Pink Dog

Flash Forward: episode 2 of the science fiction TV series

Flash Forward: Robert J SawyerTonight saw episode two of Flash Forward, the TV adaption of Robert J Sawyer’s novel, air on Channel 5.

Despite the promise of episode one, the start of episode two was full of the clichés of mediocre conspiracy drama. Cute kid. Threatening soldiers. Ominous helicopters. Loud piano music to tell us the words coming out of the actors’ mouths are meaningful, profound and moving.

Add to that the other cliché of implausible computing. Back in the ‘80s it would have been sensible to talk about spending millions of dollars on putting together a computer system that that holds 600,000 people’s individual stories of their memories from the blackout. But it’s 2009 and it’s a website. Millions of dollars? I think not. Millions of Google Ads maybe.

After the first advert break though things picked up. Extra cuteness with the “intensive care” in the hospital to repair a kid’s cuddly toy, a handful of decent characters getting filled out and just enough gentle humour to stop the episode lapsing into portentousness. And a reference to Twitter to make the show sound modern, unrealistic IT costings notwithstanding. Mix in a couple of decent plot twists (not surprising in their nature, but reasonably timed and reasonably executed) and the episode was well paced, building up nicely towards the rest of the series.

All in all, enjoyable unserious entertainment. Not edge of the seat or hugely moving, but a pleasant way of passing the time – and one that doesn’t stop you enjoying subsequently reading the book either and enjoying its twists given that it looks like the underlying plot will be fairly different.

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