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#1 Sep 17 2012 at 8:07 PM Rating: Good
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So JJ Abrams has made another series. NBC this time.

Power goes out all over the planet, and apparently the physics behind electricity and motors just breaks. 15 years pass and the world is *******

Interesting, yes. Do I expect much from it? Not anymore. Abrams seems to be pulling from the same playbook all the time. This genre seems to be pretty hit/miss when it comes to sticking as well. FlashForward, Terra Nova, and Alcatraz have all left me pretty iffy when it comes to getting attached to a new show of this type. Of course, it's like a catch 22... if we don't give it ratings it won't have a chance, but if we think it won't stand a chance we won't give it ratings...

My biggest problem so far: How do engines no longer work, yet firearms, and fire in general, work just fine? Combustion works, yet Combustion engines don't?

I know the pilot is airing right now, but NBC had a preview on demand last week, and I watched it then.
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#2 Sep 17 2012 at 8:17 PM Rating: Good
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The MacGuffin is probably some alien device that was accidentally turned on by the government, and has the power to drain electrical energy across the whole planet. At long range it can only effect regular power, but when you get close to the device it can drain bio-electric energy from life forms as well.

In short: alien device gets turned on, kills everyone in range that knows about it/can turn it back off, proceeds to suck the planet dry like a crackwhore.
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#3 Sep 17 2012 at 8:19 PM Rating: Decent
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The absurdity of the premise is enough to keep me from watching it. The show might turn out to be pretty good, but if I can't take it seriously, it won't hold my interest.
#4 Sep 17 2012 at 9:46 PM Rating: Good
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Isn't Eric Kripke one of the lead writers? He was behind the first 5 seasons of Supernatural, so I might be willing to give it the benefit of the doubt.
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#5 Sep 18 2012 at 1:19 AM Rating: Good
I'd guess some sort of EMP pulse that fried all transistors everywhere could do it.

I haven't seen the show, mind you, but that'd be my guess.
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#6 Sep 18 2012 at 1:20 AM Rating: Good
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Shaowstrike the Shady wrote:
In short: alien device gets turned on, kills everyone in range that knows about it/can turn it back off, proceeds to suck the planet dry like a crackwhore.

But ultimately it is defeated by simple earthen rust.

Edited, Sep 18th 2012 2:20am by Allegory
#7 Sep 18 2012 at 6:12 AM Rating: Excellent
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I recorded it, going to watch it today most likely. And I agree - I'm almost afraid to care about it. Anything that's not a reality show these days or a medical/law drama tends to get canceled after one season.
#8 Sep 18 2012 at 7:49 AM Rating: Good
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It isn't on Fox, so it might get a second season.
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#9 Sep 18 2012 at 7:51 PM Rating: Good
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Not having watched it yet, but to answer your spoiler question is that combustion engines require 3 things to function, fuel, compression, and spark.
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#10 Sep 18 2012 at 8:47 PM Rating: Excellent
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Kastigir wrote:
Not having watched it yet, but to answer your spoiler question is that combustion engines require 3 things to function, fuel, compression, and spark.


Diesel engines. That is all.

Edit:
Point being that combustion engines just need combustion. How the fuel begins the combustion is not really set in stone, and doesn't always require electricity. The combustion that causes a firearm to expel a bullet and the combustion that takes place in an engine to push on the piston and turn the crank shaft follow the same physics.

Edited, Sep 18th 2012 10:52pm by TirithRR
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#12 Sep 19 2012 at 9:25 AM Rating: Excellent
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I'd like to think this series is the continuation after the end of Escape From LA.
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#13 Sep 19 2012 at 3:42 PM Rating: Good
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TirithRR wrote:
[quote=Kastigir]Not having watched it yet, but to answer your spoiler question is that combustion engines require 3 things to function, fuel, compression, and spark.


Diesel engines. That is all.

Edit:
Point being that combustion engines just need combustion. How the fuel begins the combustion is not really set in stone, and doesn't always require electricity. The combustion that causes a firearm to expel a bullet and the combustion that takes place in an engine to push on the piston and turn the crank shaft follow the same physics.
What do you think creates combustion in a diesel engine? Sure, it requires more compression, but it still needs electricity. Glow plugs aren't magical.
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#14 Sep 19 2012 at 3:57 PM Rating: Good
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lolgaxe wrote:
I'd like to think this series is the continuation after the end of Escape From LA.


Needs more random surfing.
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#15 Sep 19 2012 at 5:25 PM Rating: Decent
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Kastigir wrote:
TirithRR wrote:
[quote=Kastigir]Not having watched it yet, but to answer your spoiler question is that combustion engines require 3 things to function, fuel, compression, and spark.


Diesel engines. That is all.

Edit:
Point being that combustion engines just need combustion. How the fuel begins the combustion is not really set in stone, and doesn't always require electricity. The combustion that causes a firearm to expel a bullet and the combustion that takes place in an engine to push on the piston and turn the crank shaft follow the same physics.
What do you think creates combustion in a diesel engine? Sure, it requires more compression, but it still needs electricity. Glow plugs aren't magical.


That makes it even more absurd. You could argue that something like an EMP has broken all the integrated circuits, which would make modern cars and equipment fail. But if a firearm works, then an internal combustion engine will work. You just have to replace the fuel injection system with an old style carburetor and distributor cap. As mentioned earlier, it's fuel, compression, and spark. We use electricity to generate that spark, but that should not be an issue. Only what means we use to control electricity.

Electricity has to still work, or everyone would be dead, not just the technology. So we have to assume that if one takes a magnet and spins it inside a coil of wire, it will produce electrical current. Similarly, the same chemicals used for batteries should be able to hold a charge. If they can't, then all the people are dead as well. So batteries should work (you might have to make new ones), and internal combustion engines should work.



I haven't watched the show, but did they even attempt anything more than "technology doesn't work anymore" for an explanation?
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#16 Sep 19 2012 at 5:53 PM Rating: Good
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Kastigir wrote:
TirithRR wrote:
Kastigir wrote:
Not having watched it yet, but to answer your spoiler question is that combustion engines require 3 things to function, fuel, compression, and spark.


Diesel engines. That is all.

Edit:
Point being that combustion engines just need combustion. How the fuel begins the combustion is not really set in stone, and doesn't always require electricity. The combustion that causes a firearm to expel a bullet and the combustion that takes place in an engine to push on the piston and turn the crank shaft follow the same physics.

What do you think creates combustion in a diesel engine? Sure, it requires more compression, but it still needs electricity. Glow plugs aren't magical.


Glow plugs aren't magical, but they aren't needed for a diesel engine to create combustion, they are just used to keep it warm to avoid the problem of cold starts.

Again, my point is there are non electricity forms of combustion (e.g. the Firearm). The physics behind how a combustion engine works does not require electricity. Many forms of modern engines may use electricity because of its ability to make the engines operate simpler and easier for every day use. It's not spark that is required, it's ignition. While spark can create ignition, it's not the only way to do it. ****, I'm sure you could attach a piece of flint to a crank shaft timed correctly to strike and create a spark of heat (non electricity) to ignite a chamber of fuel. It may not be as efficient as a spark plug, but it could work. (And yes, I realize it would wear away and need to be replaced, but that's not the point)

We'll see if they better explain the problem in the series, and why engines can't work yet firearms can. But as of now it seems like a poorly thought out plot point to force people to run around riding horses in the not so distant future.
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#17 Sep 19 2012 at 8:03 PM Rating: Good
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TirithRR wrote:
Glow plugs aren't magical, but they aren't needed for a diesel engine to create combustion, they are just used to keep it warm to avoid the problem of cold starts.


Diesel fuel has a lower (and more even) ignition point, so compression alone can be used to sustain the engine's cycle. Temperature affects that point though, hence the glow pugs. You could do this with a gasoline powered engine, but it's easier to just use well timed sparks to do so due to the particulars of the fuel itself

But yes, your point is absolutely valid. There's no reason at all why firearms would work, but internal combustion engines would not. The only thing that could knock out technology, but not people and guns would be some form of EMP. And that would only affect newer cars (and you can remove/replace the affected components).

A more reasonable model would be that whatever knocked everything out did so effectively enough that they couldn't get things started again. So much of our industry is automated and controlled by computers, that if you can destroy them, we'd have a hard time rebuilding. But it wouldn't be "nothing works". There would be very few things that would, and it wouldn't be enough to maintain the volume of industry required for our modern world to operate. If the argument about cars wasn't a failure of the engines, but a lack of ability to refine fuel, it would make a tiny bit more sense.

Quote:
We'll see if they better explain the problem in the series, and why engines can't work yet firearms can. But as of now it seems like a poorly thought out plot point to force people to run around riding horses in the not so distant future.


Which is probably exactly what happened. Unfortunately, I've seen a trend for TV/film writers to write stuff that makes absolutely no sense (or is straight out impossible) just because it makes for a good story or twist. They go for the "this would be really cool" approach, but then can't seem to noodle out how to make said cool thing happen in a logical and consistent manner, so they just kinda throw up their hands and do it anyway.
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#18 Sep 19 2012 at 8:13 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
If the argument about cars wasn't a failure of the engines, but a lack of ability to refine fuel, it would make a tiny bit more sense.


They haven't explained much of anything. Just a guy teaching in one of the small villages says something along the lines of (paraphrase) Electricity stopped working, even engines no longer worked. And the very powerful groups of people met so far don't have any motorized vehicles, which you'd think if they did exist and work, these powerful people in control of everything would have them.

Though, one guy did have ice. But there are ways to do that.

I may be over critical of a show that is only on it's first episode... but it just seemed glaringly odd to me.
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#19 Sep 20 2012 at 6:11 AM Rating: Excellent
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The ice was meant to be odd. That and that whole scene at the end.

Stop over analyzing the engines. Sheesh. This is why we can't have nice things or any TV shows that don't consist of someone dancing or singing.
#20 Sep 20 2012 at 6:14 PM Rating: Good
I saw that the dude that played Gus in Breaking Bad looks like he'll be the bad guy in this show.

Now I have to watch it. Best TV villain in recent memory.
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#22 Sep 21 2012 at 5:09 PM Rating: Default
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TirithRR wrote:
They haven't explained much of anything. Just a guy teaching in one of the small villages says something along the lines of (paraphrase) Electricity stopped working, even engines no longer worked.


Sad part is that an entire writing staff for the show probably thinks there's nothing wrong with basing the entire show on an event that stopped electricity from working. Which is more or less my point about just how dumbed down TV/film writing has become. You don't notice this (much) when it's the latest plotline for "switched at birth", but it's pretty darn glaring when it's a science fiction show.

Quote:
I may be over critical of a show that is only on it's first episode... but it just seemed glaringly odd to me.


Can they fix such a major problems in future episodes though? I mean, lets assume that starting with episode 2, someone with a better knowledge of physics (which is basically anyone with a high school education) pointed out the impossibility of the premise that "electricity stopped working" to the writers, how would they fix this? Just start having folks show up with working internal combustion engines, computers, and whatnot, and claim that it was just that few groups we met in episode one who just thought that electricity didn't work? Maybe aliens really conquered the earth and subjected the population to a mind control device which makes them think that technological stuff doesn't work anymore, but it really (obviously) does.

****. That's probably a better plot than they came up with though.
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#23 Sep 21 2012 at 7:49 PM Rating: Good
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Well, there was one bit of info I left out. A spoiler for the episode, they released right at the end:
In the first 5 minutes, the flashback to the 15 years before, it shows one of men rushing home and telling his wife that it's happening, everything will be shut off and never turn back on. He then puts a USB Jump Drive device into a laptop and starts downloading a file. Moments before the power shuts off he finishes it and puts it safely inside a locket/pendant looking necklace thing and tucks it away.

Then, at the end of the episode, a woman takes a similar device out and presses the "On" button. It glows a bit, then suddenly everything electronic around her starts to power up. Light bulbs turn on, her computer turns on, and it connects to a chat thing where she talks to someone else. Kind of a cliche "So, what now" conversation was had.
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#24 Sep 21 2012 at 8:43 PM Rating: Excellent
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Technically a deisal engine can work off the heat of compression alone. A glow plug makes that much easier in a full size engine, but its possible to start a radio controll airplane sized deisal conversion engine just by spinning the prop without any form of spark. And a glow plug wouldn't technically need to be electric. A small pilot hole for a burning stick like they used to use to light oil furnaces would also work just as well with some safety considerations.

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#25 Sep 24 2012 at 3:40 PM Rating: Decent
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TirithRR wrote:
Well, there was one bit of info I left out. A spoiler for the episode, they released right at the end:
In the first 5 minutes, the flashback to the 15 years before, it shows one of men rushing home and telling his wife that it's happening, everything will be shut off and never turn back on. He then puts a USB Jump Drive device into a laptop and starts downloading a file. Moments before the power shuts off he finishes it and puts it safely inside a locket/pendant looking necklace thing and tucks it away.

Then, at the end of the episode, a woman takes a similar device out and presses the "On" button. It glows a bit, then suddenly everything electronic around her starts to power up. Light bulbs turn on, her computer turns on, and it connects to a chat thing where she talks to someone else. Kind of a cliche "So, what now" conversation was had.


What The ****? Really? That's even worse than I thought. There's just so many things wrong with that, I don't know where to begin. Please tell me you just made that up.
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#26 Sep 24 2012 at 3:59 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
TirithRR wrote:
Well, there was one bit of info I left out. A spoiler for the episode, they released right at the end:
In the first 5 minutes, the flashback to the 15 years before, it shows one of men rushing home and telling his wife that it's happening, everything will be shut off and never turn back on. He then puts a USB Jump Drive device into a laptop and starts downloading a file. Moments before the power shuts off he finishes it and puts it safely inside a locket/pendant looking necklace thing and tucks it away.

Then, at the end of the episode, a woman takes a similar device out and presses the "On" button. It glows a bit, then suddenly everything electronic around her starts to power up. Light bulbs turn on, her computer turns on, and it connects to a chat thing where she talks to someone else. Kind of a cliche "So, what now" conversation was had.


What The ****? Really? That's even worse than I thought. There's just so many things wrong with that, I don't know where to begin. Please tell me you just made that up.

He didn't.
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