Preview: ABC’s Two Apocalyptic/Cautionary New Sci-Fi Dramas: ‘Flash Forward’ and ‘V’

by | May 21, 2009 at 9:19 AM | The Ziedgeist, TV News

You’ve been watching the indecipherable previews for weeks; scenes of everyday life pop up, and a sudden FLASH goes across the screen, followed by: “What did you see?”

What you were seeing was ABC’s clever attempt to attract viewers to their Thursday night anchor piece this fall, Flash Forward.

The sci fi thriller, which was introduced at the network’s Upfront presentation this week, is based on the novel of the same name by Robert J. Sawyer. In the book, a science experiment at a Swiss CERN facility causes all human beings to black out for two minutes. During the blackout everyone experiences a “flash” of their future lives. Meanwhile, back in the present, all hell breaks loose: apparently a mass two-minute nod off can cause a great deal of death and destruction.

Produced and written by David S. Goyer (Batman Begins and The Dark Knight) and Brannon Braga (Star Trek: Enterprise) it’s no surprise that the series is a visual stunner, enhanced by a freakishly attractive cast, including John Cho (Harold & Kumar), Sonya Walger (Lost and Tell Me You Love Me) and star Joseph Fiennes (sidenote: where have you been hiding, Mr. Fiennes?)

In the preview, Fiennes, who plays Mark Benford, is trying to make sense of the “blackouts,” claiming they could just be one giant hallucination. For the entire population of the world? Mmm…probably not. Check out the preview above, and keep your eyes peeled for a familiar Family Guy in the board room.

Make no mistake: extraterrestrials do exist. At least in the fictional world of V they do. The one-hour drama starring Lost’s Elizabeth Mitchell (bye bye for good, Juliet? Not necessarily) is being touted by the Alphabet network as a “re-imagining of the 1980′s miniseries about the worlds first encounter with an alien race in which the aliens call themselves The Visitors, and have a seemingly friendly agenda that may or may not be a cover for something more malevolent.” In other words: this is not your average aliens-versus- humans-for-the-fate-of-the-universe tale.

In addition to Mitchell, the other cast standout is lead Scott Wolf. Bailey has grown up! Watch him as a career-obsessed newscaster who becomes The Visitors’ propaganda mouthpiece in the second preview, below:

While the NBC original and ABC newbie share the same basic concept, there will be some differences. For one, the aliens themselves, now a beautiful race of Visitors, with pixie haircuts and soothing voices, instead of the lizard-faced creeps from the original. Also look for the upcoming series to wrap up after four 13-22 episode seasons, as opposed to one season-long arc.

What do you think? Are you excited for ABC’s deeper dive into the dark realm of Science Fiction?