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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Robert J Sawyer Fans? ABC orders pilot based on Flashforward

   
Author Topic: Robert J Sawyer Fans? ABC orders pilot based on Flashforward
Stephan
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I read every Sawyer book the moment it is out in paperback, and this was my second favorite one. My favorite was Calculating God.

Not sure what they mean by a "Lost companion" series. Other than the flashforward premise, of course.

A series has a lot of potential, especially since the event happened to the entire planet. Unlimited story potential.


quote:
ABC Close To Flash?

ABC is close to ordering a pilot for Flash Forward, a science fiction show from filmmaker David S. Goyer and Star Trek veteran Brannon Braga, according to The Hollywood Reporter. ABC is reportedly close to landing the spec script for the show, which is envisioned as a companion to Lost.

Based on Robert J. Sawyer's SF novel, Flash Forward chronicles the chaos that ensues after everyone in the world blacks out for 2 minutes, 17 seconds, and has a mysterious vision of the future that changes lives forever.

Goyer (Blade III) will direct the pilot. He also will executive-produce with Braga and Jessika Borsiczky Goyer, along with Vince Gerardis and Ralph M. Vicinanza, who own the rights to the book. ABC Studios is in negotiations to produce.

Flash Forward originally was developed at HBO.

Goyer and Braga met on the CBS SF series Threshold, which both executive-produced.

Goyer most recently co-wrote the story for the megahit The Dark Knight and penned and directed the upcoming thriller The Unborn.

Braga worked on several Trek series, including Enterprise, which he co-created, and also wrote two Star Trek movies.

I think one of the most intriguing parts of the book was the fact that anyone on Earth that just blacked out, without a flashforward, is presumed to be dead in the future.
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manji
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Calculating God and Flashforward were good. I also enjoyed Terminal Experiment. Some of his later books, like Mindscan, were simply weird.

I always know when I'm reading a Robert J. Sawyer novel. Indeed, his style of prose is very peculiar.

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Mucus
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I like the random Canadian references [Smile]

It could be interesting, I kinda like premises where *one* technological change (or event) is made and all the consequences and repercussions of that chance are explored with creativity. (As opposed to premises where tons of technology are around with no real change to how people behave)

I wonder how well this would expand to an episodic show rather than a movie though.

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Lisa
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I have Rollback sitting on my desk waiting for me to finish the Genesis of Shannara trilogy. I just read End of an Era for the first time a couple of weeks ago, and it was odd, even for Sawyer.

I loved the Neanderthal Parallax, and I think that of everything he's written so far, Flashforward is the most likely to make a good series.

There's a blurb by Spider Robinson that says Sawyer is on his very short buy-on-sight list. He's on mine, too.

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Chris Bridges
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My buy-on-sight list, off the top of my head:

OSC
Spider Robinson
John Varley
Neil Gaiman
Terry Pratchett
Jim Butcher
Robert J. Sawyer
Peter David (if it's Star Trek, otherwise depends on the book)
Jasper Fforde
Allen M. Steele
Jennifer Crusie
J.K. Rowling
Steven Brust
Warren Ellis

and probably others. Sigh. I spend way too much on books...

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Lisa
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In no particular order (except that I alphabetized it for no particular reason):

Ayn Rand
Brad Meltzer
Connie Willis
Frederick Pohl
Greg Egan
Greg Iles
Harlan Ellison
John Varley
Linda Hill
Orson Scott Card
Pamela Dean
Robert A. Heinlein
Robert Sawyer
S.M. Stirling
Spider Robinson
Stephen King
Stephen R. Donaldson
Terry Goodkind

And yes, I know that there are at least two dead people on the list, but you never know when they might find a hidden manuscript.

And for the life of me, I can't see what the above have in common, other than the fact that they're on my buy-on-sight list. And it's not that every single thing each of these people has written has been amazing. I love Stirling, but I couldn't even finish The Peshawar Lancers. But the past has shown me that every one of these is worth taking a chance on.

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Stephan
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quote:
Originally posted by Lisa:
In no particular order (except that I alphabetized it for no particular reason):

Ayn Rand
Brad Meltzer
Connie Willis
Frederick Pohl
Greg Egan
Greg Iles
Harlan Ellison
John Varley
Linda Hill
Orson Scott Card
Pamela Dean
Robert A. Heinlein
Robert Sawyer
S.M. Stirling
Spider Robinson
Stephen King
Stephen R. Donaldson
Terry Goodkind

And yes, I know that there are at least two dead people on the list, but you never know when they might find a hidden manuscript.

And for the life of me, I can't see what the above have in common, other than the fact that they're on my buy-on-sight list. And it's not that every single thing each of these people has written has been amazing. I love Stirling, but I couldn't even finish The Peshawar Lancers. But the past has shown me that every one of these is worth taking a chance on.

I will have to look a few of those up, I have noticed that we seem to enjoy many of the same authors.
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Stephan
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This just in -

"Vance, Davenport Flash Forward

Courtney B. Vance and Jack Davenport are the first actors cast in ABC's SF drama pilot Flash Forward, which is rumored as a potential companion to Lost, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Flash Forward--from David S. Goyer, Brannon Braga and ABC Studios--is based on Robert J. Sawyer's SF novel and chronicles the chaos that ensues after everyone in the world blacks out for 2 minutes and 17 seconds and has a mysterious vision of the future that changes lives forever.

Vance will play Stan Wedeck, the Los Angeles bureau chief of the FBI.

Davenport will play Lloyd Simcoe, who is trapped in Northern California when the event occurs and struggles to reach his son in a Southland hospital.

Flash Forward's pilot will be directed by Goyer (The Unborn, Blade). He is executive-producing with Braga (Threshold), Jessika Borsiczky Goyer, Vince Gerardis and Ralph M. Vicinanza. "

I like Jack Davenport, especially in Coupling, but also in Pirates. Definitely many changes from the book already, but that was to be expected. I will have to read the novel again very soon.

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theCrowsWife
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Anybody else watch the premiere? I haven't read the book, but the show hooked me pretty well. It seems like a good way to pass the time until Lost comes back.

--Mel

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Raymond Arnold
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Aww, I didn't know about this thread. I guess my thread is a little useless.

Right now I'm mostly curious how similar the TV show is to the book. It definitely struck me as a nice replacement for Lost, since that's supposed to end within a year anyway.

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theCrowsWife
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Sorry. I almost started a new thread myself, but then decided to check for an old one first. So we crossed posts.

--Mel

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Jon Boy
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Brinestone and I really enjoyed it. It's definitely the most interesting premise for a series I've seen in . . . maybe ever. I just hope it doesn't burn out after a season or two like some other promising shows (*coughheroescough*) have.
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Raymond Arnold
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I actually am kinda expecting this to suffer from "so popular they keep it longer than it really should be"-itis. Right now it looks like the season will probably proceed in semi-real time up until the April 30th date, coinciding with a really good season finale... and then I honestly don't know what they'll do from there.

Based on what others have said earlier, I could see them maybe approaching the same story from multiple angles each season (since it's a global phenomenon, there'll be plenty of people dealing with the same problem, with different government agencies trying to help or maybe working against each other). So maybe 4 seasons that run parallel to each other, and then a final season that ties everyone all together or something. (Or maybe have an "Epitaph Episode" a la Dollhouse).

From what I here, though, that's how Heroes originally was meant to be - the second season was supposed to feature mostly new characters with the season 1 cast in small cameos. And the problem is that people get attached to the characters and demand more, and the networks give in even though rehashing the same characters can be detrimental to the plot.

Someone who's read the book might be able to shed some light as to how a multiple season structure might play out, although I'm not sure if they could explain it without spoilers.

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Brinestone
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Man, those first 12 minutes were intense. I am very interested in seeing where it leads. I have the same fears Raymond Arnold does, though. I can't see it being good for more than one season. Still, I can see it being one heck of a season.
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Valentine014
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I'm loving it so far. My DVR is set to record all future episodes.
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Lyrhawn
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I thought it was excellent. It has the mysterious elements of Lost, but doesn't make me want to punch the head writer in the face. I'm very much hooked, and I'd love to see where it's going to go. I think the acting is quite good, the plot is lively and interesting, and the characters, at first glance, are interesting (well, the two FBI agents and Joseph Fienne's wife are interesting at least).

Some of it was damn spooky. The only thing that was jarring was they said the footage at the end was from Detroit, but the only thing that would look like that in Detroit is Comerica Park, which that obviously wasn't. I don't see where they go with it when the season is over, but then, in April, they still hadn't caught the bad guys, things just sort of came to a head.

I think this season is about finding out who did it, and next season will be about catching them. If they intend for this to only last a couple seasons, and the work out the plot ahead of time, I think it could be a really, really good show. If it leads us down a plot cul de sac of frustration like LOST however, I'm going to feel betrayed.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:
... Someone who's read the book might be able to shed some light as to how a multiple season structure might play out, although I'm not sure if they could explain it without spoilers.

Well, it doesn't.

AFAIK, and I haven't seen the pilot yet, the production staff indicated that they would do several short (6 month) flashforwards instead of one long (20+ years) flashforward as in the book.

However, they did seen to have the blessing of Sawyer when I read that news. Here is something quick I can find for now.

quote:
Goyer and co-creator Marc Guggenheim have, however, played fast and loose with the original material, simplifying Sawyer's original story, compressing the flash-forwards from 21 years to six months, and widening out the cast-list from a group of particle physicists to encompass a wider variety of jobs. (Despite these changes, Sawyer is reportedly happy with what he has seen and in talks to write an episode later in the season).
link
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Raymond Arnold
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Oh that makes sense. If they reuse the "every season is a 6 month flash" it could get old, but at least keep them going for two seasons and then have more time to develop a way to keep it going.
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Xavier
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So what did you guys think of episode 2?

Here are my thoughts:

1) After screaming for him to burn the bracelet for the entire episode... he actually did! Was so amusing that he actually used fire to destroy it, because that's exactly what I was saying he should do. In a world of 6 billion people who saw their future, SOMEONE is going to test to see whether they can change it. Now obviously the daughter could make him a new one (and probably will), but others will have tried more drastic things that can't be undone so easily (getting a tattoo, cutting off one of your fingers, etc). I'd like to have the "can we change fate" question resolved early on and definitively. It really wouldn't be hard to prove either way, and once they do, everyone on earth will know if they can do it.

2) The wife told him that she met the future lover! I was dreading several episodes of "will she tell or won't she" and the angst involved, but was very relieved when she just told him immediately. Nice to see a show not manufacturing drama on something needlessly.

3) The hostile boss lady was a bit much to me. They went way too far into making her annoying. Hope she becomes less one-dimensional.

4) I'm still trying to find a connection to these characters. The main protagonist is kinda boring to me, and none of the others are really grabbing me either.

5) Overall I am liking the show a lot. Hard to follow up such an amazing pilot, but hopefully they can keep things interesting.

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Raymond Arnold
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I was a lot less impressed by the second episode. A lot of characters seemed to say a lot of things just to move the plot along and to inform the audience of things, when it wouldn't really make sense for the character to say it so directly. Part of the issue was there was a lot of "exposition dialogue" to catch people up who missed the pilot. I hope they get past that.

I also found the boss lady annoying. The FBI guys were doing perfectly logical things to do in the face of a huge crisis, and she hounded them on every single thing for no reason other than to be antagonistic.

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Xavier
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quote:
Part of the issue was there was a lot of "exposition dialogue" to catch people up who missed the pilot. I hope they get past that.
Yeah! I actually had Niki pause it so I could bitch about that for a minute. Was getting sick of being reminded what happened the week before.

I hope they move on from that. It's a mystery show, there's going to be some folks out of the loop if they miss an episode.

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Mucus
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Well, I liked it a lot. Its been a long time since a series has hit the ground running like for me and the plotting seems very promising. I've also heard good things about the overall season-by-season structure of the thing.

quote:
Originally posted by Xavier:
In a world of 6 billion people who saw their future, SOMEONE is going to test to see whether they can change it.

$$$???Pseudo spoilers for show, heavy spoilers for the book $$$???
$
$
$

IIRC, from the book (and its been a long time), the character that sees nothing and thus should be dead, changes his future. So that much is possible although the character is totally different.
However, some characters are horrified by their flashforward but later find out that it is actually a very good thing.

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Sean Monahan
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quote:
Originally posted by Xavier:
I'd like to have the "can we change fate" question resolved early on and definitively.

I'm interested to see how this plays out as well. I will be surprised, actually, if they are not able to change their fates. Especially since, considering that this is the Most Anticipated Future Moment in history, it appears that no one in their visions seemed to be aware that the moment was coming.

But I haven't read the book, so maybe there is an explanation for this.

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Dogbreath
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I saw the first episode a few days ago, and was impressed. The idea is pretty cool, a neat twist on Kurt Vonnegut's "Timequake." (I wonder if the creators of the show have read it)

Characters were all well cast, and the acting is universally excellent, as far as I've seen. The characters feel pretty formulaic to me, but in a "following an old, proven recipe to create a tasty dish" way not a "mass produced frozen burrito with no soul" way. The take the archetypes (quiet, serious young action-hero cop type with a dark secret, his adorable daughter, his wise cracking companion, etc.) and play them very well. Combined with the really cool premise, I think it'll make for a great show.

*off to watch episode 2*

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Xavier
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Oh hey, I knew I forgot something.

6) Anyone else notice the dude was told he'd be murdered on March 15th? "Beware the Ides of March" indeed.

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theCrowsWife
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Gah! I'm so annoyed with ABC. I forgot about Flash Forward yesterday, but I figured no big deal, I'd just catch it on Friday. Turned the tv on only to find that they're no longer showing it on Fridays. The same ($#& thing happened with Lost last season. So now my only choices are torrent or reading a synopsis.

Stupid ABC.

--Mel

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Papa Moose
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Hulu.
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LargeTuna
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just a thought, i really enjoyed this past episode way more than the previous 2. black Swan was a good one, I was almopst ready to give up on the show, but i'll give it a second chance. (I thought the 2nd and 3rd episodes were beat).

Plus i'm excited aboout Dominic Monaghan on the show now!

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daventor
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Yeah, I saw him listed on imdb as being in teh show and have been waiting for him to pop up (my bet is he was the guy in the stadium). I like that it looks like he won't be playing the nice guy; different kind of role for him.

I wasn't so sure if I was going to stick with the show after the first couple of episodes, and some parts still feel uneven to me, but I think this one along with the last one have got me hooked (plus, the show has Zoe from Firefly in it! Huzzah!).

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theCrowsWife
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quote:
Originally posted by Papa Moose:
Hulu.

Oh, that actually works now! Last time I tried, Hulu simply linked to the ABC player, which doesn't work on Linux. Cool. Thanks for making me try Hulu again.

--Mel

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Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by daventor:
Yeah, I saw him listed on imdb as being in teh show and have been waiting for him to pop up (my bet is he was the guy in the stadium). I like that it looks like he won't be playing the nice guy; different kind of role for him.

I wasn't so sure if I was going to stick with the show after the first couple of episodes, and some parts still feel uneven to me, but I think this one along with the last one have got me hooked (plus, the show has Zoe from Firefly in it! Huzzah!).

I think they're yanking our chain, making him seem like a bad guy in the preview. I bet he's just Theo.
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Raymond Arnold
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Theo?
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daventor
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Yeah, he might turn out to be a good guy, but for the moment I like the sinister edge he's given.
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Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:
Theo?

They've changed a huge amount of stuff from the book, but there was a character named Theo in the book, and I'm guessing that's who he is.
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