It’s sad when a series with a great cast, solid writing, and a fascinating premise doesn’t get a chance. Sometimes, it just boils down to timing. FlashForward came at the tail end of Lost. An ensemble cast united around a strange and mysterious event was a tough sell for two different series on the same network. FlashForward was unable to find its footing.
For two minutes and seventeen seconds, the entire world blacks out. While knocked out, they all have visions of their future, a “flashforward.” A team of FBI agents is drafted with investigating it, led by Mark Benford (Joseph Fiennes) and Demetri Noh (John Cho). These visions start to affect everyone around the world because with no context how can people reconcile their visions. The department also starts to question whether the phenomenon was man-made by the quantum experiments of Dr. Lloyd Simcoe (Jack Davenport) and Dr. Simon Campos (Dominic Monaghan).
The series is fascinating because not only does it set up a season-long mystery, it also manages to call into question free will. Are these people meant to make these visions come to pass or can they be changed? The series is also a little smarter than a show like Lost because it isn’t one big clandestine mystery for mystery’s sake. The series is following a trajectory outlined in the pilot episode.
The casting is really great too. Fiennes was great in Shakespeare in Love and has since made some notable television appearances. After his successful role in Coupling but before appearing on Smash, Davenport’s character of a lovable widower with an autistic son is an interesting choice for a potential rival for Mark Benford’s wife. Also, a pre-Happy Endings Zachary Knighton stars as a cancer survivor with renewed hope when his flashforward reveals a potential love connection. Plus, the incomparable John Cho playing his hand at drama is a treat.
FlashForward is an amazing binge watch. Not only will you be starving for answers after the first episode but you also get the luxury of watching it all in a few sittings. The entire series is available on Hulu.