Dr Alaaddin F. Paksoy*
Revolution (TV Series – 2012)
Creator: Eric Kripke
Starring: Billy Burke, Tracy Spiridakos, Giancarlo Esposito,
Zak Orth, David Lyons, Graham Rogers
“We lived in an electric world. We relied on it for everything. And then the power went out. Everything stopped working. We weren’t prepared. Fear and confusion led to panic. The lucky ones made it out of the cities. The government collapsed. Militias took over, controlling the food supply and stockpiling weapons. We still don’t know why the power went out. But we’re hopeful someone will come and light the way” (Revolution, 2012).
Watching a TV series is a great time investment compared to enjoying a movie. That is why, I feel quite picky before taking the risk of being a follower of several seasons. After watching NBC’s new TV drama Revolution’s trailer and reading about its plot a bit, I decided to take the risk. I watch it weekly on a new online archive TVYO and it has been riveting three episodes so far.
I am not going to write about the visuality, cast, characters or the details in the plot in this review. You will see them in the drama anyway. My intention is to motivate you to check yourself whether you are interested in contemplating the notions of the state and anarchy.
The electricity is a new phenomenon when we think of the overall human history. However, in the contemporary world, the lack of electricity means a total change in people’s lifestyles and their behaviours. The majority of people in the world only knows what a temporary power cut is. A permanent power cut sounds like a joke or a science fiction. Revolution presents the audience a new world order without electricity. The power cut, which is called as the black out in the drama, does not allow any electric device to turn on. Even the electrical system of vehicles with a battery (cars, planes, etc.) turned off when the blackout occurred. Accordingly, the power cut firstly abolished the urban life. People had to go back to the pre-electricity period and started to produce their own food in their gardens. Big cities became abandoned places and the public order collapsed. In the post-black out period, within 10-15 years, the state completely dissolved in the US and probably in the other parts of the planet too.
Simple telephone conversations became impossible, transportation could only happen by walking or riding a horse. All these made it impossible to sustain peace in the society and they ended the influence of the state. People started to live in the law of the jungle. As an example for this point, in the 3rd episode, when Miles (one of the protagonists of the drama) saw a murderer, he decided to punish him by his own judgement. He says “we can’t call the cops; we can’t put you in jail”.
Therefore, the new circumstances paved the way for the militia. As the rule of law dissolved, having a gun became so precious. However, the militia bans owning guns which means that they are the only entity who have the right to use guns as part of their force. People who do not work for the militia could only defend themselves by old-style swords and arrows.
Why did the power go down? Apart from a little metal necklace, there is no clue about the reason of the blackout in the first three episodes. The necklace and some flashbacks might reveal some points in the upcoming episodes.
All in all, I cannot define myself as an anarchist and I have always been against a strong state which intervenes every point of people’s life. However, after watching the first three episodes of Revolution, I would say that I became more rightist concerning how the public order should be sustained by the state power. Therefore, Lin Yutang’s remark1 does not sound that much eye-opener for me anymore.
* Dr Alaaddin F. Paksoy is the Film Review Editor of Political Reflection Magazine.
1. “Where there are too many policemen, there is no liberty. Where there are too many soldiers, there is no peace. Where there are too many lawyers, there is no justice.” (Lin Yutang)