But we're hopeful someone will come and light the way."
In Season 1 Episode 5, "Soul Train", a map of North America is shown. The map showed the former continental United States, Canada, and Mexico divided into six parts: the Monroe Republic in the northeast, Maritime Provinces and Great Lakes region; the Georgia Federation in the southeast; the Plains Nation in the northern Midwest and Rocky Mountain states; Texas which controls portions of Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana; the California Commonwealth which has the Pacific Coast from Baja California to British Columbia; and the Wasteland in the vicinity of Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Mexico.
The same episode also indicates that the Georgia Federation and Plains Nation have allied against the Monroe Republic. Border skirmishing in southwest Illinois, near St. Louis, is mentioned.
According to the wife of Captain Thomas Neville (Julia) in a letter to her husband, the Monroe Republic capital of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is relatively safe; however, life outside west of Pittsburgh is subject to rebel attacks and other dangers such as bandits.
Executive producer J.J. Abrams told the Los Angeles Times' Hero Complex blog that series creator Eric Kripke "came to us with an idea that was undeniably good. It was such a great premise for a series that it was just that feeling of the misery that you’d feel if you had a chance to be part of that and didn’t take advantage of it. I’m really looking forward to that show. He’s so obviously the real deal, and we’re just really lucky and honored that he wanted to collaborate with us on it."
The series debuted in the United States on September 17, 2012. In October 2012, NBC announced it would pick up the series for an additional nine episodes after achieving an average of 9.8 million viewers for the first three episodes. After November 26, 2012, Revolution went on hiatus for a holiday break and to catch up on post-production. Following this, the show resumed broadcast on March 25, 2013 for the remaining episodes of season 1.
The role of Rachel Matheson was originally played by Andrea Roth until she was replaced by Elizabeth Mitchell. A portion of episode 4 of season 1 was filmed at Freestyle Music Park in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Eric Kripke says: "I definitely like to know where it’s going. I know what Season 1 is. I have a really solid idea about what Season 2 is, and I’m starting to think about notions for Season 3, knock on wood." Revolution was renewed for a full 22-episode second season in April 2013. Production for season two moved to Austin, Texas.
The first season currently has a Metacritic score of 64 out of 100 based on 32 reviews, indicating generally positive reviews. Glen Garvin of The Miami Herald described the show as "big, bold and brassy adventure, a cowboys-and-Indians story for end times". Dorothy Rabinowitz of The Wall Street Journal praised the production quality of the show saying "if the quality of this one, so irresistible in its vitality and suspense, does fail to hold up, its creators will have delivered, at the least, one remarkably fine hour". Ed Bark observed that the show "has the overall look and feel of a big budget feature, delivers some consistently terrific action scenes". Some have compared the show to Dies the Fire, The Hunger Games and Lost.
Verne Gay of Newsday however, gave the premiere a neutral review saying "There's an almost overwhelming been-there-seen-that feel to the pilot, which doesn't really offer any suggestion of 'well, you haven't seen this.'" Other reviewers were much more critical, with Mary Ann Johanson summarizing her review with "Revolution is science fiction for people who don’t want to be bothered with any of that tedious thinking stuff that tends to go along with true science fiction, and just want to get to the action. And the action isn't all that fabulous here, either, frankly."