I have to admit that I’m a sucker for post-apocalyptic movies and television series. I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of how civilization might survive in the aftermath of a planet-changing event (in fiction anyway). I even have a mostly-finished novel sitting on my hard drive that takes place in the bleak existence of a post nuclear accident in my hometown of Chicago. So I was most definitely intrigued by the idea of a Chicago-set, post-apocalyptic television drama series. NBC's new series Revolution, for example.
The big, global, planet-changing event that sets Revolution in motion is an abrupt, permanent worldwide turning out of the lights—a blackout. Actually, it’s not just the lights, but apparently everything with power switch—not just those things connected to the power grid, but all technology, full stop.
No one knows why the lights went out or when they’re going to come back on, if ever. We get an inkling that a few people might have a clue, but those people are keeping their knowledge a big secret lest the info gets into the hands of the bad guys (who seem really nasty).
In the series pilot, we see life the “day before,” the few minutes prior to the world re-entering the (literally) dark ages. The narrative then skips ahead 15 years to a brave new world more Wild West than Chicago Metro. People live in wary enclaves, terrified of the warlords and their militias, who seem to have all the power (as it were). One particular militia leader (Giancarlo Esposito, Once Upon a Time’s Sidney Glass) is hunting a man and his brother, believed to hold the key to turning the lights (and everything else) back on.
Unfortunately, his henchman kill the man with the answers but capture his teenage son. His daughter then goes on the run in search of the brother, who had been traveling with a companion the day the Earth stood still. Finding her Uncle Miles (Billy Burke,Twilight) in the heart of Chicago running a bar in the lobby of a downtown hotel, he is reluctant to help, keen, instead on living—and not being found by the bad guys.