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FlashForward – Creator David S Goyer, Part 2

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In David Goyer’s new series FlashForward the entire human race is given the opportunity to see their future, when for two minutes and seventeen seconds every person on Earth blacks out and has visions of things taking place on April 29, 2010. This fascinating series stars Joseph Fiennes, John Cho, Courtney B. Vance and Lost alumni’s Dominic Monaghan and Sonya Walger. The big question is … can destinies be changed? It’s a question I asked David Goyer.


How long before we find out whether they can alter the future

Flash Forward - The cast and executive producers © ABC
The cast and executive producers © ABC

That is part of the heart and soul of the show and the debate, and where I think a lot of the drama and suspense can be mined. If you saw your future, what would you do about it, and can you change it? We’ve basically broken our series regulars down into three categories, a third of them fear the future, and they are trying to do everything they can to fight it. A third of them, their futures are aspirational, and they are trying to do everything they can to make it happen. And a third of them are kind of agnostic because they just don’t understand what it means, and they are trying to figure it out.

Have you shared much or any of the storylines with the actors

Flash Forward - Joseph Fiennes © ABC
Flash Forward - "No More Good Days" - Joseph Fiennes © ABC

We made a decision very early on with the actors that we weren’t going to tell them a lot about where their characters are going, because I didn’t want it to affect their performance. I sat down with everyone and made this pact, every now and then I do have to tell them certain information because they would be utterly confused. But they don’t know where a lot of their characters are going or what’s going to happen, and I think that’s kind of fun and exciting. That was the pact we made, that was the rider that they all had to sign in their contracts.

There’s obviously a lot of chaos early on and we get to see some of that, but by the time we get to the final third of the pilot people seem to be responding to this rather matter-of-factly, and having conversations, ‘Hey, what was your flashforward?’ How hard a balancing act is it to keep it mysterious

John Cho, Joseph Fiennes © ABC
Stars John Cho and Joseph Fiennes © ABC

That’s the razor’s edge that the show traffics in, but the thing that we say to all the actors all the time is it’s not like these characters were watching a movie. They had a sensory experience of what happened [in the future]. So whatever they were emotionally feeling was real to them. Honestly, I think that the mayhem is cool, but what I’m hoping people will really tune in for is the kind of meat and potatoes of just how people are wrestling with all of these things and the gamut of human experience.

I was in France immediately after 9/11, and it’s definitely baked into the DNA of this show. I never had this experience where there was this enormous outpouring of sympathy [for America]. For this brief period of time it was a profoundly connecting experience for a lot of the world. In our show, you could walk into a bar and say to a total stranger, ‘What did you see?’ Because everyone on this planet, 6.8 billion people, experienced it.

Where are you going to be on April 29, 2010?

I will be a husk of a human being that is just depleted, I’ll be in a fetal position on the floor of the editing suite, I presume. I hope that’s where I’ll be!