Thursday, June 27, 2013

Flashes forward and back: Under the Dome (Ten Network)

What’s to stop Channel Ten’s Under the Dome from turning into another FlashForward, the “high concept” sci-fi series axed after just the one 22-episode series... at a critical point in the story?

Will Under the Dome sink, er, like a bus as well?

The Under the Dome pilot was watched by 13.53 million in the US. That’s only a million more than the 12.47 who watched the FlashForward premiere in September 2009.

I don’t wanna be left having to read 1000-plus pages of Stephen King to discover, say, that the Hadron Collider dunnit. :D

Having said that, I’m kinda glad the pilot diverges from what I’ve read of King’s novel. (We’ve been spared a particularly nasty scene already.) FlashForward, I’m told, follows Robert J Sawyer’s novel pretty closely. (The initial flash forward being the main exception, calculated -- one imagines -- to coincide with the actual length of the first season.)

Interestingly, Under the Dome was rated 72/100 on metacritic (or “generally favourable” reviews) which is exactly the same score that FlashForward got. Okay, I've made myself anxious now.

Joseph Fiennes does anxious.

Still, I’ve gotta say how impressed I am with Ten’s “anti-piracy” strategy. Under the Dome was on air faster than it was on-line. Just like the old days, waiting for the new episode of Twin Peaks... Anyone else remember leaving the phone off the hook -- what a concept! -- while watching live-to-air TV?! (Yes, I had a video... I just liked to edit out the ad breaks. But at least I watched them!)

Credits, too, to the ABC who led the pack on this by screening the latest series of Doctor Who, free-to-air, just a few hours after each episode aired in the UK.

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