Revolution showrunner Eric Kripke and Giancarlo Esposito have been speaking about the new adventure serial which continues tonight on NBC.
First up, Kripke discusses the conception of Revolution, what differentiates it from other shows of its ilk, and why the show is procedural-free. He also teases the next couple of episodes — and his plan for the series going forward.
On where the idea for Revolution came from:
KRIPKE: I was just noodling on an idea from an image of two guys having a sword fight, Lord of the Ringsstyle, but instead of some kind of English Stonehenge, vine-covered structure as their backdrop, they were doing it in front of a vine-covered Starbucks. It was honestly that. And then, I started thinking, “Can we make America into a feudal kingdom, where we can have adventures and heroes and villains and love and loyalty?” It was just about coming up with a setting where you could tell a really classic, epic, sweeping adventure saga that was a very Joseph Campbell type of Star Wars and Lord of the Rings world [..] There’s one great story, and it’s big and it’s sweeping and it’s epic and it’s complicated. I wanted to tell that story, using the advantage of the medium of series television.
On the next step in bringing the concept to life:
KRIPKE: [JJ. Abrams' production company] Bad Robot and I had been wanting to do something together for awhile. I said, “I’ve got this idea for after the fall of society, and dudes with swords and heroes, and there’s this farm girl who sets off on this adventure.” They said, “Great! What caused society to fall?” And I said, “I don’t know. Maybe a plague?” And they said, “Well, you know, we’re working on this story about what happens if there was a blackout. We wanted to tell a story in the initial aftermath of that, but we’re having trouble because that’s a really depressing show.” And I said, “Well, your chocolate is going to meet my peanut butter, my friends.” So, we took both ideas and, from that, Revolution was born.
On the meaning behind the name Revolution and how it plays into the superstructure of the series:
KRIPKE: “The reason it’s called Revolution is that eventually we’re going to meet rebels, and eventually we’re going to meet a resistance, and eventually our characters are going to be swept up in that and there’s these freedom fighters that are fighting against this dictatorial militia that is controlling things right now. And Charlie is going to be drawn into that, and Miles is going to be drawn into that, and that it’s going to come down to this fight between the good guys and the bad guys for the soul of the country and the soul of the future,” he said.
On his desire to tell a completely non-procedural story with Revolution:
KRIPKE: “Supernatural is in so many ways a procedural. It’s sort of like a procedural from Mars. And I was just really interested in my next turn at that, just diving into a show that doesn’t even have those procedural elements and you can just tell the pure saga of it. I needed to delve neck-deep into the Joseph Campbell hero’s journey.”
On what separates Revolution from other genre seriables:
KRIPKE: I like to think that it’s got a lot of the same heart and a lot of the same intense focus on character. What separates Revolution from a lot of the genre shows that have failed before us is that they were far too interested in the concept and the shiny new toy of their mystery, and they forgot that what it’s about is characters struggling to be good and find their way home.
People pitch me the crazy mystery, mind-blowing thing, all the time. My response is, “Great, but how do the characters feel about it, and how do we reveal new facets and new dimensions of who they are?”
On knowing where the story is going, even beyond the first season:
KRIPKE: I know what Season 1 is. I have a really solid idea about what Season 2 is, and I’m starting to think about notions for Season 3, knock on wood. So, tune in and help me get to it, people!
KRIPKE: “We get to see them trying to protect their kids a week or two after the blackout, when things are really getting hairy and violence and looting are starting to break out,” says series creator Eric Kripke. And as things get increasingly dangerous on the streets, “it becomes a more gripping, harrowing flashback.”
On Episode 3, which delves back in time to explore the dynamic between Miles and former best bud/Republic leader, Bass Monroe, in the early days of the blackout:
KRIPKE: “Most roads to hell are paved with, as we all know, good intentions, so we start to understand how they set out to save the world.”