Friday, September 21, 2012

Revolution (the series)

I watched the pilot for Revolution this week. The premise is that electricity stops working. The series starts fifteen years later. I'm not going to review the series so much as I am going to quibble about the background.

In the pilot we see the last few minutes of modern civilization. Someone runs into his house and tells his wife to start collecting water. That "it's all going to go off and it isn't going to come back on!" A minute later we see lights going out.

From a hint that is dropped at the end of the pilot, he must have been the cause. The blackout starts at his house and works its way out. We also see airplanes falling from the sky. They don't crash, they spiral down as if they had no momentum when they lost power.

Cut fifteen years and all the messy stuff. A voice-over tells us that a lot of people died and we find out from context that there are now several small pocket states run by militias.

The show was heavily influenced by the Hunger Games down to one of the leads who looks like and has a similar leather jacket to Katness. She also uses a bow (a fancy backwards crossbow).

The last fifteen years have not been all that hard on people. The ones we see all look good. Their clothes are brand new machine-knit. One of them is even overweight.

There are a lot of guns, bows, crossbows, and bladed weapons. This is realistic. Currently there are at least 100 million guns in circulation. Kill off a large portion of the population and you are going to have a lot of guns available for the survivors. Ammunition would be a bigger problem but there are plenty of rounds in existence.

Where are the steam engines? I know that physics changed but they couldn't have changed that much. Thermal expansion and electrical conduction are very different phenomena. I can accept something interfering with electricity but not electricity and thermal expansion. Diesel motors should also work. The physics are similar between guns and diesel - both are oxidation that causes an explosive expansion.

At the end of the episode we see that a hand-held device can override the effect and allow electronics to work. This raises a lot of questions on its own. The person who uses it is in communications with someone else through computers. If the effect is local then how do they communicate? Are radio waves unaffected allowing for long-range wireless communications?

Earlier someone justifies not turning the power back on. He doesn't want to give one of the militias an advantage. Whatever his reasoning, it can't be as bad as he reasoning behind turning the power off in the first place. That would have killed billions of people world-wide.

This show has some of the same people behind it that Lost did and Lost only had a nodding acquaintance with science. Revolution does not look to be any better grounded.

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