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Creator Eric Kripke and some of the stars of Revolution sat down with reporters at Comic-Con International to discuss why the upcoming NBC drama isn’t like every other post-apocalyptic television series, and what happens once the power goes out.
Premiering Sept. 17, Revolution is set in a world where, one day, electricity mysteriously stopped working, thrusting civilization back into the dark ages.
“The impulse was to come up with an adventure show,” said Kripke, best known as the creator of the cult series Supernatural. He explained that Revolution isn’t the end of the world but rather the beginning of a new one. That’s why he set the story 15 years after the power went out – so show civilization being rebuilt instead of torn down.
“It’s about heroes, good and evil and loyalty and family,” he said. “This is about these character and who they are. For me, that is just as important as turning the lights back on.”
When asked what drew them to the series, the cast cited the creative team: It’s created by Kripke and produced by J.J. Abrams (Lost, Fringe), with a pilot directed by Iron Man’s Jon Favreau.
Billy Burke (The Twilight Saga), who stars as ex-Marine Miles Matheson, admitted that after learning who was behind Revolution, he was ready to sign on without knowing anything about his character or even much about the premise. “Guys, I don’t need to hear it,” he said. “I’m in, let’s do this.”
“What attracted me to this show was the writing,” said Giancarlo Esposito, who was just nominated for an Emmy Award for his performance as Gus Fring on Breaking Bad. “I was interested immediately in the character-driven nature of this.”
Asked what will draw viewers to Revolution, the cast agreed the premise is one to which most people can relate. The idea of electricity being unavailable is something that creates a unique and compelling scenario.
“It’s a cool, character-driven show,” said Tracy Spiridakos (Majority Rules!). “It’s a challenge to everyone who watches. What would you do?”
“It’s going to challenge us all, as viewers and as actors, to ask us, do we have what it takes to survive in this world?” Esposito said.
“I think people love the what-ifs,” Burke added.
The actors acknowledged that Revolution may better prepare them for a total power outage – or at least makes them consider the real-life possibility.
“It makes me think about it, definitely,” Spiriakos said. “I thought about how I would get back home to my family if this were to happen.”
“You are constantly thinking about it,” said J.D. Pardo, who plays militia member Nate. “There are things that you don’t think about, but you read a script and go ‘Oh, yeah.’”
“It’s 90 to 100 degrees outside. I’m on a horse wearing wool. Yes, this it gives me the sense that I would be able to survive,” Esposito laughed.
Kripke pointed out that the drama’s premise isn’t so farfetched. “We did the research,” he said, “and it turns out we are glamorizing it.”